Battle of Goose Green

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Battle of Goose Green
Part of the Falklands War
Goose Green school.jpg
Darwin school-house on fire after being attacked by D Company and Patrol Company of 2 Para, using M-79s and grenades,[1] and struck by 35mm anti-aircraft guns personally directed by the Argentine anti-aircraft officer.[2] [3]
Date28–29 May 1982
Location
Result British victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom  Argentina
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Lt. Col. Herbert "H" Jones  
United Kingdom Maj. Chris Keeble
Argentina Lt. Col. Ítalo Piaggi Surrendered
Argentina Wg Cdr. Wilson Pedrozo
Units involved

Flag of the British Army (1938-present).svg British Army
3 Commando Brigade

United Kingdom Royal Navy

Argentine Army emblem.svg Argentine Army

12th Infantry Regiment
25th Infantry Regiment
(1 company)
601st Anti-Aircraft Battalion (elements)
4th Airborne Artillery Regiment
Strength
690 [4]
2 81mm mortars
3 light guns
3 GR.3 Harriers
1 frigate (HMS Arrow)
684–871(army)[5]
202 (airforce)
10 (navy)
3 pack howitzers
2 35mm AA guns
6 20mm AA guns
Total:
896–1,083[6]
Casualties and losses
18 killed[7]
64 wounded[8][9][10]
1 helicopter destroyed
45–55 killed[11][12][13][14][15]
112[16][17]-145 wounded[18][19]
961 captured[20]
3 pack howitzers captured
2 35mm AA guns captured
6 20mm AA guns captured
2 light-attack aircraft shot down
1 light-attack aircraft crashed

The Battle of Goose Green (28–29 May 1982) was an engagement between British and Argentine forces during the Falklands War.

Located on the east side of the island's central isthmus, the settlement of Goose Green was the site of an airfield. Argentine forces were in a well-defended position, within striking distance of San Carlos Water, where the British task force had made its amphibious landings. While British intelligence had advised against a frontal assault on Goose Green, an attempt to capture the settlement and airfield was ordered following news of a possible United Nations-brokered armistice, which would have prevented British forces from recapturing the main part of East Falkland.

The main body of the British assault force was 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment (2 Para), commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert "H" Jones. BBC radio broadcast news of the forthcoming attack on Goose Green; knowing that this had likely forewarned the Argentinian defenders, the broadcast provoked immediate criticism from Jones and other British personnel.

After the attack commenced in the early hours of 28 May, 2 Para encountered unexpectedly heavy resistance. Jones was killed during a solo charge on an enemy machine-gun post. The Argentinian garrison agreed to a ceasefire and formally surrendered the following morning (29 May). As a result of their actions, both Jones and his successor as CO of 2 Para, Major Chris Keeble, were awarded medals. Jones received a posthumous VC and Keeble the DSO.

Prelude[edit]

Times and nomenclature[edit]

British forces worked on UTC (Zulu) time and many reports and sources quote the timing of events based on Zulu time. All times stated in this page are reflected as local, Falkland Island time (UTC−3), the same as Argentine time. On the day of the battle, sunrise was at 08:39 and sunset at 16:58.[21] To avoid confusion between similar company designations, Argentine companies are referred to in the form "Company A" while British forces are referred to as "A Company."

Terrain and conditions[edit]

Map 1: Context map showing location of the Darwin isthmus in relation to the Falkland Islands. Area in red matches the area covered by map 2
Vegetation and terrain: Low tussock covered hills with gorse filled valleys. Image is looking south in the direction of A Company, 2 Para attack with Darwin settlement on the left. Darwin Hill on the right.

Goose Green and Darwin are on a narrow isthmus connecting Lafonia on the south to Wickham Heights, which together form the large eastern island of the Falkland Islands. The terrain is rolling and treeless and is covered with grass outcrops, areas of thick gorse and peat bogs making effective camouflage and concealment extremely difficult. From May to August, the southern hemisphere winter, the ground is sodden and frequently covered with brackish water, causing movement to be slow and exhausting, especially at night. The isthmus has two settlements, both on the eastern coastal edge with Darwin settlement to the north and Goose Green to the south. The islands have a cold, damp climate and light, drizzly rains occur two out of every three days with continuous winds. Periods of rain, snow, fog, and sun change rapidly, and sunshine is extremely limited, leaving few opportunities for troops to warm up and dry out.[22]

