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Cold war Home Defense Questions

Hello!
I was referred here from reddit, and as a long time lurker since the site first started.

Now, the people on reddit did tell me to open with how the SLR in wood furniture is the best weapon ever. I do somewhat agree with this, I believe that Synthetic is far better. Best weapon ever, better than those carbines that they use now. You can't even do proper drill with them. Now with that important fact out of the way. I have some questions on Cold War Home Defense units. (Don't get me started on the glock pistol and how the Mk 1 Inglis should be used to this day! - One of those fangled double actions!)

I will of course post the questions I asked on Reddit.

Hello everyone! I am wondering if anyone has some detailed information on UKLF's wartime / TTW roles. I understand some units would be rolled to BAOR. Yet some would be held back for home defense purposes.

My particular questions are as follows. Sadly, I'm in the colonies and can't head to the national archives easily.

What was the purpose of REDRUM ? From what I understand it was a redeployment of various trained personnel as a BCR pool and to strengthen TA units - was the a plan as well to expand the TAVR III units that were reduced to cadre strength in the 1970s?

What were the expected wartime roles of ULKF Home Defense units? Were they planned in the late transition to war to be assigned to regional commissioners, or would HQLF remain in command until the post nuclear strike period? Alternatively, would some home defense units in a potential emergency situation be earmarked for civil defense duties in lieu of the military aide to civil power role?

Was there any plan to raise and expand current regiments on the Orbat? I understand there was a large stock of WMR that was held.

Also, does anyone happen to have any TO&E, G10 stock holdings, etc for Home Defense / ULKF based units? Planned operation orders, chalk layouts, vehicle assignments, even things such as bedding inventories are also welcome.

Thanks!
 
Hello!
I was referred here from reddit, and as a long time lurker since the site first started.

Now, the people on reddit did tell me to open with how the SLR in wood furniture is the best weapon ever. I do somewhat agree with this, I believe that Synthetic is far better. Best weapon ever, better than those carbines that they use now. You can't even do proper drill with them. Now with that important fact out of the way. I have some questions on Cold War Home Defense units. (Don't get me started on the glock pistol and how the Mk 1 Inglis should be used to this day! - One of those fangled double actions!)

Lee Enfield or Bren gun for me. As for pistols, what was wrong with the Browning?

As for your questions may I ask why you want to know - I mean school project, personal interest, Scottish spy, etc ;)
 
Nothing's wrong with the browning. Nothing at all. Especially not proper Mk1 Inglis Chinese Contract ones! Proper sights those! Too bad they are all knackered beyond belief in Canada.

Also, the Enfield is crap. I shot one as a kid a few times. Hated the trigger on it to be honest. (I don't like complex triggers - my one and only ND ever was as a kid with some match grade airgun with a hair trigger)

Actually, I have a huge personal, and formerly professional interest in the topic. MACP / MACA was the only interest I really had when I was an officer in the CF. That and staff work actually (I hated being a PL command and I wanted to be assistant staff officer 3 paperclips from day one!). So I eat this stuff up for breakfast.

Cold war Mobilization planning and Reserve Mobilization and training is just one of those subjects that I really love and enjoy. It amazes me how integrated the UK Reserve Forces were to the general battle plan, and the detail of planning during the cold war, especially in comparison to Canada.
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Nothing's wrong with the browning. Nothing at all. Especially not proper Mk1 Inglis Chinese Contract ones! Proper sights those! Too bad they are all knackered beyond belief in Canada.

Also, the Enfield is crap. I shot one as a kid a few times. Hated the trigger on it to be honest. (I don't like complex triggers - my one and only ND ever was as a kid with some match grade airgun with a hair trigger)

Actually, I have a huge personal, and formerly professional interest in the topic. MACP / MACA was the only interest I really had when I was an officer in the CF. That and staff work actually (I hated being a PL command and I wanted to be assistant staff officer 3 paperclips from day one!). So I eat this stuff up for breakfast.

Cold war Mobilization planning and Reserve Mobilization and training is just one of those subjects that I really love and enjoy. It amazes me how integrated the UK Reserve Forces were to the general battle plan, and the detail of planning during the cold war, especially in comparison to Canada.
I had a personal Inglis Browning with Chinese markings. Well worn but despite this it still grouped well. Incredibly reliable if cleaned properly.
 
