Diego Garcia Quiroga served as a lieutenant in the Argentinean Navy and the role of his team was to make a landing at Port Stanley ahead of the main Argentinean invasion force. Their mission, apparently, was to capture the Governor and remove him to Montevideo in Uruguay. Diego was wounded in the attack on the Governor’s house and took no further part in the campaign, having been evacuated to the Argentine mainland where he was not fully recovered until after the Islands were recovered by the British forces. He later served as an instructor and then as Commandant at the Argentine Naval Academy. Since retiring from the Navy in 2000 he has moved to Norway and now lives in Oslo with his Norwegian wife, where he has enjoyed some success as an author.
- Diego Garcia Quiroga
This book is described as a series of interconnected stories of the Falklands war but I feel it is really about life in Argentina in tales which encompass the author’s team of specialists. As the book was originally published in Spanish the author has written a foreword for this English edition in which he provides what is essentially a potted history of that country in which it is claimed that Argentina has always had first claim to the Falkland Islands. Although the stories are fiction they all relate to facts though some ‘artist licence’ has been used and it seems that the Argentine view regarding the Falkland Islands is upheld.
The stories are really more like chapters but do not necessarily run in chronological order, tending to revolve around the lives of a team of combat divers in the Argentine Naval Special Forces, with the earlier stories describing experiences before and during the Falklands conflict. These encompass the team, regular Argentine army and the British forces.
The earlier lives of some of the team are described together with an explanation of the policing methods involved in those times as a reaction to what was regarded as the threat of some political factions which existed. As the stories progress, each member is woven into the general fabric of the book, their whereabouts and what has happened to them since the Falkland Islands conflict. This also includes those whose lives were affected by the team in some way. Eventually all the main characters are brought together to be included in a plan, thought out by a couple of them, which is intended to provide a partial solution, from a human level, to the problem which Argentina sees as being unresolved.
The book provides an insight into what might have happened to some of those involved in the conflict and is a reflection on the way in which different people respond to the post traumatic stress disorder caused by events of earlier years.
In some ways the subtitle of the book is a trifle misleading and until it is read it would be reasonable to assume it was about things that happened during the invasion by the Argentine forces and the subsequent recapture by the British forces. Translation from Spanish to English has left the texture of the text very slightly disconcerting for me but the author has gone to great pains to ensure that explanations are made wherever necessary. The content is informative and interesting but a slight nationalistic and political aspect can be interpreted from the way in which the introduction and stories are written.