Operational Purpose[edit]

The bulk of the Argentine forces were in positions around Port Stanley about 50 miles (80 km) to the east of San Carlos. The Argentine positions at Goose Green and Darwin were well defended by a force of combined units equipped with artillery, mortars, 35 mm cannon and machine guns.[23] British intelligence indicated that the Argentine force presented limited offensive capabilities and did not pose a major threat to the landing area at San Carlos. Consequently, Goose Green seemed to have no strategic military value for the British in their campaign to recapture the islands and initial plans for land operations had called for Goose Green to be isolated and bypassed.[24]

After the British landings at San Carlos on 21 May and while the bridgehead was being consolidated, no offensive ground operations had been conducted and activities were limited to digging fortified positions, patrolling and waiting;[25] during this time Argentine air attacks caused significant loss of and damage to British ships in the area around the landing grounds. These attacks and the lack of movement of the landed forces out of the San Carlos area, led to a feeling among senior commanders and politicians in the UK that the momentum of the campaign was being lost.[26] As a result, British Joint Headquarters in the UK came under increasing pressure from the British government for an early ground offensive of political and propaganda value.[27] There were also fears that the United Nations Security Council would vote for a cease-fire, maintaining current positions. If the Darwin-Goose Green isthmus could be taken prior to such a decision, British forces would control access to the entire Lafonia and thus a significant portion of East Falkland.[28] On 25 May Brigadier Julian Thompson, ground forces commander, commanding 3 Commando Brigade, was again ordered to mount an attack on Argentine positions around Goose Green and Darwin.[26]

Argentinian defences[edit]

The defending Argentine forces, known as Task Force Mercedes, consisted of two companies of Lieutenant-Colonel Ítalo Piaggi's 12th Infantry Regiment (RI 12)—his third company (Company B) was still deployed on Mount Kent as "Combat Team Solari" and was only to re-join RI 12 after the fall of Goose Green airfield.[29] The task force, in 1982, also contained a company of the ranger-type 25th Infantry Regiment (25th Special Infantry Regiment or RI 25).[30]

Air defence was provided by a battery of six 20 mm Rheinmetalls manned by air force personnel, and two radar-guided Oerlikon 35 mm anti-aircraft guns from the 601st Anti-Aircraft Battalion, that would be employed in a ground support role in the last stages of the fighting. There was also one battery of three OTO Melara Mod 56 105 mm pack howitzers from the 4th Airborne Artillery Regiment. Pucarás based at Stanley, armed with rockets and napalm, provided close air support.[31][32] Total forces under Piaggi's command numbered 1,083 men.[33]

Piaggi's orders required him to provide a reserve battle group (Task Force Mercedes) in support of other forces deployed to the west of Stanley; to occupy and defend the Darwin isthmus; and to defend Military Air Base Condor located at Goose Green. He assumed an all-round defence posture with Company A IR12 providing the key to his defence, they being deployed along a gorse hedge running across the Darwin isthmus from Darwin Hill to Boca House.[29] Piaggi deployed his Recce Platoon (under Lieutenant Carlos Marcelo Morales) as an advance screen forward of RI 12's A Company towards Coronation Ridge while RI 12's C Company were deployed south of Goose Green to cover the approaches from Lafonia. To replace his B Company left on Mount Kent, he created a composite company from headquarters and other staff and deployed them in Goose Green. RI 25's C (Ranger) Company (under Paratroop-trained First Lieutenant Carlos Daniel Esteban) provided a mobile reserve and were billeted at the school-house in Goose Green.[29] Elements were also deployed to Darwin settlement, Salinas Beach and Boca House and the air force security cadets together with the anti-aircraft elements were charged with protecting the airfield. Minefields had been laid in areas deemed tactically important (refer to map 2) to provide further defence against attack.[34]

On paper, Piaggi had a full regiment, but it consisted of units from three separate regiments from two different brigades, none of whom had ever worked together. RI 12 consisted mostly of conscripts from the northern, sub-tropical province of Corrientes, while the RI 25 Company was considered an elite formation and had received commando training.[35] At the start of the battle, the Argentinian forces had about the same number of effective combatants as the British paratroopers.[36] Some elements were well-trained and displayed a high degree of morale and motivation (C Company 25th Regiment and A Battery 4th Airborne Artillery Group); with Lieutenant Ignacio Gorriti of the 12th Regiment's B Company remarking that "there was no need for speeches. From the beginning, we knew how important the Malvinas were. It was a kind of love; we were going to defend something that was ours."[37][36] Other units were less well motivated, with the 12th Regiment chaplain, Santiago Mora writing:

