BAOR ORDER OF BATTLE: JULY 1989

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Charley Fortnum, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    With the very recent closure of the last British Army base in Germany (Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld), a lot of people are looking back at BAOR, and the following document appeared on Twitter today.

    It's clearly a significant work of research and a reminder of how large our commitment in Germany once was:

    https://www.orbat85.nl/documents/BAOR-July-1989.pdf

    [The actual listings of formations and units begins on page 9, but the preliminaries are pretty important for context]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    CL1 and bamboo43 like this.
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks CF, this pdf has come in handy for my research into the later years of the King's Regiment and their postings post 1958.
     
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Gosh! That's an amazing piece of work.
     
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Appendix D on the regional affiliations of RAC & R.A. units is a surprising yet welcome addition.
     
  5. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Looked great on paper but thank goodness it was never put to the test. Perhaps the old gaffers of 3 Shock Army, gulping vodka in their retirement homes, are thinking just the same. I well remember that the fastest way to outload our first line ammo from the company blocks to meet the timings of Ex ACTIVE EDGE was to use shopping trolleys from the NAAFI families' shop. The sight of dozens of shopping trolleys wobbling their way over the cobbles down to the vehicle park is one I will never forget! Happy days.
     
    Owen likes this.
  6. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Is there a similar document detailing RAF (G)?
    The main airfields are in the ORBAT but no Sqn details.
     
  7. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    JDKR.

    I think that you are spot on. Given that we had an entire Corps in Germany at the time, it was a real measure of our inadequacy that we only sent two Armd Bdes to form 1 Armd Div for the 1990-91 Gulf War.

    We did not have enough real equipment to send three Bdes as would have been expected. It was pathetic really and a complete exposure of how under funded the British Army was in reality.

    To even send two Armd Bdes, we had to steal manpower and masses of equipment from across the Army - both British and Germany based.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  8. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Frank - In the immortal words of Maurice Chevalier, 'Ah yes, I remember it well'!
     
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Not sure about the Artillery affiliations. I was SO3 Artillery Operations in HQRA 4 Div until I left in March 1989.

    At that time the artillery group was
    3 RHA - affiliated to 20 Armoured Brigade
    47 Field Regiment affiliated to 11th Armoured Brigade. It would return to the UK as an air defence unit, but I don't recall it scheduled for 1989. Its air defence battery was 21 Battery.

    19 Field Regiment were based in Dortmund and supported one of either 6 or 33 Brigade.
     
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  11. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Great vid. The massed bands are probably about the same size as today’s infantry and HM must have particularly enjoyed the smokescreen demonstration laid on by the L60s!
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The aim of BAOR was to deter Warsaw Pact Aggression. There was no provision for spares to support even 90 days of war. The expectation was 72 hours then some buckets of instant sunshine. The regular manpower, spares and ammunition were enough for two brigades only.
     
  13. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Now that explains it. Everything was an illusion of strength. No change there then.

    F
     
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Wah?
     
  15. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Following a "ding, dong" on twitter after a Nicholas Drummond posted on the size of the British Army in 1989 and recently. A response cited the Orbat Charley posted in the opening post; to which Drummond responded:
    Would there be a similar document for the period(s) you are interested?
     
  16. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Within this currently free, on-line 'War in History' article 'Eyes on target: ‘Stay-behind’ forces during the Cold War' is quite a lot on the BAOR.

    The Abstract:
    Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0968344520914345
     
  17. LD17

    LD17 New Member

    Hello Gentlemen,

    New to the forum...... I am the author of the BAOR document, I recently updated it here:
    https://www.orbat85.nl/documents/BAOR-July-1989.pdf

    COVID is putting a huge dent in my work due to the closure of Kew and other facilities. I am also working on UKMF & UKLF. Thank you for all the kind words, please if you have any insights to add or corrections let me know.

    Sheldrake I based my RA entries on this the MOD sent me (the Kew has the Arms Plot, but again COVID)
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Soltau shown as 7 Armd Bde location? We were in Fallingbostel and another unit in Hohne?
    Alex
     
  19. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Looks familiar...
     
  20. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    That’s correct mate, up until about 93 HQ 7Armd Bde were in Bournemouth Bks Soltau and when 22 Armd Bde were disbanded they moved to Hohne!
     
    Alex1975uk likes this.

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