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Falklands War

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Major Mike Norman joined the Royal Marines in 1962 and served for thirty years, spending much of his time in commando units or training establishments. Vince Bramley – former 3 Para in the Falklands and veteran of the battles of Mount Longdon and Wireless Ridge – brought us one of the most visceral first-hand accounts of the fighting in the Falklands ever seen. This is the book the late Graham Greene managed to read in manuscript form on his way to Moscow to visit his old friend Kim Philby.

This is a book that is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the history of that conflict.The aftermath and the trauma experienced by those who lost shipmates brings home the gruesome reality of war. The author takes us all the way through a summary of the political dispute over which country lays claim to the Falklands, to the war preparations by both sides, to the actual battles and final surrender by the Argentinians. On the other hand, if you ask the Argentinian people whether they care about the Malvinas most people would say they do. After winning the first major land battle on the Falklands, 2 PARA were the only battalion to fight two, going on to fight at Wireless Ridge, the final gateway to Port Stanley. Glimpses of the Falklands War has been added as a special edition to the Glimpses of War series in honour of the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

I found the text to be well set out, with candid descriptions of what was happening, and some iconic photographs of the time. This memoir of inadequate intelligence, bureaucratic indecision, overwhelming invasion and often black humour is an enlightening read that should find its place on the bookshelves of all those with an interest in the Falklands, as well as those who wish to understand the fear and the fortitude of those who fight in close combat. They took up defensive positions in and around Government House and on the approaches to Stanley to protect the Governor, Rex Hunt, and delay the enemy’s advance. I have always regarded the Defence of Stanley, and also South Georgia, to have been among the finest engagements ever fought by the Royal Marines.Fought 8,000 miles from home soil, it cost the lives of 255 British military personnel, with many more wounded, some seriously. It is a great tribute to the rotary branches in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force and John was integral part of developing them into what they are today. On 1 April 1982 the Argentinian junta invaded the Falkland Islands, while the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment was on leave.

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