By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea
For many folks it used to be three Commando Brigade, commanded by means of significant basic Julian Thompson, and made of Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and beforehand little said function during this striking saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to convey three Commando Brigade as much as strength), it comprised largely 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 was once given substance by way of early mess ups resembling the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but via the top, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the simplest identified, couldn't be denied. Why then was once its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously missed while the medals and have been passed out?
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Extra resources for 5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War
His responsibility was the transportation of the troops and implementation of the landing plan. Initially he had a staff of seven but during the next weeks this grew to twenty. He had no Intelligence Officer and was therefore reliant upon Headquarters 3rd Commando Brigade for assessments. 1 was the Landing Group, which was commanded by Brigadier Julian Thompson OBE and consisted of his 3rd Commando Brigade reinforced by several units including the Spearpoint Battalion, which was 3rd Parachute Battalion, from 5th Infantry Brigade, and T (Shah Sujah’s Troop) Air Defence Battery from 12th Air Defence Regiment.
This tension sometimes affected the relationship between the two brigades and there is no doubt that 5th Infantry Brigade believed they were second fiddle to 3rd Commando Brigade. There seems to have been a belief at Northwood that the Royal Marines could have defeated a division of Argentinians on their own, but in reality this was nonsense, as was an even more fatuous suggestion by a Special Air Service corporal that its D Squadron could have beaten the Argentinians. There was also a perception among some in senior military, political and official circles that the war was just against a few ‘dagos’, who would give up at the sight of a gun, an assessment based on the misconception that the South Americans would not fight.
The Regiment was also well practiced in amphibious operations. 5th Infantry Brigade’s service support was typical of an Army brigade and relied on several autonomous units. To deal with casualties was 16th Field Ambulance and elements of 19th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. Having had more time to prepare, the medical order of battle included an Advanced Dressing Station, three casualty-collecting stations and a hygiene section. A Parachute Clearing Troop was already attached to 2nd Parachute Battalion.