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cup of tea 9:58 Mon Mar 28
The Falklands War
If you missed the documentary on Channel 4 last night try and watch it on catch up. It was a very good insightful piece on how close Britain came to losing the war and first hand knowledge of the monumental fuck ups in decision making of a lot of senior officers in the British ranks

Some excellent clips including the famous departure from Southampton and the SS Canberra as well as the Sir Galahad being bombed by the Argentinian air force

Almost 40 years since the start of the war and it shows the hell the British troops went through in appalling conditions in a war 8000 miles away from home

Excellent viewing if you are interested in this sort of thing

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

tonka 6:22 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
The old man was one of the first on South Georgia. I just remember him disappearing and watching the nightly news in case anything happened. I was 9.

Northern Sold 3:00 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
Not as bad as the rivalry between the Paras and RM’s… remember an Para that used to come in our shop telling us about the us and them rivalry… apparently the RM’s would get very upset when para’s would all dance around singing `Hands Up Baby hands Up’ … relevance to the surrender of the RM’s at the Falklands government House… said some seriously bad punch ups between the 2 of them. Know they play Rugby against each other every year in the Falklands Cup… by the sounds of it normally ends in a good brawl… anyone ever drunk in the Red Beret over in Chelmsford?? Been there a few times after playing football up that way… one of our more not clued up mates when it was his round we asked him to order 4 pints of Green Beret… the Landlord asked him whether he was on a fucking wind up…!!

martyboy 1:35 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
I drink quite a bit in Aldershot, and anyone interested in history, the Trafalgar pub in Aldershot if full of old photos, memorabilia from the Falklands. And yes it does get very messy when they have their reunions. Their is also pure hatred between the different Para regiments. A lot still have stayed near Aldershot, and most not really settled into civy life.

Bullet 1:01 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
southbankbornnbred, Pentonville,

They would know of my old school mate then. Four mates signed up, one with the British Army served in NI. One for the Paras at Aldershot, one deserted couldn't cope, military police took him back from home to serve the rest of his term. Another loved the Parachuting, said two Paras died when there chutes failed wouldn't open. When he left he was addicted to the adrenaline of skydiving and free falling. The other served in Falklands as said, when he came out he used to compete in triathlons and worked with a security firm of ex SAS protecting oil rigs from pirates in Brunei. Good tax free money but bored crazy. I agree many find it difficult to adjust. After Iraq my nephew ex marine went to live in Thailand, drinks way too much, now works with ex marines protecting against Piracy off the Somalian coast.

southbankbornnbred 12:44 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
All of that is true.

But mistakes and marginal judgement calls are the force of war. You're also a hostage to fortune with things like supply lines.

One reason why 2 Para's epic taking of Goose Green and Darwin was so remarkable is that they ran extremely low on ammunition due to the loss of a major supply vessel just before the assualt (IIRC from discussions with my uncle).

That's when you hear stories about incredible bravery - like Colonel Jones' attack. Argentinean troops have since said that, while he was killed, he and others got to within meters of their entrenched position and it put the fear of god into the Argentine troops. They suddenly realised what they were dealing with - and that the Paras were awash with such bravery - and their morale ebbed away. They didn't fancy it after that and surrendered even though, just minutes before, they had the British pinned down under machine gun fire.

You never quite know how much of this is apocryphal due to the mists of victory - but that's the widely told tale.

Westside 12:29 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
The Argentinians also made bad decisions, in the conflict.

They didn't target our Harriers in air to air combat (universally went after our ships, not a single Harrier lost in air to air combat). Even if the Argentinians lost say 100 aircraft, to take out our 40 odd Harriers (only 28 of which were designed for air to air combat, the Sea Harriers), they would have won.

Their aircraft also universally attacked at low level (being scared of the Sea Dart missile system) and at close range (apart from the few Exocet attacks), which meant a lot of their bombs were fused incorrectly and didn't detonate (although plenty did). And brought them within the threat envelope of other defensive systems.

They also attacked warships a lot. Should have universally gone after transport ships, troop ships, ammunition and stores ships.

They sat in their trenches and invited attacks, didn't launch any ground offensives, before our beach heads were fully established.

