Monday, January 12, 2009

28th June - 7th August 1972
Northern Ireland.

Operation Motorman.
The British Government sent in troops to quieten down the fighting, but then intervened, by trying to become involved in Politics, in correcting The Civil Rights Issues and dissolved the Northern Ireland Government at Stormont in 1972.
In response, the Catholics developed "No-go" areas, where the IRA flourished.
Operation Motorman was designed to "smash" open these no-go areas, by using vast numbers of British Troops, to overwhelm the areas.
Over 342 - IRA Suspects were arrested, plus a hundred sympthisers, all were interned in Long Kesh Maze Prison, Near Lisburn.
The Prison used to be an Airfield during WW2, it now had long huts, being used as a minor Prison.
With the increase in prisoners, these long huts were converted to the hated 'H' huts and called HM Prison Maze; numbers of prisoners rose drastically to 924 internees.

The 'H' huts were to house the most violent men in Europe, committed during 30 years of violence during the "troubles" in Ireland.

The Troop was based in Antrim, along with Lt John Moore-Bick and his 3 Troop.
Covering the July Marches was the main requisite of this tour.
Both Troops carried out tasks in the Ardoyne area, building car check points, putting up fencing around Schools and Police Stations.
Taff Bridgeman was shot several times and rushed to hospital, Jim Bevan was asked to take his place, working with the troop.
Some of the troop were utilised for Cross Border Survellience, watching known meeting areas.
A section of the troop - Ron Gould, Hamish, Paddy Bingham and Blue Fenwick, worked at Long Kesh with an Alice Chalmers.
Some of the lads joined a Party being held by the Royal Scots at Bessbrook, sleeping in Caravans until the next morning.
The 45 Cdo Marines were based in Belfast.

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