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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2003
This book is an in-depth study of the war fought between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falkland Islands from April to June 1982. The book begins with a highly informative history of the islands, focusing on the two countries' claims to the islands. The war is recounted in excellent depth, focusing heavily on the British side. The final chapter is on the aftermath of the war, which is severely limited, due to the fact that the book was published in 1983.
Finally, there are three excellent appendices: A covers the British task force, giving everything from silhouettes of the ships and airplanes through list of the units involved complete with their commanders; B lists the honors given to Falklands veterans; and appendix C contains the Franks Report on the conflict. The maps contained in the book are excellent, as are the numerous black-and-white pictures.
This book is quite fascinating, and highly informative on the war. I found myself completely unable to put this book down, but just had to read a little more, and a little more, and a little more... I wish that it contained more information on the Argentine side, which would give the book more all-around information. However, that said, it is a great book, giving the reader a good idea of what happened both on the battlefield, and in the halls of the politicians (a great deal of the British side was run for more political, rather than military reasons).
This is a great book, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this fascinating war.
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on 10 January 2006
That’s what Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins call the battle between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Their rather thorough study on the 1982 conflict makes a fascinating read.
The authors start off with covering the history of the Falklands, which is quite useful background. Simon Jenkins does a good job detailing the political developments right up to the invasion. It would appear that the conflict was as much a result of the fallacies of modern diplomacy as a perceived need by the Argentinean regime to deflect the population from the domestic situation. That’s at least the message I took home from reading the authors’ account of the Seventeen Years’ War and Galtieri’s Gamble.
The actual war is recounted in quite some detail, but largely from the British point of view as Argentinean sources were not freely available at the time of publication (1983). The book also gives the impression that the British were in a bit of trouble quite a number of times during the conflict, but that as a result of a lack of co-ordination (or call it rivalries) between the different services of the Argentinean forces, they got away with their own shortcomings. The authors note that if the different services had better co-ordinated their efforts, the British task of regaining the Islands would have been much harder if not impossible.
At the end of the narrative, there are three excellent appendices on the Falkland Islands Task Force, the Honours List and the ‘Frank Report’ examining the ‘why it hadn’t been prevented in the first place’ issue.
This is an excellent book on the subject.
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on 8 March 2000
A first class history of modern warfare. Deals with both the military and political aspects in a comprehensive but compelling narrative. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 11 April 2009
Engaging and complete is the less I can say about this book. The authors tell the story of British side of events, from a brief description of the history of the island, the Argentine occupation by force and the following diplomatic offensive -- to the preparation, deployment and succesive war either by sea and land. The book is full of interestings facts, like the logistics problems of the British, the submarine warfare and the difficult task that it was to deal with air and missile attacks (exocets). Here you see the importance of aircraft carriers, submarines, frigates, artillery fire, good radar systems, ground-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles and no less important, a good professional army.
The Argentine Junta gambled and they lost, and they lost big since this totally diminished any bargaining position. There is no such thing as share sovereignity, and to finish the war was the best thing to do by the British. There was a cost of lives, we could not see much about the sufferings in combat, we just could see how the Argentine airplanes made brave incursions on the British ships and we can only imagine the horrors of this war in both sides. When I saw the images of the Argentine concripts in their trenches, I just felt pity for them -- What on earth the Argentines were thinking, really? Patriotism only is not enough againts an army with tradition and experience. Fortunately, the war was short and no more blood was shed at Port Stanley. For Chile, this was the best outcome indeed for peace and stability reign again in the region. Finally, I consider the Falklands and South Georgia of strategic importance, we might not think this now but you never know what the future can say.
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on 10 November 2002
Two of our finest journalists combined to write this account of the almost surreal Falkands conflict.
Hastings on the front line - facing the same risks as those he is reporting on - gives a terrific account of the problems the British forces encountered. How close were we to catastrophe? the answer it seems is too close for comfort. While clearly he writes with a high regard for the British soldier, he nevertheless gives due credit to elements of the Argentinian defenders especially the Air Force whose raids came close to crippling our war effort.
For me though, even more interesting than the military details, the political account of the war written by Simon Jenkins gives a clear insight into the thinking of politicians on three continents. The farcical American flip-flops, lead by an anti-British UN Ambassador and a highly ambitious Secretary of State, and at least on this reading, an American President not wholely in touch with events. Also, the U.N. where British diplomacy somehow managed to win through against all the odds.
Excellent.
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on 7 January 2001
An excellent overview of the Falklands Conflict - both politically and militarily. As well as dealing with the conflict itself, a brief overview of the Falklands' history, and the specific problems leading to the outbreak of the conflict, are given.
If there is one improvement that could be made, more detail on the attacks themselves would certainly have been of interest to me - both in the maps and the text.
However, this is a strategic, not a tactical history and, as such, is one of the best examples of modern military history I have read.
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on 29 March 2013
This book is about the war between Argentina and Great Britain about the possession of the Falkland Islands on 1982.
It was even a war between an old democracy (Great Britain) and a new dictatorship (Argentina).
Argentina's generals saw into the occupation of the Falkland Islands a way to gain the population's approval (after thousand of deaths and more than 30000 of desaparecidos ), but they didn't consider that Great Britain would'nt accept to be humiliated in such a way. Indeed to free her citizens, Great Britain planned and realized an anphibious operation 8000 miles far from her own coasts.
To mention it is that even because of the huge militar defeat, the militar Argentian Junta collapsed.
This is what's this book about.
As all the Max Hastings' books, the book is divided into three parts : antefacts and diplomatical/miltar preparations, description of the campaign, afterwards.
For sure the best account about the battle for the Falklands
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on 12 April 2016
A great insight into the Falklands War. I didn't really know anything about the war other than the few basic points. This book provides an easy to read yet comprehensive explanation of the war including the build up.
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on 2 April 2012
This is a tricky book to review. It is certainly not, in my opinion, a 'Classic' or set-text, but it does contain an astonishing amount of information about the Falklands crisis and ensuing war (though relatively little about the repercussions and implications) and the authors' attention to detail is impressive. For these facts alone, the book deserves 3 stars. But I couldn't help getting bored with the narrative and ended up thinking that I had a read a lot, but hadn't learnt much. One problem is precisely the fact that there is a wealth of information and fact on every page, so much in fact that you lose track of what is happening. Another problem is that the narrative (if you can call it that) is so 'objective' it doesn't grip you. I found myself skipping page after page of only vaguely relevant facts and figures....in a desperate attempt to get to get to the point - but it never really gets to that point. As a reference book, I am sure it is brilliant, as a book page-turner, well, it didn't work for me. Informative but boring. By the way, I think it is stupid to give a book one or two stars simply because you disagree with the authors' findings. You should judge a book on its own merits, as a book, not on your personal, political opinion.
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on 5 November 2013
I chose this book after watching a documentary programme on some action in the Falklands. I wanted something authoritative, but written in an engaging style and giving their full voice to the people actually on the ground. Max Hastings was my first choice, as I read (and generally appreciated) several of his other books. For this book, he had a very strong co-author, and it was a pleasure to read the build-up to the Falklands conflict, as well as some of the aftermath. I would recommend this book to other readers not familiar with the diplomatic, military and political aspects of the conflict too.
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