Operation Vantage was a British military operation in 1961 to support the newly independent state of Kuwait against territorial claims by its neighbour, IraqBritain reacted to a call for protection from the Amir of Kuwait and air, sea and land forces were in place within days. Iraq did not attack and the British forces were replaced by the Arab League. Iraq recognised Kuwaiti independence in 1963.

Operation Vantage was a British military operation in 1961 to support the newly independent state of Kuwait against territorial claims by its neighbour, Iraq. Britain reacted to a call for protection from the Amir of Kuwait and air, sea and land forces were in place within days. Iraq did not attack and the British forces were replaced by the Arab League. Iraq recognised Kuwaiti independence in 1963.

Britain had accepted responsibility for Kuwait's military protection and urgently sent a strong naval task force which included Royal Marines from 42 Commando, on HMS Bulwark, aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (subsequently relieved by HMS Centaur), destroyers HMS Camperdown, HMS Finisterre, HMS Saintes and HMS Cassandra,  frigates HMS Loch Fyne, HMS Loch Ruthven, HMS Loch Insh, HMS Llandaff, HMS Yarmouth, and HMS Lincoln and LST HMS Messina and the 108th Minesweeper Squadron. A troop of 42 Commando arrived by helicopter from Bulwark at the airport as a squadron of Hawker Hunters arrived. By 1 July Britain had half of a brigade group in Kuwait ready for action. These included 42 and 45 Marine Commandos and two companies of 2nd Coldstream Guards. 3rd Carabiniers' "C" squadron landed with their Centurion tanks from HMS Striker. The two Commando groups occupied high ground on and around Mitla Ridge, near the Iraqi border, in fierce summer heat. In the following days, there were further reinforcements; an artillery battery of the 33rd Parachute Field Regiment, and the 11th Hussars with Ferret scout cars; 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment arrived after a delay through difficulties over-flying Turkey. On 4 July, the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and the 34th Field Squadron arrived from Kenya. The Inniskillings and the 1st Battalion, The King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool) relieved 42 and 45 Commandos on 6 and 7 July.

Between July 1961 to October 1961 RFA support of the British Forces was provided by RFA's FORT CHARLOTTE, FORT DUNVEGAN, FORT  SANDUSKY, GOLD RANGER, OLNA (2), RESURGENT, RETAINER, WAVE MASTER and WAVE RULER (1)

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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