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Subject: Guatemala versus Belize.
GOP    10/2/2004 11:40:16 AM
May sound silly, knowing the Brits would help Belize, and they are both very minor powers, but let's say Guatemala (sp) tried to invade Belize, what would happen? I am talking 1 on 1, with no outside help
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Ehran    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.   10/2/2004 4:16:12 PM
based on the troops there may i say god help the guats. there is a ghurka unit posted to belize last i heard and some royal marines. one of my customers was a royal marine who served in the jungle there when the guats did some pushing along the western border. the western border is one of those undefined things where each side thinks the border is miles different from the other based on a document from the 17th century. according to the ex royal marine customer it was a very one sided affair with the guats doing just about all of the bleeding.
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wagner95696    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.   10/3/2004 8:05:06 PM
Guatemala vs Belize? Take Guatemala. Guatemala vs UK? Take UK.
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WinsettZ    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.   10/3/2004 10:17:47 PM
No comment.
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GOP    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.   10/4/2004 6:33:53 PM
My Brother in Law is from Belize, he was in the Air wing. I was just wondering how they stack up compared to the Guats, I know the Guatemalans have had many disputes, per my Brother in law. Thanks alot Ehran
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Worcester    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.The Brit ops.   10/4/2004 8:23:32 PM
Belize (ex-British Honduras) is independent but protected by the UK. The Royal Navy include Belize in their "Atlantic Patrol Task (North)" (APT (N)) which features all the ex-Brit Caribbbean nations; guess what their "APT South" protects? Errr...Falklands? Give the man a cigar! The Belizean Defense Force is a battalion-strength force with a small air and water element. The Brit forces maintain a "Training Establishment" for jungle and adventure training near Belize City with stations up country. This includes a detachment from the Brit Jungle Warfare School in Brunei which is predominantly Gurkha but also Royal Marine (a 42 Commando specialty). The Army Air Corps maintain a supporting flight of helos and there is evidence that large "training" stocks are pre-positioned rather in excess of that required by the infantry company groups which rotate through Belize from the UK every 3-4 months. Belize is on the "Primary Missions" list for the UK Speahead battalion which each UK-based light battalion holds for 4 months at a time. This unit is held ready-to-be anywhere in thw world in 48 hours, with the rotating Active Edge company on permanent maximum 4 hour alert. Training for Spearhead role during the preceding 6 months requires training visits to Belize as well as to Botswana or Kenya, Cyprus and Norway. This Speahead battalion needs airlift provided by the RAF "Skywave" alert force of C-17 and C-130 flying direct to Belize (9 hours). Allowing for mobilization, the Active Edge company arrives 13 hours following request from the Belizean Prime Minister. This joins the company in "training" in Belize either up country or holding the air head at the air port and blocking the main road into Belize City. The remainder of the battalion follow within 4-12 hours. The follow-on formation would be 16th Air Assault Brigade. The RAF have used to station Harriers in Belize and have practices direct flights from the UK to the prepared positions in Belize. During the last Guat activity in 1979, 12 Harriers were flying combat armed reconnaissance within 18 hours of the Prime Minister's request. In the Falklands the Spearhead battalion was not used since there was no way of airlifting them in and planning went immediately to the amphibious 3 Commando Brigade RM. If Belize airport is closed by the Guats - unlikely given the terrible country and the ease of blocking actions and bridge demolitions in the jungle clad mountains - the (rotating) Alert Airborne Battle Group of 16th Air Assault Brigade have Belize on their priority list and plan to "lob in" from C-17's to the airport and zone north-east of Belize City within 18 hours. The remainder of the Brigade (2 inf battalion, 1 arty bn, 1 engr bn + armor squadron "Air Landing Force") arrive within 36 hours. While waiting for the remainder the "training" company and either the Active Edge company of Spearhead OR the Airborne Battle Group of 16 AA Bde get naval gunfir support from the RN Patrol ship whose 4.5 inch autonatic gun is equivalent to a full arty battery at 15 rounds per minute to a range of 20k, easily covering Belize Airport and Belize City, both coastal. If the Guats somehow get around all of this (fat chance, frankly) then the Brits send in 3 Cdo Brigade on assault ships with all their helos and carriers. A lot easier proposition than the Falklands. Having been to both Belize and Guatemala and enjoyed them both I hope the activity stays merely sufficient for what the Brits call "adventurous training".
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Aussiegunner    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.The Brit ops.-Worchester   10/5/2004 10:16:59 AM
Thanks for a very interesting post. The only point that I would pick up on, is that one 4.5 inch gun is actually worth about half an artillery battery. As an ex-gunner, I'd hate to see the sea sprogs thinking that thiers was as big as ours;-).
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1stcavman    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.   10/5/2004 12:22:35 PM
Didn't Tom Clancy do this scenario in his nonfiction book Airborne?
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Worcester    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.The Brit ops.- aussiegunner   10/5/2004 2:20:52 PM
Thanks for your technical point. I was relying on British policy documents that state that the Vickers Mk8 4.5" automatic gun at 15 RPM has the same SUSTAINED fire rate as a 105mm light gun battery (which is what light forces would use.) I understand this is the official rate they use in planning and allocating ships and batteries for amphibious operations.
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Aussiegunner    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.The Brit ops.- aussiegunner   10/5/2004 10:10:18 PM
Fair enough. A 105 battery may give a quicker ROF against targets requiring a couple of minutes of bombardment, but they are horses for courses during a sustained bombardment. They are really complementary systems anyway though, with land based artillery having good spread of fire, while naval gunfire being better for taking out point targets like bunkers.
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Worcester    RE:Guatemala versus Belize.The Brit ops.- aussiegunner   10/6/2004 4:37:24 PM
Indeed. They seem to use naval gunfire as a far more substantial part of their tactics. You may be interested in their Naval Gun Fire Observers (NGFO) who appear to be the most highly qualified people I've found for this task. They are grouped in Meiktila Battery of 29 Commando Light Regiment, RA. They are all either RA, RN or RM who are all commando AND parachute qualified and are ALL trained to control naval, land and air strikes. Go ashore several days before the main landing. Very low key unit - reputation is excellent.
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