Does anyone remember reading? Or even better, was anyone there when....

Discussion in 'Falkland Islands (Op CORPORATE)' started by Selfpreservationsociety, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. I'm writing something on the role of Combat Arms Intelligence and I was wondering if someone could remember reading what I have but can remember where they read it.

    Its a paragraph in a book describing the scramble from infantry units to find out 'stuff' about the falklands prior to the task force sailing. Apparently Encyclopeidia Britanica got heavily employed, the paras or the SAS then effectively absconded with the son of a Falkland island govenor (or former govenor), who was at RMAS at the time. And the booties pressed into service a major who had done a lot of sailing down there. My best guess would be that I read it in De La Billiere's "Looking For Trouble" or Max Hasting's book on the battle for the Falkland islands. Currently, I'm dislocated from my books and so can't check.

  2. LtCol Ewan Southby-Tailyour RM was particularly useful to 3 Cdo Bde as he had command of NP 8901 the FI RM Det and had sailed extensively in the area and made numerous charts etc.
    See his wiki entry for a quick overview.
    Ewen Southby-Tailyour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. The chap who "had done a lot of sailing down there" was Ewan Southby-Tailyour. He was OC Naval Party in 1978 and in his own time, sailed around the islands taking notes. Those unofficial jottings played a crucial part in the decision regarding the choice of beach heads in 1982.

    He was a bit of a character, refusing to hand over his notes until he was given some sort of role in the '82 invasion, and was subsequently sent down there as a 'navigational advisor' and was OC Task Force landing craft.

    Yachtsman of the year 1982 and he was awarded an OBE for his work during the Falklands conflict.

    Edit: Sorry Pitswamper, you type faster than me...:)
  4. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    I think I remember similar paragraphs from several sources where they would raid the garrison schools and libraries for maps and climate data, vince bramley has it his book how the troops searched everywhere as nothing was coming down the chain.

    IIRC it was the navy who press ganged the sailor for suitable landing points, shallowing beaches and sheltered bays as he had sailed all around the islands previously they just relied on old data on stanley where they used to refit, the marines had enough experience on the camp to pass on but the army had nothing. sbs would have drawn on the marines and passed it on to the sas. the british antartic survey supplied a lot of information and mapping. the FY company updated a lot of the maps ground and population information.

    I assume chile would have provided some data going by their involvement.

    interesting to read that we did have a nimrod down there (which is isn't mentioned elsewhere) that flew out of chile for coms between chile and the fleet.
  5. I was 5 Inf Bde Int Section when it all kicked off.

    We were initially sent some material from the MoD about the Islands but it was fairly sparse. We began to collect our own reference material from the following sources:

    Various encyclopedieas etc
    We checked local libraries (Farnborough and Aldershot), plus the reference libraries at Prince Consorts Military Library and RAE Farnborough
    We visited the British Antarctic Survey HQ at Cambridge and spoke to people there who has worked in the area. They also supplied us with maps and climate data etc.

    The RE (can't remember which unit) provided us with an excellent "going" map which was partially based on material from the RM IIRC.

    We did similar research into the Argentine military and came up with our own int which it later turned out was considerably better than the stuff supplied by the MoD at the start.

    Once the material had been collated the Bde IO and myself began a briefing schedule for each of the major units covering the situation, the Islands (weather, terrain etc) and enemy forces. I remember briefing HQ 2 Para, 3 Para, 1WG, probably the officers from 1/7 GR, and various smaller units prior to departure.

    On the way south the briefings were modified according to new reports and research and the briefings continued on the QE2.

    Hope this helps.

  6. I think the RE unit would have been 8 Map and Chart Depot.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I read that in DLB's autobiog.
  8. Sorry, my copy of Max Hastings' book went to the charity shop only last week!

    A couple of other thoughts; Ordnance Survey obviously could have been helpful with maps. Possibly also the British Geological Survey? Their maps are usually on an OS or equivalent quality base plan.

    There was also the UK-based Falkland Islands Company. Haven't seen much written about that, but I think it had a near monopoly on trade and communications with the Islands, so should have had information on what was where.
  9. how about Middlebrooke's two books? The Battle for the Falklands (us) and for the Malvinas (both sides). The man's a twat but does good research.
  10. My memory's going, there's also one called Razor's Edge by an Anglo-Argie that's good for high-level stuff.
  11. This has been around for years and is well worth reading, especially the last paragraph, possibly some of the most important information we got.