BAOR ORBAT July 1989 Version 8

LD17

Old-Salt
#1
Good Afternoon all,

After a long hiatus I have updated my tome, it is now on version 8. In the past members of ARRSE have contributed both their own stories and vital information. I am asking again for any stories or insights anyone here wants to share. The British Forces Germany Legacy Project has contacted me and I am hoping they use the document as a "moment in time" with the publishing of a book in September (British Forces in Germany 1945-2019 – The Lived Experience, already available for pre-order on Amazon) and NAM exhibit. I currently have numerous FOI requests with the MOD that I am awaiting answers/documents on. I will also be putting a thread in the Military History Forum (I hope the Mods don't mind). So to all who have contributed, thank you and please even if you have any old pamphlets which you can scan with information, everything will be appreciated and acknowledged.

https://www.orbat85.nl/documents/BAOR-July-1989.pdf

Louie
 
#2
Louie,
Great piece of reference work mate, however can I offer some information with reference to 8th Queen’s Fusiliers. The correct title for the Battalion was 8th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Queen’s Fusiliers (City of London) abbreviated to 8QF (V). HQ Company carried the title “Gazala” as a nod to the 23rd London’s who formerly occupied St. John’s Hill TAC. ‘A’ Company carried the title “High Wood” and not “Highwood” and ‘B’ Company carried the company title “Albuhera” and not “Middlesex”. Hope this helps, I was CSM B Company at the time.
 
#4
Good Afternoon all,

After a long hiatus I have updated my tome, it is now on version 8. In the past members of ARRSE have contributed both their own stories and vital information. I am asking again for any stories or insights anyone here wants to share. The British Forces Germany Legacy Project has contacted me and I am hoping they use the document as a "moment in time" with the publishing of a book in September (British Forces in Germany 1945-2019 – The Lived Experience, already available for pre-order on Amazon) and NAM exhibit. I currently have numerous FOI requests with the MOD that I am awaiting answers/documents on. I will also be putting a thread in the Military History Forum (I hope the Mods don't mind). So to all who have contributed, thank you and please even if you have any old pamphlets which you can scan with information, everything will be appreciated and acknowledged.

https://www.orbat85.nl/documents/BAOR-July-1989.pdf

Louie

45 Sqdn, 36 Signal Regt (V), were also based at the same location as 3 Coy, 5th Battalion (V) Royal Anglian Regt in Warley, Essex at that time.
Won’t tell you how I know (never had any involvement with either), but it’s a 100% fact.
 
#6
That's cracking! Here is a list of minor points:

  1. p48: 15 Field Wksp REME were in Megiddo Lines, Catterick Garrison (you might need to confirm that though).
  2. p48: 150 Pro Coy RMP were in Beach Head Lines, Catterick Garrison (for definite, I was in it for a while).
  3. p53: 3 LI, Weeton Bks, Blackpool. The Weeton Inf Bn was also the Province Reinforcement Bn for Op BANNER.
  4. p54: 24 Airmobile Bde Pro Unit (2 x platoons (5 and 6 plus an HQ and G4 elements) came from 150 Pro Coy (see serial 2 above).
  5. p74: 156 Pro Coy RMP were at Cavalry Bks, Colchester.
  6. p106: from my recollection in 1989 29 Sig Regt consisted of an RHQ and HQ Sqn, 1 Sqn responsible for Sector Comms and 2 Sqn responsible for Berlin Bde Comms. 229 Sig Sqn did not come into existence until 1990/91 on the disbandment of 29 Sig Regt (the number 229 came from 2 Sqn of 29 Sig Regt because it effectively kept its role of comms support provision to HQ Berlin Inf Bde).
  7. p108: 46 AEC was in Smuts Bks, West Berlin.

Hope that all helps? :)
 
#7
p.11 - 55 Sig Sqn based in Liverpool used to be called 55 Para Sig Sqn (TA) it was the TA version of 216 based in Adershot, so very interested they are on the BAOR reserve Orbat, since they would have come under 5AB Bde Orbat in the '80's
 
#8
p.11 - 55 Sig Sqn based in Liverpool used to be called 55 Para Sig Sqn (TA) it was the TA version of 216 based in Adershot, so very interested they are on the BAOR reserve Orbat, since they would have come under 5AB Bde Orbat in the '80's
I thought it was strange that 4, 10 and 15 PARA were all assigned to BAOR. Perhaps 5 AB Bde was all regular and had no TA component on mobilisation apart from individuals?
 
