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Descripción: The battle of San Carlos water.
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THE RRl’I‘ISI I INFANTRY IN THE FRLKLANDS CONFLICT: LI:.SSONS OF THE LIGHT INFANTRY IN 1982 AND ‘l’IIl:1R R:l.I:VAN<:E TO THE BRlTISII ARMY Al‘ ‘I‘1IL ‘I‘lJRN OF THE CENTllRY
A thesis presented to the faculty ofthe U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements I‘or the clegrce MASl‘liR
01: MILIl ARY ART AND SCIENCI: Gcncral Studies
by ANDREW M. I’IJLLAN. MAJ, IJK
Fort Lcavcnworth. Kansas 1999
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
MAS’I‘ER OF MII.ITARY ‘II HIS
ART AND SCIENCE
Name of Candidate: MAJ Andrew M. l’ullan Thesis ‘l‘itlc: ‘l‘hc ISritish Infantry in the ~:alklands Conflict: I .cssons of the I.ight Infantry in 19X2 and ‘Their Relevance to the British Army al the ‘Turn of the Century
Approved by: .., ‘l’hcsis Committee Chairman
Accepted this 4th day of June 1999 by:
(Director, Graduate Dcgrec Programs The opinions and conclusions expressed hcrcin arc those ol’the student author and do not necessarily reprcscnt the views ofthc U.S. Army Command and (ieneral Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to this study should include the foregoing statement.)
INITIAL L~ISTRlBlJ’l’ION LIST .........................................................
‘I hc Falklands, South Georgia and Soufh Sandwich isiands ........................
I&t and West Falkland ..................................................................
South Georgia .............................................................................
I listory of the Falklands .................................................................
Operation Sutton and the Hrcakout from the Reachhcad
RattIc for Stanley -- I’hasc I ............................................................
Rattle for Stanley -- Phase 2 & 3 ......................................................
Marching: A Strategic Issue ............................................................
‘fhe Relationship Rctwcen Identified Key Factors in the I:alklands ...............
The lnflucnce of Key Factors and Modifying Factors on t!nit Capability ........
‘rhc Organization of the Infantry in the British Army, March 1999 ...............
‘l’ablc I, Summary of Main Lessons and Sub Lessons
CIIAPTER I 1‘IIESIS OVERVI~.W On 2 April 19X2Argentinean forces invaded the Falkland Islands.Three days after the . . _^ . invasion, H&LYiiernes and 111%4S fnvincihie icft the United Kingdom to head what was to bc the largest task force in recent history. On 25 April the task force repossessedSouth Georgia. On the night of20/21 May the first major landing on the Falkland Islands was made at San Carlos Water. In the actions that followed there were inevitable set backs and casualtics.Nevertheless,,just over three weeks after the landing the Argentinean forces surrendered.It was by any standardsa brilliant campaign,marked by exceptional logistics planning and improvisation, anclcarried through with outstanding skill and li)rtitudc.’ Ministry of’Defense,?‘hel~ulkluntls Wart The I,essons Keep your hands off lhe Regimcnls,you iconoclasticcivilians who meddle and muddle in Army matters; you are not soldiersand you do 1101understandthem.2 I:ield Marshal Viscount Wolseley, Se Story of a Soldier’s I-!/i Problem -‘l‘hc 19x2 Falklands Conflict descendedupon Britain out of a seemingly “clear blue diplomatic sky.” catching the Armed Forcesof the IJnited Kingdom off guard. Dcspitc this. within three days a Royal Navy task force was steatningsouth preparedto dispute the Argentinean invasion, by force if necessary.Mobilized in direct support 01 this operation were thirty thousandservicemenand women and I08 ships. Included in this packagewere two light intiiilry brigades:5 Infantry ljrigdde (5 Inf Hde) and 3 Commando 13rigadc(3 Cdo Bdc). In total, these two brigadescomprisedof five Army infantry battalions and three Royal Marine commandos(defined later). Of concern to this thesis are the lessonslearnedby the Army’s live infantry battalions,and the cominued relevance of these Icssonsto the British Army at the turn of’the century.
A brief survey of history tells us that, for the British Army, being caught unpreparedis nothing new. nor has such a pattern ofcvcnts changed in the intervening years since the l~alklandsConllict. ‘l‘hc most recent cxamplc of this being Kosovo in 1999. with the imminent dcploymcnt ofcight thousandsoldiers to the borders of Serbia increasingthe proportion ofsoldicrs WI operationsIO 27 percent of the recruited strength ofthc Army.’ This figure takes no accountofthosc preparing to deploy or those who havcjust returned from operations.It is fair to conclude from this that the British Army is over committed. I:urthcrmore,all the opcrntionsare, currently. pcacc support tasks.all 01 which are a distraction to the preparation01 the Army for its pcrccived primary role -high intensity warlighting. Nowevcr, the root causeof the Army’s plight is not the commitment level to operations,which is the Army’s raison d’etre. but the heavy-handedcut backs in the size oithc Army following the end of the (:old War. ‘Therush to cash in on an apparent pcacc dividend has left the Army under rcsourccdand under strength. This, despite all the warning signs that the demiseof‘the Soviet 1Jninnwould lcave a power vacuum into which chaoswould, and did, step. Symptomaticofthc changesin the British Army is the infantry. By the end of 1998 the Hritish Army had reducedby one third. with infantry battalions being cut in number from fitly-eight to forty. ‘I‘hc key planning assumptiondriving rcstructuriny was that a major war or operation requiring a substantialnational commitment would be recognizedwith months il’not years in which to react. Consequently, not only has the Army reduced in size but readinesstimes and training levels have also been cut. The inkmtry, as all regular units, now operateon a method of graduated readiness.That is, a 2
small proportion of infantry battalionsare al a high state ofrcadiness (between two and five days notice IO move), a higher proporlion are at a medium state of readiness(ten lo twenty days) and the majority arc at the lower state of readiness(thirty days). Those infantry units at thirty days notice to mnve are rcsourcedlo conduct little (if any) cnllcctivc training with the other arms and services.‘Theinfantry, therefore, camlot afford to squanderits limited training opportunities. However, with such a high proportion of the Army deployedon peacesupport operationsone wonders if the policy of graduated rcadincssremainsa viable method of preparing an army for warlighting or whether it simply scrvcsas an impedimentto unit preparation.llnl’ortunately, answering this specific question lies nutsidc of the scopeof this thesis. Purposeand Sconeof the Study The FalklandsConflict representsthe last time that the British infantry, specifically the light inl’aniry, fought in pitched battle. The purpose of this study is tn reevaluatethe lessonsof the FalklandsConflict and consider their continued relevanceto the British Infmtry. The scopeof this study is the three week ground campaign in which six battlcs wcrc fought. II is from the approachto and conduct ofthese battles that the main lessonsfor the British Infantry will be sought. As such, the primary question for this thesis is: Are the lessonsof the infantry from the E’alklandsConflict relevant to the British Infantry at the turn of the twentieth century? ‘Therearc two subordinate questions that support this primary question: (I ) “What lessonsdid the British infantry learn from the FalklandsConflict?” and (2) “Are these lessonsstill relevant?’A study of the Falklands Conflict, a limited-war conductedby light inf&ntry, may help determine, in purr,
those factorsthat are essentialto infantry successon the battlefield. 3
‘This thesis will not comment upon the immediatepolitical eventssurroundingthe conflict nor makejudgments as to the moral rights and wrongs of the British and Argentinean posilion in the Falklands. When determining the lessonsof the conllict, that is answering the first subordinate question, the focus will hc on the lessonsas regardsthe light infantry. I Iowever, on a broader scale all these Icssonsarc applicable to all the infantry of the British 4rmy. For the purposesofthis thesisthe following aspectsof the ground campaign are not considered in any detail: the initial defenseofthe islands: SpecialBoat Service (SBS) operations, Special Air Service(SAS) opcmtions, or the recapturing of South Georgia. ‘I‘hc Infantry ‘Thelirst brigade to deploy lo the Falklands was 3 Cdo Brigade, which comprised of40.42 and 45 Commando (Cdo)?2nd Ilattalion the ParachuteRegiment (2 PARA), and 3rd Hattalion I’arachutc Regiment (3 I’ARA), under the command of Brigadier Julian ‘I‘hompson.Five Inf Bde arrived in the Falklands some nine days after 3 Cdo Hde. This Brigade comprised of the 2nd Rtlttalion Scats Guards(Scats Guards), I SI Battalion Welsh Guards (Welsh Guards), and 1st Battalion 7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles (7 GR), under the command of Brigadier Tony Wilson. With the arrival of 5 Inf I3dc in the arca ofopcrations, a divisional headquarterswas establishedunder the commandof Mqjor General Jeremy Moore. The three Royal Marine commandoscommitted to the Falklands Conflict were similar in size, organization, and basic equipment to their infantry counterpartin the Army. However, being part of the Royal Navy, they were, and are, outside of the everyday running of the British infantry and are resourccdto select and train their 4
soldiers for missions that are outside of the standardinfantry requirement. Becauseof this they are not a major considerationin this thesis. In the author’s opinion, the battalionsof the ParachuteRegiment and the commandounits of the Royal Marine’s rcprcsentthe elite light infantry of the Armed Forces. Without the commitment of theseunits at the ctlrly stagesof the Falklands Conflict it is doubtful if the ground campaign would have been such a remarkable success. The infantry from the Army that deployed to the 1;alklandsoperatedin the light role, although of the infantry that deployed only the parachutebattalions anclQurkhas were dedicated light infantry. The two Guards battalions,akin with the rest of the infantry, arms plot between various roles, including armored infantry, mechanized infantry and light infantry. The role of light infantry has many guises,including airmobile infantry, public duties (which includes ccrcmonial guard duty at Buckingham Palaceand Windsor Castle, and providing the guard for state occasions),overseasgarrisons,resident infantry in Northern Ireland, and so on. The processof arms plotling is the moving 01 units from basesand between roles every two to six years.As an example, over a period of twenty years a battalion can expect to be basedin about tight different locations (overseasand in the Ilnited Kingdom) and have been in tight different roles. During this time a battalion will be called upon to do several six month operational tours to Bosnia, Northern Ireland, or wherever there is a requirement.The exception to the arms plotting processis the parachuterole, which is only conducted by the three battalionsof the ParachuteRegiment (there are currently two in role parachutebattalions). The out of role parachutebattalion is normally serving two years in Northern Ireland.
I)espile their diI’fcrcn1roles, the organization of 1hefive Army batlalions was broadly similar. Each haltalion had five companies,three in the rillc role (although bo1h parachu1cbatlalions had one of thesecompanysdouble taskedas a patrol company). one headquarterscompany (responsiblefor administrationand logistics) and one support weaponscompany. All support weaponscompanieshad an 8 I millimeter mortar (8 I mm monar) platoon and a Milan anti-lank platoon, the carriageof whose ammunition proved u major tes1oL’improvisationand toughnessduring the conflict. Irach ol‘thc ritlc companieshad three platoons,each platoon having three sections of‘cighl men (as a general rule). Sectionswere themselvesdivided into two four-man lirc teams. In command of each section. ideally, was a corporal with a lance-corporal as the secondin command. In command of eachplatoon. ideally. was an officer (lieutenant OI secondlieu1cnant)with a sergeantas the platoon secondin command. Majors commandedthe rillc cornpanicsand were servedhy a small headquarlers.usuully consisting of a captain (secondin command),a sergeantmajor, a color sergeant (responsiblefor administra1ion).a couple of signalersand a couple of storemen. Marc men could be added to the company headquartersas required, although at the cxpcnse of the rillc platoons or anolher company in the battalion. Platoonswcrc armed with (approximately)1wclve66 millimeter light antitank weapons(G6mm I.AW), one X4 millimeter medium antitank weapon (Carl Gustav), and a 2-inch mortar to provide local illumination and smoke. Each section had one gcncralpurposemachine gun (CiI’M(i), with the remainderof the section urmed with the 7.62 rim
sclf-loading rille (SLK). The GI’MG was also used in the sustained fire role, which
resulted in a ma.jorlogistics and portability burden for the in~mtry. Most soldiers carried 6
OIICor twn high explosive (IK) or phosphorousgrenades.Radio commmiications went
down IO lirc team level using a new radio systemthat had been distributed to the battalionsjust before deployment. ‘l‘hc other arms and servicessupportedthe infimtry that fought in the Falklands, lo some clcgreeor other, in what is ternled combined arms operalions. This term is delincd as “the synchroniycd or simultaneousapplication of several arms, such as infantry, armor. artillery, engineers,air defense,and aviation, to achieve an effect on the enemy that is greaterthan if each ami was usedagainst the enemy in scquencc.“”As the Falklands proved. combined arms operationsare important to the successof the infantry battle. Ilowcver, its successfulapplication rcquircs intensive training, preferably on a liequcnt hasis, in order to avoid skill fade. Thesis Outline This thesis will bc divided into five chapters.Chapter 2 provides an overview of the I:alklands Conflict to help place the lessonslater described in some form of conLex1. Included in this chapter is a brief description of the islands’terrain and climate, an annotatedchronology and a short description of the ground campaign. The infantry lessonsof the conflict are identified in chapters 3 and 4, thcrehy answcriny the lirst subordinatequestion. Chapter 3 focusesupon those lessonsthat can bc identified from official sourcesand the writings of those who participaled in the conflict. Chapter4 will describethose lessonsidentified by an analysis ofall the available information on the conflict. As such, the Icssonsdescribedin chapter 3 reflccl the perceivedwisdom of the lessonslcarncd from the conflict, and the lessonsin chapter 4 are lessonsunique to this thesis. 7
Chapter 5, the concluding chapter, considersthe lesso~lsfrom the preceding chaptersand describesthe root causesol‘lhe identified in~mtry lessons.‘I’hc rclcvancc 01 these lessonsto ~hcBritish Army at the turn oi‘thc twentieth century is then discussed. thcrchy answeringthe secondsubordinate question and the primary question. ‘Ministry ol’lkfensc. The Falkland~ WW: The 1xsson.s(London: I ler Majesty’s StationeryOllice, Dcccmbcr 1982). 5 - 0. *Peter(i. ‘l‘souras~Wurri0r.s Words: .4 Dictionar~~ c~/‘Mi/i/ur~~ L)uotarions (I .ondon: Arms and Amiour Press, 1992): 35X. ‘Ministry oflkfcnsc, Soldier IO Soldier: Overs!re/ch und /he ~Jnplunnuhle in Soldier: :Mugazine ctf’/he l3rirish Army (Andover: St lvcs Ltd., March 1999), 3. “U.S. Department of the Army, FM 101-S I, Opera/ionul 7bwzs und Graphics (Washington,DC: IJ.S. Government Printing Office, IS Scptcmber 1997).1-32.
