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During the Falklands war Jerry Pook, a pilot in No. 1(F) Squadron RAF, flew air interdiction, armed reccon, close-air-support and airfield attack as well as pure photo-reccon missions. Most weapons were delivered from extreme low-level attacks because of the lack of navigation aids and in the absence of Smart weapons. The only way he could achieve results was to get low down and close-in to the targets and, if necessary, carry out re-attacks to destroy high-value targets. Apart from brief carrier trials carried out many years previously there had been no RAF Harriers deployed at sea. The RAF pilots were treated with ill-disguised contempt by their naval masters, their professional opinions ignored in spite of the fact that the RN knew next to nothing about ground-attack and reccon operations. Very soon after starting operations from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes the squadron realized that they were considered as more or less expendable ordnance. The Harriers lacked the most basic self-protection aids and were up against 10,000 well-armed troops who put up an impressive weight of fire whenever attacked.
During a twenty-five year flying career in the RAF, Jerry Pook has flown Hunter Fighter/Ground Attack aircraft in the Gulf, Harriers in West Germany, the supersonic Starfighter with the Dutch Air Force, the Harrier in Belize, Central America and the Tornado bomber at the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment where he trained German and Italian pilots and navigators.Jerry had a long relationship with the Harrier Fighter/Ground Attack vertical take-off aircraft. This he flew in West Germany at the height of the Cold War operating from Wildenrath and off-base operations with Field Wing operations based in the fields and woods of the German countryside. Jerry saw action during the Falklands War when based on HMS Hermes and flying one of the few RAF Harriers in the Ground Attack role in support of the troops fighting ashore. He then enjoyed flying the American-built Starfighter RF 104G during a 3 year exchange tour with the Dutch Air Force - he describes the Starfighter as ' beautiful to fly, smooth and sophisticated, supremely fast and powerful - if you took liberties with it you knew it would kill you in an instant.'After 3 years with No 1(Fighter) Squadron and again flying the Harrierhe moved to the then new Tornado, flying in its bomber role. This he continued to fly operationally and in the instructional role for 13 years until grounded from military flying for medical reasons.
This is a revelatory account of three un-tabulated special forces operations, PLUM DUFF, MIKADO and KETTLEDRUM, that were tasked to destroy Argentina's Exocet missiles during the 1982 Falkland's campaign. In that context alone this book is of international military importance. ?Using previously unknown material and through interviewing key players who have remained silent for 30 years, Ewen Southby-Tailyour has finally established the truth: that it has taken so long reflects the sensitivities, both military and personal, involved. ?Interviews with the SAS officer commanding Operation PLUM DUFF, members of the reconnaissance patrol for Operation MIKADO, plus the navigator of the helicopter that flew eight troopers into Tierra del Fuego, has allowed the author to describe the tortuous events that led, instead, to a significant survival story. ?The RAF pilots ordered to conduct an 'assault-landing' of two Hercules onto Rio Grande air base during Operation MIKADO have spoken of the extraordinary procedures they developed: so have the commander of the SBS and the captain of the British submarine involved in Operation KETTLEDRUM. ?The Super Ätendard pilots who sank HMS Sheffield and MV Atlantic Conveyor and then 'attacked' HMS Invincible, plus a key member of the Argentine special forces and the brigadier defending Rio Grande, add credence, depth and gravitas to the saga: as does an equally revealing interview with the SIS (MI6) officer who led the world-wide search for Exocets on the black market. ?Disturbing over-confidence by commanders at home was finely counter-balanced by stirring accounts of inspiring physical and moral courage across the South Atlantic. ?Exocet Falklands is a ground-breaking work of investigative military history from which many salutary lessons can be learned.??As featured in the Daily Record, Western Morning News, Plymouth Herald and on BBC Radio Wiltshire.
In this official history of the Falklands Campaign, Lawrence Freedman provides a detailed and authoritative account of one of the most extraordinary periods in recent British political history and a vivid portrayal of a government at war. After the shock of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands in April 1982, Margaret Thatcher faced the crisis that came to define her premiership as she determined to recover the islands. Freedman covers all aspects of the campaign - economic and diplomatic as well as military - and demonstrates the extent of the gamble that the government took. There are important accounts of the tensions in relations with the United States, concerns among the military commanders about the risks they were expected to take, the problems of dealing with the media and the attempts to reach a negotiated settlement. This definitive account describes in dramatic detail events such as the sinking of the Belgrano, the battle of Goose Green and the final push to Stanley. Special attention is also paid to the aftermath of the war, including the various enquiries, and the eventual restoration of diplomatic relations with Argentina.
In April 1982 Harry Benson was a 21-year-old Royal Navy commando helicopter pilot, fresh out of training and one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands War. These pilots, nicknamed 'junglies', flew most of the land-based missions in the Falklands in their Sea King and Wessex helicopters. Much of what happened in the war - the politics, task force ships, Sea Harriers, landings, Paras and Marines - is well-known and documented. But almost nothing is known of the young commando helicopter pilots and aircrewmen who made it all happen on land and sea. This is their 'Boys Own' story, told for the very first time. Harry Benson has interviewed forty of his former colleagues for the book creating a tale of skill, initiative, resourcefulness, humour, luck, and adventure. This is a fast-paced, meticulously researched and compelling account written by someone who was there, in the cockpit of a Wessex helicopter. If you liked Apache, Vulcan 607 and Chickenhawk, you'll love Scram! The word "Scram" was used to warn other junglies to go to ground or risk being shot down by their own side as Argentinean jets blasted through 'bomb alley'.

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