Hello!
I was referred here from reddit, and as a long time lurker since the site first started.

Now, the people on reddit did tell me to open with how the SLR in wood furniture is the best weapon ever. I do somewhat agree with this, I believe that Synthetic is far better. Best weapon ever, better than those carbines that they use now. You can't even do proper drill with them. Now with that important fact out of the way. I have some questions on Cold War Home Defense units. (Don't get me started on the glock pistol and how the Mk 1 Inglis should be used to this day! - One of those fangled double actions!)

I will of course post the questions I asked on Reddit.

Hello everyone! I am wondering if anyone has some detailed information on UKLF's wartime / TTW roles. I understand some units would be rolled to BAOR. Yet some would be held back for home defense purposes.

My particular questions are as follows. Sadly, I'm in the colonies and can't head to the national archives easily.

What was the purpose of REDRUM ? From what I understand it was a redeployment of various trained personnel as a BCR pool and to strengthen TA units - was the a plan as well to expand the TAVR III units that were reduced to cadre strength in the 1970s?

What were the expected wartime roles of ULKF Home Defense units? Were they planned in the late transition to war to be assigned to regional commissioners, or would HQLF remain in command until the post nuclear strike period? Alternatively, would some home defense units in a potential emergency situation be earmarked for civil defense duties in lieu of the military aide to civil power role?

Was there any plan to raise and expand current regiments on the Orbat? I understand there was a large stock of WMR that was held.

Also, does anyone happen to have any TO&E, G10 stock holdings, etc for Home Defense / ULKF based units? Planned operation orders, chalk layouts, vehicle assignments, even things such as bedding inventories are also welcome.

Thanks!

You could apply for much of this information with a Freedom of Information request. They may refuse current information due to national security, but historical stuff should be OK.
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The Home Service Force was a Home Guard type force established in the United Kingdom in 1982. It was linked to the Territorial Army (TA) and recruited from volunteers aged 18–60 with previous British forces (TA or regular) experience. It was introduced to guard key points and installations likely to be the target of enemy ‘special forces’ and saboteurs, so releasing other units for mobile defence roles. It was stood down in 1992.

The pilot started in September 1982 and consisted of four companies that were used to relieve the Army of guarding key points, consisting of 18-59 year-olds with training obligation of 4-5 weekends per year. In 1984 there were platoons in 11 cities and the force began expanding to 5000 persons nationwide, with the goal of establishing a platoon in every T.A. company by 1988. Its last unit was disbanded in 1993.
Membership was open to recruits who had previous military service, which could have been with the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force, MoD Police or as adult instructors in the Army, Navy or Air Cadet Forces. Reserve forces of significant length of service were also eligible. This meant that there wasn’t the usual raw recruit training, just refresher training to bring everyone up to scratch, for example, some of the volunteers were used to the SMLE rifle and many a drill night was spent getting to grips with the SLR and then later with the SA80.
Courtesy of (forces-war-records.co.uk)
This was in addition to TA units with a home defence role.
 
The Home Service Force was a Home Guard type force established in the United Kingdom in 1982. It was linked to the Territorial Army (TA) and recruited from volunteers aged 18–60 with previous British forces (TA or regular) experience. It was introduced to guard key points and installations likely to be the target of enemy ‘special forces’ and saboteurs, so releasing other units for mobile defence roles. It was stood down in 1992.

The pilot started in September 1982 and consisted of four companies that were used to relieve the Army of guarding key points, consisting of 18-59 year-olds with training obligation of 4-5 weekends per year. In 1984 there were platoons in 11 cities and the force began expanding to 5000 persons nationwide, with the goal of establishing a platoon in every T.A. company by 1988. Its last unit was disbanded in 1993.
Membership was open to recruits who had previous military service, which could have been with the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force, MoD Police or as adult instructors in the Army, Navy or Air Cadet Forces. Reserve forces of significant length of service were also eligible. This meant that there wasn’t the usual raw recruit training, just refresher training to bring everyone up to scratch, for example, some of the volunteers were used to the SMLE rifle and many a drill night was spent getting to grips with the SLR and then later with the SA80.
Courtesy of (forces-war-records.co.uk)
This was in addition to TA units with a home defence role.
iirc the RAF HSF was open to all, and i can recall our sgt admin/gd type got dicked to do drill.
one lad left as an sac and started the same week as a sgt, popping in the sgts mess for a pint and wind up after the first night
 

Yokel

LE
Hello!
I was referred here from reddit, and as a long time lurker since the site first started.