TIIE FAI.KI.AND ISlANDS: THEIR HISTOKY AND AN OVIXVIEW 01: ‘I‘Hli 1982 CONFLIC’I‘ ‘l‘he mosl detestableplace I was ever at in my life your eye.’
.one wild heath wherever you turn
Lieutenant Thomas Coleman, Wcrrin the Fdklunds
‘l’he 1982 FalklandsConllict was fought over the issue ofthe sovereignty ofthc I;alklands Islands,South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands. ‘I‘ogether, thesethree island groups form the I~alklanclIslands Dependencies(lig. I). What follows is a description of the islands,an overview of the history of the Falklands, an annotated chronology ofcvcnts, and a bricfdcscription of the land campaign,
I:igure 1. ‘l‘hc Falklands,South Georgia, and South Sandwich Islands 9
Islands The I:alkland Islands lie some eight thousand miles from IMain and three
hundred milts from the caskcoast of Argentina and arc the only ma,jorisland group in rhc Saudi Atlantic. They consist (as sho~vnin fig. 2) ol‘t\hn main islands, T:asland West Falkland.and more than one hundred smaller ones, which in total cover 4,700 square milts in area (approximately two-thirds the sbc of Wales). Falkland Sound, a narro\\ strip of water, separatesICastand West I:alkland. All the Islands arc mainly moorland and tree&.
On East and West I~alklandthere are several low mountains,the highest being Mount Ushorne which standsat 2,3 I2 feet. Although more akin to moorland hills than mountains,their slonc runs, craggy tops, and ubiquitous peat bogs make them formidahlc terrain for heavily laden infantry to move and tight over. Easy to defend, most ot’the infantry fighting was to take place on these fcaturcs. l‘hc climate of the islands is cool and damp. It is frequently cloudy, although there is little rainfall (annual averageis twenty-five inches).The winds blow strong and often. with a mean annual speedofscventeen knots. Mean monthly temperaturesvary from forty-nine degreesFahrcnhcicin January (summer) to thirty-six degreesFahrenheitin July (winter). During the period ofthe land campaign the temperatureshoveredaround or fell below freezing. In sum, the Falklands climate is tempcratc.The Iatc autumn and winter months arc rarely severebut are unpleasant:the constantwind, damp, cold, and lack ofsheltcr will slowly debilitate a well-equipped and motivated prol&sional soldier. ‘l‘hc ill-equipped or inadequacclytrained and poorly motivated soldier will struggle CO survive in such conditions, let alone remain combat effective. As a rule, during the campaign,once a man was wet hc stayed wet; the hcst that could hc achieved was a state of’darnpncss.Most men’s feet never dried and many men suffered from trench foot. ‘Thetotal population of the Falklands at the 1980 censuswas 1,X I3.* III 19X2,just over one thousandpeople lived in the capital, Stanley,the only town on the Falklands. The remainderofchc population was dispersedthroughout the islands in small scttlemencs,collectively referred to as the “camp” (coming from the Spanishword crrtnpnna,meaning an open grasslandprairie). The largestsettlementand the sccncofthc tirst land battle, was Goose Green, with a population ofapproximately one hundred. I1
Outside of Stanley there was no road network; tracksdid exist hut were little
than sheepruns or wheel ruts in the peat. ‘l‘hc absenceof a road network meant that, once ashore:all supplies and casualtieswere carried cm the hacks ofmcn or Ilown hy the overtaxed and small hclicoptcr ibrce.” Significant logistics drag was incvitablc given thcsc conditions. ‘I’hc rate of advancewas determinedby the speedat which the in&try marched and the time required to drag up more supplies. Some ol’the settlementshad an airstrip: the majority ofwhich were nothing more than clcarcclfields. These would bc usccl by the Argentineansfor their close support aircraft but were ol‘little value to the IWish, cxcepcas a target. An airport was located at StanIcy and at the time ofthc conflict was capableoftaking civilian medium-hauljcts: hut not military jets unlessthe runway was Icngthened.‘l‘hc Argentineans used Stanley airport until the day or surrcndcr. Most of’thc lslandcrs were of British extraction and regardedthcmsclvcsas British. The main industry was sheep18rming.although due to poor pasturethe sheep population was calculated in acresper sheeprather than sheepper acre. In 19X0.exports CO Britain of wool and
hides totaled 2.X million pounds”and imports of food.
manufactured goods, timber and machinery (from South America and Britain) wcrc valued at two million pounds.’In local waters there was abundantsea life, but there was no significant fishing industry basedfrom the islands.Prior IO the conflict the second largest source of income was the philatclic industry. which receivccla major boost after hostilities due to increaseddemand from an awakenedinternational community to the existence of the islands.
Over all this ruled the Governor, appointedby the British Foreign Ofticc who headeda local government basedupon an Executive Council and a Legislative Council. In 19X1-X2 this local governmentbalancedpublic revcnuc and expenditure at around 2.4 million pounds.”‘l‘he governmentalso administeredthe two dcpcndencicsof South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Figure 3. South Georgia
South Georgia is a long thin island measuringone hundred miles by an average01 twenty miles, and lies nine hundred miles east-southeastofthc Falklands (fig. 3). It is completely mountainous,covered with glaciersand is gripped by fierce cold. The highest mountain is Mount Pagetstanding at 9,625 feet. Conditions throughout the year are near Antarctic, with soldiering being more a battle againstthe elementsthan against any !3
cncmy. ‘Theonly regular population of the island was the twenty or so staff of the Uritish Antarctic Survey hascd at King Edward Point near ihc old whaling station at (irytviken. ‘fhc manning of the scientilic researchstation from 1909 has provided a continuous British presenceon the island, allowing Britain to cxercisc de,~~c/osovereignty. Ilowevcr, it was an Argentinean whaling company that establishedthe lirst scttlemcnt in 1904.although this closed down after a few years. The South Sandwich Islands start 350 miles to the southeastof South Georgia and cxtcnd for a further 150 miles down to South ‘I‘hulc. The Antarctic climate of the islands rendersthem, by all reasonablestandards,uninhabitable. Although claimed by Aritain in 177.5no pcrmancnt I3ritish presencewas ever cstablishcd.The Argentineansclaimed sovereigntyofthe islands in 194X.and in 1976 establisheda small baseon Cook Island, in the Thulc Group. For the next six years the Argentineans claimed de facto sovereignty over an arca claimed by Britain. ‘The13ritishdid not reclaim Cook Island until live days after the surrenderofthe Argentineans on the Falklands Islands. ! !istorv ofthe.Jalklands Islands To understandthe Falklands dispute and why a conflict should be fought over the islandsrequiresa lengthy trek through history. The acceptedstarting point is the 1494 ‘I‘reatyof Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal. The treaty divided the world, known or otherwise,between Spain and Portugal by drawing a demarcation line from pole to pole through a point 1,200 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Spain held the territory to the west of the lint, including the undiscoveredFalklands Islands, and Portugal the territory to the east.
The Dutch Captain Sebald DC Wcert was the first to plot someof the islands01 the Falklandsgroup when he recorded them on the Dutch maps of the early seventeenth century. The first man to set foot on the t:alklands was the English Captain John Strong in 1690.Staying only briefly, hc named Falkland Sound after I.ord Falkland of the Admiralty. The first to make use ofthc resourcesof’the islands were French seal hunters from Brittany who made regular trips to the islands from 169X.They named these hunting grounds Its Iles Malounines after their homeport of St. Malo. llnder the 1713 ‘l’reaty of Utrecht (signatories included Britain and France): Spain’s control of its lerritories in South America, including the Falklands,was confirmed. This: however, did little to curb the British and French amhitions for the area. It was the French noblemanAntoine de 13ougainvillcwho acted lirst. By midI764 he had establishedPort Louis, north of the present day site of Port Stanley and claimed the islands for France. In 1765 Commodore John Byron briefly stoppedon West Falkland and hoisted the Union Jack, counter-claiming the Islands for Dritain. He named the spot Port Egmont, planted a small vegetable patch, ‘andpromptly sailed away. A year later Captain John McBride was sent out to consolidate Byron’s claim by building a fort and ejecting any other settlerswho may be on the islands. The Spanishwere furious at the blatant breach of the Treaty of IJtrccht by both Uritain and France. Under signilicanl diplomatic pressurethe French cededthe Port I .ouis colony to the Spanishin return for financial compensationto dc Bougainville. The transferwas completed in 1767 when Don Felipe Ruiz Puentewas installed as the first SpanishGovernor of the islandsand the colony was renamed Puerto Solcdad.‘l’wo years lalcr, a Spanishforce of five ships and 1,400 troops evicted the British colony in Port 15
&nom. War was averted only when Spain agreedto Mtain returning to the colony, although Spain reserved the right to sovcrcignty. Ironically, the British colony was abandonedsome three years later (I 774). In 1700, Spain and Britain signed the Tiootka Sound Convention, by which Britain formally renounced any colonial ambitions in South America and the islands adjacent. For the next thirty years the Falklandswent uncontestedas the Spanishcolon) of lslas Malvinas. I:ollowing indcpcndencc from Spain in I XI 6, the (Jnited l’rovinccs of Rio dc la Plata. the future state of Argenlina (and henceforth refcrrcd to 21sArgentina), claimed the previous colonies of Spain in South America. including the Mklands. In 1X20they dispatcheda frigate to take possessionof Has Malvinas. and in I X23 Buenos Aires appointed the first governor of the isl‘ands.‘fhc new Ciovcrnor,I,ouis Vernct. arrived in 182Xand began the dcvclopmcnt of fishing, farming. and the control of scaling. In 1X3 I Vcrnet arrestedthe American crew of the schoonerIfwrief for seal
poaching and confiscated the ship’s cargo. Vernct then sailed with the Ifurrief and ~CI crew LOl~ucnosAires to place her captain on trial. In reprisal the American consul in I3ucnosAries. encouraged by the British Consul: dispatchedthe IJSS Lexing!on (fortuitously in harbor), under the commandofCaptain Silas Ih~ica~~,
in order to reclaim the confiscated properly. Taking mattersinto his own hands,and in an
act of blatant piracy, Duncan reclaimed the property then proceededto spike the Argentinean guns, to hlow up the garrison’s powder, to sack the settlementbuildings, and to arrest most of the inhabitants. Ilc then declaredthe islands free of all governmentand sailed away. 16
Argentina protcstcd furiously to the Americans, to no avail, and a year of chaos ensued.Argentina dispatcheda new governor charged with setting up a penal colony. On landing, howcvcr. his prisonersabruptly murdered him a~lclestablishedtheir own colony. On hearing of this latest disasterthe Argentine‘ansdispatcheda force to the islandsto restoreorder. Advised by the British consul in Buenos Aires of the confusion, the IWish Admiralty dispatchedthe warships Uio and Tyne, under the commandof Captain Onslow; to claim the Falklands for Britain (despite the Nootka Sound Convention). Onslow wcighcd anchor on 2 January, I X33, and going ashorethe next day struck the Argcntincan flag anclraised the Union Jack. The Falklands Islands were now the property of the IJnited Kingdom as a result of an action that, as John Troutbcck of the British Foreign Office in 1936 observed, “is not easy to explain .
ourselvesup as international bandits.“’ l‘hc Argentineanswere understandablyoutraged by the action, The IICWSof the capturecut deep into the psyche of the new nation. As the Falklandshistorian W.1: Uoyson records“The young Republic was ablaze with indignation al 111~ insult to her dignity and the resentmentlasted for long. “’ The seedsfor the 1982 Falklands Conflict wcrc sown. Britain startedto settle the islands and formally declareda colonial administration in I X42 (seefig. 4). In 1908, Hritain declared sovereignty over the uninhabited territory south of the Falklands,thus creating the Falkland Islands Dependencies,which included South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Argentina continued to pursueher claim to the islands,In 196.5.aficr a period of intcnsc Argentinean lobbying, the United Nations passedResolution 2065 specifying that the FalklandslMalvinas was a colonial problem and thus it fell to Britain and Argentina to find a peaceful solution. ‘Talkscontinued ol’i‘and on for the next seventeenyearswithout sstisfactory resolution. R&in argued that its right to ownership rested on her pcaccli~l and continuous possessionofthe islandsover a long period of time and upon the IX
Islanders’right of self-determination.In 1980 the Islandersand Argentina rejectedthe one remaining solution of Icase-backand sharedresponsibility. ‘l’hc Argentinean decision to invade the Falklandswas made in 1982 by a militaq ,junta that faced growing political and inlernal unrestand a call for a return lo democracy. Capturing the Malvirzas proved an irresistible way of stifling, in part, internal dissentand a meansof uniting the countr>‘.Additionally, If the FalklandsIslands were brought undct Argentinean control by force of arms then it would also serveas a vindication ol‘militar) rule. Annotated Chronoloav of the 1982 Conflicl The following is an annotatedchronology of the key eventsof the Falklands Campaign. Limited spaceprecludesa more detailed description.The datesand cvcnts recorded are taken from a British perspective. 2.
Argentina launchedOperationAzzrl (Blue), the invasion of the I:alklands
Islands.’Al 925 A.M. Governor Hunt ordered the sixty-nine Royal Marines basedon East Palklandsto surrenderto the invading force of approximatelyone thousand Argentinean marines and special forces supportedby the Argentinean fleet.‘” ‘l‘hree Cdo Hde and 5 Inf Bdc were warned for operations. 3 April. Argentina invaded South Georgia. After a bricf’firelight the Royal Marines on the island surrendered.”The IJN passedSecurity Council Resolution 502, which condemnedthe invasion and demandedthe immediatewithdrawal of Argentinean forces. 5.
A task force carrier group, spear-headedby the carriers HMS Hermes and IIMS
Invincible, set sail from the United Kingdom for the South Atlantic.
