Read The Fight For The 'Malvinas': The Argentine Forces In The Falklands War by Martin Middlebrook Online


This book presents the events of the Falklands War from the Argentinian point of view from initial decision to invade through to their defeat. The work concentrates on military events in the Falklands with special reference to incidents such as the sinking of the Belgrano. The book is based on interviews with Argentinians, servicemen from the actual army, navy and airforceThis book presents the events of the Falklands War from the Argentinian point of view from initial decision to invade through to their defeat. The work concentrates on military events in the Falklands with special reference to incidents such as the sinking of the Belgrano. The book is based on interviews with Argentinians, servicemen from the actual army, navy and airforce units who fought in the Falklands plus Argentinian documents and published accounts which have been released since the war....

Title : The Fight For The 'Malvinas': The Argentine Forces In The Falklands War
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ISBN : 9780670821068
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 502 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Fight For The 'Malvinas': The Argentine Forces In The Falklands War Reviews

  • Roger Burk
    2019-01-13 18:01

    I read this book out of professional interest, to understand the Falklands War from the Argentine side, and in particular to see if I could figure out what they could have done to put up a better fight. The book is superb for that purpose. It is written by an Englishman, but one who interviewed extensively in Argentina and got wide cooperation. He tells the story plainly, giving full credit where it is due but accepting no claims that cannot be backed up with evidence. He gives the Argentine justification for the war simply, not necessarily agreeing with it, but not arguing with it either.So what could the Argentines have done better? First, let's say that at the time with the knowledge and resources they had, perhaps no-one could have done better. But with the war over, we can examine it for insights on how future wars might be waged more effectively. If I had been there at the time, I would have made the same mistakes, or more likely others even more disastrous. I want to look for lessons learned from the war, hoping they will be useful for future soldiers.1. The Argentines should have understood the political situation. They started with no plan to defend the Falklands. They imagined that their cause was so plainly just that the UN would intervene on their side. They thought that the Brits would not attempt to retake the islands. In both they were sadly mistaken. They had a plan to seize the islands, which was sound and well-executed, with an absolute minimum of bloodshed, but no plan to defend them against a determined attack. They had to improvise once it was plain that an attack was coming.2. The Argentine system of 12-month conscription is not suitable for modern short-duration wars. Maybe it provides a basis for deliberate mobilization, but a lot of the rank and file sent to the Falklands had only four months of training. Man for man they were no match for the professional British soldiers, and the Argentines knew it. 3. If they had waited a year or two until some weapon system acquisitions were complete, they could have made the islands just about impregnable. In particular, a good supply of Excocet missiles, including some on mobile ground launchers on the islands, would have kept the British away. The Argentines were buying them, but had only five (which sank two British ships). Also, a small fleet of modern submarines would have made the waters extremely dangerous. The Argentines had one, which had not completed working up and whose torpedo system did not work. I've read elsewhere that the British chose to land at San Carlos because the protected waters could be well-defended against subs, despite the fact that the surrounding hills provided covered avenues of approach for the air raids that caused so much damage4. The Argentines let themselves be distracted by a seconday threat. They didn't send to the Falklands the units best prepared for conditions there, which would have been those normally stationed in the south of the country. They were afraid that Chile would make a move.5. Their plan to count on a static defense around Stanley maybe was best, given the abilities of their troops. That's how Andrew Jackson used poorly-trained militia troops to defeat battle-hardened British regulars at New Orleans in 1815. However, I wonder if they couldn't have made a better effort to interfere with the landings at San Carlos. The islands are not that big--maybe the Argentines could have had a plan to move artillery within range of likely landing sites. As it happened, the landings were almost undisturbed except for air raids. Those were pressed home against fearful odds with a gallantry that won the admiration of the world, but the raids could only reach the defensive screen of picket ships. There they caused great damage, but the landings themselves were mostly undisturbed.6. The Argentine navy missed their one chance to mount an air attack against the approaching British fleet. Their aircraft carrier was at sea, but it would have had to approach closer than it was when the British fleet was located, and they decided the risk of such an approach was too great. But a successful attack could have won the war right there.7. In general, the Argentine surface navy did not acquit itself well. They laid no mines in the Falklands waters, which would have complicated things a great deal for the Brits. Astoundingly, the two destroyers escorting the General Belgrano did not notice when that cruiser was torpedoed and sunk out from under them. Maybe visibility was bad and they were under radio silence, but there were distress signals that were missed.8. Over half the bombs put into British ships by Argentine pilots (at great cost to themselves) failed to explode. On some the fuzes failed to work, so maintenance was poor. Some were released so close to the target that the arming mechanism did not have time to work. I guess no-one had reflected that attacks on modern ships would require extremely low-altitude bomb release and hence modifications to the mechanism.9. Once the final Exocet was used, the Brits moved their aircraft carriers closer to the islands. In retrospect, the Argentines would have done better to keep their last missile as a force in being; it would likely have made British air operations much more difficult during the final phases of the war.10. The ground defense was too passive. There was little patrolling and few outposts, so the Brits could approach Argentine positions without being shelled and without the Argentines knowing the direction of approach. On one occasion the Brits infiltrated through a minefield and took the Argentines by surprise in the rear. There should have been covering positions to prevent this.11. In general, the Argentines did not prepare flexibile plans. They guessed at where the Brits would attack and were unprepared when the attack came elsewhere.12. The Argentine surface navy could have operated against the Brits' sea lines of communications, with support from shore-based recon aircraft. It would have been risky, especially since they had no defense except evasion against British nuclear submarines. But the subs can't be everywhere at once, and vigorous action might have drawn off some of the force near the Falklands. Such action was considered late in the war but rejected, probably because of a political decision not to widen a war that was already as good as lost.13. Finally, these miserable islands were not worth the lives lost either to defend or to retake them. The nationalist passion that led to their seizure was just mad. Alas, people are prone to such fits of irrational nationalistic madness about lost territory, however useless it is and however long ago it was lost. Let us beware: just this sort of irrational passion could boil up in a moment in China over Taiwan. Anyway, I say the Argentines should have used Ghandi's method to defend the islands: fly over thousands of civilians to occupy them, refuse to fight, and make the Brits use force to move them out. Nationalist feeling was so strong that volunteers would have been ample. It would have demonstrated their commitment to regaining the islands, and would have played much better on the international stage. It might not have worked, but fighting certainly didn't work, and it cost a lot more lives.

