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Falklands Commando Paperback – 19 Feb 1987

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grafton; New edition edition (19 Feb. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586067574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586067574
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Oxford, raised in Australia, trained by the British Army, educated at Oxford University, after a 17 year military career, now writing books, running a scientific research foundation and living in Oxford.

I really liked Australia, Sydney's glorious harbour and beaches, and my school Shore, so at the age of 13 it was a nightmare coming back to grey, dismal UK, where handicapped by my Ozzie accent at Magdalen College School, I had to learn Latin from scratch in a class of unbelievably cultured boffins who were already reading Horace (and other writings that were of much mystery to me).

But after a lot of fun playing bass guitar in one of the earliest heavy rock bands, my attempts at 'O' and 'A' Levels at one of the UK's first comprehensive schools - as a guinea pig in the great 'Leicestershire Plan', left me with no choice but to join the Army.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was a severe culture shock. But after a couple of very happy years in a commando unit, my three years at Oxford University reading geography at St Edmund Hall, and doing boxing (please note my careful use of verbs) were both antidote and stimulus to further military adventures.

The apogee of my military career was the Falklands War. I then declined gently into Staff College Camberley, MoD staff appointments and a rather jolly final few years commanding an artillery gun battery in Northern Ireland, Thorney Island, and beside a lake with ducks in northern Germany.

Since then, I've produced television documentaries, spent five interesting years as the Sunday Time's defence correspondent, whilst writing the sort of books Amazon so efficiently sells under my name on this site.

I live in Oxford, and have two astonishingly musical sons: one now in the Army - a lieutenant in the Light Dragoons.

More information, blogs and various guides to the Army, survival and other related subjects maybe found at www.hughmcmanners.com

Product Description

Book Description

A soldier’s eye view of the land war’

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

A soldier’s eye view of the land war’

Originally published in 1984, Hugh McManners' book was one of the first eye-witness accounts of combat operations during the Falklands War, and indeed one of the first books on Special Forces missions. Hugh was one of the first soldiers to land on the Falkland Islands and this book describes his team's covert missions to direct the artillery bombardment of Argentine positions, which he himself controlled.

With an observant eye and in the language of the ordinary soldier, the author describes the deployment, preparation and course of the battle from the forefront of the land fighting.

Some 20 years after the conflict, Hugh has revised the book and added a refreshing introduction, new photos and additional notes on the battles.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
Hugh McManners' Falklands Commando is unique in that most UK special forces books are written by former enlisted members who came from working class backgrounds. McManners comes from a more upper class background, having studied at Oxford. He was a Captain in the Royal Artillery, attached to 3rd Commando Brigade as the leader of a naval gunfire support team. As such, he often operated with SBS and SAS forces.
McManners writes well and describes how he saw the Falkland Islands conflict. Falklands Commando is not a comprehensive account of the South Atlantic War. You need not be familiar with all the details of that war, but the more previous knowledge you have, the more you can appreciate McManners' account.
McManners details the build-up, journey south, and the subsequent missions his team undertook to observe Argentinean positions and call naval fire upon them. All in all, it's an excellent account that puts a human face on conflict.
The most recent edition includes a foreword and afterwards by McManners in which he relates the Falklands experience to the present day and the War on Terror. If I had one criticism, it is certain segments of the account were footnoted, supposedly to relate additional information McManners later learned after the book first went to print. Only many of these footnotes were missing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Plowman on 9 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a very enjoyable book about a unit that has had nothing else written about it, apart from one account in 'Above All, Courage: The Eyewitness History of the Falklands War (Cassell Military Paperbacks)'. I finished it in a couple of days.

The unit has a specialised role in controlling the fire of ships and land-based artillery. The author's team worked in this role with the Special Boat Squadron during the Falklands War.

He writes engagingly about the journey down, and the routine that emerges during such a long voyage - and the confusion that surrounds such a sudden and unexpected deployment.

His team was in action virtually for the whole campaign, culminating in coordinating the gunfire that supported the two-day 'big push' on the nights of 11/12 to 13/14 June.

Reading the entire story of McManners' war, rather than 'edited highlights', is more interesting - life as a whole. One fact he doesn't mention, but which emerges in other books on the conflict, is that his battery was within three months of disbandment; the book seems like a manifesto for the Battery's continued existence. It is good to know that the proposed disbandment was rescinded.

The second edition contains some additions, e.g. the tale told by an SAS soldier about the accidental shooting of an SBS soldier, and also a new introduction and final chapter - an interesting perspective after 25 years, five of them as the Sunday Times military correspondent. It is sad to read about the fate of one of his team members, a victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I certainly recommend the book - however, it's lost one star for the appalling typos - no proofreading evident at all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ocadcollection on 10 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
Falklands Commando is a first hand account of the 1982 Falklands War, published only two years after the event. Captain Hugh McManners, no ordinary Royal Artillery officer, shares his experiences, views and thoughts on the war as it developed around him. The war as he saw it, from start to finish, thus creating an intimate and revealing perspective, as opposed to a historian's post event analysis.

McManners begins his narrative in April 1982 surrounding the growing tense atmosphere of the time, and we follow him on his long sea journey to the other end of the world, the long periods of boredom and preparation before eventually going into action, through to the surrender and tying up of loose ends before finally his journey home bound and the heroes' welcome at Southampton.

McManners's war wasn't that of a ordinary foot slogger or even a typical war memoir. Attached to the Royal Marine Commandos, He was part of an elite NGS (Naval Gunfire Support) team skilled at covert insertion and fieldcraft, hiding for days unobserved in cold and damp holes, working with the naval guns or artillery pieces to direct fire at enemy positions. Working in support of the SBS and SAS, as well as the advancing units.

The cover is attractive and its pocket size format is ideal to read either on the go or sat comfortably. I found it well written and enjoyable. With interesting period photos, a concise timeline of events and a valuable glossary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave the Pirate on 9 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
As the other reviewers have pointed out, this is by no means a comprehensive account of the entire Falklands War. It is, however, an excellent first person account of the conditions on the ground, how command decisions affected those doing the fighting, and a glimpse of the true nature of war. Hugh McManners is an excellent writer with an interesting story to tell, and the book was finished in about a day from me picking it up. I've re-read it a couple of times and enjoyed the story every time.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who was interested in the Falklands, the forces, or military history in general, to get an image of real life on the ground.
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