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This article was originally written for the Falklands 25th anniversary in Over the course several weeks during I added daily to a thread on the forum of the Cottesmore Aviation Group, a short day by day history of what was happening during the campaign to recover the Falkland Islands in on the 25th anniversary of the conflict.
In particular I wanted to give a short overview of what 1 F Squadron were doing during the build up and itemise their combat missions for the days in question.
However the mood in the country brings its own pressures to bear on the Junta and as a consequence the date of the invasion The fast the Falkland Islands is The fast forward. Most was useless, some was of interest, and several items held very clear clues to what was likely about to occur.
This information was either ignored or overlooked. In Buenos Aires the Junta convinced of the lack of a strong political will, to intervene in any invasion, in the UK, ignore the call from the UN and make ready their troops for invasion.
At 11am, Major Norman of NP briefed his forces, telling them: The Royal Marines based on the islands put up isolated but stiff resistance before Governor Rex Hunt orders them to surrender. A meeting with the Argentine commander Admiral Busser was arranged to formalise the surrender. You are not invited.
News of the invasion began to reach London at around midday on 2nd April — 8am Falklands time, and was publicly announced in Britain that afternoon. The British Government immediately cuts diplomatic ties with Argentina and begins to assemble a large naval taskforce.
Meanwhile for 1 F Sqn at Wittering life continued almost as if nothing had happened. They were also down to play in a five-a-side football competition that afternoon at Never the less the crew room conversation is dominated by the news of the Argentinean invasion of the Falkland Islands.
The flexibility of the Harrier makes it a viable option to be used to regain the islands but the deployment options look very sparse. A popular choice would be to be held in reserve in Rio de Janeiro.
The UN Security Council passes Resolution calling for troops on both sides to withdraw and renewed negotiations for a peaceful solution. Argentina refuses to comply. In a House of Commons emergency session, unique in being held on a Saturday the first time since the Second World War, the British government faces criticism for not foreseeing the Argentine attack.
The first Royal Air Force transport aircraft are deployed with stores to a small volcanic island in the Atlantic called Ascension, and its equally small but vital airfield called Wideawake. Naval yards around the country went into over time to prepare vessels for sea. The first Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft arrived on Ascension Island, forward deployed in advance of the growing task force to provide anti-submarine protection to the fleet.
Four hours after the departure of the frigates, the aircraft carriers left Portsmouth under the full glare of the media. Sea Kings and Harriers lined the decks, both for ceremonial purposes and to allow the hangers deck below to be used as holding areas for the rapidly delivered extra stores.
Leaving Washington later today, he and his party arrive in London on 7th April. The ocean liner Canberra arrives in Southampton for conversion and to embark stores and troops.Thinking, Fast and Slow - Kindle edition by Daniel Kahneman.
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