Over the proceedingweek units oF3 Cdo Hde, under 1heCommand ofI3rigadict
Julian Thompson. sailed for the South Atlamic. The Brigade arrived at the Ascension Islands, a midway point, throughoui 1hcmiddle of April and remained 1hercconducting training and essentialadminis1rationuntil departing on 1he6 May. I2 April. The United Kingdom declareda two hundred-mile maritime exclusion zone around the I;alklands Isltlnds.” Task Force 3 19.9. dcpar~ed1heAscension Islands to conduct 0pcra1ion I’artrque!, the plannedrepossessionof South Georgia.‘” IX AtCl. A naval batrlc group comprising of thirteen warships and four supply ships. commandedby Rear Admiral Sandy Woodward, sailed for the South Atlantic 10 commcnccoperationsagainstthe ArgentineanNavy and Air Force. 21 Aoril. The SAS and SBS madean abortive landing on Sou1hGeorgia.” 22 Anrii. Five infiidc siaried cxcrcise, iiieisil F&on. in preparalion for depioyment. 25 April. The Argentinean submarineSunrczFe was auackcd tmd disabled when i1 was caught on the surface by two hclicoptcrs near Sou1hGeorgia. The crippled submarinewas later abandonedin (jrylvikcn Harbor, South Georgia. Operation I’araquef was swiftly launchedto take maximmn advantageof any disorder caused10 the Argentineans by this incident. South Georgia wds recapturedwithout a shot being lircd. 26 April. l’wo PARA and a troop ol‘1hc Blues and Royals with four Scimitar tendtwo Scorpion light tanks departedPortsmouth. 30 April. The United Kingdom dcclarcd a total exclusion zone around the Falklands. The Argentineanshad. by this date, garrisonedthe islands with thirteen 1housandscrviccmcn. three quartersof whom wcrc locatedaround the Stanley arca.
IMa,. The carrier battle group enteredthe total exclusion zone and commencedsea and air operationsagainstthe Falklands.RAF Vulcan bombers from Ascension Island conductedtheir lirst of a seriesofhombing raids against the Falklands, codcnamcd
‘I‘hc Argentineancruiser C;enrruI llelpwx~ (previously the American I’hoenis
which had been at Pearl Harbor in Dcccmher I941 ) was smik by the British nuclear submarineHMS C.‘onqucror.” One Argentinean patrol vessel was sunk and another hadl) damagedwhile operating in Falklands walers. 4l.
missile. She was the first British ship to be hit and was to sink five days later when under low. ‘l‘hc first SeaI Iarrier was shot down during a raid on CiooseGreen. 6.
‘ThreeCdo Rrigadc departedAscension Island for the South Atlantic, less2
I’AKA, which arrived at AscensionIsland on the sameday. 7.
The British Governmentdeclaredthat ‘anyArgentinean warship and military
aircraft over 12 miles from the Argentinean coasl would be regarded as hostile. Two PARA deparledAscensionIslands. 9.
‘l‘hc Argentine intelligence trawler, Nun&, was sunk.
IO May. The Argentine submarineSan I.uis made her last reported, and unsuccessful, attack on the ships 01’the Task Force. I 1 May. HMS Alucrily sank the store ship Cuho de lm Esrudus in Falkland Sound. 12.
QMl left Southamptonwith 5 Inl’Rde. HMS Glasgow was badly damagedin an
air raid and was the lirst ship to return to home waters becauseof battle damage.
Brigadier Thompson received the lirllowing directive from Mgjor tieneral Moore: are to secure a bridgeheadon Last 1:alkland.into which reinforcementscm bc landed, in which an airstrip can be establishedand from which operations to repossessthe I~alklandsIslandscan bc achieved. You arc LO push forward from the bridgeheadarca as far as the maintenanceof security allows, to gain information to establishmoral and physical domination over the cncmy, and to forward the ultimate objective ofreposscssion.You will retaiu operational control of all forces landed in the Falklands.. ..it is then my intention to land 5 Infantry Brigade into the beachheadand to develop operationsfor the complete repossessionof the I%lkland Islands.‘” You
14!15 Mav. Spccinl forces conducted a night raid againstthe Argentinean air baseat Pebble Island destroying eleven Argentinean aircraft.” 18,
'l‘hc British Cabinet approved the San Carlos landing plan. Chilean authorities
found a burnt-out SW King on sovereignterritory and apprchendcdthe three mien crew.” lo&.
Twenty-one men were killed when a Sea King hclicoptcr crashedwhile
transferring troops hctween HMS
and IIMS Intrepid.”
20 May. I:ivc Inf Bde arrived at Ascension Island. Major General Moore joined the 13rigudcand assumedcommand ofthe Landing Force. although operational control remainedwith Urigtldicr Thompson. 2 I Mav. Operation Sutton. the amphibious landing on East Falkland, was launched.In the early morning the lirs~ Argcntinenn aircralt attacked llx ships supporting the IandinX in I,‘alklandSound and those in the San Carlos anchorage.‘Theattackscontinued throughout most of the day, hampering the landing operation. So st‘artcdthe crucial battlc for control ofthe air and sea, lasting for the next six days. Five Inf Bdc departed Ascension lshdndwith Major General Moore On departing Ascension,Moore lost contact with the land forces in the Falklandsdue to communications failure. He would not regain contact until 2X May.2” 22
23 May. An Argentinean bomb crippled HMS Anklope, the ship sinking the next day. 25 May. IIMS Chven/ry was sunk and an Exocet missile hit the A/h/k
ship sinking three days later. ‘l‘hc loss of the A~lnntic ( ‘onveyorand its cargo oftwclvc helicopters, including three Chinooks, was a serious blow to the land campaign2’As noted by Brigadier Thompson after heariny the news of the sinking: I ordered a full staff confercncc.. .Thcy were tasked with investigating what, if anything, could hc done to salvagethe wreck of the plan using existing hclicoptcr and landing craft assets.As the K Group dispersedsomebodysaid. “We’ll have to bloody well walk.“22 This was the high watermark of the Argentinean air effort. ‘I’wo PARA was ordcrcd to attack the Argentinean position at Darwin and Goose Green. 26,
Two PARA conducted an tight-milt march to Camilla Creek I-lousein
preparation for its attack on Goose Green. 27 May. British shore positions were bombed around San Carlos for the lirst time, causing seven deaths and numerousinjuries. This was the last day of conccntratcd Argentinean air attacks.The air and sea war of attrition was effectively over; the Argentinean Air Force had heen whittled down to the extent that it no longer poseda major threat to land and sea operations.23‘ThreePARA and 4.5Cdo departedthe beachheadand started their march towards Stanley. 2X May. At 6:30 A.M. the battlc for Goose Green started.Major GeneralMoore arrived in the IYalklandsarea of operations. 29 Mav. At 2:30 P.M. the Argentinean garrison al GooseGreen surrenderedto 2 PARA. A helicopter night assault on Mount Kent by 42 Cdo was thwarted by bad weather.
Four-Two (Ido, in a night helicopter assault,seizedMount Kent.24 Major
(icncral Moore landed at San Carlos and assumedoperationalcommand of all land Ibrces. -3 1 .Mav.Two
PARA were transferredfrom 3 Cd0 ISdcto 5 Ini
Five lnf Bdc commencedlanding at San Carlos. An additional tight SeaKings
and twenty Wcssexhelicopters arrived in the Falklandsto support the ground opcration.‘c
The last SeaIlarrier was lost to enemy action. 2.
The ScatsGuards and Welsh Guards landed at San Carlos. ‘TheWelsh Guards
attemptedto march out of the bridgeheadto GooseGreen hut maddclittle progress bdbrc the march was cancelled. Deteriorating weather conditions and heavy equipment loads wcrc blamed. 4&.
Deteriorating weather conditions incrcasinyly hamperedflying operations and
made life for the infantry increasingly unpleasant.Three Cd6 Bde closed on Stanlcy and commcnccdpatrolling in preparation for the coming attacks. 5L lunc. The ScatsGuards conducteda night move by ship and landing craft 10 13luff Cove. arriving early on 6 June.2”Three companicsof 2 I’ARA wcrc shipped from Blufl Cove to T:itzroyby landing craft to marry up with the remainderof their Dattalion, which had hccn flow 6 Iunc. -b
forward on the 3 JUIK.”
Guards moved hy ship to Bluff Cove. but lack oftimc, poor weather
and limited numbersof landing craft meant that only Battalion I-Icadquartersand a ritle
company were landed. I’hc rcmaindcr of the Battalion returned to San Carlos Water aboard HMS Fcurless.
Three companies of the Welsh Guardswere shipped from San Carlos Water to
Fitzroy aboard Sir Galahad, arriving at dawn on the 8 hme. &&.
At 2:OOP.M. the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships Sir G&h&and
were attacked by live Skyhawks,which hacljust bombed IIMS /‘lynzou/h.The Siv Galahad was seriously damagedand forty-three men were killed and 1SOwere injured,
many suffering serious burns. The Welsh Guards alone had thirty-eight killed and seventy-nine injurcd.2xSir Galahad was scuttled at seaon 25 June as a wdr grave. Later that afternoon Argentinetln aircraft sank a landing craft bringing lleadquarters5 Inl‘Bdc’s signal vehicles around to I:itzroy.2Y I l/12 June. Mount Harriet, Two Sistersand Mount Longdon wcrc securedafter successfulnight battles. HMS Glumorgon was hit by a shorebasedExocet missile and was badly damaged hut remainedsea-worthy.This was lhc last British ship damagedby enemy action during the conflict. Three civilians were killed in Port Stanley by naval gunlire: these were the only fatal civilian casualtiesof the conflict. I2 June. Stanley airlield was bombed for the linal time by Vulcan bombersfrom Ascension Island in Operation B/uck Buck 7. l3/14 June. Tumblcdown Mountain and Wirclcss Ridge were securedafter successful night hattles. Mount William was securedwithout a light, although casualtieswere taken on the approach march.”
I4 June. Gcncral Mcnendez surrenderedall Argentine forces in the I:alklands.“’
‘I he Uritish Land Camnainn
Inlhc early hours of’21 May 1982,IIMS Feurkw
Icd the amphibious lending
group. in whom were cmharked3 Cdo Hde, stealthily into Falkland Sound.
the landings began, the troops being liirried ashorein the sixteen landing craft from tbc two assaultships HMS Feurless and IiMS Inrrepid. First ashorewere 2 PARA and 40 Cdo on two bcachcsin the San Carlos Scttlemcnt Area. ‘l‘wo I’ARA then turned south and establisheda defensive position on the SussexMountains, effectively blocking the route that any counter attack from the Darwin arca would have to take. Meanwhile. 40 Cdo moved east.up onto the Verde Mountains. Next ashore was 45 Cdo, in Aiax Hay, which was to becomethe main force logistic arca throughout the rest of the campaign. The last assaultunit. 3 I’ARA. went ashoreat Port San Carlos 10 protect the northern Ilank: Icaving 42 Cdo afloat as the rcservc. The artillery, consisting of four light gun batteriesand one Rapier missile battery, then cstahlishedthemselves ashore.By the end of the day more than three thousandmen and almost one thousand tons of storesand equipment had beensuccessfullylanded. Argentinean ground or naval forces made
noattempt to intcrlerc with the landing, nor subsequentbuild up. All
attempts to defeat the invasion were left to the Argentinean Air Force. which was operating at the limit of its ttlctical reach. The buildup ofthe bridgeheadcontinued for the next live days under constant threat of air attack during daylight. It was only following the loss of the Arluntic Conveyor and the apparentstalling ofthe land campaign,that Brigadier Thompson was
ordered by Northwood to mount an operation against GooseGreen and start moving towards Stanley.32Although of no tactical or operational significance the operation 26
ngainstGoose Green was orderedfollowing intensepolitical, public and cvcn Naval and Servicepressurefor the land campaignto “get going.” A quick victory was neededin order to maintain public and political support. As statedby Admiral Sandy Woodward, it was time for the Army to go “high risk.“3”Against his better,judgementDrigadict Thompson was forced to go againstMajor General Moore’s directive of I2 May.“’ On 26 and 27 May: 3 CIdoBdc beganto break out from the beachhead(see Iig.5). ‘Theoverall plan was to close up to the Port Stanlcy arca as quickly as possible. Late on 26 May, 2 PARA startedits move south for the mission against Goose (ireen. At dawn on 27 May, 45 Cdo and 3 I’ARA startedto advancecast towards Douglas Settlementand Teal Inlet respectively.All moves had to he conductedon foot due to an ahnost total lack of helicopter and vehicle support. The ability of the infantry to reach Stanley on foot, due to the lack of infantry iogistics support,had becomea strategic issue.Throughout 27 May. while the other two battalionscontinued their advances,2 I’ARA waited at Camilla Creek House, five milts north of the Argentinean position. An artillery troop ofthrec light guns was flown forward to support the attack on lIarwin and Goose Green, which beganon 28 May. By mid-afternoon of the 28 May, Darwin had been captured and 2 PARA was fighting its way south down the narrow isthmus towards Goose Green, some two miles on. The Battalion had to cross open ground in broad daylight, and was opposed by strong defensivepositions that were well dug in and sited in depth. Low cloud, strong winds and driving rain made early air operationsin support of the advanceimpossible. The battle for GooseCh-eenlastedmany hours, frequently at very close quarters. During the fighting the CommandingOfficer of 2 I’ARA, I,ieutenant Colonel H. Jones, 27
wetskilled. 13~last light the battalion had surrounded the remaining garrison in the Goose Green Scttlcment where over one hundred civilians wcrc held.
