Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

ORBAT - 1980s British BG, Part 5 Royal Artillery

Each division's Divisional Artillery Group consisted of 3 gun Regiments and a Blowpipe Battery. In the 1970s the gun regiments were 2 Abbot Regiments and 1 M109 Regiment and this evolved throughout the 1980s as the Abbots were replaced, this process was not complete by the end of the Cold War in 1993. Each Brigade in the division would be supported by 1 of these gun Regiments fielding equipment of a single type.

In the 1980s the composition of each divisions artillery group evolved as follows:

1st Armoured Division 1 Abbot, 2 M109A2,
3rd Armoured Division 1 Abbot, 1 M109A2, 1 FH70 / Aug 1990, 2 M109A2, 1 FH70
4th Armoured Division 2 Abbot, 1 M109A2 / Apr 1989, 2 M109A2, 1 Abbot / Feb 1990 3 M109A2

Blowpipe batteries are shown as being provided to each Division throughout, this is surprising as Javilin was introduced in 1984 and you would expect the batteries to transition to the new equipment.

In addition the DAG could be reinforced by a variety of assets held by 1 Br Corp or in the UK these included

  • Batteries from 39 Heavy Regiments M110A2s (Converted to MLRS in 1990)
  • Batteries from 32 or 5 Regiments M107s (Converted to MLRS in 1992)
  • Locating support from 94 locating Regiment, provision of additional Mortar locating Troops with Cymbeline
  • Additional 105mm Lt Gun Batteries from the TA 100 and 101 Regiments
  • Tracked Rapier from 22 Air Defence Regiment providing Area Air Defence

  • Javalin air defence missile detachments from the TA Javalin Regiments
Blowpipe I think

The Abbot and M109 Field and RHA Regiments were organised along similar lines with 3 Batteries and an HQ Battery.

HQ Battery: Provided the Regimental HQ this deployed alongside the Brigade HQ and was responsible for the deployment of the Gun Batteries and the allocation of Fire Units in response to requests for fire, In an Abbot Regiment it also included a Troop of 4 Cymberline Mortar locating Radars.

3 Gun Batteries composed of

Battery HQ: The HQ formed 2 Groups:
  • A Tac Party comprising 4 FV432s and 4 OP parties, one of these being the BCs. They were equipped with Laser Range Finders, Night Observation Devices and the ZB298 Ground Surveillance Radar, replaced by MSTAR in 1991.

  • Battery Captains (BK) Party which contained the BK and the BSM who controlled and moved the guns and ensured they were kept supplied. I am not clear on the allocation of vehicles. This was done under the direction of the Regimental HQ who also allocated the Gun Line to tasks.

2 Troops: The Troop consisted of 4 Guns, each supported by a Stalwart for ammunition carriage. A command FV432 and Ferret Scout Car provided the HQ element.

The Battery Tac Party were detached to the supported Battlegroup and provided advice, Fire Planing, and Artillery Observation Posts to call for and control fires. They worked in close cooperation with the Battalion Mortar platoon and would lead on the coordination of all indirect fire including Mortars, Air and Aviation.

There was some confusion over the number of guns in a Battery at this time which may have been due to the difference between the Peace Time and Wartime Establishment of equipment. Most units would increase establishment for war as reservists were called up.

For wargames I currently intend to represent the Gun Group using 2 Abbot and a Stalwart and the Tac Party using 1 FV432. The early 80s Battle Group will be supported by an Abbot Battery with the Late 80s and Early 90s Battle Groups being supported by M109s. In addition an MLRS, M110 and some AS90s might find there way into the collection.


ORBAT 1980s British Battle Group, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 6Part 7
Encyclopedia of the Modern British Army
The British Army in Germany: An Organizational History 1947-2004
Warpaint: v. 2: Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003

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