• Short Summary

    SPANISH JETS AND WARSHIPS MANOEUVRED WITHIN YARDS (METRES) OF GIBRALTAR YESTERDAY (FRIDAY) TO WATCH A 90-MINUTE MOCK ASSAULT ON THE BRITISH ROCK FORTRESS BY HOMEWARD-BOUND ROYAL MARINE COMMANDOS.

  • Description


    HELICOPTERS FLYING IN TROOPS FROM SHIP; ATTACKING AND DEFENDING FORCES IN ACTION DURING EXERCISE; END OF EXERCISE.




    Initials GL/VS/AS/PF



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: SPANISH JETS AND WARSHIPS MANOEUVRED WITHIN YARDS (METRES) OF GIBRALTAR YESTERDAY (FRIDAY) TO WATCH A 90-MINUTE MOCK ASSAULT ON THE BRITISH ROCK FORTRESS BY HOMEWARD-BOUND ROYAL MARINE COMMANDOS.

    BUT GIBRALTAR SHOWED THAT IT DOES NOT FALL EASILY TO ATTACKERS, AND THE ASSAULT FORCES DID NOT STAND A CHANCE.

    THE ATTACKERS WERE BROUGHT ASHORE AT DAWN IN WESSEX HELICOPTERS FROM THE COMMANDO CARRIER BULWARK, A FORMER AIRCRAFT-CARRIER.

    BRITISH SOLDIERS AND SAILORS GUARDING EVERY LIKELY LANDING SITE ON THE ROCK AND IN THE ROYAL NAVY DOCKYARD ELIMINATED MOST OF THE MARINES IN THE SIMULATED OPERATION, NAMED "OPERATION ROCKCLIMB", BEFORE THEY COULD JUMP ASHORE.

    BUT THE MARINES -- 450 OF THEM RETURNING TO BRITAIN FOR HOME LEAVE AFTER FOUR MONTHS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN -- THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THEMSELVES, ACCORDING TO THEIR COMMANDER FOR THE EXERCISE, MAJOR DAVID LANGLEY.

    "MORALE WAS TERRIFIC", HE SAID. "I COULD SEE IN THE MEN'S EYES THEY WERE DELIGHTED TO FINISH UP THESE FOUR MONTHS WITH A MILITARY FLAVOUR. REALLY THIS WAS AN EXERCISE WITHOUT TEARS -- EVERYBODY THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THEMSELVES."
    THE SPANISH PRESENCE AROUND THE ROCK DURING THE OPERATION COMPRISED FIVE JET STARFIGHTER AIRCRAFT AND FOUR SHIPS -- TWO MINESWEEPERS AND TWO CORVETTES. THE SHIPS SHADOWED THE 22,000-TON BULWARK AS IT APPROACHED GIBRALTAR THE PREVIOUS DAY AND REMAINED AT ANCHOR CLOSE BY. THE AIRCRAFT FLEW OVER THE NORTH EASTERN SIDE OF THE ROCK. BUT A BRITISH SPOKESMAN SAID THEY DID NOT INTERFERE WITH THE EXERCISE OR THE TWO BRITISH HUNTER JETS WHICH WERE IN THE AIR AT THE SAME TIME.

    A HIGH POINT OF THE EXERCISE CAME NEAR THE END AS SOME OF THE ATTACKING MARINES GAINED A FOOTHOLD ON THE ROCK. A COUNTER-ATTACK WAS LAUNCHED BY ROYAL IRISH RANGERS WHO STORMED ACROSS OPEN GROUND WITH A BAGPIPER LEADING THE CHARGE.

    THE VERDICT ON THE EXERCISE: THE MARINES WOULD HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT SOON AFTER LANDING, IF IN FACT A SINGLE HELICOPTER HAD BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH WITHOUT BEING SHOT DOWN.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAB5GSNNRZ6U3IWPVQQMIM157HD
    Media URN:
    VLVAB5GSNNRZ6U3IWPVQQMIM157HD
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    09/08/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:06:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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