NATO's Stay behind armies

#1
NATO's Secret Armies - the stay behind network

Just been watching a fascinating program on the Military Channel called
NATO's Secret Armies, the stay behind network of the Cold War.

NATO's Stay Behind armies, Operation Gladio

I'm sure Operation Gladio has been mentioned ( on & off ) in other posts
on the forum. But I wonder whether anyone on Arrse can throw some
light on the British stay behind army of the Cold War.
As the producers somehow missed out Britain's Gladio network in the
documentary and instead concentrated on NATO's stay behind armies
in mainland Europe.
Given the fact that many of the leaders of Europes Stay behind network
were trained at Fort Monkton, near Gosport. I'm sure the UK had a very
active secret army ready to resist the Soviet invader in Britain.

Of course the Gladio network attacted extermists and has been indicted
with a number of terrorist attacks in Belgium, Germany & Italy.
Whereas in Switzerland its caused a great furore, that many of its
army & political leaders gave tassit approval for NATO to operate a
secret resistence amy within the country.

Anyway returning to the British Gladio army, no doubt comparrisons will
be drawn with Churchill's Auxilliary Units of the Second World War
which will inevitably mean that any former members of the British
Gladio team have been sworn to secrecy following the end of the Cold
War.

British Home Service Force

The Wessex Regt, Home Service Company

So we can only surmise who they were and where they come from.
Nevertheless their existance must have been known to the newly
formed Home Service Force during the 1980's who were tasked with
guarding key points & installations in the UK from attack by saboteurs
and Soviet special forces.
Also if the war went nuclear then some key members of the underground
Regional Seats of Government might also be aware of their uses in
the event of WWIII.

Naturally I wonder whether the British Gladio secret army ever made
use of the old ( 1968 ROC Post closures ) as OB's where they can hide
and launch attacks on any Soviet occupying forces.
 
#2
The link to E Coy 2 Wessex is a bit misleading as Options for Change was 1992, not 1982. They were a triumph for age and experience over youth and energy though.

Msr
 
S

swampmonster

Guest
#3
Most of the HSF i met in 3/51 Highland were old drunks who to be honest should have known better................ funny how thing come full circle
 
#4
Most of the HSF i met in 3/51 Highland were old drunks who to be honest should have known better................ funny how thing come full circle
Hahahahaha Same here, that TAC bar in Central Ave was a good laugh and cheap though.
 
#5
I was in 6/7 Queens (as was) which was roled for homeland defence rather than NATO and the HSF was a sort of old and bold who were considered too old for overseas deployment. I can honestly say that neither they or us new any thing about a British Gladio (though of course maybe people much higher up the food chain did)- and rightly so!

There is a very good novel about the British resistance after a German invasion in WWII that is based on public records of the unit. It's fascinating.

As to Gladio the biggest cock up was the Italian outfit some of whose members started using prepositioned supplies to kit out right wing terrorist groups in Italy. I'm sure other ARRSE members can enlarge upon this if they feel inclined. Alex Lomas- can you comment?
 
#7
#8
Cheers Kabul-ronin, I was thinking of SS GB, but Terence Strong rings a bell too.
 
#9
Been checking amazon- it wasn't by Strong, cant remember who or the title but it was a great book!!
 
#11
There could have been units amongst the HSF that were more capable... as mentioned the Home Guard Auxillery Units were hidden amongst the Home Guard, but Dad's Army they were not.
 
#13
Gavin Lyall, "The Crocus List" - featuring one Major Maxim.

If they hid an AU among our HSF, I'd be surprised. I can think of better places to hide...
Hereford? Or in a base with 'super ninja stay behind ops unit' as the title?
 
#16
there is a novel called "Resistance" by (I think) Owen Shears or similar name too
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#17
Naturally I wonder whether the British Gladio secret army ever made
use of the old ( 1968 ROC Post closures ) as OB's where they can hide
and launch attacks on any Soviet occupying forces.
Like they would make really covert hides, and were still in use until the ROC stood down in '91.
 
#19
Like they would make really covert hides, and were still in use until the ROC stood down in '91.
No - of the original 1500 odd ROC Posts that were constructed for the Corps
nuclear fall out reporting role - only 870 ( or thereabouts ) remained in
active service following the Defence Review cuts of 1968.
So their were plenty of abandoned ( dormant ) ROC Posts lying about the
country in the 1970's & 80's

Also if we are to use the British Home Guard's Auxiliary Units as an
example. Then where will some of the British Gladio recruits be found.
Perhaps maybe ( and this is pure conjecture ) the only national volunteer
equivalent of the Home Guard during the Cold War is, the Royal Observer
Corps and the UKWMO.
Finally ( unlike the Home Guard ) the Royal Observer Corps activities
during the Cold War were little known by the general public, as the ordinary
man in the street would have assumed they were disbanded after WWII.

Obviously you'll need many of your Gladio cells to survive whatever nuclear
or conventional exchange takes place in the early stages of the war and
where better than in a ROC or UKWMO nuclear bunker.
So maybe an Auxilliary Unit of the Royal Observer Corps, sworn to absolute
secrecy in the event of a Soviet invasion.
Perhaps the British Gladio teams had their own regional HQ bunkers dotted
about the country, who knows. But the fact that a number of ROC bunkers
had radio transmitters, the so called Master Posts. Would further endear
them to covert, clandestine activities in the event of a Soviet invasion.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#20
No - of the original 1500 odd ROC Posts that were constructed for the Corps
nuclear fall out reporting role - only 870 ( or thereabouts ) remained in
active service following the Defence Review cuts of 1968.
So their were plenty of abandoned ( dormant ) ROC Posts lying about the
country in the 1970's & 80's.
That's as maybe, but they were hardly well hidden, so of bugger-all use for covert ops. Also, I think you'll find that the ROC's role was pretty-much well understood by the average man on the street, since the Corps was manned from that same source. The Master Post radio would come into it's own when the PO telephone system got fried. That was the plan, at least.

So maybe an Auxilliary Unit of the Royal Observer Corps, sworn to absolute secrecy in the event of a Soviet invasion.
To what end?
 

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