The conscripts of 25th Infantry wanted to fight and cover themselves in glory. The conscripts of 12th Infantry Regiment fought because they were told to do so. This did not make them any less brave. On the whole, they remained admirably calm.[38]

Private Esteban Roberto Avalos fought in the Falklands as a sniper in the RI 12's B Company. In all, some fifty hand-picked 12th Regiment conscripts and NCOs had received Ranger-type training from visiting Halcón 8 (Falcon 8) Army Commandos in 1981 before returning to their respective companies:

In my particular case, I ended up being a sharpshooter for which I had been preparing since the time we were out in the field, where I had the opportunity to shoot with a FAL. During the 45 days we spent there, we had to practice shooting three or four times a week and those moments were taken advantage of to learn the shooting positions and familiarize ourselves with the weapon.

The dealings with the superiors, in general, were good, although if somebody screwed up we all paid the price The most common punishments were taking us to the showers at night, forcing us to do push-ups or demand from us heaps of frog leaps and crawling. If someone took the wrong step, for example, it was normal to be pulled out of training and they would make you "dance" a little with push-ups on the thistles or on the mud.

Now, going back to the subject of instruction, I would say that it was generally satisfactory, at least as far as our group is concerned, since we had basic training in the use of explosives and we were even given some classes of self-defense.[39]

The Argentine positions were well-selected, and officers were well-briefed.[36] In the weeks before the battle British air strikes, naval bombardments, poor logistic support and inclement conditions had contributed to the reduction of overall Argentine morale,[40] but it remained strong among the 4th Airborne Artillery Regiment gunners present and officers, NCOs and Ranger-trained conscripts of the 12th and 25th Regiments.[41]

British assault force[edit]

Thompson ordered 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) to prepare for and execute the operation as they were the unit closest to Goose Green in the San Carlos defensive perimeter.[42] He ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones, officer commanding 2 Para, to "carry out a raid on Goose Green isthmus and capture the settlements before withdrawing in a reserve for the main thrust to the north". The "capture" component appealed more to Jones than the "raid" component, although Thompson later acknowledged that he had assigned insufficient forces to rapidly execute the "capture" part of the orders.[43]

Milan missile, similar to those used in the battle by British paratroopers

Two Para consisted of three rifle companies, one patrol company, one support company and an HQ company. Thompson had assigned three 105 mm artillery pieces with 960 shells from 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery; one MILAN anti-tank missile platoon and Scout helicopters as support elements. In addition, close air support was available from three Royal Air Force Harriers, and naval gunfire support was to be provided by HMS Arrow in the hours of darkness.[44]

SAS reconnaissance had reported that the Darwin–Goose Green area was occupied by one Argentine company. Brigade intelligence reported that enemy forces consisted of three infantry companies (two from IR12 and one from IR25), one platoon from IR8 plus a possible amphibious platoon together with artillery and helicopter support. Jones was not too perturbed by the conflicting intelligence reports and, incorrectly, tended to believe the SAS reports, on the assumption that they were actually "on the spot" and were able to provide more accurate information than the brigade intelligence staff.[45] Based on this intelligence and the orders from Thompson, Jones planned the operation to be conducted in six phases, as a complicated night-day, silent-noisy attack. C Company was to secure the start line and then A Company was to launch the attack from the start line on the left (Darwin) side of the isthmus. B Company would launch their attack from the start line directly after A Company had initiated contact and would advance on the right (Boca House) side of the isthmus. Once A and B companies had secured their initial objectives, D Company would then advance from the start line between A and B companies and were to "go firm" on having exploited their objective. This would be followed by C Company, who were required to pass through D Company and neutralise any Argentine reserves. C Company would then advance again and clear the Goose Green airfield after which the settlements of Darwin and Goose Green would be secured by A and D companies respectively.[46]

