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Operation SHEEPSKIN

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An official name for sending 2 Para on holiday. During the 1960s the clever people at Whitehall, realising that it was too expensive, too much work (and detrimental to international relations to maintain a real empire) had a strange way of dealing with granting countries independence.

It was the fashion to group small countries under collective Federations, with the largest member providing the lead to any sort of government. Even after the process was shown to be rubbish, the same idea was used on St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla - a group of small islands in the Carribean.

With St. Kitts as the largest of the three, it was to take the lead, however the Anguillans didn’t like this, and feared that should the people in St. Kitts get ideas on expanding, they would not be able to appeal for British protection. A junior minister from the Foreign Office was dispatched to sort the mess out, however he was put under siege on arrival, and departed the islands soon after.

The government decided something had to be done. A force was assembled, and 2 PARA, along with around 120 members of the Metropolitan Police (as this was strictly a law an order operation in British territory, not an invasion) arrived on board two Royal Navy ships a week after leaving.

At dawn, the force boarded landing craft, and as they approached flashes were seen coming from along the coast of their landing site. Strangely, no gunfire was heard, and reports shortly arrived on board the ships. Numerous contacts were reported, several journalists and no injuries.

Not a single shot was fired, and the boarding party was greeted with photographers and cheers from the locals. The islanders who never wanted to be independent welcomed the soldiers, and the wives of those involved received nicer looking postcards than the recent ‘Hello! From Aldershot’.

Over, a complete farce of an operation, however a boatload of prostitutes had a narrow escape as they were fortunately turned away from the island, before the nasty people of the Parachute Regiment could spread yet more disease.