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One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander
On 2 April 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The British response was swift, some said foolhardy. The mission of the Battle Group under the command of Rear Admiral Sandy Woodward presented a challenge that seemed all but insurmountable, and it was to require men of the highest calibre, professionalism and fortitude to carry it off. It also required exceptional leadership. On that day Admiral Woodward was on Fleet exercises in the Mediterranean; a tentative desire for action expressed in his diary was ironically fulfilled as he was thrown into an experience he could never have wished for, would never repeat, and certainly will not forget. From leaving Gibraltar to his return to Brize Norton, one hundred days elapsed–and, on the way, it had been a very close call. At times reflective and personal, at other times revealing the steely logic of a supreme military tactician, these engrossing memoirs take us south through the vast, lonely waters of the Atlantic as hopes for peace faded and strategies of war evolved, then became reality, victory and aftermath. They tell of the repulse of the Argentinian navy and the defeat of their air forces; of the sinking of the Belgrano; and of the daring amphibious landing at Carlos Water, eight thousand miles from home. One Hundred Days is unique as a dramatic portrayal of the world of modern naval warfare, where equipment is of astonishing sophistication but the margins for human courage and error are as wide as in the days of Nelson; and it is unique, too, in its revelations of the mind of the commander involved in planning one of this century’s most audacious ripostes to an unwelcome invader.
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