The entire British military at the time, was predicated on a European war with the Soviet Pact. Not a long range, amphibious assault. To plan, prepare and execute such an operation in a matter of months and win, was a truly outstanding military achievement, despite the many mistakes.

madeeasy 11:47 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War

What I liked about it was that they didn't hold back on calling people out and saying where the fuck ups where either did they.

These things are normally only the good and back slapping but these really said it how it was.

Funny as if you see those old boys walking down the high street you wouldn't think that one of them was head of the sas and headed up that invasion would you!

Pentonville 9:20 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
NS - Stolen Valour it's called and is an offence I thought?
My old man was 2 Para and was there and loves to chat about it.
He will know the uncles and friends below and visa versa and they meet evey year for piss ups

southbankbornnbred 1:53 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
Bullet - yeah, my uncle was from 2 Para out of Aldershot.

They were hard-bitten feckers. You absolutely want them alongside you in a battle - even if you're outnumbered. Ridiculously well trained. But too many of them struggled with civvy street. It's the unfortunately familiar tale...

Bullet 1:33 Tue Mar 29
Re: The Falklands War
An old school mate was in 2nd Para. I spoke with two Argies electricians in Spain 97, they brought the subject up asked me if I fought there? They fought in the Argie Army in the Malvinas, hated Thatcher and they woke up about 3am surrounded with loads of dead mates with throats cut by the Gurkha's. Discussion was getting a little heated at one point, I felt they didn't like me because I was British, understandable I suppose, thought it best being on my own and probably wouldn't go down very well to slip up and mention my mate had killed a couple of theirs at Goose Green so changed the subject to what were their plans in Spain. They showed their true colours and tried to rip me off doing some work but failed.

bruuuno 8:54 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
Sold - most ships in that environment would have marines on board regardless - that’s what they were originally intended for

Dicko75 8:28 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
My uncle was in the helicopter crash which killed 20 of his SAS colleagues.

Far Cough 8:07 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War

RBshorty 7:52 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
Ted 2:01

A lot of that had to do with Suez. Helping a allied out. And all that. It was just returning the favour.

Yeah, makes sense, the Yanks shat on us over Suez, the cunts

Crassus 8:06 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
I never knew that, but Suez, yes makes sense

RBshorty 7:52 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
Ted 2:01

A lot of that had to do with Suez. Helping a allied out. And all that. It was just returning the favour.

Toe Rag 7:50 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
If you get a chance to read it “3 Days in June” by James O’Connell.

The story of the 3 Para’s Battle for Mount Longdon in their own words.

One of the most harrowing books on war I’ve ever read.

Company by company and platoon by platoon accounts all the way through.

The book’s author had his eye and part of his face shot out in the opening seconds of the battle.

Gaffer58 7:31 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
Grumpster, sheep you say, great I’ll get me wellies!!!

Grumpster 7:19 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
Probably one of the most pointless bits of land the argies could have fought for.

Cousin was a bit young to fight there, but as a navigator in a phantom a few years after, he had to do a stint there along with another 200 odd poor bastards on a rotation and reckons it's the most bored he's ever been in his life with fuck all there except for sheep.

southbankbornnbred 3:28 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
My uncle was a para in the Falklands.

Tough as old boots soldier - basically a finely-tuned killing machine. His unit were dropped in and fought their way across challenging terrority laying waste to young, poorly-equipped Argentine soldiers. But the experience screwed him up, as war does to many folk.

I rarely asked him about his experiences: would just let him raise it. He once said they did it "because that's what we were trained - and told - to do: and we were damn good at it."

The things he saw and did? Fucking hell. I'm quite hard-bitten when it comes to my profession. But frickin' glad I never had to go to war. Those blokes are on a different level and, too often, it screws with them in later life.

Northern Sold 2:53 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
epsom 1:28 Mon Mar 28

Yup fair do's.... although as I have said as our family have found out there are many more Walter Mittys out there than true Vets (see below)... but yeah you are spot on I didn't think it through enough...


ted fenton 2:01 Mon Mar 28
Re: The Falklands War
I was 32 when all this kicked off recently married and living in Harold Wood and would have signed up without a blink it's what you do when you have raging hormones.

Away from the Falklands what I didn't know was that Harold Wilson probably saved thousands of young British men by keeping Britain out of the Vietnam War! It was probably Harold Wilson’s greatest achievement.

So says veteran Kirklees councillor Peter McBride said he was probably the only Prime Minister after World War Two to resist enormous pressure from America.

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