The Fog of War
In the spring of 1982, Britain’s Royal Navy (RN) went to war. The event was unscheduled, unexpected, and, for many, potentially terrifying. The analysis of potential scenarios showed that the outcome was in doubt from the start. Were there enough specialist ships? What losses could be sustained? To the ship’s company of HMS Coventry, a Type 42 air defence destroyer, these questions were academic: the ship was coming to the end of a large-scale North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercise, and all crew members were anticipating a few days of relaxation in Gibraltar. Events, however, were to take their turn. We had heard on the BBC World Service that a diplomatic row was developing over some Argentine scrap-metal merchants in South Georgia (a remote island outcrop 850 miles southeast of the Falklands); the admiral’s staff had gone into closed session and were difficult to contact; there was talk of Soviet submarines’ departing the North Cape. Something was afoot. At the beginning of April, the Argentines invaded the Falkland Islands, and a British task force was sent to the South Atlantic in response. Thus began the Falklands War.
KeywordsFatigue Depression Radar Beach Smoke
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