"A Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards on Objective LEAD"

Ref: DR066

by David Rowlands

Image Size 58 x 38 cm

26 February 1991: 1st (UK) Division’s medium reconnaissance regiment, 16/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers, received formed troops from the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) and took A Squadron, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards under command in the Gulf to bring them up to war establishment. They kept to the very north of the British sector so that they could call down air and artillery onto the Republican Guard if they tried to counter-attack the two British brigades’ contact battles.

All the reconnaissance troops travelled in lightly armoured vehicles; they were among the first units to go through the breach. Their first engagement took place on Objective LEAD at dawn on the third day (G+2). They probed the position and called down artillery fire (MLRS) and air (two US A-10s). There were running battles with Iraqi vehicles for about four hours. By the time the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards came to mop up with their Challenger tanks, much of the position had been cleared.

This painting was done under the close supervision of Major Hamish McDonald, A Squadron’s commander, whose Sultan command vehicle (call sign Zero Bravo) is seen alongside another Sultan and a Ferret scout car. Nearby are enemy tank ‘scrapes’ in the sand. At about 0700 hours the sky was murky black with greyish-white streaks; yet there was quite a lot of light coming off the desert. The enemy targets were invisible; (visibility was 700 to 2,000 metres). In the left middle distance is a Striker. Two A-10s have flown from the left to blow up an enemy tank which was dug in, creating a great ball of orange flame.