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From: Henry Spencer

Based on the quotes from the pilots in "Air War South Atlantic", the British
pilots thought highly of the Argentines' bravery but not of their training.
E.g., comments like "one learns not to do things like that on Day One at the
tactical weapons school".  The Harrier pilots were deeply worried that the
Argentine fighters might do something sensible like fast slashing attacks,
especially coordinated simultaneous slashing attacks.  This would have used
their speed advantage to good effect, denying the Harriers any opportunity
for maneuvering combat while giving a good chance of blindsiding them.  The
Argentines would have taken losses, but they had more aircraft and could
afford some losses to take out the Harrier force.  Instead they "came in
dumb" and met the Harriers in maneuvering combat, a fatal mistake.

The attack pilots made similar blunders, most notably attacking in ones
and twos rather than in coordinated waves.  Brave but dumb.

The reference for this is Ethell&Price, "Air War South Atlantic", still
the best book on the Falklands air war that I've seen, compiled with the
use of (among other things) extensive interviews with the pilots on both
sides.  If disagreeing, please cite your references.

From: Al Bowers <>
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Recommendations for book on Falklands
Date: 05 Jan 1999 12:11:51 -0800

front <> writes:
> John S. Shinal wrote:

> >         Sharkey Ward is a real go-getter, and provides numerous
> > examples of how the commander of the operation had (my opinion)
> > utterly no grasp of air-power and how to use it properly. (Hmmm,
> > perhaps listening to sensible suggestions from subordinate offices who
> > are experts in their fields...)

> I saw a BBC documentary on the Harrier sometime back. Ward was
> interviewed about the role the jet had in the Falklands war. He managed
> to slip in the story about the Admiral who spoke to the wifes and
> families of the Harrier pilots after the task force had left. This
> Admiral told the families that they did not expect any of the pilots to
> return. Ward thought that it was a very stupid thing to say and was still
> fuming about it many years later... he mentions it in the book as well.

Interesting.  I have heard a counterpart story that is similar from an
Argentine friend.  It's something like this:

The Vice Comodore of the Argentine Air Force gathers the men of his
unit to give them grave news of the impending war.  After the address,
the VC expresses his sentiment to a Leutenant there that none of these
men will return.  The Lt begs to differ.  The VC is astonished that
this officier would believe the propoaganda of the government!  the Lt
says it is nothing of the sort.  The VC asks how this can be?  The Lt
responds that the Argentine Air Force doesn't have that many planes...


I have this second hand from what I consider a reliable witness that
this story actually took place...

Al Bowers

From: (John S. Shinal)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Recommendations for book on Falklands
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 08:05:28 GMT

On Mon, 4 Jan 1999,"steven j forsberg" <> wrote:
>> that this strange chap had written a book
>>that might be useful, so the authorities looked him up, got his
>>manuscript, and issues it to the commando types who would be
>>first ashore.

>            This is probably a reference to Major Ewen Southby-Tailyour.  He
>was a famous yachting and sailing enthusiast, and while with the Marine
>detachment on the Falklands on 1978 he had on his own initiative mapped the
>island and had a 100+ page notebook filled with data on harbors, inlets,
>landing spots, etc. etc.
>             He refused to give up his precious notebook unless he was
>assigned as "staff officer without portfolio" to the invasion, and he was so
>assigned.  I believe it was he who first raised San Carlos as a main landing

	Indeed, that's the guy. And even though he was known by
Woodward's staff to be THE expert on the Falklands, he was still
denigrated and treated shabbily by the Admiral.

	While Woodward made some good decisions, and was quite good at
sea power management, he was a dope when it came to taking good
suggestions from subordinates. A damn shame that any commander is too
stubborn to learn from those he commands. Feh !

	Probably the best endorsement of Southby-Tailyour is that the
Royal Marines and Paras got on so well with him.

     John S. Shinal

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