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5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands (ePub)

Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Falklands P&S History

By David Aldea, Nick Van der Bijl
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 4.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781783379682
Published: 6th June 2002


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For many people it was 3 Commando Brigade, commanded by Major General Julian Thompson, and made up of Royal Marines and Paras that recaptured the Falklands. Yet 5th Infantry Brigade played a key and until now little acknowledged role in this extraordinary saga. Cobbled together in haste (having been stripped of its assets to bring 3 Commando Brigade up to strength), it comprised principally of two Guards battalion (2nd Scots and 1st Welsh) and the Gurkhas. Many felt it was inadequately trained when it sailed from Southampton on the QE2 and this view was given substance by early disasters such as the tragedy at Bluff Cove. Yet by the end, its contribution, of which Tumbledown is the best known, could not be denied. Why then was its commander (Brigadier Tony Wilson) so conspicuously ignored when the medals and decorations were handed out?

Yet another very well researched and written book by this author.

If you want to know what a forgotten brigade did in the Falklands then this is the book you need, it is easy to read and full of combat details which is often overlooked by other reviews.

I can't understand why there are a few negative reviews on this amazing combat action from this brigade.

Amazon Customer, Richard Domoney-Saunders

A really good, easy to read, military history of a neglected subject - ideal for readers who want to go a little bit deeper.

Read the full review here

GoodReads, Martin

This is a super book which is essential reading for anyone interested in the Falklands campaign.

Who and what comprised 5th Infantry Brigade is set out in great detail. The chopping and changing of components that took place in the UK and down in the South Atlantic is well described, as is the evident confusion about what the role of the Brigade was intended to be. Was it to garrison the Falklands when the war was won, or to help win that battle?

One cannot but feel sympathy for Brigadier Wilson and his Brigade, fighting a war for which they had not trained with assets that were either unfamiliar (amphibious ships) or in short supply (helicopters). The coordination with 3 Commando Brigade is also covered.

Despite the title, this book is much more than the story of “5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands War.” There is extensive detail on the strengths of the Argentine units, with first-hand accounts from the defenders. Input from the other British commanders paints a sympathetic but also honest account of the campaign.

Yes, there are errors and I would reject the authors’ assertion that it was “one of the most pointless wars of the 20th Century.” British forces emerged victorious for good reason and many were rewarded with honours. Julian Thompson, the shrewd and astute head of 3 Commando Brigade, has been very candid since the war ended on the successes and mistakes involved, including his own. It is a pity that Tony Wilson’s voice is yet to be heard and that others tell the tale. This book is highly recommended.

Peter Weedon

About Nick Van der Bijl

Nick van der Bijl is a former soldier. He has written numerous books including Nine Battles to Stanley, Victory in the Falklands, Operation BANNER, Confrontation and The Cyprus Emergency. He lives at Mark, Somerset.

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