Figure 5. Operation Sutton and the Rrcakout from the Ueachhcad 28
During the night the Acting Commanding Officer conductednegotiations with the Argentineansand, by early afternoon on 29 May, their surrenderwas accepted.As a result of their action, 2 PARA took over one thousandprisonersand had neutralized the nearestenemy force on East Falkland to the bridgehead Meanwhile, after a cross country march of somefifty miles over very difficult terrain in adverseweather, 45 Cdo had reached‘TealInlet, and 3 PARA had reached Lstancia I louse. Meanwhile, D Squadron 22 SAS had establishedan operations basein the area of Mount Kent and were carrying out aggressivepatrolling and intelligence gathering operations.After several attempts al rcinforccment,which were preventedby the atrocious weather, the first half of 42 Cdo joined them on I June, the remainder joining on 2 June. Mount Kent was clearedof enemy after a brief lireIight. On 30 May, General Moore assumedcommandof operationsashore.His Headquarterswas establishedin HMS Fearlexs in San Carlos Water. After arriving in San Carlos Water on 3 I May, MV Norland disembarked7 GR during the morning of I June, and immediately moved down to Darwin and GooseGreen to relieve 2 PARA. I.ater that day, the Scats Guards and the Welsh Guardsdisembarkedfrom SS Canherrrr. Two PARA was put under the command of 5 Inf Bde and, on 2 June, moved forwarcl to the Fitzroy and Bluff Cove areas.Further reinforcementand resupply forward was severely hamperedby bad weather. In order to close up 5 Inf Bdc it was decided to move the Scats Guards and Welsh Guards and supporting units and equipment by ship to Fitzroy. During this operation, on 8 June, the Argentineansinterceptedthe troop movcmcntsand bombed the Sir Galahud, which was carrying clcments ofthe Welsh Guards. 29
IIespitc the disasterat Fitzroy, 3 Cdo IIdc and 5 Inf Bde continued preparing fol opcrtltions againstthe sevenArgentinean infantry and marine battalions, together with supporling troops, in the Port Stanley area. Approximately three of these battalions wcrc Ibrward on the important featuresof Mount I.ongdon, Two Sistersand Mount tlarriet. General Moore plamled that the attack on Port Stanley should be conducted in three phases..fhc first phasewas scheduledI‘or the night of I I / I2 June when 3 Cdo Bde was to capture the three featuresof Mount I .ongdon, Two Sistersand Mount Harriet. ‘l’hc second phase: planned to take place twenty-four hours later, required both brigadesto capture the next featuresto the cast; these wcrc Wireless Ridge, Tumbledown Mountain and Mount William. IGnally, in phasethree, the Welsh Guards.with two companiesof 40 Cdo under command, were to capture SapperHill. As scheduled,on I I June phaseone of the battlc for Stanley was launched (lig. 6). The cncmy was outfought and soon after dawn all the Brigade’s objectives were firmly held. In the center, after a hard fight in very diflicult mountain terrain, 45 Cdo captured ‘I‘wo Sisters.Further south 42 Cdo made an indirect approach,exploiting a gap in the enemy mincfields which had been cstablishcdas a result of skilled and aggressive patrolling, and captured Mount Harriet from behind, taking over two hundred prisoners. Meanwhile in the north 3 PARA had an extremely tough light against one of the cncmy’s best battalions to capture Mount Longdon. This was the costliest battle of the Campaign, with nineteen soldiers from 3 PARA being killed. During the day of 12 June all these positions came under heavy artillery iirc, and further casualtieswere sustained.
Figure 6. Battle for Stanley- Phase1
For this and subsequentattacks.troop movementsand inf‘antry assaultswere covered by Harrier attacks,naval gunfire and the support of tivc field batteries,which fired [ifteen-thousandrounds. The Royal Engineers,who had completed the hazardous task of clearing routes through the minefields, provided men with each of the assaulting units. ‘1‘0allow further time for preparation,Phasetwo (fig. 7) was delayed by twentyfour hours and eventually launchedon the night of 13114June. Two I’ARA, once more under commandof 3 Cdo Ude, in a well-executedand very skillful attack took Wireless ?!
Ridge. While on Tumhledown IMountain. the Scats Guards had a particularly difficult battlc before they overcamethe regular Argentinean marine battalion del’cndingthe position. Thercaftcr 7 GR passedthrough the Scats Guards to secureMount William.
.~. , .. . .
._ ..- .;,
Figure 7. Rattlc for Stanley--Phases2 & 3
At this stage it becameclear that enemy resistancewas collapsing. Argentineans could be seenretreating towards Port Stanley from many directions, including Mood) Brook and SapperIIill, neither ol’which had yet hccn attacked.
Phasethree of Major General Moore’s plan was never launched. Realizing that the Argentinean forces WCTC beaten,Mrr,jorGeneral Moore launchedtwo battalions in pursuit, IO close up to the outskirts of Port Stanlcy as quickly as possible. During the afternoon of 14 June, with large numbersof enemy abandoningtheir arms and surrcndcring,~hcBritish troops were orderedto lirc only in self-dcfcnsc.‘Thatnight (14 June),after somehours ofnegotiations; Major General Moore flew by helicopter into Port Stanley and took the formal surrenderof all Argentinean Ihrces on the Falkland islands
‘The Sunday Times of I.ondon Insight Team, War in the Fulklurds (New York: llarper and Row, l982), 35-36. 2GordonSmith, Bdes of’thc I;u/kltmd.s Wur (Surrey: Ian Allan Ltd., 19X9), 1I. “Julian Thompson, Xo Picnic: 3 C.‘ommundoBrigade in rhe Soulh Ailunfic. 1982 (Glasgow: William Collins Sons& Co. I.td., 19X5),xvi. “Smith, 11 ‘Smith. 1 I. %mith, 11. ‘Sunday Times of London Insight Team, 40. sSundayTimes of London Insight Team, 39. “I’he Operation’s was initially called ltosario but the name was changedto dzul, after the color of the robe of the Virgin Mary, so that the invasion should be seenas a semireligiouscrusade. ‘“There were no British casualtiesin the invasion; Argentine casualtieswere estimatedat hetween live and twenty dead and sevcntccnwounded. “One Royal Marine was injured. The Argentineanslost three killed and seven injured; small arms fire and hand held missilesalso damageda frigalc and destroyed a Puma helicopter. 33
121’heBritish submarine.$uv/rm arrived off the Falklands to enforce the exclusion zone. ’‘The Task Force consistedof HIMS,4n~im, l’lymoufh, and the tanker 7Tde.~~1r,ring. Embarkedon the ships were M Company 42 Cdo and D SquadronSAS, both units having flown to Ascension Island. “Scvcrc weather conditions prevcntcd any meaningful military action and a rescuemission was launchedto save the deployed SAS troops on the Forrunu Gltrcier ‘Two Wessexhelicopterscrashedin the attempt due to the appalling weather. A third Wcsscxwas able to extract all personnel; there were no casualties. “The Genenll Belpuna had a crew of approximately 1,042 of whom 368 lost their lives. Although the action is surroundedin controversy the operational bcnctits were undoubted.As a result of the action lhe main Argentinean surface fleet never claredto vcnturc from the continental shelfwherc the water was too shallow for the British submarinesto operate. ‘hThompson,74. “A force of forty-eight SAS raiders was inserted by helicopter from IEMS tlernw, and was supportedby naval gunlire from HMS Glumorgun and Hroadnvord. The raid was a complete SLICCCSS and the Argentineans were denied the USCof the airstrip at a crucial time. ‘% is probable that the helicopter deployed a special-forcespatrol in Argentina on I7 May, prior to being deliberately destroyed in a neutral country. The British submarine 1IMS O~JLY was rcportcd to have lifted off special forces from near the Rio Grandc at the end of May. “‘l‘hc killecl included eighteen men from the SAS, many of whom had conductecl the I’cbhlc Islanclraid. ‘l‘his was the largest single loss of lific for the SAS since the SecondWorld War. %oth ‘l‘hompsonand Moore received operational tasking signals from Northwood, but Thompson received no conlirmation or instructions from Moore due to the lack of communications.With no further guidance. Thompson continued as directed by his operational commanderon the 12 May. Political and military tension was exacerbatedby this stateof affairs and led directly to the order to attack Goose Green from Northwood. 2”l’he tentagc and living equipment for ten-thousandmen was also lost, which meant that the conflict had to be terminated before winter set in and the weather worked 34
IO the advantageofthc Argentineans,who had Port Stanlcy as an operating base. Critically, nine helicopterswere lost, including the three Chinooks, upon which so many plans hinged. Only eleven Sea Kings, five Wesscx and one Chinook helicopter were available to support the operation for the next six days. Ofthc remaining eleven Sea Kings; one was permanentlyattachedto the Rapier batteries(anti-aircraft system)to keep them fueled and serviced,and four were equipped for night operations and were only available during the day for emergencies.Of note, it takes eight SeaKings eleven lifts eachto move a single light artillery hattcry and f&-hundred rounds, which is barely suflicicnt to support one battle. Much more also went down with the ship: one milt 01 portable steel runway, many vehicles, essentialhelicopter nnd aircraft spares,and ammunition. 221’hompson, 78. ‘.‘Onc-hundredand twenty sorties had been launched from the mainland, of which ninety reachedthe operational area. Of these ninety aircraft, twenty-one had been shot down. Six other Argentinean aircraft basedon the islands were shot down attacking the shipping. In the six days of ferocious attacks, three warships and the Aflanric Chvtyor were sunk; three warships and three amphibious ships were struck by bombs which failed to explode; numerousother ships were damaged by cannon fire. Two SeaIlarricrs and three helicopterswere shot down. The British lost seventy-sevenmen killed during this period, mostly sailors. 24Therewas a brief skirmish on the Mountain hetween the SAS and an Argentineanspecial-forcespatrol. Later that day 42 Cdo advancedon Mount Challenger rrom Mount Kent. “A shortageof pilots resulteclin twelve of the Wessexbeing “laid up” in various small valleys until more pilots arrived. Many of the crews for the helicopterswere taken straight from anti submarineduties and therefore lacked experiencein supporting land operations.Map reading errors were frequent and there was an almost total lack of tactical awarenessamongstthe pilots. Thompson, 116. 2”Thc final seaapproachof the Scats Guards was made in four open landing crali and took sevenhours in violent seas. % one of the most controversial acts of the war t-IQ 5 Inf 13dccommandccrcd the one available Chinook helicopter, and without reference to divisional headquarters, llcw one company of 2 PARA forward to the area of Bluff Cove and Fitzroy, thereby opening up the southern flank. Five Inf Bdc were now strung out hetwcen San Carlos, GooseGreenand Bluff Cove. The move of 2 PARA, the Scats Guards and Welsh Guards hy seato the area of Fitzroy and Bluff Cove was conducted in order to close up the Brigade. I1 was this moment ol’ill-planned opportunism that gave little regard lo the subsequentimplications that Icd to the tragedy at Fitzroy. 35
‘sMartin Middlebrook, 7irsk /‘orce: The Fulklundv Cl’ur, f9X2 (London: Penguin Ik)oks, 1987), 30X. 2”7‘hclanding craft was at sea when the 2 121:Aships were hit. Six men were killed and much valuahlc equipment was lost. Three ofthe four attacking aircraft were shot down by Sea Harriers in what was the last Ilarrier air to air successof the conflict. ‘I‘hc linal tragedy played out on this black day for British forces occurred when a SAS observation post near Port Iloward was surrounded,and Captain Hamilton was killed as hc tried to light his way out. Captain Hamilton had led the raid on I’cbhlc Island. ‘“Simultaneously to the two battlesa party of G Squadron22 SAS in rigid-riders had taken casualties in an abortive raid on a fuel depot north of Stanley Harbor. The need for urgent casualty evacuation was met at 3 Cdo Udc‘s CommandPost with the retort, “bloody special forces; the whole world has to stop for them 1 suppose.”l‘hompson, p. 179.
