40 Commando RM / Welsh Guards ..For the record.....

#61
Over the years, I've heard that any number of different units were Spearhead and were elbowed out of the way to allow the Guards to come thundering through. They include the Cheshires, the Green Howards and @Berlin_104s's post adds the Green Jackets.

Does anyone know the truth of things?
Not like the Household Division to cherry pick the high profile roles.
 
#62
Unfortunately, I can't confirm this due to family reasons but the RGJ contingent on here should be able to confirm/deny.
Forgive me, I wasn't necessarily expecting you to. I was just making the point that the number of units which were 'next to go' seems to be heading towards the number of individuals on a certain balcony. Again, I'm not accusing anyone untruths; my impression is of soldiers keenly wanting to go and do their jobs and some hopeful thinking.

Someone must know, though.
 
#63
I think it’s generally accepted that The Guards pulled some high powered strings to get themselves on the second eleven. It worked well for The Scots and not so well for The Welsh.
 
#64
There was much discussion at the time as to why 1WG and 2 SG were plucked out of public dutie to be sent to the FI. This included unsubstantiated comment that HMG did not want to use NATO committed units...
One rumour a couple of years afterwards, was that LAND (or predecessor) phoned round the available light-role Bn COs with a simple question: "Is your battalion ready to go to war, right now?"... and CO 2SG / CO 1WG (being Guards) were among the few who didn't hedge their bets; and said "Yes, we are". @hackle will be able to tell the truth on this, but AIUI 1st Bn The Queen's Own Highlanders were rather pissed off that they'd said yes, and weren't selected [1].

1PARA were stuck at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh at the time, were kept on Spearpoint, and were very miffed at not being allowed to go. IIRC, 1RS / QOH both went down immediately afterwards, to do lots and lots of LFTT under not-quite-peacetime safety rules. Certainly, the tales of "yeah, we got 80 of us on a Chinook, the weather was closing in" were convincing...

[1] Another apocrpyhal rumour, presumably untrue and urban legend, was that on day two or three, as Task Forces are being scrambled, the RN is throwing everything it can onto ships, SSNs are sailing south at max chat, etc, etc... that Hereford had to phone up Northwood and say "so... are we invited too?".
 
#65
The Brigadier is right to express his views in the RM publication but ought to know that the Sir Galahad was bombed at Fitzroy and not Bluff Cove.
The original memorial of a white stone leek is about a mile along the coast from Fitzroy.
I have a photo on my wall.
Edited to correct spelling.
 
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#66
AFAIR, immediately after the conflict, whilst still under threat from the FAA, both the Scots or Welsh Guards were set to clearing tasks at Stanley Airfield and elsewhere before their repatriation. During one of these taskings, clearing ordnance from the edge of the runway, a young RAF Pilot Officer on standby Combat Air Patrol (CAP) in the cockpit of his fully armed Harrier GR1, (one that survived the Atlantic Conveyor attack), allegedly fell asleep and pressed a trigger releasing a Sidewinder missile at ground level which injured a number of Guardsmen, and took the leg off the Lance Sergeant or Sergeant in charge of the party.

A Court of Inquiry was convened in the New Hostel where we members of a Combined Intelligence and Security Section (HQ LFFI and 81 Int Sect) had moved to integrate with the rest of Headquarters LFFI before the handover from Major General Jeremy Moore to Major General David Thorne. Our accommodation, which included a liberated double bed used by Brigadier General Mario Menendez, was in a crudely partitioned space in which the Court of Inquiry was being held. I think the conclusion of the Inquiry, although I cannot remember all the legal wranglings presented to the Court, was that no further action would be taken against pilot because of the length of time he had spent in the cockpit before the incident occurred.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#67
Forgive me, I wasn't necessarily expecting you to. I was just making the point that the number of units which were 'next to go' seems to be heading towards the number of individuals on a certain balcony. Again, I'm not accusing anyone untruths; my impression is of soldiers keenly wanting to go and do their jobs and some hopeful thinking.

