Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Yokel, Apr 11, 2009.

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  1. In 1986, the BBC's Horizon programme made a documentry about the lessons of the various Argentine air attacks against RN ships during the Falklands War. It was only this week I found it on YouTube.

    In The Wake Of HMS Sheffield

    The link takes you to the first of six parts, the rest are linked in the normal YouTube way.

    My original ambition (from school age) intention was to become a Weapon Engineer Officer in the RN (didn't get past the AIB, then failed a Tiff entry then ended up as a Reservist doing something completely different) so it is of huge interest to me. Some of this stuff (lobe pecking, seduction mode chaff) was stuff I got taught as a Electronics/Communications Engineering student - an ex RN Lt Cdr taught Radar and Navigation which included some basic study of Electronic Warfare. The ship shown being designed is the Type 23 Frigate, the backbone of our frigate force. The decoy called Siren in the programme was not to come into service just a few years ago - here it is.

    It's also worth thinking about which lessons were understood by no action was taken, or the lessons forgotten or ignored for reasons of saving money. Note the comments about the Sea Harrier - without which we would have lost the war. The limitations demonstrated in 1982 would lead to the upgraded FA2 version, yet now we have none, and no replacement until F35 comes along. This is why I and many others discussed this issue at huge length on the PPRuNe Sea Jet thread. I don't want us to lose ships needlessly - but I suspect we might. At least a few Sea Harriers were kept in RN hands and are used for training purposes - see here. In theory at least, they could be regenerated.

    I think the key lesson here, for all three services, is to expect the unexpected. It will be a real shock when UK forces once again face an enemy with a credible air and maritime capability. Losing air dominance will have huge affects on land operations - those Chinooks are going to be easy meat for even a few old MiGs. What happens if the ship carrying half the armoured vehicles to a certain place has been sunk?

    It is interesting how technologies such as Digital Signal Procesing have advanced since the early eighties (which would have made a substantial difference), and you could speculate on all sorts of what ifs - what if the Corporate task force had had more Sea Wolf armed frigates, or if the AEW Sea Kings had been present during the war?

    All in all, one of the most interesting things I've found on YouTube.
  2. Another interesting find - World War 3 - The Movie

    A coup puts old guard types into the Kermlin in 1989, then a dispute over Berlin escalates into a crisis, NATO wins the Battle for sea control in the Atlantic, then fighting in Germany starts which NATO just manages to win, then the paranoid leaders in Kremlin decide to go nuclear.

    The war starts in part 5. The land combat starts in part 7.
  3. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    The day the Sheffield went down I was on exercise / live range firing in Denmark.

    The day the white flag flew over Stanley, I was commanding a CVR(T) on my last exercise in BAOR with 15/19H. A seven-year resettlement course (I mean transfer to the RAPC) ensured that when I left, I walked into a decent job.

    Years later I was sat in a meeting / lecture / training / something when the presenter started rabbiting on about the Sheffield. He asserted that Sheffield's defensive systems, entirely designed to fight the Commies in the NORTH Atlantic, were explicitly unsuitable for Exocet defence, because it was assumed that Exocets would be on our side.

    At the moment the Exocet hit the Sheffield, she was transmitting her daily SitRep back to London by telex on the same frequency as the Exocet's radar, with the result that Sheffield didn't electronically see it coming until it was far too late to do anything.
  4. Actually there was a bit more to it than that. But you are right that we lacked weapons to deal with sea skimming missiles as the Soviets had none of them at the time. Also, even if she had detected the incoming missile she may not have survived.
  5. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Well that's my morning's work out of the window. Good job I am "working" at home. I would have hated to have the office wonder if there was dust in my eye. It all started when an English mother said, "I have a son in West Germany."

    Wasn't life wonderful when we were young and immortal?
  6. I know it's off topic, but this sounds like a movie rewrite of "The Third Word War August 1985", General Sir John Hackett.
  7. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Yes. Basically ZDF had the notion of putting lots of newsreel etc together and make it into the story, pretty much, of how we all expected it to go if it happened. I guess their having lots of recent "tear down the wall" footage made a good starting point.

    Added: except that Hackett had to make up a premise for kicking off and used the failed harvest scenario, whereas ZDF had "tear down the wall" on a plate.
  8. In the vein of third world war by General Hackett, may I suggest Clancy's Red Storm Rising - WW3 tastic.
  9. How realistic do you think it was? BTW the original video (about the lessons of the Falklands) is not entirely unrelated.
  10. This guy sounds like he would have happily taken the world down that road.

    General Valentin Varennikov

    In August 1991, as the Soviet Union began to break up, Varennikov was one of 12 plotters who, in a bungled three-day operation, tried to oust President Mikhail Gorbachev by holding him under house arrest at his dacha on the Black Sea. The coup failed when the army refused to put down street demonstrations in support of Boris Yeltsin, who rallied opposition to the plotters and subsequently became president.

    Did the world have a close shave?

    BTW all the WW3 books you mention include naval engagements, which makes my original post (and the video lnk it contains) as relevent.
  11. Nobody ever did comment on how realistic or otherwise it was....
  12. I'm led to believe that's because there was a shortage of ammo stockpiles in European countries during the Cold war . If hostilities did break out the Americans would need to bring in ammo on huge naval convoys
  13. Exercise Able Archer in 1983 allegedly came close to starting an intercontinental thermo-nuclear misunderstanding.
  14. Any other good finds from YouTube?
  15. Actually, I think Hackett's book had the Soviets winning the war but the publisher wouldn't print it so he had to change the ending.