527 - 5th Infantry Brigade In The Falklands by Nicholas Van Der Bijl & David Aldea (Book)

527 - 5th Infantry Brigade In The Falklands by Nicholas Van Der Bijl & David Aldea (Book)


5th Infantry In The Falklands

No-one can complain that the Falklands' War has been neglected by authors and publishers. Countless books have been published, covering this mercifully brief and successful campaign over the intervening twenty years. It is all the more remarkable that Nicholas van der Bijl and David Aldea should at this late stage unearth a central subject that has been overlooked, namely the role played by the British 5th Infantry Brigade. The decision to send 5 Brigade was taken some time after 3 Commando Brigade had been dispatched with, as bad luck would have it, many of 5 Brigade's own units. This in itself caused tensions within and without the Brigade and these were exacerbated by its hasty reconstitution and all too brief training prior to the long voyage south on the Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth II and other vessels.

With the military and media spotlight firmly fixed on 3 Commando Brigade, the 'other brigade' made up principally of two Guards battalions, fresh from ceremonial duties, and a battalion of Gurkhas inevitably felt neglected. Yet their moment was to come in both glorious and tragic circumstances and, by the close of hostilities, the Brigade had certainly made its mark, despite the many handicaps under which it had to operate.

Yet the drama and controversy were not over. For reasons that have long mystified many observers, the Brigade Commander was conspicuously overlooked in the post-war distribution of medals and awards.


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