• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Tactical Intelligence in the Falklands War

'Jigsaw Puzzles: Tactical Intelligence in the Falklands War' book cover

Join Colonel Giles Orpen-Smellie as he provides a first-hand perspective on the use of tactical intelligence during the Falklands War.

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The South Atlantic campaign of 1982 was an extraordinary chapter of British military history. Much has been written about this unexpected conflict with Argentina, with an inevitable focus - particularly by British authors - on celebrating what was undoubtedly a remarkable British victory.

However, little attention has been paid to the intelligence effort, and particularly to ‘tactical’ intelligence at unit level. This was one aspect of the British operation that was less successful. 

Battlefield realities exposed significant gaps between the tactical intelligence that officers and soldiers had expected, as a result of their peacetime training, and the limited capabilities and lack of coordination of the intelligence assets that were available to satisfy those expectations.

In this insightful talk, Colonel Giles Orpen-Smellie will describe, warts and all, his own experiences and perspective of the conflict, in which he served as an intelligence officer with 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.

About Colonel (Retired) Giles Orpen-Smellie

Giles Orpen-Smellie was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1979 and followed his father into The Parachute Regiment. He went on to complete a full military career, including operational service in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, the Gulf, the Balkans, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. 

He retired from the Army as a colonel in 2012. Since then, he has worked in interim management within the charity sector and also as a judicial office holder with the Ministry of Justice's War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal. In May 2021, he was elected to his current political role as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."