Quotulatiousness

June 13, 2017

Roger Courtney and a Watery Gamble – The Establishing of the SBS

Filed under: Britain, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 4 Jun 2017

In this video:

Described by the BBC as the “Shadowy sister of the SAS”, The Special Boat Service (more commonly known as the SBS) is likely one of the most well-trained and elite special forces units around today that few in the world have ever heard of, despite performing countless harrowing missions, dozens of hostage rescues and more than its fair share of daring night time raids going all the way back to WWII when an officer by the name of Roger “Jumbo” Courtney risked a court-martial to demonstrate to his superiors just how valuable a unit like the SBS could be.

Want the text version?: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/05/roger-courtney-establishing-special-boat-service/

May 15, 2017

Comparing Royal Marine field ration packs

Filed under: Britain, Humour, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

A fascinating insight into the way the Royal Marines take care of the troops in the field, showing both enlisted mens’ and officers’ ration packs:

May 19, 2015

The 1982 amphibious landings at San Carlos Water

Filed under: Americas, Britain, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Think Defence looks back at the successful amphibious landings in the Falkland Islands by a less-than-fully-prepared British military:

If the amphibious operations in Normandy were unprecedented because of the scale those in 1982 in the Falkland Islands were equally remarkable, nor for scale but for the huge distance involved. Another breathtaking feature of Operation Corporate was the speed in which it was mounted and the degree of improvisation that would in the end, be needed.

One might argue that even taking into account Inchon and Suez it was the worlds most complex and demanding amphibious operation since D-Day.

Since VE day and Suez the UK’s amphibious capabilities had dwindled both in scale and capability, the Royal Marines concentrating on their Northern Europe role.

When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 the scale of the challenge had many echoes of D-Day; a need for joint service cooperation and a number of technical challenges to overcome for example. What we did not have was the luxury of time, no time to develop new and novel solutions, no time for testing and no time for practice beyond what was available on the journey south.

Due to the short timescales British Rail could not reposition their rolling stock to get the War Material Reserve (about 9,000 tonnes just for 3CDO, 30 days combat supplies and 60 days of general stores) to the ships so instead, a fleet of RCT and civilian trucks were used.

More or less, we went with what we had.

In little over a month from the invasion, the first ships had departed the UK on their 8,000 mile journey South.

There is no need to recount the general history of the campaign but from a ship to shore logistics perspective there were a number of equipment and capabilities available to Commodore Clapp and Brigadier Thompson worth describing.

Earlier posts on the Falklands War can be found here.

February 27, 2012

BBC: Could Britain still defend the Falkland Islands?

Filed under: Americas, Britain, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:09

The BBC has a then-and-now summary of the military balance in the south Atlantic in 1982 and today:

1982: On the eve of the invasion, there were about 70 Royal Marines stationed on the islands — twice the usual number due to a changeover. They were, in theory, backed up by about 120 local reservists, although only a small proportion reported for duty. HMS Endurance, an Antarctic ice patrol vessel, was the only ship based in the South Atlantic at the time. And there were no fighter jets — none of the island’s airstrips were long enough. The only planes that could land before the war came from Argentina. Supplying the Falklands by sea from Britain took two weeks.

2012: The major difference is the construction of RAF Mount Pleasant, a modern air base housing four Eurofighter Typhoon strike fighters, a Hercules transport plane and VC-10 tanker plane. There are also Rapier missile batteries in several locations. The British garrison numbers 1,200, including 100 infantrymen, with 200 reservists in the Falkland Islands Defence Force. The Royal Navy has a patrol vessel, an auxiliary support ship, and frigate or state-of-the-art destroyer. It’s reported that a British nuclear-powered submarine is in the South Atlantic, but the Ministry of Defence will not discuss operational matters. “It’s quite a considerable deterrent force,” says Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly. Military experts believe the islands are now virtually impregnable. Any sign of Argentine invasion and the islands could be quickly reinforced by air.

Just as we established the last time this was up for discussion, Argentina doesn’t have the military forces for a stand-up fight, but if they can take the RAF base in a surprise attack by special forces, Britain probably can’t recapture the islands.

January 17, 2012

Details on the British defence cuts

Filed under: Britain, Bureaucracy, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:43

The unit hardest hit by the reductions will be the Brigade of Gurkhas:

In a statement, the MoD revealed it was looking to shed 2,900 posts from the army, around 1,000 from the RAF and 300 from the Royal Navy.

The total is higher than the first round of the process last year, and there are expected to be more compulsory redundancy notices this time.

The MoD announced it was looking to shed approximately 400 Gurkhas — one in eight of the brigade. Approximately 500 infantry privates with more than six years’ service will also be axed.

The senior ranks of the army have not been spared. Eight brigadiers and 60 lieutenant colonels are expected to go.

The Royal Navy will lose five commodores and 17 captains. Nineteen Royal Marine officers will be shed, but no one from the ranks.

The RAF will lose up to 15 air commodores and 30 group captains. The MoD believes that by slowing recruiting, and not replacing those who leave, the navy and the RAF will be able to achieve the cuts they need without a “tranche 3” of redundancies. The army needs to shed almost 20,000 jobs over the next eight years and will continue to make cuts for years to come.

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