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Ex BRABANT DRAGON - A battlefield study to 's-Hertogenbosch

On the 14th of January 2019, I was given the opportunity to be part of a syndicate on a Battlefield Study, Ex BRABANT DRAGON. This was a five-day conceptual study for 48 JNCOs within the 1 R WELSH Battlegroup. To make it less infantry focused, we were joined by representatives from the artillery, engineers, armoured corps and the reserves. The focus of the study was the liberation of ‘s-Hertogenbosch by 53rd (Welsh) Division and we were guided to the key points of the battle. As well as the study we also had the opportunity to take part in a parade to lay a wreath at the 53rd Division Monument, visit the Arnhem museum and we were hosted by the local council at a reception in the city hall.

The members of the group were divided in to equal sized syndicates and given different stages of the battle to study. Each syndicate then gave a historic brief to the whole group based on their research. After the short historic brief the syndicates would conduct an estimate to consider how we would complete the phase of war using current tactics and doctrine, taking in to consideration the equipment and capabilities we have today while overlooking the ground and using maps provided. We then discussed, with whole group, the concept of operations and were asked to compare the advantages and disadvantages.

As a SNCO I assisted the JNCOs with preparation of the historic briefs giving advice on possible valuable information to present as well giving guidance on making the brief relevant to the audience. Even within a few days it was evident that the JNCOs had developed their ability to speak in front of large groups and take part in the planning process. The syndicates were able to quickly look at the area of operation and make a simple plan to overcome the complications present. I personally enjoyed the trip and was grateful for the opportunity to learn a little bit more about WWII and I really appreciated the visit to the Arnhem parachute museum.

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