As most of the helicopter airlift capability had been lost with the sinking of Atlantic Conveyor, 2 Para were required to march the 13 miles (21 km) from San Carlos to the forming-up place at Camilla Creek House.[47] C Company and the commando engineers moved out from there at 22:00 on 27 May to clear the route to the start line for the other companies. A firebase (consisting of air and naval fire controllers, mortars and snipers) was established by Support Company west of Camilla Creek, and they were in position by 02:00 on the morning of 28 May.[48] The three guns from 8 Battery, their crew and ammunition had been flown in to Camilla Creek House by 20 Sea King helicopter sorties after last light on the evening of 27 May. The attack, to be initiated by A Company, was scheduled to start at 03:00, but because of delays in registering the support fire from HMS Arrow, only commenced at 03:35.[49]

Initial contact[edit]

Remains of Harrier XZ998, shot down over Goose Green on 27 May 1982.

On 4 May three Royal Navy Sea Harriers operating from HMS Hermes attacked the airfield and installations at Goose Green. During the operation, a Sea Harrier was shot down by Argentine 35mm anti-aircraft fire, killing its pilot, RN Lieutenant Nick Taylor.[50]

As part of the diversionary raids to cover the British landings in the San Carlos area on 21 May, which involved naval shelling and air attacks, 'D' Squadron of the SAS from their assembly point on Mount Usborne[51] put in a major raid to simulate a battalion-sized attack on Company A (under First Lieutenant Jorge Antonio Manresa), 12th Regiment that at the time was dug in on Darwin Ridge.[52]

On 22 May, four RAF Harriers were launched from Hermes armed with cluster bombs, their intended targets being the fuel dumps and Pucaras at Goose Green. The formation met intensive anti-aircraft fire during their attack.[53] Captain Pablo Santiago Llanos of 601 Commando Company (escorting a shot down Royal Air Force Harrier pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jeffrey Glover, from Port Howard to Port Stanley) was present during the strike and observed:

I can assure you, that it was the place I saw the best of people, especially my junior rank colleagues, when it came to fighting spirit. Everyone in Goose Green would leave the houses, they would position themselves behind whatever cover there was, and would fire against the planes.[54]

On 26 May, Manresa's A Company after a long march, were ready to mount a retaliatory raid on Mount Usborne, but reaching the summit were surprised to find that the SAS had already vacated the feature.[55] The next day, Subteniente Ernesto Orlando Peluffo on Darwin Ridge, spotted with his binoculars British forward troops and his RI 12 platoon repelled with long-range machine-gun fire a British reconnaissance patrol in the hours prior to the final attack. Throughout 27 May, Royal Air Force Harriers were active over Goose Green. One of them, responding to a call for help from Captain Paul Farrar's C (Patrols) Company, was lost to 35mm fire while attacking Darwin Ridge.[56][57][58] The Harrier attacks, the sighting of the forward British paratroopers as well as the BBC announcing that the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment were poised and ready to assault Darwin and Goose Green the day before the assault alerted the Argentine garrison to the impending attack.[59]

Battle[edit]

Darwin Parks[edit]

Map 2: Actual course of British attack: Goose Green, 28–29 May 1982

At 03:35 HMS Arrow opened fire (she was to fire a total of 22 star shell and 135 rounds of 4.5" HE shells in a 90-minute bombardment), signalling the start of the attack.[60] In the ensuing night battle about twelve Argentines were killed.[30] Under heavy fire, the platoons of Sub-Lieutenants Marcelo Martin Bracco and Alejandro Garra withdrew in the initial clashes, reporting the loss of fifty percent of their men, killed, wounded, captured or missing. The platoon under Sub-Lieutenant Gustavo Adolfo Malacalza fought a delaying action against the British paratroopers, blooding themselves on Burntside Hill before taking up combat positions again on Darwin Ridge.[30]

Major Philip Neame's D Company was temporarily halted by the Coronation Ridge position. Two of his men, 24-year-old Lance-Corporal Gary Bingley and 19-year-old Private Barry Grayling darted out from undercover to charge the enemy machine gun nest and protecting riflemen that were holding up the advance. Both were hit 10 metres (11 yd) from the machine gun, but shot two of the crew before collapsing. Bingley "got hit in the head and I got hit in the hip," Grayling recalled in an interview published in 2007. "Unfortunately, he didn't make it."[61] Bingley was posthumously awarded the Military Medal and Grayling was decorated with the Queen's Gallantry Medal. With the enemy machine gun out of action, the paras were able to clear the Argentine platoon position under Lieutenant Horacio Muñoz Cabrera, but at the cost of three Paras killed.[30]

