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The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volume 1: The Origins of the Falklands War: v. 1 (Government Official History Series) [Hardcover]

Lawrence Freedman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £64.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Jun 2005 Government Official History Series

Drawing on a vast range of previously classified government archives as well as interviews with key participants, this first volume of the official history of the Falklands Campaign is the most authoritative account of the origins of the 1982 war.

In the first chapters the author analyzes the long history of the dispute between Argentina and Britain over the sovereignty of the Islands, the difficulties faced by successive governments in finding a way to reconcile the opposed interests of the Argentines and the islanders, and the constant struggle to keep the Islands viable. He subsequently gives a complete account of how what started as an apparently trivial incident over an illegal landing by scrap-metal merchants on the island of South Georgia turned into a major crisis. Thanks to his access to classified material, Lawrence Freedman has been able to produce a detailed and authoritative analysis which extends the coverage given by the Franks Committee Report of 1983.

This volume is ultimately an extremely readable account of these events, charting the growing realization within the British government of the seriousness of the situation, culminating in the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands at the start of April 1982.

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The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volume 1: The Origins of the Falklands War: v. 1 (Government Official History Series) + The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volume 2: War and Diplomacy: v. 2 (Government Official History Series)
Price For Both: £127.71

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (28 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714652067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403947826
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'In Lawrence Freedman, the campaign has found an impeccable official chronicler.' - Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph

'Freedman is not just a good historian but a terse, readable writer. This is a fine book about modern war, warts and all, in an age when such evenly balanced conflicts are rare.' - Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

'Drawing on an impressive range of government archives, as well as on interviews with key participants, this is official history at its best.' - Jeremy Black, University of Exeter, UK

'These two volumes are a formidable achievement and, not least because of access to the official files, provide a major resource for scholars and others concerned with public policy.' - Jeremy Black, University of Exeter, UK

'Freedman deserves high praise. It would be good to see a comparable account of the recent war but I doubt it.' - Jeremy Black, University of Exeter, UK



From the Publisher

Published by Routledge, 28 June 2005

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading - Little Brick 21 Oct 2005
By A Customer
The first volume of The Official History of the Falklands War makes fascinating reading. The author's privileged access to government records allows an in-depth analysis of the events leading up to the Argentine invasion in 1982. Whilst there is very little to surprise readers familiar with the conflict, this book remains surprisingly readable. Most valuable is the insight into the workings of government, notes, papers and committees. Freedman does not seek to apportion blame for any failure of diplomacy, indeed he shows that governments of all colours had a remarkably consistant and realistic approach to the rights and privileges of a couple of thousand people living 8,000 miles from the mother country.
You would expect such a tome to be very dry and tough to digest, but in fact it is extremely well written and draws you into a complex narrative.
Many people may be tempted to skip Volume I in favour of the meat of Volume II. This smaller book does form an integral part of the overall history and should not be missed.
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This is an excellent work condemned to be overlooked by many who will go straight to volume two as the history of the Anglo-Argentine dispute and gestation of the conflict will be seen as less interesting than the history of the conflict itself. That is a great shame as this is very well written and in a sense addresses a deeper and more fundamental series of issues than volume two. Far from being the poor relation this is illuminating, challenges much conventional accepted wisdom and deals with the issues which are essential to making any attempt to understand the conflict.5* book.
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By tezzat
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent history of the Falkland Islands and Dependencies although not without an error that can be confirmed by reading Operation Tabarin.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 9 Oct 2014
perhaps a little too detailed. it is almost the length of a history of WW2. Freedman knows his subject.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into British government perceptions and challenges 3 Sep 2013
By mrstupid - Published on Amazon.com
Contrary to what some might think, this book doesn't make a strong case for the British position in the Falklands War. Charges of "bias" suggest either a failure to actually read through the book or an emotionally-charged interpretation that "because the British were wrong, then anything they say is wrong". The author makes clear that the intention of the book isn't to buttress the British position on sovereignty over the Falklands, but instead he wants to relate the British government's issues and decision-making, particularly in regards to foreign office and defense officials. The author reviews the major sovereignty arguments from both the Argentine and British sides and notes the strengths and weaknesses of each side in a relatively even-handed way. He does not promote a blatantly nationalistic nor populist view, but rather takes a somewhat legalistic tone, although it may be tempting for some to accuse him of equivocating. He then goes on to show how the British position evolved and how British officials grappled with the incompatibilities between their domestic priorities, Argentine priorities and impersonal strategic imperatives.

Whether or not there were more nefarious, e.g. "imperialist", motives behind other British institutions or society at large lies beyond the scope of the book.

American English speakers would do well to take note of differences in certain common phrases between British and common American usage. For example, "paid off" in British officialdom can mean to finish the use of an asset as opposed to the colloquial American usage, which means to finish payment for an asset over an implied period, resulting in full ownership of the asset.

A dispassionate recounting of Argentine government decision-making and political pressures would provide an ideal counterpart to this book and its subsequent volume, especially to students of foreign policy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Officially Early 80's 11 Jan 2012
By dtheta/dr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was reorganizing at the time this was occuring and this is a very comprehenisve review of things I would never have known othrwise.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Falkland island war 1982 29 May 2012
By K. Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
This is a very hard read it is two volumes written by the British. So it is there Officeal History am sure certain parties will take offense.

I read it in another manner. It is about two countries locked in battle. I have read many books on the war and I found this to be very well written with alot of information.

You need time to read it and you must have a good basic idea of the war and all the players and units to tie it all together.
This book isnt for the average person, but for those who love and understand military history.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Substantial Errors of a Historical Nature.. 15 Jun 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
As a Falklands War Veteran I thoroughly enjoyed these two volumes but there are some very egregious errors of historical fact, read below....
Currently several interested parties are asking for corrections to them and rightly so.

Official history: When Spain returned the settlement of Port Egmont, on the islands, to Britain in 1771, the Spaniards made a declaration in the treaty with Britain in which "it reserved its position on sovereignty".

Correction: This claim was not made in the treaty's final text.

Official history: Another treaty between Spain and Britain "clearly prevented Britain from occupying the Falklands".

Correction: The treaty allowed the establishment of a settlement if another power (such as Argentina), made such a settlement.

Official history: When a British sailor Captain Onslow of HMS Clio arrived on the islands in 1833, he told the captain of an Argentine warship there that "the Islands belonged to no one".

Correction: The whole point of Onslow's voyage was to sustain Britain's claim, which dated from their base on the islands 60 years earlier. He told the Argentine commander as much.

Official history: After Onslow's arrival, convicts from an Argentine penal colony which had been established on the islands were forced to leave.

Correction: There was no such penal colony. Onslow told the Argentine garrison to leave but asked civilians to stay, as most of them did.
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A one eye view. 3 April 2012
By Julian Ignacio Burgo - Published on Amazon.com
Of course this book tells the official history the UK wants the english speaking world to be known.

A biased one in my opinion.
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