Thursday, 9 May 2013

T Battery (Shah Sujahs Troop) 12 Regiment Royal Artillery San Carlos Falklands War

T Headquarter Battery (Shah Sujah’s Troop) Royal Artillery was raised on 1st October 1838 at Delhi and Meerut. The troop was part of a 6000 strong force, which invaded Afghanistan in support of the deposed Shah Sujah of Mook. The Horse Artillery of the Shah’s Army was a double Battery of ten 6-pounder Guns and two 12-pounder Howitzers – virtually two Batteries; Captain W Anderson of the Bengal Artillery commanded it at this time. The Troop performed very creditably during the Afghan War and was favourably mentioned in routine orders. Following the assassination of the Shah in 1842 further British intervention became pointless and the Battery returned to Ferozepore. The Battery was then transferred into the India Army of the Honourable East India Company as 5 (Native) Troop 1 Brigade Bengal Horse Artillery. The Troop continued to serve with distinction during the first Seik War and on frontier expeditions where elephant transport was used for the guns. The Troop remained loyal throughout the Indian Mutiny and the siege or Delhi where Lt G A Rennie won the Victoria Cross. The outstanding service of the troop was awarded the Order of Merit. In 1859 the Native Horse and Field Artillery units of the Bengal Army were abolished. The native gunners of the Troop were pensioned off or transferred and the Troop joined the list of British units. In 1862 the East India Company’s Armies were absorbed into the Queens Army and the Troop became E Battery 2nd Horse Brigade Royal Artillery, so beginning its service as an RHA unit – subsequent changes in the title the Troop became T Battery in 1889 and served as such throughout the South African war. During the First World War the Battery moved to France with the British Expeditionary Force and in 1917 went to Italy though finished the war in France. After the war there was reduction in the size of the RHA and the battery became T Field Battery in 1924 and in 1926 received the honour title ‘Shah Sujah’s Troop’. The title not only recalled the former RHA status but also its origin in the service of a foreign Prince. At the outbreak of World War II the battery was part of 15 Fd Regiment and moved to the Middle Eastern Theatre in 1940. In 1944 they moved to Italy and as the war ended the battery regained its RHA status though only for 18 months as, in 1947 with further reorganisation they became part of 12 Anti-Tank Regiment. In 1950 the battery returned to Italy and re-equipped with Bofers and formed as T LAA Battery and assumed the role it has held until this present reorganisation. Up until 1982 the Battery served in BAOR, Singapore, Malaya, Borneo, Northern Ireland and England. Of particular note they were the first Royal Artillery unit to form the Queens Guard at Buckingham Palace in 1971. In April 1982 the battery joined 3 Commando Brigade as part of the Falklands Task Force. They landed at San Carlos on 21st May and were finally credited with 14 confirmed kills and 4-6 probable hits on enemy aircraft. After the return from the Falklands the Battery moved to BAOR in 1985 and converted to Tracked Rapier. It was Tracked Rapier that the Battery deployed to the Gulf War with in 1991 as part of 1st Armoured Division. They took part in the whole of the offensive operation though were not required to fire due to lack of enemy aircraft activity over the battlefield. On return from the Gulf to BAOR the Honorary title was moved to Headquarter Battery 12 Regiment, whilst the men were moved to 9 (Plassey) Battery of the same Regiment. As part of options for change the Battery was arms plotted with the Regiment from Napier Barracks in Dortmund to Dempsey Barracks, Sennelager and completed handover in October 1995 in readiness to undertake the challenging task of deploying to Cyprus as part of the UNFICYP in December 1995. The Battery was housed in ‘Ledra Palace Hotel’ and had a very successful tour. On returning to Germany in June 1996 the Battery converted to ADCIS (Air Defence Command Information System). The Regiment deployed in April 1998 to Armagh and South Armagh. After a very successful tour with many notable achievements attentions were drawn Ex Winter Dart 99 the first Regimental deployment of SP HVM. 1997 was predominantly occupied with the acceptance of HVM and the Regiment being warned for a NI tour, training started in Jan 1998 with T/HQ Battery personnel attached to the 3 other Battery’s of 12 Regiment doing a variety of jobs. In April 1999 T/HQ Battery formed a large portion of the JRRF CAD (Joint Rapid Reaction Force Close Air Defence) Troop and was part of the first live firing of HVM over land and sea at Utska, Poland and notably the first troops to deploy to Poland after they become the newest members of NATO. With tensions rising in Kosovo the JRRF Troop deployed to Macedonia on 29th March 1999 with the DADC crew providing the command and control for the UK’s AD from 4 Brigade HQ. By mid July the troops entered Kosovo and after 4 months deployment the air threat was deemed low enough for AD to be stood down and adopt an infantry role in which 25% of weapon recovery was credited to the CAD troop. With the safe return of the JRRF CAD Troop at the end of July 1999 the Regiment was once again warned for a Northern Ireland tour with the majority of T/HQ Battery involved. In June 2001 the Battery deployed to Cyprus on a United Nations Peace Keeping Tour based in Ledra Palace in the capital Nicosia. The tour was a complete success with relations between the Turkish and Cypriot communities benefiting from every soldiers efforts. In Jan 2003 the Battery deployed to the Gulf to fight the war on terrorism on Op Telic. This involved almost every element of the battery being used to its full potential, with the main effort placed with Airspace management and POW handling. T/HQ) Battery (Shah Sujah’s’ Troop) has the distinction of being the only unit except for 22 SAS to have served in every major conflict.