2 Para continued its advance south via Darwin Parks. Around 7.30 am local time, the 1st Rifle Platoon under the command of 2nd Lieutenant Roberto Estévez from the 25th Regiment's C Company, received orders to deliver a counter-attack against 2 Para's B Company.[62] The Argentine platoon reached the frontlines and was able to block the British advance by taking up positions on Darwin Hill, from which, although wounded, Lieutenant Estévez started calling down fire support. He thus succeeded in holding up the advance of 2 Para's A Company, dispersing the attackers, as his men, caught out in the forward slopes as they prepared to renew their advance, desperately sought cover in the nearby trenches. Estévez fell, mortally wounded by sniper fire. His dying order was to his radio operator Private Fabricio Edgar Carrascul, who continued to direct Argentine fire support. The Argentine position was being riddled by bullets, and the conscript soon succumbed to the hail of enemy fire.[63] During this action Estévez directed Argentine 105 mm artillery and 120 mm mortar fire that posthumously earned him the Argentine Nation to the Heroic Valour in Combat Cross (CHVC). Private Carrascul was posthumously decorated for his bravery with the Medal of Valour in Combat.[64]

Private Guillermo Huircapán from Estévez's platoon describes the morning action:

Lieutenant Estévez went from one side to the other organizing the defense until all at once they got him in the shoulder. But with that and everything, badly wounded, he kept crawling along the trenches, giving orders, encouraging the soldiers, asking for everyone. A little later they got him in the side, but just the same, from the trench he continued directing the artillery fire by radio. There was a little pause and then the English began the attack again, trying to advance, and again we beat them off.[65]

The first British assault was broken up by fire from Sub-Lieutenant Ernesto Orlando Peluffo's RI 12 platoon after the platoon sergeant, Buenaventura Jumilla, warned that the British were approaching. Major Farrar-Hockley spotted Argentine reinforcements on the hills before them. He shouted, "Ambush! Take cover!" just as the machine-guns opened fire.[66] The Royal Engineer officer attached to Farrar-Hockley's company, Lieutenant Clive Livingstone, wrote about the initial fighting for Darwin Hill:

A massive volume of medium machine-gun fire was unleashed on us from a range of about 400 metres. The light now rapidly appearing enabled the enemy to identify targets and bring down very effective fire. Although this too would work for us, the weight of fire we could produce was not in proportion to the massive response it brought. We stopped firing – our main concern was to move away whenever pauses occurred in the attention being paid to us. The two platoons were not able to suppress the trenches which were giving us so much trouble. We took about 45 minutes to extract ourselves by the use of smoke and pauses in firing.[66]

Between 9 and 10 that morning, 2 Para's A and B Companies broke off their attacks and began to withdraw to the reverse side of Middle Hill and the base of Coronation Point, with 2 Para's second-in-command, Major Chris Keeble requiring 2 hours to resume the attacks after the death of the British battalion commander.[67]"We were outranged. We just couldn't get across the open ground to get at their machine-guns, and after five hours of fighting, ammunition was critical," explained Major John Crosland in an interview with British war correspondent Max Hastings.[68] Corporal David Abols later said that an Argentine sniper was mainly responsible for holding up A Company and with shooting several paras in the morning fighting.[a] Nevertheless, the paras called on the Argentines to surrender. The death of Lieutenant-Colonel Jones was attributed to a sniper identified as an Argentine Army Green Beret, Corporal Osvaldo Faustino Olmos, who was interviewed by the British newspaper Daily Express in 1996.[69] Commando-trained Olmos, of RI 25, had refused to leave his foxhole and his section fired at Jones and the five paratroopers who accompanied him as he moved forward.[b]

At this juncture of the battle, 2nd Para's advance had stalled. 'A' Company was in the gorse line at the bottom of Darwin Hill, and against the entrenched Argentines who were looking down the hill at them. As it was now daylight, Jones led an unsuccessful charge up a small gully resulting in the death of the adjutant, Captain Wood, A Company's second-in-command Captain Dent, and Corporal Hardman.[70]

