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A Companion to the Falklands War

Gregory Freemont Barnes
This book has taken me a little while to read and review, not in any way because it is a poor book, but simply because the book contains so much information, and so many cross references that I found myself re reading sections and then going backwards and forwards to correlate the various battles

Before the Falklands war my only memory was of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's great ship lying in the bay, so at least I had a clue as to how far away it was

When the War was in its infancy, I recall radio programmes and newspaper articles about Argentine activity in the Whaling Station and then the raising of the Argentine flag;
followed by consternation and surprise when they invaded. Of course many of my contemporaries were unsure at to exactly where the Falklands was located; I then noticed that some family members were out of reach and a few friends were suddenly unavailable for various functions; that's when I knew that it was likely to Involve British Forces defending the Islands

The attention to detail is stunning, having read quite a few books on the Falklands War, although mainly from personnel involved, I thought that I had a reasonable understanding of the various regiments, planning and infrastructure involved.

It is a Compendium of the Falklands war in an A to Z format, starting with a synopsis of the invasion, and Operation Corporate followed by a Chronology of Events and then full page maps of the Islands, their locations to the mainland and maps of the individual battles.

Now this book gives a wonderful overview of the planning involved in the War, it reminds me of the planning involved in Operation Dynamo. I had not realised exactly how many ships had to be brought in from trade and converted for military use, some of them relatively small ships but with specialist crews and equipment. Nor had I realised that the Great White Whale had her pools drained and helicopter landing pads installed on top of them, nor how quickly she was requisitioned and her passengers offloaded. (The Senior Service does organisation better than anyone).

The book is laid out alphabetically and with many colour and black and white photographs, some of which are now recognised all over the world. The book also lists the Regiments and staff involved, the route taken to the Islands, and the various actions that they were involved in; the orders they were given and their sad losses.

Listed too are the different aircraft types and specifications involved in the war, their actions and any subsequent loss; plus all armoured fighting vehicles.

I also checked to see if THAT rifle was listed, it is under Infantry weapons! Even the Klepper Canoe is mentioned, I had not realised that they were of any use down there.

There are many stories in here that were not common knowledge to those of us outside the military and regiments involved, plus a few names that are now among the most respected of men

This book makes a great companion to the personal stories from men that fought there, and allows you to trace their timeline and story and how it interfaces with other troops as well as the enemy.

A well researched and accurate book about the Falklands War

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