Saturday, March 6, 2010

1971 Malta Troop

4 New Air Portable Landrovers were collected from Donnington and driven to Stonehouse Bks.
A new Air Portable Medium Girder Bridge was also collected, to be trialled.

HMS Bulwark, loaded with 42 Cdo RM & 2 Troop RE, plus the Landrovers and new Bridge, sailed for Cyprus.

Whilst sailing in the Med, towards Malta, a flash message was received, "The Maltese Prime Minister - Dom Mintoff, did not require British Troops anymore, having a good offer from the Libyans".
HMS Bulwark was refused permission to dock and sailed away - just over the horizon, to wait.
The RAF and Families were asked to leave and did.
Only a Detachment of the 'The Rifles' remained, as Rear Guard.

A Troop of Marines, plus 2 Troop were flown off Bulwark by helicopter, landing un-announced on LUCA Airfield, during the early hours.
2 Troop were tasked with mining the airfield and dug-in around the Airfield Barracks., whilst the Marines put a cordon around the Airfield.
The British Government then negotiated with Prime Minister Mintoff, stating that Malta had nothing of importance to interest Libya.
Stalemate ended.

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