Down South: A Falklands War Diary Hardcover – 16 Feb 2012
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A truly gripping historical document (Niall Ferguson )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 )
About the Author
After university, Chris Parry joined the Royal Navy as a Seaman Officer in 1972 and then became an Observer in the Fleet Air Arm in 1979. He was mentioned in despatches for his part in some of the actions described in this book. As well as several operational tours and Ministry of Defence appointments, he commanded HMS Gloucester, HMS Fearless and the UK's Amphibious Task Group. On promotion to Rear Admiral in 2005, he became the MOD's Director of Developments, Concepts and Doctrine. He was appointed a CBE in 2004. Now retired from the armed forces, he heads a company which specializes in geo-strategic forecasting.
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Top Customer Reviews
- General Carton de Wiart VC, Norway, 1940
1n 1982 Rear Admiral Chris Parry was the Observer of Humphrey, HMS Antrim's Wessex helicopter. In that capacity he became the only Fleet Air Arm Observer to incapacitate an enemy submarine since 1945, and he helped first insert and then rescue the SAS from a misguided attempt to enter South Georgia via the Fortuna Glacier, and experienced many other helicopter operations well beyond the safety parameters of normal peacetime practice. Every night he wrote, for himself, a detailed account of his and his ship's activities and his thoughts regarding them; for, as a graduate historian, he recognised that all other accounts would be informed by hindsight and rationalisation; his would be unvarnished actuality. He demonstrates this at the end where, the war over, he has to correct the ship's Report of Proceedings where some matters have been incorrectly recorded and some remembered `with advantages' as Shakespeare says.
In 2009 while sorting out for a house move the author rediscovered in a forgotten trunk this loose-leaf diary of the Falklands War, which is now presented to the general reader. We are assured that it is unedited except for the deletion of some items that would cause distress. Given the tart nature of some of his immediate (and apparently justifiable) comments on such targets as John Nott (I never have understood why he was knighted, that seemed to me to be on a par with Caligula making his horse a consul), Admiral Woodward, HMS Endurance and her captain, Cindy Buxton and her father, and unsurprisingly the BBC World Service, one can only regret losing what has been excised.Read more ›
Interestingly, a friend of mine was looking for more insight into Antrim's campaign when Parry's book was (somewhat fortuitously) published. I purchased copies for both of us and read the whole thing over a weekend, accompanied occasionally by a rather splendid Dalwhinnie 15 year old malt (I rarely drink rum these days!)and a very good read it proved to be.
He captured succinctly the view of Antrim's ships company regarding the Army second wave that arrived on the QE2, it was quickly apparant that they had been very isolated on their trip south and appeared to be quite taken aback by the battle damage the ship had received. His point that they viewed themselves initially as garrison troops was also accurate (although to be fair, this changed rapidly on arrival in the FI, vis the performance of the Scots Guards on Tumbledown).
My only minor quibble with the book is the point that (Captain) Brian Young comes across as an, at times, slightly querulous character in need of Parry's advice, this is very much at odds with the view of majority of those who knew him during the campaign or after his RN service.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not in keeping with some other aviator accounts from the South Atlantic Conflict - it is primarily the understated story of a ships company. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dee Dee
Only Three Stars? Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges described the Falklands conflict as ""The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb," which... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Geoff Brown
Written as it happens without any embellishment. Down to earth thoughts and feelings as events unfold. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Doc
A very good read. Lots of detail and interesting facts that I had long forgotten.Published 14 months ago by Paul Mills