Task Forces 1980s

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by scarletto, Mar 21, 2010.

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  1. What was the breakdown of a Task Force before we went back to Brigades exactly? Sure it was 1 Armd Sqdn plus 2 Inf Comps?

    What other support besides Recce could a Task Force call on?
  2. British Army Handbook 1980
    "Once in action the Armoured division would be split into "Task Forces". There would be two task forces to a division, each under command of the divisional second in command. The composition of each of the task forces is variable and dependent on the nature of the role to be assumed and the nature of the terrain involved.Each force is made up of a number of Battle Groups of which there are nine in a division"
  3. Detmold was Task Force H.
    Task Force 'Hotel'.
    One of our lads just arriving at Main Gate saw the sign too, Task Force Hotel and though 'Bloody Ell things have bucked up since my last time in BAOR'

  4. THis topic has been covered on at least one thread - please use "search" before posting...
  5. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    The Armd Div consisted (the important bit) of one times Armd Recce Regt, two times Armd Regt and three times Inf Bn.

    The Recce Regt was a divisional asset and one medium recce sqn sat in front of each task force (the two forming the basis for a battle group under command their own CO). The close recce squadron was split into five troops of eight Scimitars, each troop attached to one of the other major units.

    The five remaining major units were split across the two Task Forces as required for the task in hand. In the same way that a combat team was a mixed force based on a sqn / coy HQ and could be any shape necessary to complete the task in hand, and the battle group was ditto based on a regt / bn HQ, so the task force was whatever shape it needed to be to fulfil the task in hand.

    The significant difference was that Task Force HQ was supposedly extremely lean to increase the percentage of combat troops in the division. For example Task Force Echo HQ and Signals Troop, whereas when 3 Armd Div reverted to brigades, TFE HQ & Sigs Troop became a Brigade HQ and Signals Sqn.

    Task forces were binned (it would appear to have been at the end of Crusader / Spearpoint 80) when it was shown that they were too lean.

    Whilst I don't doubt Tropper's reading ability, I am curious as to how the handbook manages to get nine battle groups from six major units. My guess would be smoke and mirrors.
  6. Elements of the Division were held in the UK, only TF A was at full establishment (2x type 78 armoured regts and 2x FV432 mech inf bns), the force was 9 battlegroups underestablishment (1 in 1 Armr Div, 2 in 2 Armr Div and 3 each in 3 and 4 Armr Div).
  7. Isn't that how BAOR worked for most of the time?
  8. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Furry muff. So if 1 and 2 Armd Div Recce Regt regularly supported > five other BGs, did the Orbat of their Recce Regts reflect a Close Recce Sqn of 8- and 7-respectively supported BGs or did it just happen that 3 and 4 Armd Divs had the name number of BGs as there were Close Recce Troops in the Close Recce Sqn of the Recce Regt.

    I suppose it would be possible to organise the Close Recce Sqn as eight troops of five Scimitars and I suppose if one or more BGs are in divisional reserve they would not need a Close Recce Tp attached. I never served in a Close Recce Sqn but plenty of my friends did and all these years it has been my understanding that each Close Recce Tp always worked with the same BG.

    But then a troop of five Scimitars doesn't add up to me (I stand to be corrected as usual) whereas eight Scimitars can be split into four sections of two and attached to combat teams within the BG as required.

    Or to go back to my previous post, do we assume that by the time the rfts arrive from the UK, the speedbumps have become redundant because 3 Shock Army are at Dunkirk and there are no Close Recce troops left to attach to BGs which no longer exist either, because it's all about smoke and mirrors.

    30 years of understanding intimately the OrBat of the Close Recce Sqn wiped out in a morning.
  9. T'was long, long ago, but my thoughts at the time were that Close Recce had a life-expectancy similar to that of Gazelle recce crews.
  10. Anyone know of any books that cover the evolution of British Army doctrine in the post war era?
  11. Anything by Richard Simpkin;

    Race to the Swift: Thoughts on Twenty-First Century Warfare (9781857531350): Richard E. Simpkin

    I think he wrote Hammer, Anvil and Net too. He was very de rigeur in the 80s before his untimely death.


    The British Army and the Operational Level of War edited by Brian Holden-Reid
  12. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    But Close Recce were back with the BGs on the FEBA. It was Medium Recce that was sat on the FLOT.
  13. Do f uck off mate.
  14. I wonder if it was just my luck to be repeatedly selected for 'Operation Certain Death'?
  15. Thank you, MOST appreciated on my part.