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WEEK TEN, Falkland Area Operations, 31st May-6th June 1982

Transport "Elk" and on of the two Assault Ships

on to 42. Final Task Force Moves


Summary of Main Events

CV Hermes, Invincible; DD Bristol, Glamorgan, Cardiff, Exeter; FR Brilliant, Broadsword, Active, Ambuscade, Arrow, Avenger, Andromeda, Minerva, Penelope, Plymouth, Yarmouth; Assault ships Fearless, Intrepid; RFA's Blue Rover, Engadine, Fort Austin, Fort Grange, Olmeda, Olna, Regent, Resource, Stromness, Tidepool, Tidespring; LSL's Sir Bedivere, Sir Galahad, Sir Geraint, Sir Lancelot, Sir Percivale, Sir Tristram; Transports Atlantic Causeway, Baltic Ferry, Canberra, Elk, Europic Ferry, Nordic Ferry, Norland
plus submarine force, minesweeping trawlers, hospital ships in RCB, repair ship and tugs in TRALA, and some tankers
(Sheffield, Ardent, Antelope, Coventry and Atlantic Conveyor now lost)


HMS HERMES - Further 2 of 4 Harrier GR.3's of 1(F) Sqdn RAF
Remaining 6 Sea King HAS.2A's of No.825 NAS
First of 20 Wessex HU.5's of No.847 NAS [Lt Cmdr M D Booth (awarded DSC) RN]


1. 40 Cdo in defence of San Carlos area
2. M & AW Cadre
attacked Top Malo House (31st)
3. 42 Cdo K Coy on summit of Mt Kent (by 31st)
4. 42 Cdo L Coy helicoptered from Port San Carlos (31st May), and J Coy from Goose Green (2nd June). Both Coys reached Mount Challenger
5. 3 Para secured Estancia House (31st), then dug in around Mount Estancia (1st June)
6. 45 Cdo completed yomp from Teal Inlet to Mount Kent slopes (4th June)


5TH INFANTRY BRIGADE (included transferred 2 Para) LOCATIONS & MOVEMENTS

Brigadier M J A Wilson OBE MC
2nd Scots Guards, Lt Col M I E Scott (awarded DSO)
1st Welsh Guards, Lt Col J F Rickett (OBE)
1/7th Gurkha Rifles, Lt Col D P de C Morgan (OBE)
4 Field Regt RA, Lt Col G A Holt RA
36 Eng Regt RE, Lt Col G W Field MBE RE
No.656 AAC Sqdn, Maj C S Sibun (MID) AAC with 6 Gazelles and 3 Scouts

7. 1/7 Gurkhas helicoptered from San Carlos to Goose Green (c 3rd)
8. B Coy 2 Para helicoptered from Goose Green to Swan Inlet House and back (2nd)
9. 2 Para helicoptered from Goose Green to Fitzroy and Bluff Cove (2nd/3rd)
2nd Scots Guards by assault ship Intrepid from San Carlos Water to Lively Island, and on to Bluff Cove by four LCUs (5th/6th)
HQ & 2 Coy 1st Welsh Guards by assault ship Fearless from San Carlos Water also to Lively Island, and on to Bluff Cove by two LCUs (6th)
12. Rest of Welsh Guards
had to return in Fearless to San Carlos Water (6th/7th)
13. British AAC aircraft lost near Pleasant Peak - [b32] Gazelle (6th)

Argentine aircraft lost north of Pebble Island - [a65] Hercules (1st)
15. British aircraft lost just south of Stanley - [b31] Sea Harrier (1st)
16. 'Black Buck 5' & '6' - Vulcan Shrike raids on Stanley (31st May & 3rd June)


As General Moore (below) assumed overall command, Brigadier Thompson was freed to concentrate on 3 Cdo Bde's move on Stanley by the northern route. But in the process he lost 40 Cdo for base defence, 2 Para, 29 Bty RA and The Blues and Royals to 5th Inf Bde, and the Cdo Logistics Regt now had to support both main units. The newly arriving 5th Infantry would move on Stanley from the south west, by which time Forward Brigade Maintenance Areas would be established both at Teal Inlet and Fitzroy.

During a week when 3 Cdo Bde completed its moves forward, the first action came Monday morning (31st) when a small M & AW Cadre force helicoptered in to attack an Argentine patrol at Top Malo House, and killed or captured all 17 in exchange for three marines wounded. By then, K Coy 42 Cdo was on the summit of Mount Kent, and stayed through the week. Not so the rest of 42 Cdo. Over Monday night, L Coy (and the rest of 7 Bty RA) flew in from Port San Carlos, and marched to Mount Challenger, and over Wednesday night, J Coy moved there direct from Goose Green. By then 3 Para had completed its tab; securing Estancia House on Monday, and next day digging in on and around Mount Estancia, before being joined by the six guns of 79 Bty RA. On Friday, 45 Cdo RM finished its yomp from Teal Inlet and reached a position below Mount Kent from where it could reinforce 3 Para or 42 Cdo in their exposed positions within range of the Argentine guns.

