“The Resupply Scandal”
Signals requesting essential consumables such as Hartman’s solution seemed to vanish into the ether and supplies took weeks to arrive. An operating table that could be adjusted for height, instead of the airportable glorified stretcher that we were using, took nine weeks to arrive.
“Death from natural causes”
There were a number of service men who died from natural causes. The relatives of this particular man found it difficult to accept that he had died from electrocution and not from enemy action.A consular official sought me out on a sandy beach in Caorle (yes my wife had arranged a sandy beach holiday………) to confirm that the death had been from electrocution and not from enemy action.
“The last FST in Oman”
Journal of the Royal Navy Medical Services. Vol 63, No 3 (Winter 1978) pp 167 – 176 Osborne, A.H. & Raitt, D.G
A short precis can be found by “clicking” on the Tri-Service badge
Casualty survival after the injured have reached advanced medical and surgical care following wounding is naturally a matter of supreme interest. It has gradually improved (!) as the years and conflicts have gone by.
However obvious it may seem, the variables involved have changed so much over the years that it is invidious to compare the results obtained by one surgical team with the results obtained by another. Wounded survive today who would in 1972 have been classified as “unsurvivables”
“The last FST – Tail End Charlies”
This article shows how the emphasis of the FST changed. More and more civilians were now being treated. In fact the FST could have done with some paediatricians, GPs, a gynaecologist and a dermatologist to win what was now the peace. The changes implemented in DCS15 in the 90’s of course have ensured that there are virtually none of these specialists available for forward deployment. The figures given in this article show that there is an absolute need for such specialists. The use of such specialists in Afghanistan would not only be humanitarian but help to win over the local population and prove to be a “force multiplier”
“The Surgeon’s Tale”
John Soul retired from the RN as a Surgeon Captain and wrote an account of his time in the RN for the benefit of his grandchildren. One of the chapters refers to his time in Oman. One evening he “Googled” himself and came across this website. His account makes interesting reading and is complementary to one of the previous document.
“Neostigmine and Diathermy. Yet again!”
Two or three more letters have surfaced from “across the water” – Co Mayo – on the subject of the supply of neostigmine and the completeness of the diathermy machine.
“Station brief for incoming team”
The FST that deployed in early 1972 did not have quite the military uniform and clothing that appropriate to a sojourn in RAF Salalah. Indeed it would have been difficult to decide what was best but webbing suitable for BAOR was certainly out of place.
“Ambulance and Hut”
The FST did have some problems with transport and with accommodation.
55FST was always happy to welcome visitors who sometimes filled a need when mumps degraded the tactical effectiveness of the regular incumbents. Lacking in a Michelin starred restaurant a fish curry in the Dhobi mens’ lines was the best that we could offer in appreciation of their efforts
This record has now been redacted to comply with the GDPR May 2018
“The Mirbat Gun”
The Mirbat Gun was gifted to the Royal Artillery Museum by the Sultan. It was transported to the UK in 1985 and after a brief period of time outside the Artillery Pavilion in Woolwich has now been moved……
“Who financed the war in Dhofar ?”
Amongst others the PRO in Kew had the answer to that particular question.
“SOAF Aircraft in 1972”
The Sultan of Oman’s Airforce had relatively few aircraft at the beginning of the war. Helicopters, that the Americans were finding so useful in Vietnam, were in very short supply
“Snowdrops in Salalah”
Steve “Taff” Culliford has provided some insight into the operation of the Provost Flight at Salalah and some record of the entertaintments enjoyed in that far flung land in the times before DVDs and.. …….
An, as yet, incomplete list of those who served in 55FST. Please help to fill in the spaces.
The devastating effects of the detonation an anti-personnel mine had a disproportionate impact on each and every member of the FST who were all quite used to seeing the effects of trauma from other causes such as RTAs
Radio 219 was a popular morale booster and was listened to by most people on the camp.
Several short audio clips from Radio 219 recorded by Geoffrey Sharwood-Smith
A new section of the website linking the patients who were admitted to the FST with the military events taking place at the time that occasioned their injury. An ongoing task.
“Local Overseas Allowance”
Out of sight and out of mind.
The disadvantages of a “secret” war
“FST Customer Base”
The Field Surgical Team did not source all its patients from one military unit.
“Operational Record Book”
The RAF administration compiled an ORB for each RAF Station on form F540. The F540s for RAF Salalah contain considerable information about the medical services (and the statistics of illness on the camp)
“The Postie’s Tale”
Unarguably the most sought after man on the station when the mail plane came in.
