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

LD17

MIA
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?
I am trying to piece together the task orgs where I can find them (here, Regimental Journals, books, etc) I usually put them in as notes. I am finding a trove of useful information, for instance a two page correspondence between 1 BR Corps & MOD (DMO) which has to do with assigning the guns that normally supported 4 & 6 ABs to the 1 & 4 DAGs as the plan was to hold n o guns in reserve (Ie pound Ivan with everything). 33 ABs gunners would go with them to help out the Belgians if need be but if not off to the front with the rest of them!
 

LD17

MIA
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?
By 1988-89 the RLDs were out of the Inf Bns, replaced by regimental personnel. Now the TA Inf Bns kept theirs, all supplied by 55 Signal Sqn (V). Speaking of I found a handwritten reply in the TA ORBAT Review that the reason why the RLDs were kept for the TA was their Morse Code ability! I will find it again and post.
 

Donny

ADC
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?
RLDs mostly disappeared in the late 70s although they made a comeback (under their parent brigade squadron, I think) on Herrick. They had individual numbers (500 series, from memory) and their own establishments, so people were posted directly to them. Their role was rear link secure comms, but they actually used as the CO saw fit.
 
RLDs mostly disappeared in the late 70s although they made a comeback (under their parent brigade squadron, I think) on Herrick. They had individual numbers (500 series, from memory) and their own establishments, so people were posted directly to them. Their role was rear link secure comms, but they actually used as the CO saw fit.

Excellent, thank you. The "5" designation rings a bell somewhere. Our RLD were a good bunch of chaps - half a dozen blokes under a Sgt IIRC. They used to set up their cp and gear and just do their own thing IIRC :)

They also had the kit to plug us in to the German civvie phone net IIRC.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
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?
RLD were usually supplied day to day by the Btn etc, more exclusive items via which ever Bde/Div command if I remember right.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
RLDs mostly disappeared in the late 70s although they made a comeback (under their parent brigade squadron, I think) on Herrick. They had individual numbers (500 series, from memory) and their own establishments, so people were posted directly to them. Their role was rear link secure comms, but they actually used as the CO saw fit.
They were certainly a thing till the mid 80s I was in two of them.
 

Donny

ADC
They were certainly a thing till the mid 80s I was in two of them.
There were a few left around, covering things like expeditionary ops, but I think they mostly disappeared in Germany when Clansman came in, since VRC 353/BID 250 was unit operated unlike its predecessor. As someone commented up thread Royal Signals RLDs were manned by a mix of Radio Telegraphists and Radio Ops, both of which were morse trained back in the day, so there was an alternative to secure VHF when 3SA took that out. I have a vague memory of Class 1 infantry signallers being morse trained until the 80s as well, but my memory might be awry.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
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.
Whole point of the Battlegroup concept. Mixed arms based on an armour/ infantry (/recce) HQ to suit the task in hand, more flexible than just brigading an armoured Regiment and an infantry battalion side by side.
 
Bit of a swerve on the thread… many units in the ORBAT were UK based, both regular and TA. From my pre-regular experience in the TA, moving a Sig Bde to Germany as we did every other year for Ex Calm Fence was a pretty big operation using ferries. That‘s just three, non-BAOR-roled Sig Regts. Let alone all the RCT, Inf, Arty, RAMC, RE units etc.

So my question is purely hypothetical - suppose the Channel Tunnel had been 20 years earlier. Electric trains that could be assembled and loaded anywhere the overhead wires went in the UK. Sequenced through the tunnel every 5 minutes, just 20 minutes from Folkestone to France, and then the world’s your lobster on the continent pretty much direct to deployment areas.

If the Channel Tunnel had existed in the mid-70s, how would that have shaped the BAOR footprint, if at all?
 

AlienFTM

MIA
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.

Edited. Just checked the diagram. Most of the Bdes were not square. Factoid now wiped clean.
There is an RAC Resident Regiment at Omagh group on Facebook, owned by @aghart which describes why the RAC handed over to the infantry in the 80s, to free up an armoured regiment (the Omagh regiment typically Arms Plotted from Armour, through Omagh to Recce and eventually back to Armour) to crew Chieftain because, iirc, there would never be enough CR1s to fully convert, and we had plenty of Chieftains.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
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.
Task Forces disappeared after Spearpoint 80, Echo reverting to 33 Armd Bde from (I presume) 1 Jan 81.
 
Bit of a swerve on the thread… many units in the ORBAT were UK based, both regular and TA. From my pre-regular experience in the TA, moving a Sig Bde to Germany as we did every other year for Ex Calm Fence was a pretty big operation using ferries. That‘s just three, non-BAOR-roled Sig Regts. Let alone all the RCT, Inf, Arty, RAMC, RE units etc.

So my question is purely hypothetical - suppose the Channel Tunnel had been 20 years earlier. Electric trains that could be assembled and loaded anywhere the overhead wires went in the UK. Sequenced through the tunnel every 5 minutes, just 20 minutes from Folkestone to France, and then the world’s your lobster on the continent pretty much direct to deployment areas.

If the Channel Tunnel had existed in the mid-70s, how would that have shaped the BAOR footprint, if at all?
If it ever kicked off, i suspect that both ends of the Chunnel would be the first place's to be destroyed. It is quicker and more secure, but all that is needed is the ends sealed, and its useless. Then its Ferrys and air lifts, which are vulnerable to enemy fire, not much else, so, normal jogging. ( Rumour has it that they had built in explosives at both ends, in the event of any enemy gaining control) :eek:
 
If it ever kicked off, i suspect that both ends of the Chunnel would be the first place's to be destroyed. It is quicker and more secure, but all that is needed is the ends sealed, and its useless. Then its Ferrys and air lifts, which are vulnerable to enemy fire, not much else, so, normal jogging. ( Rumour has it that they had built in explosives at both ends, in the event of any enemy gaining control) :eek:

I rather thought the idea was you get your assets into place before it kicks off. But then again the act of mobilising would represent an escalation. If the enemy decided to close the Channel Tunnel, I imagine they would also take out the ports too.
 

