By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea
For many folks it used to be three Commando Brigade, commanded by means of significant common Julian Thompson, and made of Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and formerly little said position during this notable saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to convey three Commando Brigade as much as strength), it comprised mostly of 2 Guards battalions (2nd Scots and 1st Welsh) and the Gurkhas. Many felt it used to be inadequately knowledgeable while it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view used to be given substance by way of early mess ups corresponding to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but by way of the tip, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the easiest recognized, couldn't be denied. Why then was once its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously overlooked while the medals and have been passed out?
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Extra info for 5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War
At full strength and, having handed over Spearpoint Battalion duties to 3rd Parachute Battalion on 1 April, it was packed and ready to go. It had not been on Royal Duties since it had exercised in Kenya the previous autumn. When 3rd Parachute Battalion joined 3rd Commando Brigade, Rickett got his way and on 4 April the Battalion joined 5th Infantry Brigade to bring it back up to three battalions. The Prince of Wales later donated a quad-bike, which would prove a valuable vehicle for a despatch rider.
Stronger than the average British infantry unit by about 100 men, the battalion was divided into four rifle companies, each commanded by a British officer. In 1982 Support Company was commanded by Captain (QGO) Khali Rai and consisted of Mortar Platoon, Anti-Tanks, with Milan missiles and Wombat anti-tank guns, Reconnaissance Platoon and the Assault Pioneers. When Argentina heard that Gurkhas were to be sent south, she lost no opportunity in accusing Nepal of supplying mercenaries to the British Army.
So it probably didn’t matter that we weren’t brilliantly trained, straight off the gravel of the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace. At the last conference down at Aldershot Field Marshal Bramall came to give us words of encouragement and I asked him point-blank whether we were to be the garrison and, of course, wily old bird, he denied it. Naturally, I made absolutely no mention of my concerns to the Battalion. As far as they were concerned, they were going to get stuck in. Scott’s comments are not isolated.
5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War by Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea