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Cold War British Army - would they form any additional tank squadron(s) during mobilisation?


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6 hours ago, WRW said:

This is the result of having too much time on hand and an interesting subject

I cannot see the NI Bde HQs being deployable

Indeed in NI the TA was kept out of the COIN - I think there was a TAC raided or burned and maybe in a seperate incident a TA officer killed.

Cam across the following - you may know them https://coldwargamer.blogspot.com/2014/04/orbat-british-1980-bg-nato-and-baor.html

https://coldwargamer.blogspot.com/2014/08/orbat-1980s-british-bg-nato.html - this covers Saxons

https://coldwargamer.blogspot.com/2014/11/orbat-1980s-british-bg-nato.html

 

Some people may not be keen on Wargame references but I find such based research very readable

 

Question - why 414 TT Unit not 414 TT Squadron?

Why ? Well because its the British Army !!!! My educated guess is that a standard Tk Tpt Sqn had 18 Commanders, so 414 was slightly over-strength. Now it also was administered in peacetime by 42(AMF(L)) Sqn, it would have been a slight sticky wicket to have a Sqn administer another Sqn, a Sqn which was slightly bigger equipment wise than 42 Sqn. So in true British Army compromise fashion 414 is a 'Unit".

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On 9/15/2020 at 12:58 PM, demobbed said:

1 QLR is my former Bn.  IIRC we took over in Weeton in April 1990. We were under local command of 42 Bde but we took on a new role under command of HQNI called the Province Reinforcement (or Reserve) Battalion operating mainly in 3 Bde's AOR, Coys doing 6 week rotations in and out of Cookstown, Dungannon, Portadown etc. I do not recall having any Saxons at Weeton.  

At this time the 3rd Inf Bn of 24 Bde was re-located to Alma Bks in Catterick (1 GLOSTERS I think). I know the intention was for this Bn to eventually be Airmobile but could it have been issued with the Saxons before hand?

Going off on a slight tangent, later in the decade we were based in Tidworth as a Saxon Bn in 1 Mech Bde, one of only four Saxon Bn's in 3 (UK) Div. Later still we moved to Catterick, again as a Saxon Bn at about the same time that 12 Mech Bde was re-forming. I remember ours and the other 3 Bn's having to give up a number of Saxons in order to equip the two new Saxon Bn's in 12 Mech Bde.

Just checked the LI Regimental History & Journal, 3 LI was definitely there with SAXON in July 1989, do you think they removed them all before 1 QLR took over ? 

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19 hours ago, Darth Stalin said:

Well, guys, you have lots and lots of knowledge of the Cold War British Army, and I’m astonished and grateful for sharing that.

Yet here’s another question, though related to the subject:

If the MoD was to send to the Continent, say, 2 x Brigade HQs in order to: a) take command of 5 x TA’s battalions of the BAOR Garrison Areas and form a third Bde for 2nd Inf Div (so it would have 15 x inf bns 2 x arty regts, 2-3 recon regts) and b) form an “ad hoc” Mech Bde to support BAOR with (as discussed above) 2 (optionally up to 3) Saxon bns and tank regt, which would there be?

143rd and 2nd (or any other?) from England or (as they were already operational) 3rd and 8th from UKNI (thus leaving the command of the Ulster forces to 39th and 107th formed in 1989)?

Yes, I know it’s being rather hypothetical, but I’m interested in the “way of thinking of the MoD during crisis, TTW and mobilization” of the late Cold War era.

After the balloon went up anything was possible, I just haven't found anything official. By the late 1980's the thinking was that there may be a longer (than a month) war with pauses in major combat operations. Like I related earlier, the plans to close down the ITO was shelved and plans to train replacements/reinforcements came to the fore. Part of the TA Review I have read put forth plans to form up to five additional TA Inf Bns & two Yeomanry Regts for MHD. Some would replace Regular Bns in MHD roles, releasing them to reinforce BAOR.

Bde's such as 2 & 143 both had roles as major HQs in UKLF for MHD, so they would NOT be going to BAOR. The only additional Bdes I have seen mentioned were 146 (NorthEast) & 161 (East Anglia) Bdes, both to plug in gaps in those areas in UKLF MHD.

Finally, the only hint at perhaps an additional Bde in BAOR was a document I found at the NA titled "Re-formation of a Guards Bde in BAOR" however tha'ts embargoed until 2027 !

 

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4 hours ago, LouieD said:

After the balloon went up anything was possible, I just haven't found anything official. By the late 1980's the thinking was that there may be a longer (than a month) war with pauses in major combat operations. Like I related earlier, the plans to close down the ITO was shelved and plans to train replacements/reinforcements came to the fore. Part of the TA Review I have read put forth plans to form up to five additional TA Inf Bns & two Yeomanry Regts for MHD. Some would replace Regular Bns in MHD roles, releasing them to reinforce BAOR.

Bde's such as 2 & 143 both had roles as major HQs in UKLF for MHD, so they would NOT be going to BAOR. The only additional Bdes I have seen mentioned were 146 (NorthEast) & 161 (East Anglia) Bdes, both to plug in gaps in those areas in UKLF MHD.

Finally, the only hint at perhaps an additional Bde in BAOR was a document I found at the NA titled "Re-formation of a Guards Bde in BAOR" however tha'ts embargoed until 2027 !

 

Thats weird. Perhaps it references Royal Family Security?

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Great thanks!

1) Could those newly formed TA bns and Yeomanry regts constitute those 2 new brigades? And any hint to what regts would those bns/regts belong wityhin The Regimental System?

I suppose that these Yeomanries would be in light recon role (with Land Rovers, not Foxes...)

2) Is it possible that this "re-formed Guards Bde" could consist of "Bovington tank regt" and up to 3 Saxon-equipped (or maybe with surplus FV432?) battalions available in the UK?

And BTW

- Would the (TTW formally created) Para Regt Group (Bde?) be airmobile in similar way as the 24th Airmobile Bde? And is there any hint to know how officially the PRG would be named in TTW (as then the "Brigade" title could be used without looking back at any budgetary restrictions...)?

- What about the 5 x TA bns to be sent to Germany as part of "Garrison Areas"? What was their wartime mission... and how would it differ from that of the 2nd Inf Div?

7 hours ago, LouieD said:

After the balloon went up anything was possible, I just haven't found anything official. By the late 1980's the thinking was that there may be a longer (than a month) war with pauses in major combat operations. Like I related earlier, the plans to close down the ITO was shelved and plans to train replacements/reinforcements came to the fore. Part of the TA Review I have read put forth (1) plans to form up to five additional TA Inf Bns & two Yeomanry Regts for MHD. Some would replace Regular Bns in MHD roles, releasing them to reinforce BAOR.

Bde's such as 2 & 143 both had roles as major HQs in UKLF for MHD, so they would NOT be going to BAOR. The only (1) additional Bdes I have seen mentioned were 146 (NorthEast) & 161 (East Anglia) Bdes, both to plug in gaps in those areas in UKLF MHD.

Finally, the only hint at perhaps an additional Bde in BAOR was a document I found at the NA titled "(2) Re-formation of a Guards Bde in BAOR" however tha'ts embargoed until 2027 !

 

 

Edited by Darth Stalin
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1 hour ago, Darth Stalin said:

Great thanks!

1) Could those newly formed TA bns and Yeomanry regts constitute those 2 new brigades? And any hint to what regts would those bns/regts belong wityhin The Regimental System?

additional Bns for 51st Highland Vols, 52nd Lowland Vols, R Anglian Regt, and RRF. Plus an unaffiliated London Bn. Nothing on the Yeomanry.

 

I suppose that these Yeomanries would be in light recon role (with Land Rovers, not Foxes...)

Lands Rovers as they would be MHD

2) Is it possible that this "re-formed Guards Bde" could consist of "Bovington tank regt" and up to 3 Saxon-equipped (or maybe with surplus FV432?) battalions available in the UK?

No

And BTW

- Would the (TTW formally created) Para Regt Group (Bde?) be airmobile in similar way as the 24th Airmobile Bde? And is there any hint to know how officially the PRG would be named in TTW (as then the "Brigade" title could be used without looking back at any budgetary restrictions...)?
 

PRG was a static MILAN heavy force with a FIBUA role in Hildesheim. I will publish further info soon about its role. It would still be called Para Regt Gp.

- What about the 5 x TA bns to be sent to Germany as part of "Garrison Areas"? What was their wartime mission... and how would it differ from that of the 2nd Inf Div?