LD17

MIA
If it ever kicked off, i suspect that both ends of the Chunnel would be the first place's to be destroyed. It is quicker and more secure, but all that is needed is the ends sealed, and its useless. Then its Ferrys and air lifts, which are vulnerable to enemy fire, not much else, so, normal jogging. ( Rumour has it that they had built in explosives at both ends, in the event of any enemy gaining control) :eek:
See my previous post, it’s at TNA

 
I rather thought the idea was you get your assets into place before it kicks off. But then again the act of mobilising would represent an escalation. If the enemy decided to close the Channel Tunnel, I imagine they would also take out the ports too.
Crusader 80. The USA airlifted in the 82 & 101 direct from the states, ( I watched them drop in a mile square field) and the TA were mobilized from the UK to BAOR via the channel and air, The whole of BAOR were crashed out to their war locations. Air and sea were tasked, It took almost a week to consolidate all assets. In a real war scenario, the enemy would have been aware of this , and tried i suspect very successfully to stop it. Today i do not know how assets would be moved safety across the pond or the channel. The dangers haven't changed, what has is the deployment of airborne ordnance, which can, and will be deployed against allied forces trying to get to theater.

The next big difference of opinion will last about 48 hours, with massive casualties on both sides, and if the grown ups do not call a truce,, keys will be turned, buttons pressed, and all other options become academic........... WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones......just a few very naive random memory's and thoughts! :salut:
 
Crusader 80. The USA airlifted in the 82 & 101 direct from the states, and the TA ( I watched them drop in a mile square field) were mobilized from the UK to BAOR via the channel and air, The whole of BAOR were crashed out to their war locations. Air and sea were tasked, It took almost a week to consolidate all assets. In a real war scenario, the enemy would have been aware of this , and tried i suspect very successfully to stop it. Today i do not know how assets would be moved safety across the pond or the channel. The dangers haven't changed, what has is the deployment of airborne ordnance, which can, and will be deployed against allied forces trying to get to theater.

The next big difference of opinion will last about 48 hours, with massive casualties on both sides, and if the grown ups do not call a truce,, keys will be turned, buttons pressed, and all other options become academic........... WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones......just a few very naive random memory's and thoughts!

Yes indeed, and we‘ve had several threads on the reinforcement both from UK and US, REFORGER and pre-positioned equipment sets, but my question is specifically around the Channel Tunnel.

If it had existed in the 70s, would say 3 Div have been UK based too? Or too much of a risk that the Sovs might go early and rain on our parade before all troops had formed up? Withdrawal of 3 Div to UK might have been interpreted as a sign of weakness/lack of commitment by both NATO and WP. So perhaps if the Tunnel had existed, it wouldn’t have made any difference at all.
 
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.
I noticed that too, but 19 and 60 Sqns were a part of (respectively) 4 ADTR and 2 IDTR. I'll have to take a second look at it when I get time, maybe we're missing something.
 

LD17

MIA
Yes indeed, and we‘ve had several threads on the reinforcement both from UK and US, REFORGER and pre-positioned equipment sets, but my question is specifically around the Channel Tunnel.

If it had existed in the 70s, would say 3 Div have been UK based too? Or too much of a risk that the Sovs might go early and rain on our parade before all troops had formed up? Withdrawal of 3 Div to UK might have been interpreted as a sign of weakness/lack of commitment by both NATO and WP. So perhaps if the Tunnel had existed, it wouldn’t have made any difference at all.
Well, speaking of that I also have found docs that MOD was looking at options (no pun intended)for the 90’s (BEFORE the Wall came down) to pull BAOR off the FEBA and make it a two Div Counterstroke Corps. It was one of a few they were exploring. I also was able to receive a doc called the Future Size and Shape of the British Army….looks like it was written in conjunction with the MARILYN Paper/Study. Date marks it as October/early November 1989…..to quickly summarize it projected the Army to be down to 95,000 with 11 RAC & 38 Inf Bns by 2015……
 
Yes indeed, and we‘ve had several threads on the reinforcement both from UK and US, REFORGER and pre-positioned equipment sets, but my question is specifically around the Channel Tunnel.

If it had existed in the 70s, would say 3 Div have been UK based too? Or too much of a risk that the Sovs might go early and rain on our parade before all troops had formed up? Withdrawal of 3 Div to UK might have been interpreted as a sign of weakness/lack of commitment by both NATO and WP. So perhaps if the Tunnel had existed, it wouldn’t have made any difference at all.
3 Div in the 70s was reserve Div in the BAOR orbat, certainly it was in 78 based around Eiserlohn, Soest, Hemer and 2 Div was a TA division based in the North of the UK as Dad was its deputy GOC in 79 as well!
 
3 Div in the 70s was reserve Div in the BAOR orbat, certainly it was in 78 based around Eiserlohn, Soest, Hemer and 2 Div was a TA division based in the North of the UK as Dad was its deputy GOC in 79 as well!

That was kind of my point - with 2 Div in UK, do you then keep 3 Div as a depth Div in place in Germany, or realise cost savings and move it to UK, if the newly built Tunnel could be used to rapidly deploy it? Or would that represent too great a risk? Clearly 2 Div wasn’t seen as such a great risk that it couldn’t be borne.
 
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