Shortly thereafter Jones was seen to run west along the base of Darwin Ridge to a small re-entrant, followed by his bodyguard. He checked his Sterling submachine gun, then ran up the hill towards an Argentine trench. He was seen to be hit once, then fell, got up and was hit again from the side. He fell metres short of the trench, hit in the back and the groin, and died within minutes.[70][c]

As Jones lay dying, his men radioed for urgent casualty evacuation. However, the British Scout helicopter sent to evacuate Jones was shot down by an Argentine FMA IA 58 Pucara ground attack aircraft. The pilot, Lieutenant Richard Nunn RM was killed and posthumously received the DFC, and the aircrewman, Sergeant Bill Belcher RM was badly wounded in both legs.[70] Corporal José Luis Ríos, of the 12th Regiment's Reconnaissance Platoon who in the opinion of historian Hugh Bicheno had killed Jones,[71] was later fatally wounded manning a machine-gun in his trench by Abols, firing a 66 mm rocket.[d]

Jones was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Darwin Hill[edit]

Remnants of Argentine defensive positions along gorse hedge on Darwin Hill

By then it was 10:30 and Major Dair Farrar-Hockley's A Company made a third attempt, but this petered out. Eventually, the British company, hampered by the morning fog as they advanced up the slope of Darwin Ridge, were driven back to the gulley by the fire of the survivors of the 1st Platoon from RI 25's C Company. During the morning fighting, 2 Para's mortar crews fired 1,000 rounds to keep the enemy at bay, and helped stop the Argentines getting a proper aim at the paras.[e][72]

Expecting a low-level strike from Argentine Air Force Skyhawk fighter-bombers to materialize in support of the Darwin Ridge defenders, Company Sergeant-Major Juan Coelho spread out white bed sheets in front of the trenches to help guide in the pilots and was badly wounded in the process. The Argentine flight of five A-4B Skyhawks (Captain Mario Caffaratti, Lieutenant Daniel Paredi, Lieutenant Atilio Zattara and Second Lieutenant Gerardo Issac) instead encountered the British hospital ship Uganda, losing valuable time reporting the incident and returned to investigate the ship further before continuing with their mission. The Skyhawk pilots, having lost much fuel and flying in bad weather, carried out a badly executed bomb run firing on Argentine positions as they released their ordnance and were engaged by the Argentine anti-aircraft gunners that damaged the lead plane.[73][74]

It was almost noon before the British advance resumed. A Company soon cleared the eastern end of the Argentine position and opened the way forward. There had been two battles going on in the Darwin hillocks—one around Darwin Hill (Black strongpoint) looking down on Darwin Bay, and an equally fierce one in front of Boca Hill (White strongpoint), also known as Boca House Ruins. Sub-Lieutenant Guillermo Ricardo Aliaga's 3rd Platoon of RI 8's C Company held Boca Hill. The position of Boca Hill was reported taken at 13.47 local time[75] after heavy fighting by Major John Crosland's B Company with support from the MILAN anti-tank platoon. Sub-lieutenants Aliaga and Peluffo were gravely wounded in the fighting. Crosland was the most experienced British officer and, as the events of the day unfolded, it was later said that Crosland's cool and calm leadership of his soldiers on the battlefield turned the Boca House section of the front line.

About the time of the final attack on the Boca Hill position, A Company overcame the Argentine defenders on Darwin Hill, finally reporting taking the Black strongpoint at 13.13 local time[76] with the defenders having resisted for nearly six hours,[f][77] with many Argentine and British casualties. Majors Farrar-Hockley and Crosland each won the Military Cross for their efforts. Corporal David Abols was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his daring charges which turned the Darwin Hill battle.

An FMA Pucara, returning from the battle, crashed about 10.00 AM in high ground between Goose Green and Stanley. Lt Gimenez was killed. The cause is apparently not known, either from battle damage or flight accident. It was the 58th Argentine aircraft lost in the war.[78]

Attack on the airfield[edit]

35mm Oerlikon, similar to the two guns deployed by Argentinean forces at the airfield

After the victory on Darwin Ridge, C and D Companies began to make their way to the small airfield as well as Darwin School, which was east of the airfield, while B Company made their way south of Goose Green Settlement. A Company remained on Darwin Hill. C Company took heavy losses when they became the target of intense direct fire from 35 mm anti-aircraft guns, causing 20 per cent casualties.[79] Private Mark Holman-Smith, a signaller in the company headquarters, was killed by the anti-aircraft guns while trying to recover a heavy machine gun from wounded Private Steve Russell.[80]

