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Down South: A Falklands War Diary Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; UK ed. edition (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241959624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241959626
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 686,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A truly gripping historical document (Niall Ferguson)

A steady stream of participants' diaries has appeared. The best I have seen so far is Down South (Max Hastings Sunday Times)

Excellent. A fascinating war diary (Sir John Nott Daily Telegraph)

It 'checks out' to an extraordinary level of detail - but it's the 'feel', the 'atmosphere', the sense of the personalities and the politics - the behaviours - which makes it really real and come alive (Kevin White (Weapons Engineering Section Officer in HMS ANTRIM))

A vividly written, thought-provoking and engaging contemporaneous account (Sue Corbett The Times)

A gripping account of heroism - and chaos - in the South Atlantic (Mail on Sunday)

A graphic description of just how they pulled off a real-life Mission Impossible (John Ingham, Defence Editor Daily Express)

Vivid and insightful (Tim Newark Financial Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

In April 1982 as the Falklands War got underway, the destroyer HMS Antrim, built back in the 1960s to deal with the threat of Soviet missiles, found herself steaming south through the Atlantic to spearhead the operation to recover South Georgia from the Argentinians. Equipped with 4.5 inch guns, anti-aircraft missiles and four Exocet missiles, she also carried one Wessex III helicopter, affectionately known as Humphrey, which was to play an extraordinary part in the subsequent action.

Antrim's helicopter Observer, one of a crew of four, was 28-year-old Lieutenant Chris Parry. He was quickly in the thick of the action when the crew was ordered to land an SAS reconnaisance party on the beautiful, but forbidding and remote Fortuna Glacier - a formidable mountain of ice rearing straight up out of the freezing south Atlantic waters. Buffeted by storm-force winds and driving snowstorms, and flying with almost zero visibility, they managed to land and disembark the men - only to be forced to return the following day, in even more appalling conditions and despite the loss of two other helicopters, to retrieve the SAS party, all of whom were in imminent danger of perishing on the glacier.

In fact he, like the seemingly indestructible Humphrey, lived to see much more action. Within days they were in pursuit of an Argentine submarine which was suspected of being in the vicinity of South Georgia. It was a sombre but exhilarating moment for Parry as he released the depth charges which disabled the sub. He and his fellow aircrew then went on to take part in the landings at San Carlos and experience the intensity of Bomb Alley, in combat with the Argentinian Navy and Air Force jets.

For ten weeks, from the outbreak of hostilities to the Argentinian surrender and beyond, Chris Parry kept a daily diary which recounts in extraordinarily vivid detail the action at sea, on the ground and in the air, as well as daily life on board ship in the middle of the war. There are moments of high drama and unbearable tension, but also sombre reflections and occasional high jinks, and a wonderful array of characters from an unsure Padre to the dignified but crestfallen Argentinian submarine captain. For years the diary was lost as Parry pursued his successful naval career but recently it has been transcribed, to provide a quite unforgettable account of naval and helicopter action during the Falklands War.

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

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