2022 marked the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War
In 2022 we looked back 40 years to commemorate the anniversary of the Falklands War with:
– a new cabinet of Falkland’s artefacts including never before seen pieces from the Archive and private collections;
– an Oral History Project with Falklands Veterans, culminating in a family friendly ‘Listening Post’ onsite at the London Museum, and in depth on-line excerpts, as well as a full submission of the project to our Windsor Archive for posterity (FALKLANDS AT 40 INTERVIEWS (64MB, 12mins));
– a families’ ‘blueys’ activity looking at communication during the conflict and today.
The Falkands War - April to June 1982
Two troops from B Squadron, The Blues and Royals were sent with the Task Force. The vehicles – combat vehicle reconnaissance (tracked) or CVR(T) – were transported aboard the M/V Elk while their crews sailed on the SS Canberra. The crews with their Scimitars, Scorpions and a single Samson, arrived at Ascension Island before moving onto HMS Fearless for the amphibious landing at San Carlos.
After the initial landing they set up perimeter security for the beachhead from dug-in vehicle positions, and acted as logistics carriers, shuttling stores from one place to another over the boggy ground.
Many thought at the time that this terrain would defeat the CVRTs with the troops playing little part in the future operations. But after some lobbying by their officers they were tasked to support 45 Commando in their yomp along the northern route, and 3 Para tabbing to Teal Inlet.
Having navigated minefields and marsh, they arrived for the key night battles to be fought across the high ground above Port Stanley. The first attack was opened by 3 Para assaulting Mount Longdon. After achieving initial surprise, the enemy were soon returning fierce and heavy accurate fire. 4 Troop provided much needed fire support with their 76mm into enemy positions. But the battle was to last 6 hours.
One technique used by the troops proved very effective. It was known as ‘zapping’: “…the CVR crew would engage the Argentine position with a brief burst of machine gun fire provoking a response, which was promptly silenced by the main gun. The 30mm RARDEN cannon, with its high velocity and great accuracy, was much favoured for this technique. Few Argentines felt able to reply after being ‘zapped.’”
When supporting infantry, the Blues and Royals proved critical, especially firing them into positions at night. The two troops provided fire support for 2 Para during the Battle of Wireless Ridge and for the Scots Guards during the Battle of Mount Tumbledown, evacuating casualties off the mountain on their engine decks.
On 14 June 1982 they rolled through the streets of the newly liberated Port Stanley.
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We interviewed a few of our deployed Household Cavalrymen, 40 years on to hear their thoughts on what it was like to be there.
CLICK THE BELOW LINK TO HEAR A SELECTION OF CLIPS FROM OUR ORAL HISTORY PROJECT INTERVIEWING VETERANS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES OF THE CONFLICT:
FALKLANDS AT 40 INTERVIEWS (64MB, 12mins).