Operation Sutton 1982
Getting to the crescendo of my Falklands War project now, with Operation Sutton, the landing of British forces on San Carlos beach.
The opening day of Operation Sutton was the largest amphibious action by British forces since the 6th June 1944 landings in Normandy, and is obviously why I also frequently see the word D-Day used for the 21st May 1982 Falklands landings. As in 1944, the only way to get a large number of troops and equipment from their ships to shore was by landing craft.
The LCVP Mk2s which sailed from the Fearless class amphibious transport docks, could carry 35 fully equipped Royal Marines Commandos or two Land Rovers. Meanwhile, the Higgins LCVP, as I have used in my Operation Sutton build, was a US World War II variant, typically constructed from plywood, and could carry roughly the same complement of troops or a 3 ton vehicle, so very close to HMS Fearless’s Mk2s. However, while my maths was never the best, I don’t quite see how a 9 ton Scorpion/Scimitar would be carried in even the Mk2, but for illustrative purposes, if nothing else, I have camouflaged my Airfix model of the Higgins LCVP in the white tiger stripes as used for the landing and there is just enough room for a Scorpion/Scimitar tank even if its weight would probably have sunk it!
The Scimitar and Scorpion CVR(T) - Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) served with two troops from B Squadron, Blues and Royals who were equipped with four tanks each. These were the only armoured vehicles used in action by the British Army during the conflict. Having previously made the Scorpion variant from an original 1975 Airfix kit, I managed to acquire a 2005 reissue to build it up as the Scimitar. The Scimitar is very similar to the Scorpion but carries the 30mm RARDEN cannon as its main weapon rather than the Scorpion’s shorter barrelled low velocity 76mm main gun.