Now, the people on reddit did tell me to open with how the SLR in wood furniture is the best weapon ever. I do somewhat agree with this, I believe that Synthetic is far better. Best weapon ever, better than those carbines that they use now. You can't even do proper drill with them. Now with that important fact out of the way. I have some questions on Cold War Home Defense units. (Don't get me started on the glock pistol and how the Mk 1 Inglis should be used to this day! - One of those fangled double actions!)

I will of course post the questions I asked on Reddit.

Hello everyone! I am wondering if anyone has some detailed information on UKLF's wartime / TTW roles. I understand some units would be rolled to BAOR. Yet some would be held back for home defense purposes.

My particular questions are as follows. Sadly, I'm in the colonies and can't head to the national archives easily.

What was the purpose of REDRUM ? From what I understand it was a redeployment of various trained personnel as a BCR pool and to strengthen TA units - was the a plan as well to expand the TAVR III units that were reduced to cadre strength in the 1970s?

What were the expected wartime roles of ULKF Home Defense units? Were they planned in the late transition to war to be assigned to regional commissioners, or would HQLF remain in command until the post nuclear strike period? Alternatively, would some home defense units in a potential emergency situation be earmarked for civil defense duties in lieu of the military aide to civil power role?

Was there any plan to raise and expand current regiments on the Orbat? I understand there was a large stock of WMR that was held.

Also, does anyone happen to have any TO&E, G10 stock holdings, etc for Home Defense / ULKF based units? Planned operation orders, chalk layouts, vehicle assignments, even things such as bedding inventories are also welcome.

Thanks!

There was a book about this by Lt Col Mike Dewar - but I cannot remember its name. It was written in the mid eighties. I seem to recall it was based largely on Exercise Brave Defender. A Google search for the book name was not fruitful, but I did find the exercise report released in 2017 under the FOI.

Post exercise report from HQ UKLF
 
"What was the purpose of REDRUM ? From what I understand it was a redeployment of various trained personnel as a BCR pool and to strengthen TA units - was the a plan as well to expand the TAVR III units that were reduced to cadre strength in the 1970s?"

REDRUM was the Redistribution of Regular Unit Manpower. Par example when UK and BAOR logistics depots outload the war stocks and Pre Positioned Unit Equipment's (PUE) some of the manpower were sent to various other units to bring them up to War Establishment. IIRC there was no BCR manpower pool but the Armoured Delivery Regiment replaced BCR A Vehicles - and crews!. There were no BCR B or other vehicles.

All of this was conducted via the Alert System so at Military Vigilance certain Transition to War Measures would be enacted, at Simple Alert others and at General Alert even more. Mobilisation of TAVR and other reserve units would have been declared IIRC by an Order in Council authorising partial of full mobilisation. There were literally hundreds of Army Transition to War Measures (ATWM) .

"Was there any plan to raise and expand current regiments on the Orbat? I understand there was a large stock of WMR that was held."

OK High Horse time. WMR was just that - a Maintenance Reserve to cover vehicles being repaired or off the road for any other reason. B and C vehicle fleets WMR were around 12.5 - 15% of the vehicle type population.

There was NO WMR of ammunition. There were War Reserves of ammunition and various natures were supposed to be held to NATO agreed levels (NATO Stockpile Planning Guidance - SPG). The UK did in the main. The ORBAT would be supplanted by REDRUM and various levels of TA cover.

Unit and Reserve Unit Manpower and Equipment Levels for Peace and War - (P/W) were laid out in the Manpower and Materiel Conspectus.
 
Thanks everyone for the replies! Some interesting stuff, the AAR for Brave Defender was very interesting!
(accidently hit enter so need to finish post - edits to follow)

I would try the FOI route - however I live in Canada so I'm not sure how well that would work out!

