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At times reflective and personal, Woodward imparts his perceptions, fears, and reactions to seemingly disastrous events. He also reveals the steely logic he was famous for as he explains naval strategy and planning. His eyewitness accounts of the sinking of HMS Sheffield and the Battle of Bomb Alley are memorable.
Many Britons considered Woodward the cleverest man in the navy. French newspapers called him "Nelson." Margaret Thatcher said he was precisely the right man to fight the world's first computer war. Without question, the admiral's memoir makes a significant addition to the official record. At the same time it provides readers with a vivid portrayal of the world of modern naval warfare, where equipment is of astonishing sophistication but the margins for human courage and error are as wide as in the days of Nelson.
|1||The Day They Hit HMS Sheffield||1|
|4||South to Ascension||76|
|6||The Final Approach||114|
|7||1 May--The War Begins||130|
|8||The Bells of Hell||146|
|9||The Silence of HMS Sheffield||165|
|10||The End of the Trail for Narwal||184|
|14||The Battle of 'Bomb Alley'||250|
|15||Calamity For Coventry||269|
|16||The Marines Will Have To Walk||290|
Posted August 25, 2007
Argentina has long held to the idea that the Invincible was hit by Exocet. I may be wrong, but I believe this stems from the feelings of failure induced by defeat. You are right that a major turbine component was replaced, an operation normally conducted in dry-dock. This however occurred before the Conveyor attack. (Moreover, the Invincible is a small ship it would have required a lot more than a turbine part replacement after an Exocet hit!) You may be right that the ship was freshly painted upon return to the UK. Perhaps this was done at Ascention Island on the return? by itself, it is hardly evidence of a missile strike. Where are the stories, the memoires, the pictures? all of those exist for every ship hit by Exocet. Why not Invincible? What I find remarkable, however, is that you, claiming to be a historian, seem so intent on this idea being true that you need to write about in book reviews. Woodward never mentioned it in his memoirs *because it didn't happen*. This is why there are no pictures, no reports, no mention of it in any of the memoires written by any of the British participants of the war. I have written this so that your comments do not stand alone, without comment, and continue to propagate this story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2003
Adm Woodward writes a superb account of the battle for the Falkands in early 1982. Written from his memory of events and from the notes of his journal kept throughout the operation, Adm Woodward effectively places the reader by his side during the conflict. Written not only as a factual by date account, but from the personal side to appeal to the reader, one learns a great deal about the pressures of command decisions at the general grade officer level. Additionally, Adm Woodward provides a fair amount of the book¿s beginning to the recap of his military service, which initially seems out of place, but as he unfolds the story of the operation, these key insights to his past become paramount in understanding his actions and command decisions throughout the battles he waged in the South Atlantic. Several chapters focus on events that lasted only a few hours, providing great detail of the events from his point of view, other chapters cover several days with only basic information. The reader can easily see that what may be a overwhelming activity to the sailor on scene may only be a 15 second thought to the commander. Adm Woodward does not imply that those matters are not important, but clearly points out that subordinate leaders are there to lead the daily actions of their units, while the overall commander must stay focused on the end result desired, providing his guidance to his subordinates and support for them to accomplish that mission. In all, Adm Woodward¿s account is well worth the time to read, and a must for anyone who knows little about the campaign, or has only read historical after-action type accounts.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 7, 2001
The fact that HMS 'Invincible' had a damaged gas turbine engine replaced under the cover of darkness on 5 June 1982 (See Rodney Burden et al, Falklands: The Air War, p. 238, Arms & Armour Press, 1986) and that with the fighting at an end the aircraft carrier anchored on 1 July 1982 off the Islands sporting a new coat of sea grey paint (See John Godden, Harrier: Ski-Jump to Victory, Brasseys, 1983, p. 79) seemed in Argentinian eyes to confirm their belief that some damage had been inflicted on the 'Invincible' during 30 May. It is of some interest that Admiral John Woodward does not mention these facts in his memoirs. (See Sandy Woodward with Patrick Robinson, One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander, HarperCollins Publishers, 1992) It should be stated that painting 'Invincible' in the foaming brine, the cold, the yawning swells, with General Winter whipping up 20-foot waves would have been extremely difficult. Worser still the British Ministry of Defence claimed shortly after that the last Exocet missile was fired into the smouldering hulk of the 'Atlantic Conveyor' (See Paul Eddy & Magnus Linklater, The Falklands War: Sunday Times Insight Team, Andre Deutsch, 1982), a story which was disproved the following year in Air War South Atlantic by Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price. Admiral Woodward may persist in denying the 'Invincible' had been attacked, but the night of 30-31 May was indeed marked by a single Vulcan bomber fitted with Shrike anti-radar missiles mounting an attack on the Westinghouse long-range radar in Port Stanley which had been tracking the aircraft-carrier.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.