Argentine Air Force anti-aircraft gunners under Lieutenant Darío Del Valle Valazza, and the RI 12 platoon under Sub Lieutenant Carlos Oslvaldo Aldao, attempted to halt the renewed advance that commenced at 2.25 pm from Boca Hill,[81] but were forced to abandon their positions, including the five remaining 20mm Rheinmetall guns at Cóndor airfield, reporting the loss of two guns and Elta radar to Milan missiles or mortar fire, with three defenders from Grupo 1 de Artillería Antiaérea de la Fuerza Aérea Argentina (G1AA) killed (Privates Mario Ramón Luna, Luis Guillermo Sevilla and Héctor Walter Aguirre from G1AA[82] and Privates Roque Evaristo Sánchez and Avelino Néstor Oscar Pegoraro from Aldao's platoon) and several wounded, including Lieutenant Valazza. A large part of the RI 12 platoon was overrun and forced to surrender, but Aldao along with a corporal managed to escape[81][83] in the confusion of the Argentine air strikes that materialized later that afternoon.

Lieutenant James Barry's No. 12 Platoon, D company, saw some fierce action at the airfield. They were ambushed[30] by Sub-Lieutenant Juan José Gómez-Centurión's 2nd Romeo Rifle Platoon of the 25th Regiment' C Company but Private Geordie Knight shot dead two of the attackers (Privates José Luis Allende and Ricardo Andrés Austin) that had crawled forward,[84] and then reported the events to Major Neame.[g]

Private Graham Carter from No. 12 Platoon describes the airfield action:

In the first volley of shots, Mr Barry was hit quite badly and got tangled in the barbed wire fence. They then used him as target practice ... In the same instance [Corporal] Paul Sullivan got hit directly behind me, in the knee, and then he got hit several more times in the head. I was really lucky, as with two others I was protected by a small scoop in the ground. The other gunner, Brummy [Private Brummie Mountford], got hit directly after the first volley of shots, ricochets off the GPMG, which hit him in the shoulder and in the back, so he was in quite a bad way. Smudge [Lance-Corporal Nigel Smith], our section 2ic, fired a 66mm into the trenches that were giving us trouble, but it must have been damaged in some way as the whole thing went off and damaged him badly in the face and chest. As he was only a few feet away I went across to administer first aid to him, but as I moved, I got a bullet in my helmet, which took a chunk of it away. There was no way I was going to try going across there again.[85]

Private John Graham from Lieutenant Chris Waddington's No. 11 Platoon claimed that Lieutenant Barry and Corporal Sullivan, during a local truce, went forward to accept the Argentine surrender, and that the defenders suddenly opened fire without warning, killing Barry and wounding Sullivan, with one Argentine crawling forward to Sullivan and shooting him at point blank range:

I saw the white flag incident; I was in 11 Platoon. We were going up the hill and the flag went up. The officer [Barry] called the sergeant [sic], and then got halfway up the hill. Bang! They let rip into them. Killed them. One guy [Corporal Paul Sullivan] was hit in the knee and one of the bastards came forward and shot him in the head. He moved forward out of his position and shot him.[86]

Private Carter won the Military Medal by rallying the survivors in No. 12 Platoon and leading them forward at bayonet point to take the airfield.[30][87] The platoon sergeant had earlier charged the enemy Romeo platoon with his belt-fed machine-gun, killing four of them.

According to Subteniente Gómez-Centurión:

I set out with thirty-six men toward the north. Passing the school, we entered a depression from which we saw the hill .... I sent a scouting party ahead, and they told me that the British were advancing from the other side of the low ridge, some one hundred and fifty men ... [My] men were very tense, there was a ferocious cold, we shivered with cold, with fear ... When they were about fifty meters away, we opened fire ... We kept firing for at least forty minutes ... They started to attack our flank, my soldiers had to take cover, the firing went down, and the situation started to become critical. Then we were surrounded, we had wounded, people started to lose control ... I began to ask about casualties, each time more casualties. There was no way out behind, because we had been flanked, nearly surrounded ... So when there was a pause in the firing I decided that it was the time to stop, and I gave the order to disengage.[65]