Someone must know, though.
I have it on good authority that the Legion of Frontiersmen were due to deploy but were replaced by the WG at short notice.
 
#68
Over the years, I've heard that any number of different units were Spearhead and were elbowed out of the way to allow the Guards to come thundering through. They include the Cheshires, the Green Howards and @Berlin_104s's post adds the Green Jackets.

Does anyone know the truth of things?
I've heard 1 PWO's name mentioned as well. It seems they had Arctic kit which was withdrawn for use by 5Bde.
 
#69
Forgive me, I wasn't necessarily expecting you to. I was just making the point that the number of units which were 'next to go' seems to be heading towards the number of individuals on a certain balcony.
I seem to remember one of the Irish Ranger Bns being in the mix at the time - or so they told me!
 
#70
I was at RMAS at the time and there was an O/Cdt in the Senior Div who was due to join the WG. He was commissioned early and sailed south. He came back next term to give a presentation on his experiences, none of which I remember as unfortunately it was in the Churchill Hall so obviously I fell asleep. I do recall though that the justification for him doing this was that the CO didn't want him joining the Bn immediately afterwards as the only member of the Bn who hadn't gone south. All of which does suggest a remarkable amount of foresight at such a confused time.

However when I eventually went south a year or so later, on Mount Kent we had a Blowpipe det, the Bombardier of whom had apparently been on the Galahad. His story was that the Bn had decided not to disembark when arriving in Fitzroy/Bluff Cove at night as it was apparently pïssing it down. Hence being on board in the morning when it became visible.

He also remarked that the Galahad had an impressive Porn film collection...
 
#71
#72
It’s a tall order taking any Bn from public duties straight to operations. There were other formations eg 1 Inf Bde (aka UKMF) a dismounted NATO rolled Inf Brigade that were at a much higher state of readiness and more cohesive than the recently formed 5 Inf Bde (which had in any case just lost 2 and 3PARA to 3 Cdo Bde).

There was much discussion at the time as to why 1WG and 2 SG were plucked out of public dutie to be sent to the FI. This included unsubstantiated comment that HMG did not want to use NATO committed units and that the Foot Guards has pulled strings to be included. At the time of 5 Bde’s initial deployment the press commentary - presumably from the MoD is that 5 Bde was going down as the FI ‘garrison’.

The SG seemed to come out of the FI with an intact reputation, but the WG at the time seemed to have shadow of being found wanting as a Bn particularly amongst some of its officers. This may or may not have been fair and does not detract from the courage and fortitude of any individual.
I recall watching a drama about a deserter from the Guards but can't seem to find much about it online? Did it happen and if so what became of him - would be very interested to know if anyone has any info?
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
#73
I think it’s generally accepted that The Guards pulled some high powered strings to get themselves on the second eleven. It worked well for The Scots and not so well for The Welsh.
I was working for the RN and RAF at MoD Main Building in early April 1982 and, despite the general mayhem going on anyway, recall an almighty arm-waving and shouting match between a group of Army 'suits' which turned out to be about the inclusion of the Guards, and the possibility of them being too late.

There were plenty of tales going around when it was all over including that about some of 5 Brigade not bothering with any serious phys on their way down because they thought they would be providing the garrison in the aftermath of the war, as mentioned earlier in the thread.
 
#74
I recall watching a drama about a deserter from the Guards but can't seem to find much about it online? Did it happen and if so what became of him - would be very interested to know if anyone has any info?
I believe he was a Guardsman in 2 Scots Guards who disappeared after Tumbledown and apparently reappeared after the surrender claiming to have lost his memory. However, I don't recall his name, but as you say, there was a documentary which mentioned the incident.
 
#75
I believe he was a Guardsman in 2 Scots Guards who disappeared after Tumbledown and apparently reappeared after the surrender claiming to have lost his memory. However, I don't recall his name, but as you say, there was a documentary which mentioned the incident.
It seems to have been scrubbed from the internet - as too searches about it?
 
#78
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