The Falklands , with the benefit of hindsight

ugly

LE
Moderator
I never liked you. We'll discuss this on Saturday.
To be honest it was included in the pre tour briefing, pictures and everything!
Allegedly landed near Stanley to assist with mine clearance and bogged in on the first off road it saw, must have been driven/commanded by my old Recce Pln commander, he could bog in vehicles merely by looking at them!
 
To be honest it was included in the pre tour briefing, pictures and everything!
Allegedly landed near Stanley to assist with mine clearance and bogged in on the first off road it saw, must have been driven/commanded by my old Recce Pln commander, he could bog in vehicles merely by looking at them!
Knew a Cavalry Officer who could find the bogs on Soltau and lose tanks in them - he was Blues and Royals!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Knew a Cavalry Officer who could find the bogs on Soltau and lose tanks in them - he was Blues and Royals!
Off topic dit now, I was out with the late keeper when the boss a very retired Life Gds Colonel came by on his quad. A quick chat and we drove off, Charles however couldnt start his quad and was seen trying to bump start it.
From a distance it looked like he was a jockey cropping his horse before a fence. I pointed and said look, he is still a Cav officer!
 
Remember the teeth-tail ratio...

It's all very well sending armour to the arrse end of the world, but the large number of wheeled support vehicles required to carry essentials would never have got off the beach, even if the shipping could have been found to carry them...

It is also worth remembering that the CVR(T)s ground pressure was very low so they could move across terrain considered impassable in military terms.

The RE map people produced a superb going map for the islands - the CVR(T)'s took it in their stride.
In 1981, Ordinance Survey with military support, undertook a survey of a whole lot of the island(s) in particular the area around Stanley, Port San Carlos and other settlements. The reasons why were never handed down to low life’s such as the military support, but it was obvious that the current maps we were using to navigate around the Island(s) were little better than toilet paper in their usefulness. The survey lasted around 6 weeks as I recall and was still ongoing when they sent the military home, not necessary. I have a friend who stayed on and claims to have suggested that some soil sampling at the time would have been useful if there was any plan to develop the islands further (for those who don’t know, it a standard procedure used through out the world to determine if bridges, tunnels etc can be built) clearly the need for road structures was limited but it’s also useful, to have sampling done prior to building a tarmac road for instance. The idea was file 13nd.
Whilst hindsight is great, clearly the whole Falklands campaign was build on a swamp of cluster-fook proportions, which unfortunately took a large number of British lives to sort out 9and not just those who died their but the numbers of ex-toms who have topped themselves since. And maybe if there had been a more joined up approach prior then more heavy armour could have taken part.
However as I said hindsight is a wonderful thing
On a more personal note, the tab to goose green and the marines who yomped to Stanley would have been more beneficial if we could have hitched a ride on a suitable vehicle.
 
The first failure was an intelligence failure. There were indications of potential trouble that were ignored. These included the disastrous economic situation in Argentina - dictatorships have a history of foreign adventures to distract from domestic troubles. And the Argentinian 'scrap metal dealers' that landed on South Georgia and raised the Argentinian flag two weeks before the invasion should have set off warning bells.

The Argentinian invasion was predicated on the UK not responding militarily. There was time in the two weeks to fly in a couple of Hercules loads of men and equipment (air refueled and staging through Ascension Island) plus to start a destroyer or two south and announce that a (fictional) hunter-killer submarine on patrol on the South Atlantic was now in FI waters.

The problem appears to have been mindset in both the Foreign Office and MOD - no one conceived an Argentinian invasion as possible - therefore no moves were made to deter it.

Wordsmith

(As a PS, one of my work colleagues is Argentinian. He says the economy is going to rat sh!t, they may well be going to elect the corrupt opposition party as the next government in August and he's considering moving himself and family to a neighbouring country that is better governed and with a stronger economy).
Absolutomando.

Of course people remember the war more than they do the prior failures by the U.K. governments because it saves face for the useless ones. Being a bit contentious, the Conservatives came to power 3 years prior to the war. They sorted out Rhodesia and had they wanted to they could have sent a massive message to the argies, it’s not like they weren’t aware of the ratshit problem arising. But they did nothing which simply sent the message to the junta that ‘come on in, what can I serve you today’ was the order of the day.

I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that the Foreign Office and MOD underestimated the capabilities of the Argies, there was plenty of warning from history as to what a corrupt 3rd world power would stoop to in order to gain popularity?
 
What I don't understand is how the Argentines didn't make more of their logistics advantage to turn the islands into a proper defensive zone.

I'm sure if the positions had been reversed, we'd have been well dug and wired in and prepared with enough beans and bullets to keep going for months.
The Argies sent a conscript Army, and didn’t expect any real response by the U.K. their is a film about the war from the Argies POV (don’t remember what it’s called but a bit of research should find it, I think ‘Blessed’ was part of the title). Mainly the film dealt with the crapness of the troop and the lack of leadership from Platoon Cpls upwards. Petty fook about seemed to be more important to the Argie Officers than digging in. Also their personal kit was crap and as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Goose Green and a hell of a lot of their personal Weps were not fit for service and many in dire need of an armourer. One prisoner was found to have 5 grenades none of which had been primed. There were more than a few of us who inwardly felt sorry for the saps even if nothing was said out loud.

Edited to add;
Blessed by Fire (Spanish: Iluminados por el fuego) (2005) I think you can buy a copy either through Amazon or EBay maybe using the US sites? The copy I saw had English sub-titles.
 
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Surely the Falklands is mostly peat - so the 432s and Abbots would have sunk into the ground and become stationary? The CVRTs were not very heavy in comparison.

They would have had to have been shipped there, as would all the supplies, ammunition, support equipment, so it would still have depended on the RN winning the fight against the Argentine Navy (including their aircraft) and Argentine Air Force?

Could we have found extra merchant ships to take up from trade?
The ships are not the problem, its unloading them that is the problem.
 
@Robme, there is no bloody way we would have been using heavy armour in the Falklands. There are the issues of sea carriage capacity before you even get there, and then the total unsuitability of heavy armour to the terrain. CVR(T) was as good as it was going to get.

As to hitching a lift, where people could they did - whether that be in the scarce rotary assets, or (variously) in trailers pulled by locals' tractors, in the Marines' BV 202s, or on the engine decks of the CVR(T)s.
 
Absolutomando.

Of course people remember the war more than they do the prior failures by the U.K. governments because it saves face for the useless ones. Being a bit contentious, the Conservatives came to power 3 years prior to the war. They sorted out Rhodesia and had they wanted to they could have sent a massive message to the argies, it’s not like they weren’t aware of the ratshit problem arising. But they did nothing which simply sent the message to the junta that ‘come on in, what can I serve you today’ was the order of the day.

I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that the Foreign Office and MOD underestimated the capabilities of the Argies, there was plenty of warning from history as to what a corrupt 3rd world power would stoop to in order to gain popularity?
It was far worse than that … Nicholas Ridley , the Foreign Office minister responsible for Latin America , told a packed gathering of Falklanders with Argentines present , that if Argentina invaded , they were on their own .
That was it , straight on the 'phone to Buenos Aires " The Brits don't want to know "
The Foreign Office had been trying to get rid of the Falklands for years and the only thing stopping them was the Islanders . In 1973 , they very nearly signed a deal with Peron , but he karked it that week , and in the chaos of the guerrilla war that followed his wife Isabel's assumption , the talks stalled .
 

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