  • Martin
    2019-01-21 23:43

    A very readable account of the Argentine side of the Falklands War. By matching up all Argentine sources with the British Side he already knew , Middlebrook is able to tell the Argentine story really well. The political miscalculation, the military logistical failures, and the central fragility of the Argentine military as a whole are all writ large over the entire timeline. Middlebrook refrains from too many judgemental comments, letting the story tell itself. One comes away saddened by the stupidity of political hubris more than enlightened about modern warfare. Well worth the time.

  • John Gordon
    2018-12-25 22:39

    This book looks at the Falklands war from the Argentinian perspective. Martin Middlebrook is an excellent author of military history and this account of the Falklands conflict is fascinating. He was granted access to interview many participants and is able to present the story from the perspectives of the commanders, pilots, sailors, soldiers and conscripts that fought there.The story he tells is most interesting; both thrilling and tragic. Luck played its part for both sides, opportunities lost and gambles won. Certainly the Argentinian forces could have done better had they been better equipped and organised. As the author notes: to win a modern war one needs modern weapons.The bravery of the Argentinian air force pilots is already legend, suffering horrendous losses to toss unguided bombs into British ships that generally did not function.I wonder how intimidated were the Argentinian conscripts after four months training, waiting for weeks in a harsh and inhospitable environment for the arrival of elite British troops such as Paratroops, Marines, commandos and special forces. I am glad I was not in their shoes.The book has considerable detail of this short war as it progressed through the naval and air stages to the ground campaign. The commentary is interspersed with stories, anecdotes and accounts from the Argentinian perspective.Very readable and certainly recommended.

  • Steve
    2018-12-23 00:41

    This was something different. I was in grade school in when the Falklands War took place and knew a little bit about the conflict, primarily the role of the Harrier and the sinking of the HMS Sheffield by an Exocet missiles This book is by a British author, but from the Argentine perspective of the war. The author conducted numerous interviews just a couple years after the conflight with former soldiers of all ranks. Many of the battles are described by the soldiers that were there. I had a hard time putting this one down.

  • Johannes Kramer
    2018-12-23 20:00

    Good book. Opens a view on the argentinian perspective of the falklands war. It mainly focusses on the operational and the tactical level, although the general strategic perspective is also reviewed. The main question stays - in my opinion - the question: did the argentinians loose this campagne due to their stupidity (of their junta) or the cleverness (or bravery and professionalism and good fortune) of the British. This book doesn't answer that question, but is an interesting and valuable contribution to the ongoing historical debate.

  • Mister Responsible
    2019-01-20 22:01

    An interesting look at the Argentine side of the Falklands War. It's definitely a military-history book, though. I'd really like to read something more civilian, sometime. I'm not sure how many of the Spanish-language books (like the one by military governor Mario Menéndez) have been translated into English.

  • Marty Abschutz
    2019-01-11 18:46

    Completes Martin Middlebrook's Falklands War research. Very interesting to see this conflict from the Argentine perspective. It's not just about England was wrong (from their perspective).

  • The Geekster
    2019-01-20 00:37

    What it was like to be on the losing side of the Falklands War.

  • John
    2018-12-24 18:06

    I struggled to read this as it's not really my kind of book but it was interesting in parts and well written. I was keen to read from the Argentine perspective.

  • Fresno Bob
    2019-01-02 00:05

    completes my Falklands reading, clear example of the difference between professional and conscript militaries