By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea
For many of us it was once three Commando Brigade, commanded by way 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 before little said function during this outstanding 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 whilst it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view was once given substance via early mess ups comparable to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but by means of the tip, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the simplest recognized, 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 info for 5th Infantry Brigade in The Falklands War
The Prince of Wales later donated a quad-bike, which would prove a valuable vehicle for a despatch rider. 1st Welsh Guards joined 5th Infantry Brigade. Of the Household regiments the Welsh Guards is the youngest. Formed in 1915, at the express wish of King George V for a Welsh battalion to complete the national line-up in the Guards Division, it was pitched into the muddy fighting on the Western Front and remained in the trenches until Armistice Day. During the Second World War it retreated to Dunkirk in 1940 and then in 1944-45 was heavily involved in North-West Europe.
Historically the Regiment had been consistently refused permission to train with the brigade as a unit. When training was undertaken, it was usually only with 29 Battery because of its role with the Leading Parachute Battalion Group. In terms of successor management, the Gunner commanding officer usually assumed command of formations in the event that the brigade commander went missing or was killed. This arrangement, initially, did not exist in Headquarters 5th Infantry Brigade. 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.
Its Territorial Army complement included 2nd Wessex (V), 6th Light Infantry (V), 55th Signal Squadron (V), and an Ordnance Company. In January 1982 8th Field Force was renamed 5th Infantry Brigade but still with a home defence role. It became an all Regular formation and took over several 6th Field Force units including 3rd Parachute Battalion and 1st Battalion, 7th (Duke of Edinburgh’s Own) Gurkha Rifles (1/7th Gurkha Rifles), which was based at Church Crookham. After India won independence in 1947 four Gurkha regiments (2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles) joined the British Army and, although serving mostly in the Far East, for several years one battalion was based in this small Hampshire town.