Rear area security roles, 2 ID protected the Corps Rear Area and the Weser crossings.

 

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17 minutes ago, LouieD said:

Stuart,

it says “Correspondence with members of the Royal Family” as the reason.

There was a guy whose twitter feed I subscribe to, who has released documents from the NA showing parts of the army providing a royal escort squad, dating from the early 60's. I wonder why they released those, but not the other documents? Presumably they still have some relevance.

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Gah, seems that "Re-formed Guards Bde" would be another "light infantry" unit - another one intended for FIBUA?

BTW 1:

- what does "ITO" acronym mean? I'm still not familiar with those British acronyms and abbreviations...

BTW 2:

- were the soldiers of the Para regt Gp parachute trained in any way?

If, for any reason, they would not be used in Hildeshei (say, 'cause the city being taken before they came there...), could they be attached to their "parent" 5th Airborne bde and be (for example) parachute dropped where and when the need be?

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1 hour ago, Darth Stalin said:

Gah, seems that "Re-formed Guards Bde" would be another "light infantry" unit - another one intended for FIBUA?

No prior to the 1970’s Wide Horizon reorganization, there was a 4th Guards Armd Bde in BAOR. The document I mentioned dates from 1984 when BAOR has reorganized from Task Forces back to Brigades. At any one time there was one HCR & two Guards Bns in BAOR (assigned to different Bdes) I assume this was an attempt to consolidate them into one.

BTW 1:

- what does "ITO" acronym mean? I'm still not familiar with those British acronyms and abbreviations...

Individual Training Organization... ie all the basic and advanced training establishments

BTW 2:

- were the soldiers of the Para regt Gp parachute trained in any way?

Well besides jump training they were trained in Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA) ie fighting in towns/cities.

No, they were never attached to 5 Abn Bde. They always had a BAOR role but they weren’t grouped together until 1989. Their sole role was to hold Hildesheim, there was a specific reason for this. As I said I’m in the process of writing a detailed account of their intended role in my document, so stay tuned for the newest version which I hope to get out this weekend.

If, for any reason, they would not be used in Hildeshei (say, 'cause the city being taken before they came there...), could they be attached to their "parent" 5th Airborne bde and be (for example) parachute dropped where and when the need be?

Unless the WP/Soviets came across the IGB from barracks they would have had plenty of time to get to Hildesheim. The goal of BAOR was to have all their reinforcements over to the Continent within 48 hours of the order to mobilize (Queen’s Order Two for the TA). Now many TA units may have taken longer but the three TA Para Bns were pretty keyed up and would have made it in 48 if not sooner, as you will read they had a key role in the GDP. I have read nothing which states they had any other contingencies.

 

 

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12 hours ago, LouieD said:

Just checked the LI Regimental History & Journal, 3 LI was definitely there with SAXON in July 1989, do you think they removed them all before 1 QLR took over ? 

I wasn't there right at the beginning, I arrived a bit later so I can't tell you for sure but there were none when I was there and can only assume they went to Catterick.

At this time there were a few changes to the ORBAT. The Aldergrove Resident Battalion was withdrawn from NI, the Weeton Bn (in the then brand new Weeton Camp) became the Province Reinforcement Battalion as part of 42 Bde under operational command of HQNI or whatever Bde or unit we were operating under in NI and 24 Bde's 3rd Inf Bn was re-located to Catterick. As far as I know we (1 QLR) had no affiliation whatsoever to 24 Bde.

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Question

How are the Reserves processed and organised?

Maybe some reserve gunners get absorbed as additional gun crews.

What happens the thousands coming back to the colours. Very little heavy equipment for them. How would they be utilised..deployed. formed up into March Battalions and sent of to Dover and Marchwood.

Was the Ambulance train working ?

 

Other question. Around this time A lot of gear was being taken out of service..Chieftain Abbots etc..would some of this be available?

Any Wombats..Vickers etc

 

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May father told me that when he could be potentially be recalled to the colours (which probably ended sometime in the 1970s), he knew he was to report to New Zealand camp, a rather isolated camp in Salisbury plain. So if that was true, it would seem they had a daily elaborate plan to recall all these guys to the colours.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

May father told me that when he could be potentially be recalled to the colours (which probably ended sometime in the 1970s), he knew he was to report to New Zealand camp, a rather isolated camp in Salisbury plain. So if that was true, it would seem they had a daily elaborate plan to recall all these guys to the colours.

