Jigsaw Puzzles: Tactical Intelligence in the Falklands Campaign

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On 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was determined that Argentina's seizure of British sovereign territory would not stand. A Task Force, led by the Royal Navy, was ordered south to recover the Falklands.

The campaign that followed was a remarkable chapter in Britain's military history. The Falklands were the last place on earth that the British armed forces had expected to mount a military operation and very little peacetime contingency planning had been done on such a remote possibility. The campaign that followed, while widely regarded as a huge success, was actually a much closer run thing than the jubilant British public realised when Argentine forces on the Falklands surrendered on 14 June 1982.

Success on the part of the British servicemen involved was achieved by 'muddling through' and driven by necessity, calculated risk taking, boldness and a bloody-minded determination to get the job done. In this account, Giles Orpen-Smellie describes how battlefield or tactical intelligence, relevant at battalion level during the battles ashore, was collected and assessed to develop a picture of the Argentine defenders. He explains what information was known the time, the gaps in that information and how that information influenced decisions.

He then goes on to consider how British perceptions of their Argentine opponents differed, sometimes significantly, from the reality, which was not identified until long after the campaign.

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Manufacturer/Publisher: Amberley
Binding: Hardback
Author: Giles Orpen-Smellie
Date Published: 2022
Pagination: 288p

SKU: 9781398111745