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By Nick van der Bijl, David Aldea

For many of us it used to be three Commando Brigade, commanded by means of significant normal Julian Thompson, and made of Royal Marines and Para's that recaptured the Falklands. but fifth Infantry Brigade performed a key and before little said position during this outstanding saga. Cobbled jointly in haste (having been stripped of its resources to carry three Commando Brigade as much as strength), it comprised mostly of 2 Guards battalions (2nd Scots and 1st Welsh) and the Gurkhas. Many felt it used to be inadequately educated whilst it sailed from Southampton at the QE 2 and this view used to be given substance via early mess ups comparable to the tragedy at Bluff Cove. but via the tip, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the easiest identified, couldn't be denied. Why then was once its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously missed whilst the medals and have been passed out?

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Well-suited to contributing to the defence of NATO’s Northern and Southern Flanks, the Brigade had a secondary role reacting to ‘out-of-area’ contingencies, such as the crisis in the South Atlantic, but the Ministry of Defence felt it would be politically and militarily unwise if it was so deployed. Born in October 1935 into a titled family and preferring to be known as Tony, Brigadier Wilson was commissioned into the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) in October 1956, the fourth generation of the family to serve in the Regiment.

Two flight decks were available for support helicopters. All were lightly armed, most with two 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns. Sir Percivale and Sir Galahad both had one Bofors. The landing ships each had a Port Operating Detachment from 17 Port Regiment, Royal Corps of Transport, to man the Mexeflotes and associated handling equipment such as cranes. The Roll On/Roll Off ferries also each had a Port Operating Detachment to assist with loading and unloading of men and material. A Mexeflote is a versatile three-part (bow, centre and stern) multipurpose pontoon specifically designed for salt-water port operations.

His responsibility was the transportation of the troops and implementation of the landing plan. Initially he had a staff of seven but during the next weeks this grew to twenty. He had no Intelligence Officer and was therefore reliant upon Headquarters 3rd Commando Brigade for assessments. 1 was the Landing Group, which was commanded by Brigadier Julian Thompson OBE and consisted of his 3rd Commando Brigade reinforced by several units including the Spearpoint Battalion, which was 3rd Parachute Battalion, from 5th Infantry Brigade, and T (Shah Sujah’s Troop) Air Defence Battery from 12th Air Defence Regiment.

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