With 3 Cdo Bde on Mount's Estancia, Kent and Challenger, preparations were made for the coming Battle for Stanley. In increasingly foul and wintry weather, the three units started patrolling towards their objectives:

3 Para and Mount Longdon
45 Cdo and Two Sisters
42 Cdo and Mount Harriet

To complete 3 Cdo's move, Brigade HQ and the supplies needed converged on Teal Inlet. On Monday, the HQ staff flew in, followed by their Bandwagon snow vehicles and escorting tanks of 3 Troop, although these continued on to join 4 Troop at Estancia House before both moved down to Bluff Cove. To open up Teal as the forward base, "Intrepid" arrived over Monday night with an LCU going in with the first supplies and accompanied by two LCVP's fitted with light minesweeping gear. They were followed on Tuesday night by LSL "Sir Percivale" as she and other LSL's started a delivery service from San Carlos Water.

Welcome reinforcements, especially 5th Inf Bde now started arriving. The first transports reached San Carlos Water on Tuesday morning (1st) and "Norland" landed the Gurkhas by LCU, "Baltic Ferry" her Scouts, and "Atlantic Causeway" the remaining No.825 Sea Kings and some of the No.847 Wessex. That same day, frigate "Penelope" picked up 2 Para's new CO after he parachuted into the sea from an extended range Hercules, and "Canberra" reached the CVBG. Heading on in, she offloaded the two Guards battalions on Wednesday morning again using the hard-worked LCU's plus her two No.825 Sea Kings. And on Thursday, "Nordic Ferry" arrived with the rest of the Gazelles, while "Canberra" left for the TRALA for the remaining days of the war. Once they had landed, most of the 1/7th Gurkhas flew in the lone Chinook to Goose Green to relieve 2 Para, and to spend the next week patrolling into Lafonia. Now 5th Inf started its push forward when on Wednesday 2nd, elements of B Coy 2 Para flew to Swan Inlet House in five Army Scouts and Major Crosland made his famous 'phone call to find that Fitzroy and Bluff Cove were clear of the enemy. Later that day and the next, 2 Para was helicoptered the 35 miles from Goose Green to occupy the two settlements.

With 2 Para so far forward, and lacking helicopter lift, General Moore decided to risk the assault ships on night runs from San Carlos Water with the two Guards units. Starting on Saturday night (5th), "Intrepid" carried the 2nd Scots around the south of Lafonia and off Lively Island, transferred them to her four LCU's. After a lengthy and rough passage they arrived at Bluff Cove early on Sunday to stay, while the three coys of 2 Para already there were ferried to Fitzroy by the same LCU's to join the rest of the battalion. That night it was the turn of "Fearless" to bring round the 1st Welsh. Reaching Lively Island, only her two LCU's were available to carry HQ and 2 Coy on to Bluff Cove. The rest had to return to San Carlos Water to try again Monday night. Before then a plan to improve communications links was thwarted. Early on Sunday morning as an AAC Gazelle flew forward with two Royal Signals to set up a relay station, it was accidentally shot down near Pleasant Peak by a Sea Dart fired by "Cardiff", and all four on board killed [b32].

Back to Tuesday 1st and the Task Force Harriers. Late that morning, a Grupo 1 Hercules on a reconnaissance mission was detected by frigate "Minerva" in San Carlos Water, and a vectored No.801 Sea Harrier brought it down 50 miles north of Pebble Island using Sidewinder and cannon fire [a65]. Then in the afternoon, the last Sea Harrier was lost when another No.801 aircraft on a sortie over Stanley was hit by a Roland SAM [b31]. Flt Lt Mortimer bailed out into the sea just to the south, but it was nine hours before he was found and rescued by a No.820 Sea King. Next day, the first step was taken in extending Harrier operations when the Royal Engineers completed a Forward Operating Base at Port San Carlos, with two No.800 Sea Harriers arriving on Saturday.

Earlier in the week on Monday morning, the first Shrike attack had been made on the Stanley radars in "Black Buck 5", but the TPS-43 surveillance radar was only slightly damaged. A repeat "Black Buck 6" raid early on Thursday by the same Vulcan, destroyed a Skyguard AA radar, but on the return flight the bomber had to divert to Rio de Janeiro with refuelling difficulties, but was released a week later.

British Gallantry Awards included:

Vulcan Shrike raids - 'Black Buck 5 & 6'
Sqdn Ldr C N McDougall (DFC) RAF


Major General J J Moore MC RM,
Commander, Land forces Falkland Islands
(Courtesy - Royal Marines Museum)


FAA Hercules of the type shot down in the week
with the loss of all her crew


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