Warning Order! BAOR GDP Late 1980's and other things

LD17

MIA
Good Evening All,

Well I have been disappointed and pleasantly surprised this week....I have been receiving answers on may of my FOI requests to MOD/Army, many I made before COVID. It's looking like everything is well and truly delivered to TNA. Thanks to a recent ARRSEr, @Not_A_Useful_Dr, I was able to get documents labeled 1 BR Corps GDP 1976-1987. These two enormous volumes give a good idea of the Task Force era and then Bagnall's 1982-83 reworking of the GDP from each Corps operating more or less on their own to a NORTHAG Plan (what even made it more interesting was the actual correspondence from the Boxheads over Bagnall's head complaining he wasn't going to defend EVERY inch of Deutschland!!!)
I digress....

As the MOD (and apparently the TNA) doesn't seem to have the GDP from 1987-1991 (this was supposedly dusted off recently and used in a NATO exercise. Also from what I researched the GDP was supposed to be destroyed every year. The parts that made it to TNA seem to have been randomly destroyed before they were sent to the TNA, which is bizarre!!). I was able to put together the framework of the GDP for 1989 based on these varied sources. It will not be as detailed as I like or as detailed as my PRG entry but I hope to jog the memory of some ARRSErs and put more detail in subsequent versions.

So this is a warning order that the new Version of my BAOR July 1989 ORBAT should be updated this weekend. Please feel free to contribute!

Wish I had this eight years ago!!!!

DEFE_70_2658_0114.JPG
 
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Interesting that the “structure“ doesn’t reflect Battle Groups. No doubt someone with a better grip of Staff work can explain?

For example, 22 Armd Bde (1 Armd Div) shows 2x MBT Regts, QOH and 1 RTR, and 2x Armd Inf Bn, 1 SG and 2 R ANGLIAN and the usual range of Arty, CS and CSS.

The reality is that there were actually 4 Battle Groups in 22 Bde, each centred on an RHQ from one of the 4 Regts / Bns with attached Arty etc. I would have thought any organogram / Orbat would reflect that or did that just happen below 1 (BR) Corps level?

1 RTR worked with 2 R ANGLIAN to form 2x BG and QOH paired up with 1 SG to form another 2x BG. The RTR one had the RTR HQ element and 2 Anglian Inf Coys and the Anglian BG had their HQ element and 2 RTR Sqns, both with attached elements.

If you want more detail, the RTR BG was HQ Sqn (Included Recce Tp and Comd Tp, QM etc) with B and D Sqns and iirc B & D Coys. The Anglian BG was HQ Coy, A & C Coys with A & C Sqns from 1 RTR. Attached was “Conker“ Tp (Chestnut Tp) from 1RHA and an Engr Fd Tp etc.

Thinking about it, can anyone remember how the Inf Sp Coy assets were divvied up? Milan, Mortars, SF etc?

The Sqns / Coys also formed fairly formal “Groups” and worked fairly exclusively with each other at that level. Iirc if it was an Inf BG the Inf Coy OC commanded the group and if it was an MBT BG it was the Armd Sqn OC but I’m really reaching here?
 
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Probably outside the scope of this thread but my experiences of 2 different BGs were polar opposites. Both COs were really good and got it, seeing their attached assets as just that, assets. At Coy level though it was very different. One OC saw the Armd Sqn as an embuggerance and had no interest in using it well and even less interest in finding out how to do so by asking his opposite number. Another was brilliant and spent a good bit of the work up on various tanks to get a real feel for it.

The one unifying trend was A2 Echelon support. Woeful in Inf BGs as QMs wrestled with the sheer size of the need that MBTs bring with them. MBT ammo is bulky and they burn a lot of fuel and MT sections were often under scaled for vehicles and bods to drive them. This usually became apparent at the very first replen and the lesson never seemed to get learnt; MT sections were stripped to bolster sabre companies. I remember at one BBGT session where I was asked to elaborate on this to an Inf QM (admittedly it was a TA unit but they were war rolled for BAOR) who’d never worked with Armour and his solution was to bring the Provo Landrover onto the A2 scale……
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Although BGs may have seemed permanent they were always ‘golf bags’. No surprise really that the actual ORBAT retains the traditional structure which allows maximum flexibility for allocation/reallocation of resources.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Interesting that the “structure“ doesn’t reflect Battle Groups. No doubt someone with a better grip of Staff work can explain?

For example, 22 Armd Bde (1 Armd Div) shows 2x MBT Regts, QOH and 1 RTR, and 2x Armd Inf Bn, 1 SG and 2 R ANGLIAN and the usual range of Arty, CS and CSS.

The reality is that there were actually 4 Battle Groups in 22 Bde, each centred on an RHQ from one of the 4 Regts / Bns with attached Arty etc. I would have thought any organogram / Orbat would reflect that or did that just happen below 1 (BR) Corps level?

1 RTR worked with 2 R ANGLIAN to form 2x BG and QOH paired up with 1 SG to form another 2x BG. The RTR one had the RTR HQ element and 2 Anglian Inf Coys and the Anglian BG had their HQ element and 2 RTR Sqns, both with attached elements.

If you want more detail, the RTR BG was HQ Sqn (Included Recce Tp and Comd Tp, QM etc) with B and D Sqns and iirc B & D Coys. The Anglian BG was HQ Coy, A & C Coys with A & C Sqns from 1 RTR. Attached was “Conker“ Tp (Chestnut Tp) from 1RHA and an Engr Fd Tp etc.

Thinking about it, can anyone remember how the Inf Sp Coy assets were divvied up? Milan, Mortars, SF etc?

The Sqns / Coys also formed fairly formal “Groups” and worked fairly exclusively with each other at that level. Iirc if it was an Inf BG the Inf Coy OC commanded the group and if it was an MBT BG it was the Armd Sqn OC but I’m really reaching here?
All depends on balance - a 2/1 Coy/Sqn Gp would be 2 tk tps and and an inf pl and commanded by the tk sqn OC. Vice versa if inf heavy.
 
All depends on balance - a 2/1 Coy/Sqn Gp would be 2 tk tps and and an inf pl and commanded by the tk sqn OC. Vice versa if inf heavy.
That’s interesting, I don’t remember those configs (late 80s). I remember it as 2 Sqn and 2 coy, each split into a 1/1 config. Maybe my mind I’d playing tricks?
 

Donny

ADC
Interesting - this version was produced weeks after I left an SO3 post in 1 (BR) Corps, so it pretty much matches my ‘as was’ memory. Bloody hell but it was big, eh?

As @Bubbles_Barker notes above, the answer to @Toastie’s question is that grouping of units/sub-units at brigade level was very much a matter for brigade commanders. It would vary according to the specific mission of the moment, but also based on the divisional and Corps level assets that were allocated down the line, so orbats like this would only reflect grouping for a specific exercise, or for a specific phase, because allocation of higher level resources was managed dynamically.

One very small point for the OP: there’s no such thing as a ‘Corp’ - it’s always a ‘Corps’, singular and plural.

I’ll look forward to seeing the next version in due course.
 

Donny

ADC
That’s interesting, I don’t remember those configs (late 80s). I remember it as 2 Sqn and 2 coy, each split into a 1/1 config. Maybe my mind I’d playing tricks?
Variations were pretty common - I’ve seen 2,2; 3,1; 1,3 and even 1,1 (often as the basis for a reserve, to be reinforced in due course.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
That’s interesting, I don’t remember those configs (late 80s). I remember it as 2 Sqn and 2 coy, each split into a 1/1 config. Maybe my mind I’d playing tricks?
That's a 'square' Coy/Sqn Gp. They could be 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, 1/3, 1/2, 2/2 etc. A 2/1 would be a 'triangular Coy/Sqn Gp. Same went for BGs.

See double entry book-keeping on Task Orgs - the bane of many a young officer!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Probably outside the scope of this thread but my experiences of 2 different BGs were polar opposites. Both COs were really good and got it, seeing their attached assets as just that, assets. At Coy level though it was very different. One OC saw the Armd Sqn as an embuggerance and had no interest in using it well and even less interest in finding out how to do so by asking his opposite number. Another was brilliant and spent a good bit of the work up on various tanks to get a real feel for it.

The one unifying trend was A2 Echelon support. Woeful in Inf BGs as QMs wrestled with the sheer size of the need that MBTs bring with them. MBT ammo is bulky and they burn a lot of fuel and MT sections were often under scaled for vehicles and bods to drive them. This usually became apparent at the very first replen and the lesson never seemed to get learnt; MT sections were stripped to bolster sabre companies. I remember at one BBGT session where I was asked to elaborate on this to an Inf QM (admittedly it was a TA unit but they were war rolled for BAOR) who’d never worked with Armour and his solution was to bring the Provo Landrover onto the A2 scale……
It didn't generally affect the scale of the IRG docking with your A2 though and often you could group things together - I ended up commanding 3 RTRs MT along with my own IRG Tp in 1982 as we thought that was the best use of all of our Stalwarts.
 
This must have been one of the last versions made with Letraset and scissors. I imagine the effort required to produce that was measured in man-days, where you could knock that out in an hour or two with a computer.