“The Adu is a rebel and he lives up in the jebel”
This document deals with SAFs perception of the adoo and was an attempt to give SAF members some additional information about the enemy”.
“The Anaesthetist’s Tale”
It seemed like a good idea to keep a diary of day to day events at unit and personal level and rather than let the pencilled entries fade away they have been transcribed.
“The Affair at Mirbat”
So much has been written about Mirbat that it is almost superfluous to add to it. However there is always something more that one can add and there is more out there that can be added but there are also those out there who prefer not to do so and refuse to contribute to the history of the affair for whatever reason.
A number of reports from a variety of people about the situation in Oman and Dhofar in particular are preserved in the PRO at Kew
“Maps and Diagrams”
The website has had few meaningful maps and diagrams and in an effort to give some meaning to place names maps are being added both as a simple webpage and as Adobe files.
“The Radiographer’s Tale
Sgt Bob Atkinson was the radiographer with the largely “Para” FST that was in place at the end of 1971. This document is a transcript of the diary that he kept at the time.
“Report from PDRY”
Diary summaries or “Calendar of Events for 1972” from HM Embassy in PDRY
PDRY had all sorts of urgent problems to deal with befor it could turn its mind to supplying the Dhofari rebels with the arms and ammunition they needed to pursue their war in the southernmost province of Oman.
The Royal Army Veterinary Corps
It may seem a little unusual to include a Veterinary Officer’s report.
However they had close contact with the locals and and had an intimate knowledge of the region.
Psyops activities of many sorts were instituted by BATT earlier on in the war and at one time they had a specifically trained group of four, headed by an officer (Ben Higson) to help the jebalis put together what was going on and screw up the Radio Aden side of the story
Intelligence matters were run both by SAF and by BATT and were critical to the pursuance of the war.
Directive from the Commander Dhofar.
This directive was issued by CSAF to the Commander Dhofar in March 1972. It was intended to be the basis for SAF, BATT and Firqat operations for the year.
There are many accounts of the “abdication” in 1970 but this contempraneous record from the PROin Kew is of the signals that went in and out of the CommCen in Salalah on the day.
“Know Your Enemy”
Early on in the conflict CSAF had a crude booklet produced which aimed to assist members of SAF to identify the wepons that the enemy were likely to use.
There are a number of sites on the internet which show video of interviews with those who took part in the war. There are other contempraneous videos which may be purchased from the authors and which will be listed in the future
Some photographs taken on and around the Sarfait position in 2010
This feature was a large sinkhole in the limestone high up on the jebel and a critical supply of water for the jebalis. Much improved by the RE.These photographs were taken on the Veterans Tour of 2010
A long while ago I came across a sheet of “stamps” on a stall in Thetford market place. The insurgents were obviously up to all sorts of innovative ideas when it came to raising money and spreading propaganda for their cause.
His is an entertaing account of his brush with 55FST
Modern Omani FST
Omani field medical arrangements were demonstrated on the Armed Forces Day in 2010
Diseases on Offer.
There were many unpleasant infections to degrade both the insurgents and soldiers.
VT 2010 Notes and imag
Prisoners 12,13 and 14.
A number of insurgent prisoners were taken at Mirbat by the BATT re-inforcements and were taken to Um-Al-Ghawariff where they were de-briefed by the Intelligence Cell
Action Against Hauf
The time came when enough was enough and the sultan instructed the CSAF – Brigadier Graham – to instruct the Commander in Dhofar – Col Harvey – to strike across the border into PDRY. This could have all sorts of repercussions especially if seconded RAF pilots were involved
The Threats to Oman
It would be naive to assume that the only threats to Oman came from the rebel on the jebel as this intelligence document outlines
The Incursion at Habarut
This is different take on that shown under the SOAF pages on the website.
Possible Retaliatory Air Threat from PDRY
An assessment of the threat and the measures to ameliorate the threat.
Suggestions were made that the help of the Mahra tribesmen was engaged to give the PDRY a headache in their own backyard to deflect resources from some of their activities in Oman
“Enemy Tactics and PFLOAG”
A SAF appraisal of the insurgents, their weapons,tactics and training
“Enemy Tactics and PFLOAG”
A SAF appraisal of the insurgents, their weapons,tactics and training
“Arms Smuggling to Dhofar
The transition from talk to the tools for physical violence. Arms were smuggled into the north of Oman and across the border from Yemen the south in the early and mid 60’s
“51 Field Surgical Team”
The first RAMC team which took over from the RAF who handed over in haste…
“General Union of Arab Students”
The dissidents were fought on the jebel and on the plain whilst others undermined the UK’s efforts in London.