#9
I thought it was strange that 4, 10 and 15 PARA were all assigned to BAOR. Perhaps 5 AB Bde was all regular and had no TA component on mobilisation apart from individuals?
No all 3 Para Bn's were assigned to 5AB, I know as I was there when it happen so unsure where that came from, we regularly had the TA Bn's with us during the '80's as part of our Cold War Role. And continued up to present day, as per Afgan and Iraq etc
 
#10
No all 3 Para Bn's were assigned to 5AB, I know as I was there when it happen so unsure where that came from, we regularly had the TA Bn's with us during the '80's as part of our Cold War Role. And continued up to present day, as per Afgan and Iraq etc
Have a look on p44, it states that the Parachute Regiment Group (comprising 4, 10 and 15 PARA), were assigned to the defence of Hildesheim.
 
#11
Very interesting, never happen in my time in the '80's, will ask about what they did on Lionheart and Crusader and get back to you, and see if I can get some more information for you
 
#12
Very interesting, never happen in my time in the '80's, will ask about what they did on Lionheart and Crusader and get back to you, and see if I can get some more information for you
Would be interesting. Its not my project though, it belongs to the original poster @LD17; I just commented on it from an RMP perspective!! :)
 
#14
p.11 - 55 Sig Sqn based in Liverpool used to be called 55 Para Sig Sqn (TA) it was the TA version of 216 based in Adershot, so very interested they are on the BAOR reserve Orbat, since they would have come under 5AB Bde Orbat in the '80's
This is what I initially received from the Head of Research at The Royal Signals Museum...........


"55 Signal Squadron was formed in 1967 with Squadron HQ at Liverpool an Airhead Troop at Chelsea and a Port Troop at Cardiff. The Airhead Troop left in 1970 to form the basis of 44 Para Bde Signal Troop and the Port Troop was handed over to 244 Sig Sqn in 1983. The Squadron was joined by a Radio Relay Troop in 1972 and the Squadron operated in the logistic support role until being disbanded in 1999.. In 1999 the Number 55 was allocated to Headquarters Squadron 33rd Signal Regiment in Liverpool. The Squadron provided radio rebroadcast detachments in support of HQ ARRC and the Combat Support Brigades and also provided Rear Link Detachments to support the 8 ARRRC assigned infantry battalions. A small airborne capability existed with a cadre of 14 parachute trained personnel who man Rear Link detachments in support of airborne battalions when they were ARRC assigned.

From the above it would appear that the role of providing Real Link detachments only commenced in 1999 and was not in place in the 1980’s."



Then I received a follow-up email.......
"I have come across a rather more comprehensive history of 55 Signal Squadron which is rather at odds with my earlier e-mail and now suggesting that Rear Link Detachments were provided by 55 Signal Squadron earlier than 1999."

An attached three page brief history of the Sqn was sent to me by the Museum, it appears that the only time the Sqn was in 1972 when they shared an accomodation with A Coy 4 Para.

If anyone is interested I can post the three pages.
 
Last edited:
#15
No all 3 Para Bn's were assigned to 5AB, I know as I was there when it happen so unsure where that came from, we regularly had the TA Bn's with us during the '80's as part of our Cold War Role. And continued up to present day, as per Afgan and Iraq etc

I first read about the PRG in in Para ! Fifty Years of The Parachute Regiment by Peter Harclerode. I then sent the MOD an FOI Request in regards, below is some of what they sent me.......

Pegasus Journal Dec 1989
REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS

"Operationally, another first was marked up when RHQ, in the guise of HQ Parachute Regiment Group (PRG)
took the three Volunteer Battalions under command for Ex White Rhino in BAOR. The Exercise, which took place in
September, lasted for two weeks with the first week being spent in the Vogelsang area near the German/Belgium
border. This was a useful period for each Battalion to carry out its own training, including parachuting from a
balloon. During this same week RHQ and some 60 Officers and SNCOs from the Volunteer Battalions enjoyed a one day Battlefield Tour of the Belgium village of Bure which was captured by the 13th Para Bn during the Ardennes Campaign. All were enthralled by individual accounts of the Battle from Maj Jack Watson, Dr David Tibbs, George Butler, Len Cox and A,rthur Maycock. Each was able to recount the tale of this little known, but bitterly fought, action conducted in the most atrocious of conditions. The second week involved a major FTX with HQ PRG, 4 & 10 PARA (V) acting as an Airmobile enemy to 7 Armd Bde whilst 15 PARA (SV) became enemy to 22 Armd Bde. The fortnight was completed by a small element of PRG joining 10 PARA (V) on the annual Ex Market Garden pilgrimage to Arnhem – this year being the 45th Anniversary of the Battle."