“By the end of Operation Corporu/e the Koval Navy had only suflicicnl ammunition for two more nights of bombardment\;hh the next re-supply three or so weeks away. British casualties for the campaignwere: 255 killed (2 I7 from enemy fire, 10 from own iire, anti 28 in aircrdii crashesjand 777 wounded.Equipmeni iosseswcrc: 7 ships sunk (4 of which were warships), 10 warships damaged,and 3 RFA ships damaged; IO I larricrs. and 24 h&copters were destroyed.Eight of the 34 aircraft los( were to enemy fire, I3 wcrc lost in accidents,and 13 lost when their parent ship sank. Of the killed, 148 were from the Army and Royal Marines and of these66 were killecl in set piece battlcs. Argentinean losseswere 746 killed (393 Navy. 55 Airforcc, and 298 Army and Marines), I, IO5 wounded, and 12,978taken prisoner. Argentineanequipment losseswcrc staggering. One cruiser, I submarine, I intelligence trawler, 2 patrol craft, and 3 transport ships were sunk. Numerous olhcr ships wcrc damaged;3 small ships were captured following the surrender. Seventy-five tixcd wing aircraft and 2.5helicoplerswcrc destroyed or captured. 44 while flying in action. The ArgentineanArmy lost the equivalent of 3 Brigades worth of vehicles,weaponsand stores. “Middlcbrook, 251 ‘.‘Admiral Sandy Woodward, One Hundred Duy,.vtlhhc Memoirs o/‘the I;irlklund.v Buttle Group C’urnmunder (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval lnslitute Press, 1092), 257. j3Little regard was given to the slow logislics buildup. Ironically, the loss of tactical mobility caused by the sinking of the Atluntic Convqyor added to the pressureof 3 Cdo Bde to produce results. 36
CHAPTER 3 TRAINING, EQUIPMENT AND MEN We have lcarnetl a great deal from the TalklandsCampaign.Many of the lessonsarc not new but they are no less important for that.’ Ministry of’Dcfensc, l’he Fulklands Wur: l’he Lessom
A study ofthc oflicial documentsof the FalklandsConflict enabledthe identification of three broad lessonsthat were acceptedby the establishment,although wcrc not necessarilyacted upon. These lessonscover the areasof training, equipment, and the relative importance ofman over technology. Each ofthese lessonswill be discussedin this chapter. At the heart of all the problems experiencedby the infantry in the Falklands was their standarclof training. This was a point that the Ministry of Defencc (MOD) appcarcd reluctant to admit, an initial comment in their official analysisof lessonslearned stating that the conllict highligbtcd the value ofthc realistic training that all three Serviceshad.* However, later in the sameanalysis,and in apparentrecognition of the failings of prcconflict training, the MOD statedthat all restrictionson training and activity levels that had been imposed to save money were to bc lifted.’ The result ofthcsc training restrictions was that the light infantry deployed to the Falklands without the benefit of realistic training that had presentedthem with dress rehearsalconditions.”As noted by Clausewitz, “A soldier high or low should not have to encounter in wdr things which seen for the first time set him in terror or perplcxity.“5 The Director of Infantry echoedClausewitz’s point when he commentedafter the conflict 37
that, “Every effort should be made lo make training as realistic as possible
peacctimcrestrictionsmay bc overgeneroustowards safety thereby diluting training Icssons.“”This observationwas based.in part. on comments made by 2 PAIL2 in their post operational report: “l’cacetimc training with its safety regulations, its rcstrictcd quantities oftraining ammunition, and problems with simulating rc-supply, casualticsand prisonershave Icd to a situation where our understandingof certain facets of war is incomplctc.“’ It was a point of view sharedby 3 PAKA, “The period at sea undcrlinetl ,just how much lip servicewe often pay to the basics when the immincncc of an operation is lacking.“’ This lack of realistic and relevant light infantry training directly impacted upon the standardthat could bc attained on Exercise Welsh I~ulcon; the two-week predeployment exerciseconductedby 5 Inf Hde in Sennybridge. l‘his hastily conceived training packagemade use of resourcesthat would not he availnblc in the I~alklandsand was forced IO focus on rudimentary training at battalion level and below in order to cover the gaps in infantry training. The exercisewas given to Headquarters5 Inf Bde to run but was subject to constantinterferenceby senior officers and highcr headquarters.As such. the 1leadquartersof the Hrigadc were themselvesnot exercised.Even so, the single largestcriticism leveled against the Brigade was that “command and control were not their strong points.“’ I-lowevcr, it seemsinconceivable that a hastily pullet1together twoweek exercisecould hope to overcomeyears ofneglcct in light infantry training; 5 Inf Rdc was condemnedto deploy on operations withoul the necessarypreparalion. Two points that operationsin the Falklands demonstratedarc important to light inl:dntry training are the developmentof patrolling skills and realistic simulation of 38
ammunition carriageand resupply. There is no doubt that patrolling played a critical role in determining the outcome of the ground campaign. Without effective aerial rcconnaissancc ,‘I’and with no flow of information down lo the battalions from SAS and SBS patrols, the battalionswcrc compelled to gather all their own intelligcncc.” This could only hc achievedby conducting small team reconnaissancepatrols and establishing observationposts. More importantly, by patrolling the British infantry dominated the battlelicld and retainedthe initiative.” During periods of slow build up, patrolling gave the soldiers the feeling of progress,dominanceand aggression--allkey to maintaining offensive spirit.‘.’ This is nothing new, as General Slim observedwhen in command ofthc 14th Army during World War II, patrol skills provided a measureofjust how good a battalion was: and was an important part in the hattlc for domination and moral supremacy.I”New equipment harnessingthe latest technology might replace some of the requirementfor inl‘antry to gather their own intelligence. However, the requirement for the infantry to dominate mentally and physically the battlefield by meansof patrolling should always remain an essentialinfantry task. It is worth noting that the Argentineans relied upon technology to dominate the battle spaceand consequentlydid not patrol. This was a major factor in their loss of the tactical initiative and their loss of the will to fighl. The Falklandsdemonstratedthat patrolling maintains and develops an infantryman’s aggressivespirit; it is a skill that placesgreat demandsupon junior leadersand soldiers and is a skill that must be practicedthoroughly. AS regardsto ammunition supply, the main problem this posed was one of scale. Infantry battalions were not trained for, nor expecting, the problems with ammunition 39
supply that they facet1in the campaign. For example,British troops routinely tired four or five times their estimated daily ammtmition consumptionrntcs per weapon, rcllecting a long
standing British failure to update ainmunition cxpcnditure plans becauseof tiscal
constraints.Consequently. units did not have standing arrangementsin place to cope with the demand for ammunition from the front: this problem was only overcomethrough improvisation. The insatiable appetite of modern warfare for ammunition is nothing new but was a lessonthat lhc British Army had to learn again the hard way. As Major General Ilcw I’ikc (the commanding officer of 3 I’ARA in the Falklands) commented,“the I~alklands impressedupon us all ,just how long battles can take. and hence how important is the sustainedram of all forms ofdircct and indirect tire to breaking the enemy’s will.“‘s ‘I‘his indicatesthat preconflict training glossed over the problems posedby fighting a protracted battle, a scenario hard to simulalc when training is under-resourced.Failure to train as you might have to fig111will lead to false lessonsheing learned, including in matters regarding infantty logistics. individual equipment loads and individual ammunition scales.” Consequently the perceivedwisdom oi‘how to conduct operationsis all to often iounded on unrealistic training. the infantry experienceas regardsammunition usagein the Falklands being a cast in point. In order to avoid a repeat of this situation the light infantry must plan for and train with realistic ammunition scales. I lowevcr, the ability to conduct combined arms operationswas identiticd as the crilicat capability gap in preconflict training, a capability so critical to the winning of battles at minimum cost. As the Director of Infantry stated,“The importance of the All Arms Battle was perhapsthe most important lessonto emerge from 01’IJIperation] 40
C’orpornre.“‘ ~ observationfully supportedby Pike, “[the] significant weakness,not An only in battalions, hut throughout both brigades,lay in combined arms integration.“‘” Many of the problemsexperiencedbccduseof this weaknesswould not have occurred ifthc infantry had conductedrealistic training during peacetime.Insteadthe training gaps in combinedarms operationshad to be overcome through operatiomdl experience.which undoubtedly resulted in the unnecessaryloss of life. Such practice cannot hc regardedas good business, It is lelling that the only infantry battalion in the Palklands to conduct an cffcctive combined arms battle was 2 I’ARA, the only battalion to light two battles.‘l‘hc lessonthat 2 PARA drew from their first battle, the bruising clash at Goose Green, was that the correct coordination and application of tircpowcr is a major element of winning battles at minimum cost.‘9This was a view sharedhy 3 PARA, who had no doubt that armored support would have casedprogressonto the strongly held ob,jectiveof Mount Longdon and would have reducedtheir own casualties.*”The poor USCof the available armor in support ofthe infantry leadsone to wonder ifall the hard won lessonsabout infantry tank cooperationlearnedin World War II had been forgotten.*’ The importanceof comhincd arms operations is a lesson that each battalion had to learn the hard way in their own first hattlcs. As a consequcnccof a lack ofrelcvant and realistic training the British infantry that deployed to the Falklands in 1982 were no1 intuitive combined arms operators.Consequently,the light infantry tactical paradigm was not a full reflection of operationalreality. It can bc argued that the infantry “go1 away” with their inadequatecombinedarms training as a consequenceof the static and almost
passiveenemy it faced and the limited nature of the conflict. ‘fhc conflict servedto Ialsely llattcr the combined arms capability ofthe light infantry in 1982. l‘hc infantry were not alone in this failure; there is little doubt that the passageof time hetwccn World War II and the Falklands had also dulled the collective memory of how to light combined arms battles. Not only was there a general failure to createan cffcctive fusion of intelligence, logistics. air ground support.and armor but thcrc was also a
crippling failure to dispatch an elfcctive all arms force to the Falklands.*’The force
packagesent to the Falklands demonstrateda disdain for Rommel’s age-old adageof plastcring the enemy with Iirc in order to start the processof hrcaking his will to light and reducing the casualties in the infantry.2”As descrihcdby Pike, the supporting arms cleploycdto the I;alklands were a “mistakenly small fnrcc.““’ Major CicneralBrian l’ennicott. Commander Royal Artillery at the time of the Falklands,supportedthis view, stating. “Them was inadequate artillery to support a two-brigade division properly.“*’ As an example, the normal allocation of artillery for a brigade going into bdttlc is three batteries.S Inf Bde had one battery. ‘l‘hc Falklands Conflict reinforced the lessonof past wars that the infantry, although a critical element of combined arms operations,requires support in order to hc truly effective. Yet, it is not enough to have an understandingofthc importanceof combined arms operations, it must also be thoroughly practiced.Combined arms operations must be instilutiondlized acrossan army on a professionalbasis. If an army Iails to train as it will fight then the faults of equipment and weaponry will often be overlooked or dismissedas insignificant. To suggestthat the Falklands presentedconditions that the infantry wcrc not used to ignoresthe remarkablesimilarity 42
betweenthe weather and terrain in the Falklands and three of the key infantry training areasin Great Britain--Sennyhridge, Dartmoor, and Otterhurn. It also ignores the years 01 Arctic training in Norway
training in lhc harsh mid-winter conditions found on the
central plain of Germany. Prior to the conflict, ample opportunity was presentedto the infantry to get its cquipmcnt and weaponry in order; it was an opportunity that could not be, or was not, taken. It is in this context that the following comment from the MOD must hc viewed: “in [the] exceptionally demandingconditions of the Falkland Islandswinter a number 01 short comings wcrc identilied in clothing tml equipment.“*’Items of personalcquipnicnl that wcrc dccmcd to have failed were lhe waterproofjacket, sleepingbag and fifty cightpattern webbing. As regards the webbing, 3 PAllA commentedthat, “Once the wehhing becamewet and old it hecamcdifficult to wear and has a tendencyto fall apart
difficult to fight and move in, especiallywhen digging tools Iare] attached.““’ To all concerned, however, the critical item of personalequipment that failed was the standardissue boot. I1 was noted by 3 I’AIW that, “ Once wet the boot remained wet.‘92R The btilure of the hoot to keep the foot warm or dry was also lamentedby 2 PARA, who wrote “That the Battalion lost nearly as many men from frostbite and trench foot than from enemy action indicalcs 111~ more attention should be paid to footwear.“*” ‘This is a rate of diseaseand nonbattle related injury that is hoth unsustainableby an infantry battalion and unacceptableby modern standardsof warfare. The failure of the boot should not have come as a surprise;as stated by Major ‘Thomasl7 Broyles in his analysisof the medical support of the Falklands Conflict, “Some of the soldierswho
participatedin the Campaignhad also rcccntly been involved in exercisesin Germany and had already sustainedminor dcgrecsof non-freezing cold injury to the feet.““’ Joining the majority in their condemnationol’thc military boot was Major General .lohn Frost, who stated.“The appropriatefoot gear is appropriateto all who would do things properly,” and that “this inadequacyIthc boot1 was responsiblefor more casualtics than enemy action.” I‘hc lessonthat Frost draws from this: and one which is axiomatic hut all too oiien ncglccted,is that. “it is pointless to spendseveral thousand pounds in arming a man if he becomesineffective through failure to spend twenty or thirty pounds in covering his feet.““’ This is the lessonoffalsc economy: combat power, a pricclcss commodity, is eroded by a parsimoniousprocurementpolicy towards basic equipment. In sum: the apparentfailure of the service boot dangerouslyhamperedthe iniantry’s mobrltty and Imperiled the outcome ofthc campaign. Following the loss of the Arlunric C.bnve,yo~ with all but one ofthe heavy lift helicopters.the ability to move overland by foot becamea strategicissue(fig 8.):r2 IIcspite this, in the final mlalysis it was the men who slogged up to Port Stanley with rifle and pack that ultimately carried the day. Furthermore,poor equipmentcan lower the morale and damagethe fitness of a soldier, and, consequently,degradesthe combat power of a unit. For a unit to lost as many men from enemy action as from non-battle related casualtiesbecauseof inadequale equipment is to unnecessarilysquanderthe combat power of a unit. This further imperils those who have to conduct comhat operationsin under-strengthunits..” It is telling that many soldiers deployed with items of privately purchasedequipment, in part, to ovcrcomc the failings of that which was issued.“’
indirccl fire. As statedby the MOD, “Milan and 66mm anti-tank weaponsproved highI> successfulagainst preparedcncmy positions. but there is also a rcquircmcnt for an arca attack weapon such as a grcnadc launcher.“.” 1lowever. the improvised use of the 66mm I.AW 10cover this capability gap
risk. AS stated by 2
PARA: ‘I‘he ability to deliver high cxplosivc onto the ob,jcctivcright down to section level is csscntial. The Raltalion was scaledwith 3 M7Osper company and this was inadequate.Consequently the 66mm LAW was the main weapon used, hur the firing position ofthc 66mm unnecessarilyexposesthe firer.“” ‘l‘his point was rcinforccd by 3 PAR/\: “‘l’hc firer [ofthe 66mm I..AW( is Ibrccd to exposehimself’in order to form a good sight picture.“-” If this capability gap had been lilled il “would probably have rcduccd casualtiesamong
Al some stage during each of the battles. the advancehogged down due lo losing the local lirclight. In part, and depcndem upon each circumstance.the ability of the inihntry to bring lo bear indirect high explosive organic lo the platoon or section may well have reducedthe number ol‘casualtics and reducedthe amount of time pinned down.‘” ‘I’he British infantry in the Falklands bad to resort to improvisation and personal gallantry in order to overcome an apparcm weaponscapability gap. A grenadelauncher at section level bvouldhave solved many of the infantry’s tactical prohlcms. I’his capability gap
was recognized by 5 Inl‘Bde prior to their dcploymenl. unfortunately their rcqucst for
grcnadc launcherswas re,jcctcdwith the rationale that it
a weapon for special forces.
