Major General Martin Farndale
Commander 2nd Armoured Brigade
Lubbecke, West Germany
1980 to 1983
Visit of the
Chief of the General Staff, Genera Sir Edwin Brammall to Lubbecke,
April 1980, with Martin Farndale left and Colonel Leslie Busk centre
Farndale’s Harrier flight on 2 June 1980
19 June 1981)
A debate in the
House of Lords on 4 November 1980 (from Hansard):
The Earl of
KIMBERLEY My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on
the Order Paper. The Question was as follows: To ask Her Majesty's Government
whether they will make a statement as soon as possible on the lessons learnt
from Exercise Crusader.
The MINISTER of
STATE, MINISTRY of DEFENCE (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal) My Lords, Crusader
was a very successful exercise. Over 30,000 troops were moved from the United
Kingdom, including some 20,000 members of the Territorial Army and substantial
numbers of the RAF. The TA turn-out was high and its performance throughout
received well-deserved praise. The great majority of reinforcements were in
their exercise positions within 48 hours of leaving their bases, demonstrating
our ability to reinforce BAOR swiftly and effectively should the need arise.
The field training exercise in Germany, in which American and German forces
played a prominent part, tested our operational techniques on a scale
previously untried. A number of areas have been identified where improvements
may be needed, and many valuable lessons have been learned. But it will take
several months to analyse the exercise in detail.
The Earl of
KIMBERLEY My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for that Answer, may I ask
him whether he can elaborate a little as to how our allies, and particularly
Germany, regarded the exercise?
AND MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, I believe that our allies in NATO were impressed by
our ability to perform the reinforcement role which we had undertaken, and I
think they also particularly welcomed this demonstration of our commitment to
defence on the European continent.
Lord PEART My
Lords, would the Minister tell me what the cost was to us? I am not against
defence in any way, naturally; but how much did this whole exercise cost?
and MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, the exercise cost was in the region of £82 million in
excess of normal exercise costs, and we believe that this was very well worth while.
My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord the Minister, in reference to his statement
that the auxiliary forces deserved praise, to say how they adapted themselves
to the situation along-side our regular forces? He probably is aware that many
Members of the House of Lords—including myself—consider the efficiency of our
auxiliary forces to be of supreme importance.
and MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Lord for his
question, which shows considerable understanding of what this exercise was
intended to do. We were extremely satisfied, both by the turn-out of the
Territorial Army and their performance, and I believe that the Regular Army
were very impressed by the demonstrated ability of the auxiliary forces to
support them in the way which was planned, in a time of tension.
My Lords, will my noble friend the Minister tell us whether, when the
Government have completed their analysis of the lessons learnt from this very
important exercise, a fuller statement will be made available to the public?
Also, could some report of this be included in the annual Defence White Paper?
and MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, these are two interesting ideas. Certainly a full
analysis of the exercise will be made: after spending that much money, of
course, it would be necessary. When the report has been compiled in the New
Year we shall have to consider how much of it could be presented both to the
House and to the public at large, and what would be the most effective way of
doing it, consistent with the security considerations which are bound to
Lord AVEBURY My
Lords, can the noble Lord say whether any lessons were learned from this
exercise about the ability of small numbers of infantry, using modern
laser-guided anti-tank weapons, to stop an armoured thrust in Central Europe:
and what conclusions we may draw from this regarding the effectiveness of the
limited numbers of troops we can deploy in Germany to counter the possibility
of invasion from the East?
and MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, the noble Lord is asking me rather a technical
question and I think this is exactly the sort of thing which will come out in
further analysis. I do not in fact know whether the reinforcement forces were
using the kind of laser-guided weapons to which the noble Lord refers.
My Lords, can my noble friend say whether the very much reduced military
transport force is adequate to meet the operational needs, not only of
exercises but of potential war? Also, would it not be worthwhile taking up Sir
Freddie Laker's offer to adapt, at very small cost, the DC-10s he has on order,
so that they can reinforce the limited air transport we now have?
and MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, the noble Lord raises both a general and a specific
question. So far as the general question is concerned, I think the exercise
demonstrated that there is an ability to provide the necessary transport to do
the kind of reinforcement which is required. I do not know the answer to the
specific question raised by my noble friend, but I am sure it has been
considered. I do recall that the Americans have for some years considered the
possibility of strengthening all the civil transport fleet, but they have
decided that even for them it would probably be a prohibitively expensive
LEATHERLAND My Lords, does the noble Lord think he can really be very proud of
the fact that it took 48 hours to get men from Britain to the battlefront in
France? I ask this question because in 1915 we did it in less than 24 hours.
and MOUNT ROYAL My Lords, my memory does not go back as far as the noble
Lord's, and I would not dispute his facts. I do not know what numbers he is
referring to, but the 48 hours we are talking about covered the whole of the
reinforcement and I would imagine that some of the forces arrived there in less
than 24 hours.
Briefing the team of observers including from the Soviet Union (observers
from hostile nations were invited to observe the big exercises as part of
Second Battalion The Royal Irish infantrymen (Territorial Army) guard
near the Schloss at the Marienburg Bridge British
Territorial Army para
Chieftain of 4 RTR moving to cross the Leine
A First Day cover commenmorating Exercise Spearpoint
Drop by 82nd US Para Division
In NBC protection equipment durinmg a simulated nerve agent attack
Gunners of 40 Field Regiment dig in
Helicopter attack with US Chinook helicopters
GOC 2 Division
with a Soviet General observer
The padre on
exercise - a service in the field
Sappers of 25 Engineer Regiment
US Soldiers of 2nd (US) Armoured Division arrive
Commander’s Tactical Headquarters
Major General MB Farndale in his NBC kit talking to the MGRA, Major
General Ted Burgess
Generals depicted by a cartoonist (Martin Farndale second from right)
GOC visits the
Padres’ Study Day
(BR) Corps with his divisional commanders, June 1980 (Martin Farndale front
Visit from the
Burgermeister of Lubbecke (Left Capt David Shaw RHA
ADC, later himself GOC 2 Div in Scotland)
Visit to 40 Field Regiment Royal Artillery in Gutersloh, March 1980
Visit to 7 RHA in Osnabruck, May 1980
Visit to First Battalion The Royal Hampshire Regiment in Munster, May 1980
Champagne at the Corps Commander’s Conference, October 1980
Corps and Divisional Commanders, October 1980 (Martin Farndale left)
GOC 2 Div
inspecting the Lancers
competition in 1981!
The Lubbecke Hash House Harriers in August 1981
Staff in 1982
GOC inspects the Army Air Corps in 1982
Preparing Divisional Headquarters
Exercise Keystone 1982
Exercise Keystone 1982
Parade for new 2 Division Memorial in Lubbecke, 13 November 1982