5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War by Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea

By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea

For many folks it used to be three Commando Brigade, commanded by means of significant normal Julian Thompson, and made from Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and beforehand little stated position during this impressive saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to carry 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 was once inadequately proficient whilst it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view was once given substance through early mess ups equivalent to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but by means of the top, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the simplest recognized, couldn't be denied. Why then used to be its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously missed whilst the medals and have been passed out?

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Of its other two batteries, 88 Battery had just returned from six months in Belize and was therefore left behind, leaving 97 Battery available for deployment. To ensure that 5th Infantry Brigade had sufficient direct artillery support, two teams of a battery commander and Forward Observation Officer parties, commanded by Major Roger Gwyn from 49th Field Regiment and Major Fallon of 132 Field Battery, Support Regiment, Royal Artillery at the School of Artillery at Larkhill respectively, joined 4th Field Regiment.

So far as our Argentine acknowledgements are concerned, we are grateful for the assistance given by the former Argentine Ambassador in Australia, Enrique Candiotti, and his secretary, Gerardo Buompadre; Colonel Alberto Gonzalez of the Argentine Army Historical Services Branch, who unearthed documents and first-hand accounts; the prominent historian Isidoro Jorge Ruiz-Moreno of the Argentine Army General Staff College, for putting up with endless questions and pestering by telephone and letter, and finally Colonel Felix Roberto Aguiar, the former Chief-of-Staff of the Argentine 10th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in the Falklands, for allowing the authors to quote from his personal account, La Brigada de Infanteria Mecanizada 10 ‘Teniente General Nicolas Levalle’ en accion en Malvinas.

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.

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