Pegasus Journal Dec 1990
"Throughout 1989, RHQ PARA took part in a one year trial acting as the operational formation headquarters of the 3 TA Parachute Battalions in their BAOR role. This task force, known as the Parachute Regiment Group (PRG) comes under the operational command of 1 Armd Div. under whose direction the trial was conducted. As a result of the trial 1990 has seen some changes to the G3 organisation within RHQ. The S02 G3 air post has been discontinued and its responsibilities split between two new Grade 2 staff posts, the S02 PARA, is filled by the OC RAF Det (TA) and the S02 PRG. A new Grade 3 staff post has been created, the S03 Ops Trg PRG. The PRG Trial Report, having been staffed through BAOR and UKLF, was awaiting final endorsement from MOD when events in Europe over took it. Now, along with the rest of the Army, the PRG awaits the result of the Options for Change package. Despite the goal posts moving the PRG commitment to 1 Armd Div continued in 1990 with two major divisional CPXs and involvement in the Corps CPX Ex Summer Sale."
 
#16
That's cracking! Here is a list of minor points:

  1. p48: 15 Field Wksp REME were in Megiddo Lines, Catterick Garrison (you might need to confirm that though).
  2. p48: 150 Pro Coy RMP were in Beach Head Lines, Catterick Garrison (for definite, I was in it for a while).
  3. p53: 3 LI, Weeton Bks, Blackpool. The Weeton Inf Bn was also the Province Reinforcement Bn for Op BANNER.
  4. p54: 24 Airmobile Bde Pro Unit (2 x platoons (5 and 6 plus an HQ and G4 elements) came from 150 Pro Coy (see serial 2 above).
  5. p74: 156 Pro Coy RMP were at Cavalry Bks, Colchester.
  6. p106: from my recollection in 1989 29 Sig Regt consisted of an RHQ and HQ Sqn, 1 Sqn responsible for Sector Comms and 2 Sqn responsible for Berlin Bde Comms. 229 Sig Sqn did not come into existence until 1990/91 on the disbandment of 29 Sig Regt (the number 229 came from 2 Sqn of 29 Sig Regt because it effectively kept its role of comms support provision to HQ Berlin Inf Bde).
  7. p108: 46 AEC was in Smuts Bks, West Berlin.

Hope that all helps? :)
Made all the changes tonight, thank you very much ! Updated document will be out this weekend.
 
#17
This is what I initially received from the Head of Research at The Royal Signals Museum...........


"55 Signal Squadron was formed in 1967 with Squadron HQ at Liverpool an Airhead Troop at Chelsea and a Port Troop at Cardiff. The Airhead Troop left in 1970 to form the basis of 44 Para Bde Signal Troop and the Port Troop was handed over to 244 Sig Sqn in 1983. The Squadron was joined by a Radio Relay Troop in 1972 and the Squadron operated in the logistic support role until being disbanded in 1999.. In 1999 the Number 55 was allocated to Headquarters Squadron 33rd Signal Regiment in Liverpool. The Squadron provided radio rebroadcast detachments in support of HQ ARRC and the Combat Support Brigades and also provided Rear Link Detachments to support the 8 ARRRC assigned infantry battalions. A small airborne capability existed with a cadre of 14 parachute trained personnel who man Rear Link detachments in support of airborne battalions when they were ARRC assigned.

From the above it would appear that the role of providing Real Link detachments only commenced in 1999 and was not in place in the 1980’s."


Then I received a follow-up email.......
"I have come across a rather more comprehensive history of 55 Signal Squadron which is rather at odds with my earlier e-mail and now suggesting that Rear Link Detachments were provided by 55 Signal Squadron earlier than 1999."

An attached three page brief history of the Sqn was sent to me by the Museum, it appears that the only time the Sqn was in 1972 when they shared an accomodation with A Coy 4 Para.

If anyone is interested I can post the three pages.
 
#18
55 Para Sqn TA deployed with us on Ex Purple Star in 1996, and also they were with us on FTX's in the '80's, I played hockey in Liverpool several times in 1986 and they were there then. On our re-enforcement role into BAOR (Ex Bold Guard I think?) they deployed with the 5AB and the TA Bn several times in fact once we actually parachuted in. I believe they were also on the Kiel Canal debacle '74.
 
#19
55 Para Sqn TA deployed with us on Ex Purple Star in 1996, and also they were with us on FTX's in the '80's, I played hockey in Liverpool several times in 1986 and they were there then. On our re-enforcement role into BAOR (Ex Bold Guard I think?) they deployed with the 5AB and the TA Bn several times in fact once we actually parachuted in. I believe they were also on the Kiel Canal debacle '74.
55sqn001.jpg 55sqn002.jpg 55sqn003.jpg

Here is the three page brief history, it appears that at least three RLDs that serviced the TA Para Bns were Para trained but not the whole unit. The MORBAT also indicates that 55 Sig Sqn broke itself down into elements (RLDs)that reported to certain formations in war 2ID, 1AD, 4 AD, 1 Arty B, 1 IB (all had TA Inf Bns assigned)
 

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