Still happens, I myself was recalled in 2005 and reported to RTMC Chilwell.

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BTW, and (IMHO) related to this topic, 2 questions:

1) which battalion replaced the 3rd Bn, The Queen's Regiment  in Aldergrove  (39th Infantry Bde) in 03/90 after it departed to Cyprus,

2) which battalion should become a third airmobile bn of the 24th Airmobile Bde? 

in 1989 the 24th Bde had 2 x airmobile: 1st Bn, The Green Howards & 1st Bn, The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire; the 3rd Bn, The Light Infantry was Saxon-equipped

in 1990 the 24th Bde had: 1st Bn, The Green Howards & 1st Bn, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (airmobile) and 1st Bn, The Gloucestershire Regt (also with Saxon? or already airmobile?)

What about 1st bn, Queen's Lancashire Regt? In 1990 it felt under 42nd Bde or would be affiliated with 24th?

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4 hours ago, Darth Stalin said:

BTW, and (IMHO) related to this topic, 2 questions:

1) which battalion replaced the 3rd Bn, The Queen's Regiment  in Aldergrove  (39th Infantry Bde) in 03/90 after it departed to Cyprus,

A) The Aldergrove Resident Battalion was not replaced.

2) which battalion should become a third airmobile bn of the 24th Airmobile Bde? 

in 1989 the 24th Bde had 2 x airmobile: 1st Bn, The Green Howards & 1st Bn, The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire; the 3rd Bn, The Light Infantry was Saxon-equipped

in 1990 the 24th Bde had: 1st Bn, The Green Howards & 1st Bn, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (airmobile) and 1st Bn, The Gloucestershire Regt (also with Saxon? or already airmobile?)

What about 1st bn, Queen's Lancashire Regt? In 1990 it felt under 42nd Bde or would be affiliated with 24th?

A) The third Inf Bn of 24 Bde was re-located from Weeton to Catterick in early 1990 (1 GLOSTERS were the first Bn in post). It may or may not have been equipped with Saxon but the intention was for it to be Airmobile.  3 LI was the final Bn to be based in Weeton as part of 24 Bde. This Bn arms plotted to Allanbrooke Bks in Paderborn and became part of 33 Armd Bde and 1 QLR moved from Paderborn to Weeton under local command of 42 Bde but under operational command of HQNI with no affiliation to 24 Bde. 1 QLR effectively replaced the Aldergrove Resident Battalion on the HQNI ORBAT but were rear based.

 

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1 hour ago, Darth Stalin said:

Great thanks!

Could it be that QLR would eventually be Saxon-equipped? (as a "maneuver reserve" bn for HQNI?)

No. Being mainland UK based I'm pretty certain that our war role was MHD under 42 Bde equipped with soft skinned vehicles. During TTW all roulement and emergency tour units would be withdrawn to their parent formations in UKLF and BAOR.

1 QLR was first equipped with Saxon after the move to Tidworth in '94 as part of 1 Mech Bde.

 

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very vaguely related

can anyone remember a book set Europe WW3 with RAF Regiment equipped with Hover Tanks - from over 40 years ago

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It wasnt the RAF Regiment, it was a joint British Army American Special forces unit, with a smattering of Osties. It was called 'The Zone' series of novels. Only read the first two, but I found them very entertaining.

https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/james-rouch/

There was an American book I bought in a second hand shop called 'Armor in Fulda Gap', that depicted a near future with M1A3 Abrams tanks, drone wingman tanks, and the Soviets have hover BMP's, equipped with copies of Bradley turrets whose plans they nicked.

 

Not sure why everyone in fiction wanted hovertanks or IFV's, I think it was something to do with DIPCM and chemical weapon's. Im not convinced it would have worked very well....

 

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the covid must be getting to me - am hallucinating about the RAF Rgt in tanks - will not go get extra medicine

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Ok, I have been trying to get this for over seven years, I was told they didn't have it, then they had it but I received it heavily redacted, well its now finally out there....thank you David !!!!

1988 Staff Officer's Handbook Amendment 1 (1 April 1989)

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/staff_officers_handbook_1994#outgoing-1054657

Enjoy........BTW I will upload my next version by this weekend, sorry work has been a mess.

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