• CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

From the Sea, Freedom: The Falklands Conflict, 1982 (Lecture 2/2)

Life Raft Bay, Falkland Islands

'A Front-line View: 2 Para and D Squadron 22 SAS'

D Squadron 22 SAS is involved from the start of operations through to the finish. And 2 Para is in the thick of things from the moment they land at San Carlos. As different as their paths may seem, the two interweave. This is their story as recalled by three of the sub-unit commanders: John Crosland (2 Para), Phil Neame (2 Para) and Cedric Delves (22 SAS).

The war came as a surprise, heightened for the SAS and 2 Para for being conducted alongside the Royal Navy. It was fought at the extremities of the UK’s strategic lines of communication, and against a more numerous enemy that held many other, physical advantages. 

British military doctrine views ‘fighting power’ as comprising three essential parts: physical, conceptual and moral. The Argentine defeat in the South Atlantic during the austral winter of 1982 can be seen as an example of how physical strength might be offset by superior ‘know how’ and ‘fighting spirit’. 

The conversation shall attempt to illustrate this. It shall cover operations in advance of the main landings at San Carlos, including the Pebble Island raid; how the SAS went on to contribute in the close, tactical and operational level battle spaces; how 2 Para effectively set the seal on the war on land with their victory at Darwin/Goose Green; how they opened up a second axis of advance before going on to win their second major battle on the last night of the war, at Wireless Ridge, the enemy’s final defensive position in front of Stanley.

The conversation between John Crosland, Philip Neame and ​​​​​​Cedric Delves seeks to bring these events alive. They intend to cover their experiences in the sequence they occurred, the events shared, some seen plainly, others differently: a front-line view.

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