Nine Battles to Stanley is a soldier’s account of the ground fighting on South Georgia and the Falklands.
What makes this book unique is the fascinating and objective way the author describes the experiences, viewpoints and comparative qualities of both sides to the conflict. Fresh light is shed on the whole campaign even the best-known battles at Goose Green (where Col. H. Jones won his VC) and the night attack on Mount Tumbledown.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
He lives in Somerset.
Table of Contents
Rear Admiral Busser's Address to the Argentine Landing Forces on 1 April, 1982 xxv
Chapter 1 The Road to War 1
Chapter 2 The Capture of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia 17
Chapter 3 The Defence of Las Malvinas 33
Chapter 4 The Second Battle of Grytviken 64
Chapter 5 British Offensive and Advanced Forces Operations 79
Chapter 6 The Landings in San Carlos Water and the Defence of the Beachhead 95
Chapter 7 Goose Green 115
Chapter 8 Breakout 142
Chapter 9 The Battle for the Outer Defence Zone 170
Chapter 10 The Battle for the Inner Defence Zone 189
Chapter 11 Surrender and The Final Battle 216
Chapter 12 Postscript 235
I Composition of Combined Task Group 317.8 (The Task Force) 238
II Combined Task Unit 317.8.4 (The Landing Group - 3rd Commando Brigade) 239
III Composition of Land Forces Falkland Islands 2 April-14 June 1982 240
IV Army Group Malvinas 241
V Army Group Puerto Argentino 243
VI Army Group Littoral 244
VII Orders of Battle 245
VIII British casualties in direct support of ground operations 251
IX Argentine casualties in direct support of ground operations 255
X Interpretation of Captured Document - 3 June 1982 259
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What's valuble about this book is that the author was apparently the senior operational intelligence officer with the British ground forces that retook the Falklands, and is thus in a position to relate what was known at the time and to offer critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides. Adding to the book's entertainment value is how Van der Bijl laces his writing with a certain dry sarcasm when it's required. If nothing else there seems to be no love lost between the British Intelligence Corps and the SAS; you will learn a great deal about intra-tribal wars in the British army. One also gets the sense that the Argentinians, with a little bit of luck and bit more drive, might have made matters much more unpleasant for the British.
This work investigates the British post-war myths that have grown unchallenged. The Spanish-speaking author was an intelligence officer in 3 Commando Brigade (Royal Marines) and heard 3 Commando Brigade's commander and the 3 Para battalion commander conferring by radio on the night of June 11/12 1982. THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS TEMPTATION TO WITHDRAW 3 PARA FROM MONTE LONGDON; most of the opposition coming from the 7th Infantry Regiment platoon of First Lieutenant Raul Castaneda. The Argentine platoon is recorded by the author of having 'gained a reputation for reckless courage', and forcing a temporary British withdrawal. Two platoons from 3 Para had to withdraw and leave casualties behind when it came under accurate fire from the 7th Infantry Platoon. Van der Bijl was fortunate in being able to interview most of the Argentine regimental commanders involved in the battles of the land war. Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Gimenez said his 7th Infantry Regiment on Wireless Ridge had been overwhelmed by superior firepower. Van der Bijl also met the Commanding Officer of the 4th Infantry Regiment whose name is Diego Soria. The Argentine colonel said he and his B Company commander discussed the possibility of breaking out from Monte Harriet after the counterattack by his regiment had failed. Van der Bijl was also fortunate in being given the war diaries of the Argentine Special Forces - on one occasion the 3 Para Patrols Platoon ambushed several Army Commandos from Compania de Comandos 601 but they had not counted on the courage of the Argentine Commandos at close quarter. The Argentines charged headlong into the ambush and were able to route the Paras on this occasion! The most controversial clash occured in the early morning of Malvinas Day (June 10). During a fierce action two Argentine Commandos were killed. Major Aldo Rico from Compania de Comandos 602 was reported as having said that the battle was fought on the centre of Murrell River, and he claimed at least four Royal Marines were killed. The author tells for the first time the true story of the Malvinas Land War, as seen through the eyes of both the British professional soldiers and the Argentine conscripts and regulars. According to Nick van der Bijl the Argentines fought well. During the attack on Cerro Dos Hermanas (Two Sisters) the 4th Regiment platoon of Second Lieutenant Marcelo Llambias-Pravaz with limited night visibility devices (2 night vision goggles) blocked 45 Commando's X-Ray Company for three hours before caving in! On the eastern end of Two Sisters the 6th Regiment platoon of Second Lieutenant Aldo Franco engaged in holding 45 Commando's Yankee Company off along the eastern ridge. The Argentine platoon conducted a spectacularly successful delaying action employing the standard leap frog tactics; one section on the ground holding the Royal Marines off, one section setting up the next fall back position and one section in movement and caused the proposed attack on Mount Tumbledown by the 45 Commando battalion commander to be aborted! And the author found that it took 42 Commando's L Company (on Monte Harriet) nearly SIX HOURS TO ADVANCE 600 METRES. The Argentine platoon which had held them up was commanded by Second Lieutenant Eugenio Bruny who was wounded and was later decorated. It was reported in the United States that the British Artillery gave the British infantry their advantage over the Argentines. In the final count the British relied on anti-tank rocket launchers in close quarter combat. But then the whole thing would have been different if the 2nd, 14th and 17th Airborne Infantry Regiments (from the Argentine Army 4th Airborne Brigade) had been parachuted across Wickham Heights, the Venezuelan government reportedly offering a brigade of their own parachute troops to help in Malvinas!!!