Where are the Bde Sig Sqns? Implied subordination to the Div Sig Regts? If so, why does 19 Bde have one, but the others don’t?

Edited to correct “Div Sig Regt” from ”Sqn”
 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
This must have been one of the last versions made with Letraset and scissors. I imagine the effort required to produce that was measured in man-days, where you could knock that out in an hour or two with a computer.

Where are the Bde Sig Sqns? Implied subordination to the Div Sig Sqns? If so, why does 19 Bde have one, but the others don’t?
Same reason the independent tpt sqns (1, 19, 54, 60 etc) are listed but those in formed tpt regts aren’t.

I managed to serve in 6 of the units/fmns on that ORBAT at different times between 82-89, infantry and transport.
 
IIRC all of the Brigades in an Armoured Div were square except for 12 Mech Bde which had 3 Armd Inf Bns and 1 Armoured Regt, And from the dim and distant past I also seem to recall it was because we ran out of tanks.

If this is not the case I would really like to know. It is a "factoid" that somehow lodged itself in my brain.

Edited. Just checked the diagram. Most of the Bdes were not square. Factoid now wiped clean.
 

Donny

ADC
Same reason the independent tpt sqns (1, 19, 54, 60 etc) are listed but those in formed tpt regts aren’t.

I managed to serve in 6 of the units/fmns on that ORBAT at different times between 82-89, infantry and transport.
No, the Bde signal squadrons were fully independent from the point at which Task Forces disappeared (1982?), so they should be on there but clearly aren’t. It’s probably just for simplicity - every BAOR armd Bde had one, and they were almost identical, so I guess it was just a given that each Bde HQ had its own sqn.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
IIRC all of the Brigades in an Armoured Div were square except for 12 Mech Bde which had 3 Armd Inf Bns and 1 Armoured Regt, And from the dim and distant past I also seem to recall it was because we ran out of tanks.

If this is not the case I would really like to know. It is a "factoid" that somehow lodged itself in my brain.
It was designed that way - but task organised as required.
 

LD17

MIA
IIRC all of the Brigades in an Armoured Div were square except for 12 Mech Bde which had 3 Armd Inf Bns and 1 Armoured Regt, And from the dim and distant past I also seem to recall it was because we ran out of tanks.

If this is not the case I would really like to know. It is a "factoid" that somehow lodged itself in my brain.
You are correct BUT that was pre-Task Force era, so late 60’s to around 1976-77
 

Donny

ADC
This must have been one of the last versions made with Letraset and scissors. I imagine the effort required to produce that was measured in man-days, where you could knock that out in an hour or two with a computer.

Where are the Bde Sig Sqns? Implied subordination to the Div Sig Regts? If so, why does 19 Bde have one, but the others don’t?

Edited to correct “Div Sig Regt” from ”Sqn”
Funnily enough there was an in-barracks computer system (imaginatively called CORMIS) operating up to Secret at Corps HQ in Bielefeld in 1990, and it did have a task org generator. Having used it at the time I would say the letraset option would have been quicker and better for most users :)
 

LD17

MIA
Interesting - this version was produced weeks after I left an SO3 post in 1 (BR) Corps, so it pretty much matches my ‘as was’ memory. Bloody hell but it was big, eh?

As @Bubbles_Barker notes above, the answer to @Toastie’s question is that grouping of units/sub-units at brigade level was very much a matter for brigade commanders. It would vary according to the specific mission of the moment, but also based on the divisional and Corps level assets that were allocated down the line, so orbats like this would only reflect grouping for a specific exercise, or for a specific phase, because allocation of higher level resources was managed dynamically.

One very small point for the OP: there’s no such thing as a ‘Corp’ - it’s always a ‘Corps’, singular and plural.

I’ll look forward to seeing the next version in due course.
Thank you! Edited, I seem to have to do that a lot when my 7 y/o is demanding daddy have tea with her when I'm typing something!!!
 
No, the Bde signal squadrons were fully independent from the point at which Task Forces disappeared (1982?), so they should be on there but clearly aren’t. It’s probably just for simplicity - every BAOR armd Bde had one, and they were almost identical, so I guess it was just a given that each Bde HQ had its own sqn.

Excellent thread BTW

Silly question...

My Bn had a R Sigs Rear Link Det attached to us when we returned to UK (Colchester and 19 Field Force) from Gibraltar in 79. The RLD managed all the comms back to Bde while the Sig Pl (with your truly) worked on the bn comms. The RLD deployed to NI with us and also on major exercises.

Who supplied the Rear Link dets?
 

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