Ilowcver, the provision of a grenade launcbcr does not replace the continued need for anti-tank
guided and unguided weapons to fulfill a broader tactical role as a hard point 46
killer, as exemplified by the 66mm LAW and Milan system,Such weapons,by their direct tire nature
the advantageof being surgical weaponsthat can supplement
mortar and or artillery tire with grcatcr accuracyand fastertime on target.“” However. it was the rillc and machine gun that dominatedthe infantry battles.“’ If, as suggestedby Anthony II. Cordesmanand Abraham K. Wtlgner, a successfulrifle or machine gun must “combine portability, range, and volume of tire and hitting power and reliability,” then the issue rillc and GPMG fell short.“’The rifle lacked volume of tire. having no automatic capability; and the Gl’MG lacked portability, weighing in excessof thirty pounds when carried with a belt of fifty rounds. While the rifle and the GI’MG were not failures, both surviving the test of battle, both systemshad limitations that impaired unit tactics. Indeed, some soldiers ditched their personalweapon in htvor of the Argeniinean riiie, which
iighter and capabic of automatic frc. Weaponswill
have their limimtions and thcrc will always bc capability gaps in the arsenalof the infantry; however, 21 modern army must have modern equipmentwhose limitations do not adverselyimpede the conduct of tactics. The limitations of the weapons were exacerbatedby the quality of the infantry night viewing equipment. Goose Green servedas :I timely reminder that operations conductedat night saves lives. Consequently,all subsequentattackswcrc to be conclucted under the cover of darkness,despite the scarcity of night viewing equipment posscsscdby the infantry, “s The equipment that was available was of first-generation technology. which was rendered ineffective by white light. By contrast,the Argentineanswere generouslyequipped with second-generationnight gogglesand other night viewing devices,which were not adversely affected by white light. 47
lIespite having the technological advantagein infantry equipment, the Argentineans lost all 1hebattlcs ‘andskirmishesof the campaignsubsequentto their initial invasion, 13yany mathematicalmodel the British Army should have had no chanceof successagainst an Argcntincan land force superior in both numbersand weaponry, and fighting from preparccldefensivepositions.“”II can hc concludedfrom this that the critical difference belween the Argentinean and British infantry was not material but moral. It is noteworthy that SOIW analystslaid part of the blame for the Argentinean d&at on their American training which, “had taught them to rely too heavily on resourcesrather than human endeavor.“” ’rhe quality of the man and 1heinfantry skill of operating at night proved more critical than any technologicaladvantage. As such, the FalklandsConflict demonstratedthat, without doubt, physical robustnesstmd endurancewcrc fundamental10 a soldier’s ability to do his job properly.“” As noted by rhe Dcfcnsc Committee, “Although there is no one factor tha1can he singled out as having contribuled more than any other to British victory, high on the list is the encluranccand stamina of the land forces.“” .The MOD was more direct stating: “The most important factor in the successof the task force was the skill, stamina and resolution displayed by individual serviccmen.““sFurthermore,the MOD stated“The Campaign highlighted the importanceof both physical and mental toughness,”which it bclicved can only be achieved by ‘maintaining readinessand training at the highest level.““” A point easily made, but in the intervening years rarely followed through. Peacetimefitness, however, is no guaranteeof operationalrobustnessand endurance.Numerous caseswcrc reported where the “super-athlete”encounteredsevere
difficulties with the conditions due to a general lack of mental and physical stamina.‘0 Nor is rank a guaranteethat the individual will cope, as 3 PARA noted ofsomc ofthcit ,junior leaders: ~l‘hcy] found the conditions so demandingthat they had little or no energy left to either think, or to lead others. Robustnessmust be a significant pointer to future officer and NC0 selection. Perhapswe do not give it enough priority these days5’ This is a stark admission from one of the elite battalions in the British Army and it is probably a fair reflection ofthc expcricncesof the other infantry battalionsduring the campaign. I:or Pike, it was thescjunior leaderswho were the key players in the infantry battles. Regardlessof how much firepower was delivered onto the ohjectivc, and the degreeof surpriseachieved in the attack, each battle involved a long and difficult brcakin and tight-through. For the infantry this proved to be the greatesttesting ground of leadership.s2Although rcsponsihility for the tactical conduct ol’thc battle often rested with the company commander there is little doubt that the burden of leadership,and its supremetest during these most difficult phases,fell upon the junior leaderat platoon, section and tire team level. Here, example was everything, as the proportion ofofticers and noncommissionedoflicers to private soldier killed in the infantry battles testities ( I : I) (SW appendix A). The Falklands Conflict dcmonstratcdthat key to the successof the individual leader was his resourcefulness,initiative and courage.5311is apparentthat good training for independentaction will often bc far more important than any conceivable improvement in technology. One of the major lessonsfrom the ground campaignis that 49
professionalism,innovation and the ability of infmtry to adapt to conditions Ibr which they had limited training will often hc the decisiveforce multiplicr.‘4 The battles ofthc ground campaign,that, as Clauscwitz put it. “led directly to peace”were won with riilc and bayonetand with the age-old infantry lactic of “closing with the enemy and destroying him by fire and maneuver.“ss ‘1‘0sum up chapter 3?the three broad infantry lessonsof 1heconllict that can bc iclentifcd in all the official documentsarc: the importanceof realistic training, cspccially in combinedarms operalions (a lack of being the too1 causeof so many problems in 1he Talklands).1hcimportance of correctly equipping the infantry (and training with this equipment), and the continued importanceof man over technology. Iurthcrmore, thcrc is little doubt that the Falklandsproved that the infantry ha1tlc still hingeson the abilily of the soldier to close with and destroy the enemy. ?\lways a difficult task. the British infantry’s experiencein the l;alklands demonstrated1ha1it is ,junior infantry leadershipand the will to win 1hatare the csscntialingredienls in determining the outcome ofsucl~ encoun1ers.‘1ethnology. in such a contest, is unlikely to replacethe rclativc imporlancc ofthc man. Therefore, it is intensive and realistic training (focusedon combined arms operations)that will emphasiycthe dominance of 1heman over technology and give the soldier confidenceto make maximum and innovative USCof tried and testedequipment. I%nrlly, the nature of inlantry combat is hound to reveal soldiers that lack the mental or physical robustnessto cope: training must, thcrcfore, bc gearedto weed out those who will fail. III the IICXLchapterthree mom lessonswill be identilicd that have a direc1impact upon 1heseobservations.
‘MOD, 31, paragraph301. ‘MOD. 16: paragraph207 ‘MOD, 33. paragraph.307 ‘3 PARA, Operation Corporate: Post Opcrutional Report of the Third Uattalion the Parachute Regiment in Lessons qf the l~‘ulkland.~ Campaign: Post Operutionul Report qf the Third Battalion The Parachute Regiment (Ottawa, Ontario: National Defencc
I leadquarters,I I January I983), Annex C. paragraph2. 5Tsoiuas,440. ’ The Director of Infantry’s (DINF), Operation Corpornte Dehriqf in /,e.wons oj War (Ottawa. Onlario: National DefenseHcadquartcrs,2 February 1983) Annex A, paragraph5d.
‘2 PARA. Operation Corporute. Post Operutional Report oj’the Second llrrttulion the Parachute Regiment in Operation Corporate .- Post Operational Report efthe .Second Battulion The Parachute Regiment (St-Hubert, Quebec:Mobile Command Hcadquartcrs,
16 July l984), p. 6, paragraph33. ‘3 PARA, Annex C. paragraph6 “Michael Clapp and Ewen Southby-l‘ailyour,Amphibious Assuult Fulklunds: 7‘he f&t/e ofSm (hrhs Wa/er (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press,1996), 68. ‘“For the prep‘arationof the assaulton Mount Longdon, 3 PARA had only one aerial photographthat was taken from 10,000feet someyears prior to the events in question, Brigadier Hew Pike, The Army :v lnfnntry und Armored reconnaissance Forces in Ten Years On: The British Army in the Fulklands War, ed. I .inda Washington (Great Britain: Jolly & Uarber I .imited), 44. “2 PARA 3p, 2 , paragraph8; 3 PARA, Annex C, paragraph23. “Pike, 46 ‘.‘3 PARA, Annex C, paragraph24. ‘“Pike, 44. “Pike, 46. ‘“2 PARA, p. 7. 3 PARA, Annex C, paragraph7. 51
“DIN:. Annex 13,paragraph8. ‘“Pike. 42. “2 PARA: p. 7, paragraph33a. *“3 PARA, Annex C, paragraphs9, IO, I I I I2 and I3 2’Major GeneralJohn Frost, 2 PARA fiirlklunds: The U&u/ion at Wrrr (London: ISuchan& I;nright Publishers, I983), 159. *‘Anthony Il. Cordcsmanand Abraham 12.Wagner, lhe 1,esson.sof Modem und hirlk1und.y Cmflict (San I’rancisco: Wcstvicw I’rcss, 1990). 328.
W ’urftire Volume III: The /ifihun
“Pike, 46. *“Pike, 40. ‘SMajor General Brian Pennicott, The Gunners in En Yours On: ?he 1Iritish Army in the I*blklands War, cd. Linda Washington (Great Britain: Jolly & Barber Limited), 49. “‘MOD, p, 23: paragraph235 e. “3 PARA. Annex G, paragraph I. “3 PARA. Annex F, paragraph7. “)2 PARA, p. 5. paragraph26. “‘Thomas E Uroyles, Maj. USA, A Comparutive Analysis of the Medical Support in the C‘ombat Operutions in the t*blklands Cumpuign and the Grenudu Expedition, M,NtS, (Kansas:Fort Leavenworth, 1987) 62. “Frost, 158. “Harry Ci. SummersJr.. Ground Way/tire lessons in Militury Lessons of the the United Stutes, cd. Bruce W. Watson and Peter M. Dunn (ljouldcr, Colorado: West View Press, I990), 75. fiirlklunds Wur: View.cjvm
s31tis worth noting that an infantry battalion at peacecstahlishmentis cadcriscd by someten percent. Infantry battalions arc only brought to war establishmentin times 01’ generalconflict, operations such as the Palklandsare fought at peaceestablishment. Battalionsarc therefore already at a minimum strength at the start of the operation without the combined effect of bdtlk and non-battle casualtiesfurther reducing their 52
I$dpmcnt and weapon systems tcstcd and capabilities understood
Kegimental System come to the fort
Quality of pr;fessional I---- volunteer soldiel Honus to capability In tlw Fnlklands
Regimental spirit I.ow Qwliry
Amelioraring factors I” the Falklands
Figure 9. The I
If the level of realistic and relevant training and the time in role are describedas the key factors in determining unit capability and readiness,then the other main lessonscan hc idcntificd as mo~$i&tg,/tic/ors. Thesemodifying factors are: the RegimentalSystem;the quality of the man; the quality of equipmentand weapons;ad hoc formations;and arms plotting (the key but not the only determinantof time in role). As demonstratedin the I’alklands, the lirst three of these modifying factors can have a positive or negativeeffect upon a unit’s capability and readiness;the last two can only have negativeinfluences. It is the author’s observationthat units which have spent long periods at low readiness lcvcls and with little comhincd arms training, do not work well as part of ad hoc formations. Furthermore. leadersare not developed,the weak are protected,soldiers become dependentupon technology and cannotmake innovative use of it; and units and headquarters are neither cognizant of their own capabilitiesand weaknessnor that of availableequipment, Conversely,units that have benelited from substantialrealistic and relevant training and have enjoyed a long period in role can cope with most of the negativeeffects ofopcrating in ad hoc formations. All other factors tend to add to capability rather than serving to simply amelioratethe problems causedby poor training and lack of time in role. High capability and readinessare, however, adverselyaffectedas soon as time in role is reducedto zero. Such is the impact 01‘arms plotting a unit from one role. such as armored infantry, to another role, usually diametrically opposedto previousexperience,such as light infantry. It can bc no coincidencethat ofthe infantry battalionsin the Falklands,the battalions of the ParachuteRegiment performedthe best given that they were less exposedto the negativc effects of arms plotting, usually staying in one of two light infantry roles: the parachute 79
Specifically, how are theselessons,or factors,relevantto the Rritish Army’s light infantry of today? When answeringthis questionit is appropriateto first considerthe two factors identified as critical to unit capability and rcadincss--timein role and realistic and relevant training, the critical componentof the latter being preparationfor combinedarms operations. Arms plotting and the generalorganizationof the British infantty influence both factors. Of the Army’s forty regular infantry battalions,nineteenhave a combinedarms affiliation with the other arms and scrviccsof the regular Army. Of thesenineteen battalions, tight are in the amiored infantry role, four arc in the mechanizedinfantry role, one is the combined arms training battalion, and six are in, what can he termed,a specialist light infantry role. Thesespecialistlight infantry roles are the parachuterole, air-land role, air-mobile role. All of thesebattalions,lessthe combinedarms training battalion, are part of’the three main field organizationsof the 13ritishArmy: 1 (United Kingdom) Armored Division, 3 (United Kingdom) Division, and 24 Air Mobile Brigade. The remaining twenty-one infantry battalionscan be referred to as nonspecialist light infantry, including the six residentinfantry battalionsin Northern Ireland. Three of the remaining fifteen battalionsprovide the overseasgarrisons,leaving twelve in what was traditionally called the National Dcfence Role but was recently changedto the light infantry role.* In an Army dominatedby maneuveristthinking thesefifteen nonspecialist light infantry battalions (counting the three overseasbattalions)are seenas the least effective commodity in the infantry arsenal--assuchthey are regardedas the “illegitimate child” of the infantry. It should be noted that none of thesetwenty-one nonspecialistlight
infantry battalions have any afliliation with any regular artillery, signals, cnginecr, armored,or aviation units:’ ‘l‘hc stark reality is that u111ess one is a soldier in I (United Kingdom) Armored Division. 3 (llnitcd Kingdom) Division or 24 Air Mobile Hrigadc one is rarely rcsourced IO train Ibr, and collectively mentally
prcparr for, combined arms operations. All too
often the quality ofthc nonspecialistlight infantry training is overly dependentupon what training they can improvise and what rcsourccsthey can borrow. Furthermore, nearly all ofthe light infantry battalions,specialistor othcrwisc, are increasingly under resourccd. arc subicctto cuts in the numbersof support weaponsheld: and are often afforded the lowest priority for wheeledvehiclesand equipment.‘This directly impacts upon the light infantry’s capability and readiness. ‘I’hc quality ofthc nonspecialistlight infantry is further adversely affected when an infantry battalion remainsin one, ofscveral variants, of the nonspecialist light role for ten to liftccn years,arms plotting betweenNorthern Ireland, ccrcmonial duties, Cyprus, and
the old National Defenserole, for example.During this time the battalion will receive
little, !~uH~J, meaningfulcombined arms training.” ‘l‘he plight of the light infantry as a whole is going IO get worse given the planned changesto Army organization.In the early yearsofthc next century 5 Airborne Uriyadc will he replacedby a mcchanizcdinfantry brigade that will have up lo three hattahonsin the armored infantry role or mechanizedinfantry role. ‘Thetwo air-land battalions in 5 Airborne Brigade will convert to this higher role and the two parachutebattalions will move to 16 Air Assault Brigade, which is going to replace24 Air Mobile Brigade. Of the two air-mohilc inhuttry battalionsin 24 Air Mobile Brigade, one will convert to the 82
mechanizedor armoredrole and one will revert lo a non-specializedinfantry role. As a result of these changesthe Army will reduceits number of specialistlight infantry baltdhons orgdnizedalong side the other arms and servicesto two, from six, and increasethe number of non-specialistlight infantry battalionsby one (fig.1 1). The light infantry, specialist or otherwise, arc being increasinglysidelined. So what? There are three critically detrimental factors to the British Army as a whole causedby this stateof affairs. Firstly, and perhapsmost significantly, has been the creation of an infantry officer corns whosemajority membershipare instructed the importanceof combined arms operationsbut arc not practicedin its complex application. ‘This is fervent breedingground for the worst aspectof the RegimcntdlSystem--thevery bedrock of the British infantry--parochialism.What combinedarms operationsexperiencedo theseofficers bring to staffjobs and the training organization? Secondly,there is a negativeimpact upon the performanceof the armored infantry, the most potent infantry force fielded by the British Army. The maximum time spent in the armored infantry role is six years.Of this six years,one year in every three is spent on training support and operationalcommitments,which might involve a six-month tour of the Halkans or Northern Ireland (the latter in the light infantry role). One year in every three is spent on stand-by statusas part of the Army’s Itipid ReactionForce, and one year in every three is spentin intensive combinedarms training up to brigade level. As a general example,an infantry battalion spendingfifteen yearsin various nonspecialistlight infantry roles and six yearsas armored infantry will only spendtwo of thesetwenty-one yearsengagedin dedicated combined arms training, and about four yearsin a combinedarms environment. This is not 83