Some questions on the AAR :

There were references to MAPPER terminals - Was this a sort of Automatic Data Processing system used at the time? Or was it a more specialized communications system? I also understand there was a PAMPAS system; Was this a data processing system or other? What was the role of the UAO in wartime? I do have other questions about the RAO / UAO system in the UK forces, however that is best left for another thread.

Speaking more of the capability of Automatic Data Processing - It is mentioned that specialized staff were required ; In the 1980s was this provided by the Royal Signals or another branch, such as the Adjudtant General's Corps or Pay Corps?

I noticed several references to personal equipment, more specifically the provision of first field dressings. Where would these be held? Would not sub unit medical stocks contain them? Going further off the provision of first field dressings, and my own reading on this site, on the provision of field equipment such as sleeping bags - It is mentioned these are held at unit level. My question here becomes one about issuance of clothing and personal equipment; Is all UK equipment and uniforms issued at the unit level, or is there no base supply for that provisions. (In Canada we were issued equipment from a base supply unit, that determined based on Trade / Rank / Training and Unit Assignment - the CQMS / RQ did not hold those stores for us.) I noticed this referenced in the amount of clothing held by home defense companies.

According to the section on blank firing adapters : it is mentioned they were scaled for 1 to every 2 rifles - Are BFAs not assigned as a part of a rifle's complete equiment set (Rifle / Sling / Magazines / Bayonet / cleaning kit) rather assigned as a general store item held by CQMS / RQMS ?

I am assuming PLAN EXAULT is the UKLF communication plan?

What are ITO Companies; I am assuming they were formed of surplus personnel in the transitional phase to additional manpower?

There was reference in the medical system of : Causality Procedure 1981 part III - Does anyone know what this is or have a copy of it ?

In the supply / maintenance section : it appears that there is a lot of dependence on contract maintenance and British Telecom - was there any plan to induct those organizations directly during the transition to war? Also, there is mention of car hire / vehicle purchase - was there plans to mass purchase / hire vehicles in the event of Transition to War?

US Involvement ; Was the intention that US Forces take over the VP Security of US Installations and their GDA, or was this a HQLF task? (Not specific to any part of the document; just a general read) - If so, would this be covered under the status of forces agreements already in place?

Other questions:


Does anyone have the : Manpower and Materiel Conspectus. - especially from the period of 1970-1990? I think it would be a fascinating read.

Army Transition to War Measures - Does anyone have this list? I also think it would be fascinating to read.

With regards to WMR; I may have used the term incorrectly there. I can understand a reserve of vehicles to be provided by armoured delivery units, as well as a stock to cover immediate combat losses. I was thinking more longer term, using more obsolete vehicles and weapons to provide raising of units. I'm assuming that by the 1980s, there was no staff planning done on a prolonged war where there would be a need to massively expand the military or raise / reconstitute units. Or to provide supplies and materiel past 30 days.
 
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LD17

Old-Salt
Thank you @rickshaw-major
Getting the kids to bed.........I have been working on UKLF with a colleague, the recent unpleasantness has put us way back. But I will try to give a brief rundown, standby ....

BTW ITO = individual training organization
REDRUM (according to the MOD) = Redistribution of Regulars Upon Mobilisation
 
With regards to ITO units : Was there a policy for the assignment of personnel? For example, in the CF, we had various allowances for how we could employ partially trained personnel, before they were trade qualified.

I love that ORBAT list. I have a printed copy here, I remember reading it when it first came out and it gave me a lot of good information. A lot of the threads here were interesting on the cold war.
 

LD17

Old-Salt
Hello!
I was referred here from reddit, and as a long time lurker since the site first started.

Now, the people on reddit did tell me to open with how the SLR in wood furniture is the best weapon ever. I do somewhat agree with this, I believe that Synthetic is far better. Best weapon ever, better than those carbines that ..
First off its That RIFLE....and don't be a heretic! Synthetic! Blasphemy!
I will of course post the questions I asked on Reddit.

