12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Vulcan 607 (Hardcover)
Logistically, it would have been easier to build a hotel on Jupiter. Politically, failure of this mission would be suicidal. Tactically, it could have been left to the Sea Harriers stationed 200 miles away on HMS Invincible to destroy Stanleys Airstrip. Frankly, this mission sounded as daft as the Dambusters raids nearly 40 years previous, but just like those - symbolically it was nothing short of magical. The RAF had modified a 30 year old nuclear bomber - 2 months away from the scrapyard, with conventional weapons and a heath robinson refuelling procedure that had served as an ashtray in the officers mess for 20 years, and delivered it to within a few hundred miles of Buenos Aires. If the plan was to undermine and terrify the Junta, I cant think of anything more potent than the sight of a Vulcan in your airspace.
Sadly, the delivery of the story doesnt quite do justice to the mission itself. Its well researched, and competently written, but I felt the organisation of the chapters should have dealt seperately with the various threads, instead of lumping them together. This would have also allowed Wight to suspend the reader on the edge of their seat between chapters. For example, "Then it all went badly wrong." should have ended the chapter, instead, Wight tells us (briefly) why in the very next paragraph.
Next, watching a Vulcan take off is an unforgettable experience. The sounds, the size of the delta winged behemoth, the sheer power of the engines as it snakes upwards at an impossible angle and speed. I can only imagine the tension and feeling of seeing a dozen or so overloaded planes leaving Ascension Island on the eve of the raid that a flowing narrative could stir, but sadly this book doesnt quite capture it. "A few seconds later she was airborne" just isnt enough for me.
That said, it deals competently with the events and so is an important component in the history of the Falklands war. I would have liked more backdrop of the building tension of the war and a clearer idea of the bigger picture, though thats not really a criticism, instead this book has prompted me to find others that deal more specifically with the other events during the same period.