Falklands War was ‘nearly a disaster’

HMS_Bristol_storing_at_Ascension_Island_1982

HMS Bristol storing war supplies at Ascension Island – 1982

From The Scotsman:

BRITAIN only narrowly avoided a military disaster on a par with the “Charge of the Light Brigade” during the Falklands conflict, reveals a new book by a field commander who took part in the campaign.

In the book, Ian Gardiner, who in 1982 led a rifle company of Royal Marines into battle, is scathingly critical of senior army officers for tactical blunders in the battles to retake the islands, which led to catastrophes such as the bombing of the Sir Galahad.

He says that the reputations of the army chiefs “were salvaged from a mess of Crimean proportions” only by the ranks below them. He adds that mistakes in the campaign to retake the Falkland Islands, which were invaded by Argentine troops 30 years ago tomorrow, could have resulted in the deaths of hundreds.

The Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean war, when a cavalry regiment charged in to the “Valley of Death” at Russian guns, is a celebrated example of the bravery and heroism of individual soldiers sacrificed by poor planning and leadership.

In The Yompers: With 45 Commando In The Falklands War, Gardiner argues that a “precipitate and ill-thought-out” move in which 2 Para “hijacked” the only working Chinook helicopter and flew to take possession of Fitzroy and Bluff Cove, leaving them in an extremely vulnerable position forced the commander of Land Forces in to a very difficult position.

Read the rest of the article at The Scotsman

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Categories: Argentine History, British History

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