by: Fay Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
Those of a certain age will remember the Falklands War vaguely, as big hair, leg warmers, and what you were going to wear to the school disco was more important. For others the Falklands War meant loss, grief and going to fight for Queen and country, after the Argentineans invaded the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
This hard back book written by Mike Norman (Major in 1982) and Michael Jones consists of 230 pages on good quality paper, with a black and white photographic section on glossy paper. The contents of the book comprises of Maps, List of illustrations, Time line, Glossary, Forward, Prologue and 11 chapters as follows:
A South Atlantic posting
The day of decision
The first surrender
Port San Carlos
The second surrender.
The text is a mixture of firsthand accounts, log books and declassified government records. Mike Norman also adds his own memories of April 1982, which goes into detail about how he felt at the time.
Major Mike Norman’s (the Commander of Naval Party 8901), world was turned upside down after what was supposed to be a yearlong tour in a quite part of the world became a nightmare where his men were fighting for their lives. Rex Hunt (the Governor of the Islands), gave the order for the soldiers to surrender their arms to the Argentineans, after trying to delay their advance, with all the Marines willing to give their lives. One Argentinean said to one of the Marines “The islands are ours now”, the response to this was “We will be back,” this book follows the story of those who left the Islands and returned to help regain their freedom.
The time line in this presentation starts 22nd June 1981 with Major Mike Norman being appointed commander of Naval Party 8901 to their disbandment on the 18th October 1982. A South Atlantic posting which under any other circumstances would have been a quiet year of watching penguins, little knowing that because the British had laid claim to the Islands in 1765, with settlers arriving on the Islands in 1833. The Argentineans wanted to claim the islands for themselves, even though the population on the islands wanted to stay under British rule the Argentineans had other ideas…
I found this book an insightful and candid account of something that was going on the other side of the world when I was a teenager. This is a story of courage, and bravery of those who fought. I found the text to be well set out, with candid descriptions of what was happening, and some iconic photographs of the time.
Fay Baker takes a look at a book from Pen and Sword covering events at the other end of the globe when a teenager 'The Falklands War – There and Back Again – The Story of Navel Party 8901'.
Copyright ©2020 text by Fay Baker [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.
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