b’igurc I 1. ‘lk Organization of 111~Infantry in the British Army, March 1999,
an efficient way to create a body of infantry versedand’practicedin combined arms operationsand has a direct impact upon the infantry’s ability to reinforce i&elfin moments01’crisis or over-stretch causedby undermanningand operational ovcrcommi(ment. Thirdly, in a time of national crisis that calls for the deploymentof ground forces imo a combat environment there is. on the evidenceof the past fifty-four years:a three to one chancethat the British infantry will be called upon to fight in the light role in a combined arms environment. Examplesinclude Korea. 1950-53;Suez, 1956; and the Falklands 1982.’The one exception to this trend is the Ciulf War of 1990-Y1. The combat experienceof other nations post-1945 also supportsthis pattern; for example,Francein Vietnam; Russia in Afghanistan; and America in Vietnam: Somalia,Grenada,and Panama. The Middle I‘:& Wars might seemthe exceptionlo this pattern. However, the Lgyptians enjoyed their grcatcst period of successwhen the spearheadof their forces was provided by light infantry armed with antitank weapons(6-9 October 1973). In the same conflicl the Israelis learned the hard way the importanceofall infantry types in combined arms operations.A lessonthey paid scant regardto posl conflict, and were again IO learn during the 1982 invasion of 1,ebanon.In this latter casethe Israelis learnedthe critical importanceof’armored operations being proceededby light infantry in close terrain (as opposedto dismounted armored infantry--which can never cut the umbilical cord betweenman and machine). In sum, as regards the IWO critical factorsthat will determineinfantry capability (time in role and training), they are still subjectlo negativeforces in the presentday 85
On the downside arc two factors. First, the withdrawal from infantry service 01 the 66mm LAW without its replacementwith a comparableweapon.As an antitank systemthe 66mm LAW is undoubtedlyobsolescent.However, this weapon was used IO good effect in the Falklands; weighing only live pounds,measuringonly one-half a meter in length when closed,and being accurateup to 165 yards,it proved its worth in attacking enemystrong points. It is a highly portable and cheapsystemthat can be carried by a soldier without adversedetermentto his fighting capabilitiesand was, and can be, available in large numbers.It is an ideal complementto the rifle launchedgrenade. In its steadis the LAW 80, a systemalso dcsigncdto replacethe X4mm MAW. An outstanding anti tank weapon,cost and lack ofportability (weighing twenty-two pounds and measuringone meter in length when closed) unfortunatelypreclude it from replacing the 66mm LAW in comparablenumbers.The L.AW 80 is a resourcethat must be carefully husbandedfor its primary role: this representsa loss of light infantry capability. The secondnegative step in weaponry, in the author’s opinion, is the replacement ofthc GPMG at rifle sectionand rifle platoon level with the 5.56mm Light Support Weapon(LSW). There is little doubt that the GPMG is a heavy burden for a soldier to carry, weighing over thirty poundswith a belt of fifty rounds.Despite this the system is exceptionallypopular with the soldiers,being robust, reliable, and capableof laying down an effective, audihle and, for the recipient, terrifying weight of suppressivetire. Its popularity also stems,in part, from a generaldislike for its replacement--theLSW. The weight of the GPMG might slow movementoutsideof combat,but in combat its rate of fire and cffectivencssin the handsof a trained gun crew helps the light infantry maintain the tempo of operationsand win the battle for moral domination. 87
during arduousinfantry training. The replacementof the GPMG (which is by no meansa perfect weaponssystemand probably did require replacing) with the LSW reprcscntsa loss ol’light infanlry capability. The provision of belted or boxed ammunition for the ISW would go a long way towardsovercomingthis problem. One good point producedby a shift from the GPMG to the LSW is a reduction in the infmtry load. However, such a reduction in load is not representativeof the light infantry plight; for cxamplc, sincethe Falklands,the infantry have taken IO wearing combat body armor, adding in cxccssol’ten poundsto a man’s load. It is very probable that the light inl8ntryman’s load of today remainsas heavy as his predecessor’sin the FalklandsConflict. The Falklandsdid not causethe establishmentto review the load of the light I. mraniry and consequentiythere remainsno guiding principics for iight infantry iogistics nor any attempt to lighten the burdencarried by the light infantryman. This problem ol load carriageis caught in a mind-setthat believesthere is nothing that can be done to lighten the soldier’s load and, regardlessof what the infanlry is askedto carry: the majority will cope. ‘Thelaller mind-setruns againstthe lessonfrom the Falklands Conflict. It is also a mindset which is not reflected in training, where “realistic” loads are still not carried--that is they do not representthe true weight of the infantry burden on operations.‘This apparentcontradictionis also reflected in the Army’s proposed fitness tests,which are currently under trial (seeappendixC). ‘Themaximum load that the infantry will carry on the proposedtraining test is sixty-six pounds,designedto representmarch loads,hut is some forty pounds shorl of the averagemarch load carried in the Falklands.Other tesls call for forty-four pounds to bc XY
carried. rcprescntingassaultorder, but heing some thirty pounds shon of the average assaultorder carried in the Falkltmds. D&led researchis required into what an infantryman can be cxpectcdIO carry while remainingoperational when the mental burdensof’fear and stressarc added IO the physicalburden. Colonel S. I.. A. Marshall commencedsuch a study in his hook T/2(’ Soldier :YLocrdund /he Mobility qj’a Nrrlion, a study of the ef&ts of overburdeningthe inrantry in World War II. One of his many conclusions is that the infantry should not bc called upon to carry more lh
fifty-one pounds on the march and hc should carry no
more than folly pounds into combat.” Ironically, it would appearthat the British Army has got its proposedtest weights about right--operationalreality must now he brought into line. If not the light infantr! will cominuc 10test capability against one criteria while being faced with carrying loads on operationsthat arc well in excessol’test weights. It appearsthat we have forgotten the scorn heapedupon Ihc British generalsof World War I for making the infantry attack on the lirst day of the Rattlc of the Somme carrying an averageol’sixty-six pounds.‘I’‘l‘he plight of the light infantry has worsened sincethe soldiers’forcrathers struggled across “no mans”land in lOI 6, despiteall the leapsmadein kchnology since then. llnless the light infantry’s operational load is reducedthe capabilitiesof the individual will continue to hc undermined.Not even the strongestclcmentsof the Regimental System can hope to salvagethe capabilities of’thc uvetqqe soldier when overburdenedon operations. As Ibr lhc Regimental System,this is as alive and well in the Rritish infant5 today as it was at the time of the Falklands. II is a systemthat engendersa strong 90
rqimenfcd spirit. which is a form of teamwork basedupon a family spirit that, on the hattleticld, can translate into battle winning resolve. The strengthof the regimental spirit in the infantry must hc retained; what must he changed,if not stopped,is the selfdefeatingprocessof arms plotting. II should be noted that arms plotting has many other be&its above and beyond the prcscrvationof the Regimental System,as describedin chapter 4. It createsa body 01 infantry that possessa broad baseofexpcricnce that is unique when comparedto their like throughout the world (at the expenseof capability); it helps prcvcnt boredom from setting in; and units arc not condcmncdto fester away their time in unpopular locationsor roles. However, it can be arguedthat the penalty of arms plotting (loss of capability) far out weighs any benefits accruedby a Regimental Systemthat is dependentupon arms plotting for its very existence. There is also one further negative factor that will surely causearms plotting to be stoppedby the Army’s political masters- cost. In stringently constrainedlinancial times all things deemedwasteful arc cut. The infantry will find it increasinglydifficult to defendthe processof arms plotting basedupon the intangible that is the link bctwccn the RegimentalSystemand regimental spirit. The first fostersthe second,of that there is no doubt-hut what are the essentialelements?It is thesethat must he identified and protectedinsteadof blind faith basedupon tradition. In sum, the light infantry of the British Army in the waning yearsofthc ‘Twentieth Century are struggling to find an acceptedrole that will bring meaningful levels of rcsourccsand realistic and relevant training. It would appearthat, for the light infantry:
too much attention was paid to the opening remarksof the MOD in their 19X2 publication, The I~‘alk1and.s Campaip: The Lexwns. The 1;alklandsCampaign was in many ways unique. We must bc cautious. thcreforc. in deciding what Icssonsofthc Campaignare relevant to the United Kingdom’s main dcfenscpriority,--our role within iVAT0 againstthe threat from the Soviet IJnion and her allies. Military thought is trapped in conventional wisdom, a conventionalwisdom that is now outdated. To dismissthe FalklandsConflict as mainly irrelevant is to ignore the unique nature of all conllicts that the British Army has beeninvolved in during the Twentieth Century: World War 1; World War II; Korea; the Malayan Insurgency;Suez: Northern Ireland; the Cold War; lhe Gull’War; etc.. A study of each of theseconflicts can only hope to give clues as to the nature of future conflict. hut none provide prescriptive descriptions of how future events will unfold. As such, a critical benefit accruedfrom studying history is the identification of patterns.The Falklands Conflicl servedto reinforce and remind the British Army, and specifically the light infantry, that many of the ingredientsof successon operations dependupon, as stated by the MOI), “A firm resolve; llexibility of forces; equipment and tactics; human ingenuity; and well trained ofticcrs and mtn.” IJniquc or not, the Falklands Conflict provided an opportunity for theseessentialingredientsof success. which span the experienceof conflict in the ‘l‘wentieth Century, to be held under the close scrutiny of an operational environment which exposedman and his equipment to fear, uncertainty, and the potential for failure. As described in this thesis the developmentof resolve,flexibility, equipment, tactics and resourcefulnessare achievedthrough credible and realistic training, focused 92
on combinedarms operations,and units spendingadequatetime in role. Some sevcntecn years have now passedsincethe British light infantry were last tested in unfettered combat. In the absenceof combat the time has now come for the British infantry to again check itself againstthe essentialingredientsfor success.For this to be worthwhile further studiesare required to addressa host of infantry relatedissues.What is light infantry what must it bc capableof in the next century? What, if any, is the role of the light infantry in armored warfare? How can the infantry retain the Regimental Systemwhile ridding itself of the burden of arms plotting? Ilow shouldthe light infantry hc organized and equippedfor war? What should the light infantry load be on operationsand what should constitute light infantry logistics procedures’?Do the light infantry require an all terrain, low maintenance,logistics vehicle at platoon level? Dots infantry selection and training foster soldierswho are robust, resourccfui and courageous’These ? are oniy a few of the questionsthat must be addressedin the future. In closing, it is worth stating one final lessonidentified by the author during his researchin to the infantry’s performancein the FalklandsContlict. In apparenttaulology, this is the lessonof Laming from one’s lessonsand applying the results of the lessons Icarned.Two of the Iinest armies to take to the field this century have both been masters of adaptationand rapid implementationof lessonslearned:the German Army of 1940 and 1941,as cxcmplitied by its period of changefollowing its Campaign in Poland in 1940; and secondly;the Israeli Defence Porcc; as exemplified by its rapid adaptationto changingbattlefield tactics following its disastrousstart to the 1973 October War. ‘l‘herc is little doubt that the British Army is an organizationwith proven adaptability during times of crisis. Indeed, it is this proven addptability that has enabled 93
the British Army to fight hack from predictable setbackscaused by failure to invest in lhc Army during periods of peaceand the collective scrubbing clean from the memory of any lessonslearnedin the last crisis. ‘TheHritish Army, and specifically the infantry, arc victims of their own success--theinfantry’s proven adaptability on the battleticld is its own undoing when it comeslo implementing the hard lessonslearned. It leadslo
mindset that WChave always coped and WCalways will; an admirable quality that encouragesinitiative and rcsourcefuhressbut also results in the “wheel being rcinventcd.” usually through the unnecessaryloss of life. It is a mindsct that thrives in the tradition basedBritish infantry. Hence,in part, one ofthc MOD’s opening remarks in their analysisof the lessonsof the FalklandsConflict, “Many of the lessonsarc not new but they are no less important for that.“‘2 Adaptability in crisis is an essentialinfantry skill that must be retained, encouragedand trained for. Essentialalso is the ability to make the necessarychangesin peacebasedupon lessons,old or new, learned in conflict or training. Indeed?the identilication of lessonsis olicn the easy part, it is the ability to accept lessonsand implement them in a timely mannerthat is the mark of a truly capable armed force. Is the British infantry capableof learning from past experiencesand applying the lessons learnedbasedupon a clear vision of the future, thereby making any necessarychanges-no matter how radical? Only time will tell. Based upon the lessonsidentified in this thesis, the record of changeis at bestpatchy, as it appearsthat many of the infantry lessonsof the I:alklands Conflict are as relevant now as they were in 1982. ‘Tsouras,2 16. 2DINF, 3. 94
‘This total of twenty-one battalions includes one Gurkha battalion, which providesthe residentinfantry battalion in Brunei (in the light role). The secondGurkha infantry battalion is part of 5 Airborne Brigade and is in the air-land role. “Light infantry battalionscan bid for training exercisesin Belize, Kenya and Canada;however, although theseare battalion deployments,they only focus 011 company training. Any supporting arms provided to support the training add little IO the infantry training experienceother than pyrotechnic value. ‘II’the scopeof this list was expandedto cover the entire spectrumof operational activity then the odds of light infantry deploying increaseto eight to one (against- The Former Republic of Yugoslavia, 1992 onwards: for-division of India and Pakistan, 1947; Palesline,1947; Malayan Insurgencyfrom 1948; Middle east crisis of 1952; antiterrorist operarionsin Cyprus from 1955; deployment to Jordan, 1958; Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. 1960; Kuwait, I961 ; Brunei coup, 1962; Borneo confrontation, 1963; Northern Ireland, 1969 onwards; Belize, 1960s 1980s;Zimbahwc, 1980; Rwanda, 1994).Chandlerand Beckett, 463-465. ‘This would require a magazinechange every 3 seconds- without allowing time to changethe mag‘azineand reacquirethe target! ‘Major Ian Hope, CanadianArmed Forces, interview by author, I ,eavenworth. KS., 12 March 1999. Major Hope served with 2 PARA for two years as a platoon commander. “The GPMG came into service in the 1960sand was the British responseto the German MC 42, used with devastatingeffect in World War II. The GI’MG was hrought into scrvicc as it was felt that the in service light machine gun, the Bren Gun, coulclnot provide an adequateweight of fire, being magazinefeel.Sydney Jary MC with Carbuncle, Firepower at the Platoon and CnmpanyLevel, in British Army Review: Number II 4, December1996 (Hcrtford: StephenAustin, 1996), 90-9X. “Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall, Men Against Fire: The Problemsoj‘Hattic Commandin Future War (Virginia: Byrrd Entcrpriscs, Inc., 1947), 70 and 7 I. ‘OJohnTerrainc, The Smokeand the Fire: Myths and Anti Myth.rof War 1X61/ Y45 (London: Leo Cooper, 1980), 143-147. It should be noted that Tcrraine draws the conclusionthat the infantry were not overburdenedin the attack on the firs1 day of the Somme;however he makesno referenceto the effects of fear and stresson the physical perfonnanccof a soldier. “MOD, 15. I2 MOD, p. 3 I, paragraph301. 95
APPENDIX A PARTICIPANTS AND CASUALTIES IN THE MAJOR LAND BATTLES Table 2 gives the details of the participants and casualtiesinvolved in the six major land battles. The figures for the British killed and wounded are accurate.The figures for the Argentinean forces and casualtiesare, in some cases, approximate.The main, but not only, referenceused for the Argentinean casualty figures and unit participation was Martin Middlebrook’s The Fight For The Malvinas: The Argentine Forces in the Falklands War (London: Penguin Books, 1990).
