- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Arrow (11 Oct. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099568829
- ISBN-13: 978-0099568827
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Scram!: The Gripping First-hand Account of the Helicopter War in the Falklands Paperback – 11 Oct 2012
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"This is the real deal - amazing stories of a forgotten front line from one who was there" (Patrick Bishop)<br \><br \>"Harry Benson s book is immensely readable as a lucid, exciting account of the entire Falklands conflict, and valuable too, as written by a combatant, not a historian. With a Falklands commander warning us only this week that Britain without aircraft carriers can never again send a Task Force to the other side of the world, this book reminds us that we may need more Harry Bensons" (Daily Mail)<br \><br \>"Excellent" (Daily Telegraph) --Daily Telegraph
"Excellent…truly must-read stuff" (Flight International magazine) --Flight International magazine
"A detailed account of the outstanding contribution of the medium-lift Marine and Royal Navy Wessex and Sea King helicopters…The best part of the book is his account of the frantic pace of helicopter support for land operations from D-Day on 21 May" (Literary Review) --Literary Review
This is the thrilling untold story of the young helicopter pilots - most barely out of their teens - who risked their lives during this brief but ferocious war.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a really enjoyable book which I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in this aspect of British military history.
The Junglies themselves were luffed into the Falklands affair from Culdrose, Yeovilton, leave, and Northern Ireland, where the Fleet Air Arm had four Wessex maintaining two on call to the Army (the RAF needed twelve aircraft for the same job).
As to the RAF, like many other writers Benson calls out the pointlessness of that RAF exercise in self-advertisement, the Black Buck raids, backed up by a Jungly's photograph of the Stanley runway `in pretty good condition'. Benson also puts the blame for the loss of two irreplaceable Wessex on the Fortuna Glacier, and the near loss of a large number of ill-spared professionals, squarely on the SAS for their refusal to listen to those who knew better.Read more ›
As well as the story of the Falklands battles, Harry manages to introduce some very useful, and readable, background threads such as information about general naval and flying training, the political lead up to the war, and how the wider Task Force went about his job, without breaking up the flow and tempo of the text. Neither did he fall foul (too much) of the normal temptations to criticise politicians, strategies, various commanders and other operational units, retrospectively. This would have been too easy for a book that rises above the normal 'My War and Wot I Fink of It' genre. Taking two examples, the fact that his squadron commander remained at Ascension Island throughout the war leading to command and control problems for the Wessex helicopter units, and that the Vulcan missions to bomb Stanley Airport had limited operational effect blown (sic) out of all proportion to the effort involved, were not developed as so as to interrupt the tight ambit of the narrative 'From the Sharp End'.Read more ›
Most well written books on the Falklands contain the same three themes, mis-management, luck and bravery. The retaking of the Falklands was a plan very much made up as it went along, and many of the ships the troops went in were due to be scrapped/sold/decommissioned, as has been pointed out, if the Argentinians had delayed their invasion by a month then Britain would have been unable to respond as they did.
Once at the Falklands there were many poor decisions made and the eventual victory came through luck and the sheer bravery and determination of the troops involved. Helicopters are the workhorse of the military, moving stores, troops and ammunition and, sadly, recovering the wounded. Sometimes referred to as taxis, that might be fair as long as you assume a taxi would take you in zero visibility to the front lines under enemy fire and then not expect a tip!
There are some very interesting and hair raising stories here and it is obvious that the Junglies did a fantastic job and could have done an even better one with co-ordinated air management. Harry Benson is objective in what he tells us although you feel at times he is holding back a little on his personal views and if you are interested in the life of helicopters at war then this (along with the excellent Apache by Ed Macy) is probably the book for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Exceptional record of helicopter pilots in the Falklands. Very well written as well. For me, a circle has been closed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Roarton
Brilliant insight on the use, and abuse of the Wessex made me feel I was in the cockpitPublished 4 months ago by Paul Botting
This is an excellent read! If you enjoy modern military history written in the first person you should like this. Read morePublished 13 months ago by ArthurT
Vey readable; well researched. Being written 20 years after the events described has allowed Harry Benson to incorporate elements which were not known at the time. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dick Dastardly