Hello everyone! I am wondering if anyone has some detailed information on UKLF's wartime / TTW roles. I understand some units would be rolled to BAOR. Yet some would be held back for home defense purposes.
I am trying to find at Kew & a few FOI requests to MOD the Holy Grail...The Mobilisation Order of Battle
"Mobilisation Roles. Mobilisation roles of all army units in the UK are shown in the UK MOBORBAT, which is divided into four parts:
a. Index 1. Reinforcing units and individuals for BAOR and NATO HQs
b. Index 2. Forces earmarked for reinforcement of NATO other than BAOR and NATO HQs
c. Index 3. Home Defence and UK based units
d. Index 4. Units without a mobilisation role,units which disband, and civilian units"
My particular questions are as follows. Sadly, I'm in the colonies and can't head to the national archives easily.
My problem too....
What was the purpose of REDRUM ? From what I understand it was a redeployment of various trained personnel as a BCR pool and to strengthen TA units - was the a plan as well to expand the TAVR III units that were reduced to cadre strength in the 1970s?
REDRUM (Redistribution of Regulars Upon Mobilisation) was basically taking regulars who were assigned to training units, in training, units which disband, assigned to peacetime HQ, etc. On mobilisation these personnel had roles in wartime HQs, reinforcing units, and forming the cadres of war-formed units.

The TAVR III units were reduced to cadres and then formed into additional TA Coys, Btys, Sqns in the early-mid 70's, so they were already merged.
What were the expected wartime roles of ULKF Home Defense units? Were they planned in the late transition to war to be assigned to regional commissioners, or would HQLF remain in command until the post nuclear strike period? Alternatively, would some home defense units in a potential emergency situation be earmarked for civil defense duties in lieu of the military aide to civil power role?

Was there any plan to raise and expand current regiments on the Orbat? I understand there was a large stock of WMR that was held.
There was a paper, first visited in 1986 called COGRAM (Creation of a General Reserve After Mobilisation). The initial report found that by the early 90's there may have been enough Chieftains/FV432s/Abbots etc to form two additional Bdes for BAOR.....I am giving you the quick abridged version... However by 1989/90 this had changed into forming two light role Bdes as UKLF Reserve to replace 5 Abn Bde (which had that role along with OOA and SACEUR Reserve). the two COGRAM Bdes would be:
- Bde HQ & Signal Sqn = cadres from two of the three Bdes in Ulster reinforced by reservists & REDRUM personnel
-Inf Bns = two regular & one TA Bn each (all Bns already assigned a MHD role)
- Fd Regts RA = cadres from HAC (Gun Tp) & King's Tp RHA reinforced by reservists & REDRUM personnel. Equiped with ROF Light Guns
- Armd Recce Sqns = reservists & REDRUM personnel. Equipped with Ferret/Saracen & any Saladins laying around
-Engr Sqns RE = either 33 Fd Sqn & 69 Gurkha Fd Sqn. If they were unavailable then reservists & REDRUM personnel.
- Casualty Clearing Sqns RAMC = reservists & REDRUM personnel.
-Tpt Sqns RCT = Regular cadre from 26 Sqn RCT reinforced by reservists & REDRUM personnel.
- Ord Coy RAOC = reservists
- Fd Wksp REME = reservists & REDRUM personnel or from the two Port Wksp (V) after all the reinforcements arrive in BAOR
- Provost Pls = reservists & cadre from 150 Provost Coy & London District Provost Coy



to be continued.........
 

LD17

Old-Salt
Some documents at Kew regarding Home Defence:
DEFE 70/1844,Home defence: reinforcements and reserves
DEFE 68/1218,Mobilisation of reserve forces
 

LD17

Old-Salt
The UK was divided into the following ten Military Districts:
HQ Scotland
Northern Ireland
North East
North West
Wales
Western
Eastern
South West
South East
London

There were also Home Defense Regions, which in almost all cases corresponded to the District boundaries (except Eastern District which had two HDRs). These were further divided into two zones each (except London & Northern Ireland). These were then divided into TAORs (Tactical Area of Responsibility) which were based on, in most cases, county/Constabulary boundaries (again London was Boroughs) .
For the TAORs see this document:

Now you also had Home Defense Bdes, for instance 51st (Highland) Bde which on TTW became the Bde responsible for Zone 1-1, the Highlands Area of Scotland. In other regions, Western District for instance, 143rd (West Midlands) Bde would assume control of one zone while the Second in Command of the District would take command of the other.


to be continued
 

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