Table 2. Participants and Casualtiesin the Major Land Battles Battle
Major Argentinean Unit(s)
Goose Green and Darwin
28/29 May 1982
a. 12* Regt (less one coy)
280630 - 291450
(approximately 450 mkn in the assault)
a. 18 killed (includes 4 officers, 6 NCOs, 1 pilot and 1 sapper)
b. Air Force
a. 55 killed (32 fi-om 12t” Regt, 4 Air Force, 13 C Coy? 5 8* Regtt: 1 pilot)
b. 37 wounded
c. C Coy, 25* Regt
b. 86 wounded
d. Platoon, 8* Regt
c. 800 prisoners
(Note: Approximately 3 % infantry companys fought in the battle: about 400 soldiers. Additional 600 service personnel at Goose Green did not fight)
g. Elements of 60 1StAA Bn with 20mm and 35mm guns
(the assault cmt” the position was conducted by two companies)
b. IO wounded
b. 111 Bde HQ Def Pl
b. 250 prisoners
c. PI from B Co\.
c. One platoon escaped
(total strength approximately 300) -.
.I I:12 June 1982
a. 4 killed (including NC0 and I sapper)
a. 9 killed
a. C Coy. 4L’Reg ( 170 men)
b. 54 prisoners
h. IO wounded
b. B Coy, 6” Reg ( I20 men)
c. B Cov. 6’h Ke:t withdrew to Tumbledown _I
a. I9 killed (includes 8 UCO< and 1 sapper)
a. B Co\. 71hRcg
a. 29 killed, possibly 30
b. Engineer PI
b. SO prisoners
c. Between 5 and 8 12.7 mm machine guns manned by marines
c. Survivors fled to Wireless Ridge
h. 35 wounded
Table 2 - Continued -.- ,.Battle
.. _ Wireless Ridge
13 14 June 1982
a. 3 killed (includes NCO~
a. I5 killed and many wounded. Seventeen prisoners. Remainder retreated towards Stanley.
140015-140500 b. I I wounded (The Hattalion began its approach f?om 132030)
c. Remnants from the Longdon tigtn d. Counrer artack 1: 70 x dismounted armored Clk%Wtl~”
b. Counter attack I: 6 killed c. Counter atuck 2: 3 killed many wounded
e. Counter attack 2: A Coy, jn Regt
l.i 14 June 1982 132100
a. 8 killed (includes .; Pd;os)
b. 40 uoundcd (The diversionq auack commenced 2030)
01‘30 men involved in a diversionav attack 2 were kiilcd and 7 wounded
a. N coy. 5”. Marirles b. B Coy. 6” Rest Marine Engineerc
a. AL least 20 killed in the main fight b. One killed and few wounded repelling the diversionary attack c. kw
d. Survivors retreated towards Stanley
APPENDIX B BRITISH ARMY: CiROUND FORCES ORDER OF BATTLE Table 3 is basedupon information from 1,indaWashington’sTen Year:~On: The Brirish A~WZJJ in the I~ulklunds Wu/ar (London: National Army Museum Publication. 1992). pp. 105 & 106; and the MOD’s, The I;irlklundc Campuign: The Lessons(London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Ol’ficc, 19X2),pp. 42 & 43. This table representsthe order of battlc of the two hrigadcson departurefrom the United
Kingdom for the South Atlantic. The units in bold were part of the brigade under
which they are listed prior to the Falklands Conflict.
Table 3. British Army: Ground ForcesOrder of Battle
3 Cdo Udc
Headquarters 3 Cclo Bde Rnyal Marines (RM)
5 Inf Bdc
.-.. ofH Squadron ‘The Blues
5 Inf Rde
-.-, 29 Rattery, 4 Field Regiment Royal Artillery (RA)
Headquarters and 97 Baltcry. 4 Field Regiment RA
Forward Observation Regiment RA
One troop of43 Air Defence battery. 32 Guided Weapons Regiment RA
OfIiccrs of4 I:ield
12 Air Ikfencc
29 Cdo Regiment
Troop thorn 43 Air Dcfence Raltery, 32 Guided Weapons Regiment RA --
‘l‘ablc 3 - Continuccl -_
-.S Inf Udc
3 Cdo ISdc . --
Elcmenrs 2 Postal and Courier Regiment Royal Engineers (RI:)
3 Cdo Bde Air Squadron RM 6llS Tactical Air Squadron RM 61 I Tactical Air Squadron RM 612 Tactical Air Squadron RM 6 I3 Tactical Air Control Party Dctachtaent 47 Air Despalch Squadrc In Koyal Corps of Transport (RC’I‘) -. SlIppI
Cdn Logistics Regiment RM
107 Koad ‘Transport ‘Troop KU‘
Elements of 17 port Regiment RCT
8 I and 9 I Ordnance Companies KAOC
Detachment XI Ordnance Company Koyal Army Ordnance Corps (KAOC :)
121 I:xplosive Ordnance Disposal ,Company RAOC
8 Field Cash Ofticc Koyal Army Pay ,Corps (KAPC) IO IGeld Workshop Royal Eleclrical Mechanical Engineers (REMI:)
Troop from 16 Field Ambulance Army Medical Corps (RAMC)
Elements I60 Provost Company Royal Military Police (RMP
APPENDIX C BRITISII ARMY’S TRIAI. FITNI:SS 1‘13STS AS Al‘ MARCII 1999 ‘lablc 4 is an extract ofthe Hritish Army’s proposedfitness tests.The informalion in this table is accurate as at March 1999. ‘l‘able 4. Hritish Army’s ‘Trial FitnessTests
_._.__ --_. ---- --..- ~---..Test Detnils
l&sic Combat Fitness Test
.Gender and age non-specilic
Press-ups, sh-ups and the multi stage fitness teS1 (often refcrred to as the ‘bleep test’) _..-..--
12.X kilometer march. currying 25 kilograms, completed in 2 hours
lkic Personal Fitness Assessment
Ciendcr and age specjfic -
I, Gender and age non-spccitic
a. 3.2 kilometer speed march, carrying 20 kilograms, completed in 22 mimltes
2. 111’ro unit commander’s
Part 2 (conducled immediately
discretion to decide if the wl should be conducted
Part I ): b. Conducr a minimum of3 of the following IO I
x. Climb and descend a 4 meter rope
- __-.__. 102
Table 4 - Continued
4dvanccd Combat IFitness Test 2 “WI Iwo t :conducted , IHYS)
I. Gender and age non specilic
20 kilometer cndurancc mwcb over varied terrain. to be completed in 3 hours 30 mioutcs, carrying 30 kilograms
2. [Jp 10 unit commander’s discretion to decide if the twt should be conducted
Day 2: Part I: 20 kilometer endurance march over varied terrain, to be completed in 3 hours, carrying 20 kilograms. Part 2: Complete a minimum (SW above) ----.
of 3 RMTs
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British Army. Field Manual, Volun~eOne: ‘Ihe Fundamentals Part I. The Af~f>licution a/’ Farce, U.K.: StaplesPrintersSt Alhans Limited, 1985. Official Documents Brown, I<. J.. Colonel. Despatch - Commander afFulkland,s Iask Farce Operution.s. London: Canadian High Commission,30 December 1982. Corrivcau. J. P., Lieutenant Colonel. Operutian Corporate - POSIOperational Reporl a/’ the Second Battalion The f’arachtrte Regiment. St-IIubert, Quc: Mobile Command Headquarters,I6 July 1984. U.K. Drfensc Committee. Fourth Refrort jrom the Defence Committee Session, f %Y6-N.~. Implementing the Lessons afthe Fulklands Campuign. London: Her Majcsiy’s Stationery QfIicc, 1987. Jazey,D. A., Major. I,es.san.saf‘the f+a/klund.s War. Ottawa, Ontario: Directorate oi Training and Operations6, National Dcfence Headquarters,2 February 1983. IJ.K. Ministry of Dcknsc. The f;alklands War: Z’hcI.essons.London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, December1982. 107
Monro. S.H.R.H., Brigadier, ‘The Honorable, CUE, ADC, Direcfor OfInfantry flpdule. Warminster: U.K. Director of Infantry, 5 November 1998. Pike. I I., Lieutenant General, Sir, KCR: DSO, MBE, l,lmd Commund Oh.ter~rrrions,f~onl liuining, IY96. Wilton: U.K. IIeadquarters I,and Command, 19 February I YY7. Quinn: L.C., Colonel, Lessons of/he Fulklunds Campuign: Pas/ Operarionul Rqwrr of /he 7hird Uattulion The I’uruchute Regimenr. Ottawa, Ontario: Directorate of Training and Operations6, National Defence Headquarters.I1 January 1983. Willcocks, MA., Major General, CD, Assistant Chief of the General Staff, ACXS”.s ;Vewsleller: Edition 31. Whitehall, London: Main Building, 5 August I Y9X. ITheses Allard. J., “The I:alkland Islands War: An Image of War in the 2 I SI Century.”Thesis, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA, 10 April 1997. Broyles,Thomas: Ii., Maj, U.S.A. “A Comparative Analysis of the Medical Supporl in the Combat Operationsin the I:alklands Campaign and the GrenadaExpedition.” MMAS thesis, Command and General Staff College, Fort I.eavenworth, KS, 3 SeptemberI Y87. Bryant. Melrose. M. “Palklands/Malvinas Conllict, SelectedReferences:Special Bibliography, No. 266.” Thesis, Air University Library, Maxwell Air Force l3ase. AL, November 19X2. Dunn. R. C. “Operation Corporate: Operational Artist’s View of the Falkland Islands Conflict.” Thesis, Naval War College, Department of Operations, Newport, RI, 17 May 1993. Norriss, David, K., Wing Commander, U.K. “A Most Unlikely War‘?High Technology and the IIuman Dimension in the Falklands War.” Thesis, Air IJniversity I .ibrary, United StatesAir Force, Maxwell Air Force Hasc. AI.., April 1988. WTeiss. K. G. “The War for the I:alklands: A Chronology.” Thesis, Center for Naval Analysts, Alexandria Naval Studies Group, VA, August 1982.
Major lan Hope (former Platoon Commander, 2 PARA, 1987 - 1989). lntervicwcd by author, Fort Leavenworth, KS, 19 March 1999.
Articles Bailey, Jonathan,Major, MBE. “Training for War: The Falklands 1982.”Brifish Army Review 73, (April 19X3):21-30. Beaumont,J. I)., Major. “Military Iithos.” Hrirish Army Review 115, (April 1997): 37-40.
CouscnsR.P., Major. “Light Infantry -- A Renaissance?”Rritish Army Review 72, (December 1982): 25-34. Farndalc,Martin, General, Sir, KCB. “The Timing of Options: an army too small.”Army />&nce Quarterly .Journol 122, no. I (January 1992): 133-l 37 Jary, Sydney, wilh Carhunclc. “Firepower at the Platoon and Company I.cvel.” Witish ,4rmy Review I 14, (Deccmberl996): 90-99. Jary, Sydney,with Carbuncle. “I Loved My Brcn Gun Carrier.” British Army Review 112, (April 1996): 70-74. Mayer, C.A.M., Lieutenant. “Motivation and the Fighting Man.” Uriliu/j Army Review 108, (December 1994): 14-18. Myatt. I:, Mqior (Ret’d), MC. “The Light Machine Gun in the British Army.” lIritish Army Review 70, (April 1982): 56-60. Phillips, G.J., Major. “The lnfluencc of SA80 on I.ow I.cvel Tactics.”British Army Review 75, (December 1983): 26-30. Scott, M.I.E., I.TC. “The Battle of Tumbledown Mountain - 14 June 1982.” British Liaison Ofjcer 7 16, (December 1982): Annex A. Spine-Paddle,E.W., Mqjor. “The Regimental System.”British Army Review 108, (December 1994): 48-52. ‘l’hompson,Julian, Major General, CB, OBE. “Battlc of Goose Green: New Arguments are Flawed.”Army lk/&ce Quarterly Journal, 125, no. 1, (January 1995): 263-265.
Thompson,Julian, Major General, CB, ORE. “Falkands: With Hindsight.”Army D&~ce Quarterly Journal, 122, no. I (January 1992): 263-267. -,
“Soldier to Soldier: Overstretch and the unplannahle”Soldier: Maguzine qf’the Mritish Army (March 1999): 3. 109
Student Texts and Books ofI
LJSACGSC,December 1998. U.S. Department of the Army. 1JSArmy Command and General Staff College. C600, T/W I-lisrory of’WurfightinR: 7heory and Pructice, Purt I Ayllabus/Uook oj’Reading.s.
Fort Ixavenworth, Combat StudiesInstitute: USACGSC, July 1998. I J.S.Department of the Army. I.!S Army Command and General Staff College. A02 Uook qf’Reudings: :Modern Militury Iliaory of/he Middle Lu.~i. I:ort Leavenworth, Combat StudiesInstitute: IJSACCiSC,1998. Other Sources Chalmers, D.M., Major. “British Army: Trial Basic Combat l-itncssTests and Advanced Combat Fitness‘l’csts.”I!.K.: 7th Hattalion Royal Irish Regiment, 8 March 1999.
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