The RI 25 platoon defending the airfield fell back into the Darwin-Goose Green track and was able to escape. Sergeant Sergio Ismael Garcia of RI 25 single-handedly covered the withdrawal of his platoon during the British counterattack. He was posthumously awarded the Argentine Nation to the Valour in Combat Medal. Under orders from Major Carlos Alberto Frontera (second in command of RI 12), Sub-Lieutenant César Álvarez Berro's RI 12 platoon took up new positions and helped cover the retreat of Gómez-Centurión along the Darwin-Goose Green track.[83] Four Paras of D Company and approximately a dozen Argentines were killed in these engagements. Among the British dead were 29-year-old Lieutenant Barry and two NCOs, Lance-Corporal Smith and Corporal Sullivan, who were killed after Barry's attempt to convince Sub-Lieutenant Gómez-Centurión to surrender had been rebuffed.[30][h][88][89] C Company had not lost a single man in the Darwin School fighting, but Private Steve Dixon, from D Company, died when a splinter from a 35 mm anti-aircraft shell struck him in the chest.[90] The Argentine 35mm anti-aircraft guns under the command of Sub-Lieutenant Claudio Oscar Braghini reduced the schoolhouse to rubble after sergeants Mario Abel Tarditti and Roberto Amado Fernandez reported to him that sniper fire was coming from there.[2][3]

At around this time, three Harriers made an attack on the Argentine 35 mm gun positions; the army radar-guided guns were unable to respond effectively because a piece of mortar shrapnel had earlier struck the generator to the guns and fire-control radar. This greatly lifted morale among the British paras and helped convince Piaggi of the futility of continued resistance. Although it was not known at the time, the Harriers came close to being shot down in their bomb run after being misidentified as enemy aircraft by Lieutenant-Commander Nigel Ward and Flight Lieutenant Ian Mortimer of 801 Squadron.[i] According to Lieutenant Braghini's report,[91] and at least one British account,[92] the Harrier strike missed their intended target, but the Argentine antiaircraft guns were eventually put out of action by mortar fire.

Meanwhile, the RI 12 platoon under Sub-Lieutenant Orlando Lucero that Lieutenant-Colonel Piaggi and Major Frontera had organized using survivors from the earlier fighting, took up positions on Goose Green's outskirts and continued to resist while supporting Air Force Pucara and Navy Aeromacchi aircraft struck the forward British companies; but the Argentine pilots did not have much effect, suffering two losses: at 5:00, when a Macchi 339A (CANA 1 squadron) was shot down by a Blowpipe missile from the Royal Marine Air defence troop, killing Sub-Lieutenant Daniel Miguel.

Just about 10 minutes later, another Pucara was shot down by small arms fire from 2 Para, drenching several paratroopers with fuel and napalm, which fortunately did not ignite.[93] Lieutenant Miguel Cruzado survived and was captured by British forces on the ground.[78]

Situation at last light on 28 May[edit]

By last light, the situation for 2 Para was critical. A Company was still on Darwin Hill north of the gorse hedge, B Company had penetrated much further south and had swung in a wide arc from the western shore of the isthmus eastwards towards Goose Green. They were isolated and under fire from an Argentinian platoon and unable to receive mutual support from the other companies.[94] To worsen their predicament Argentine helicopters—a Puma, a Chinook and six Hueys—landed southwest of their position just after last light, bringing in the remaining Company B of IR12 (Combat Team Solari) from Mount Kent.[95] B company managed to bring in artillery fire on these new reinforcements, forcing them to disperse towards the Goose Green settlement, while some re-embarked and left with the departing helicopters.[96] For C Company, the attack had also fizzled out after the skirmish at the school-house with the company commander injured, no radio contact and the platoons scattered with up to 1,200 m between them. The C Company second-in-command was also unaccounted for.[97] D Company had regrouped just before last light, and they were deployed to the west of the dairy; exhausted, hungry, low on ammunition and without water.[98] Food was redistributed to share one ration-pack between two men for A and C Companies, but B and D Companies could not be reached. At this time a British helicopter casualty evacuation flight took place, successfully extracting C Company casualties on the forward slope of Darwin Hill under fire from Argentine positions.[99]

To Keeble, the situation looked precarious: the settlements had been surrounded but not captured, and his companies were exhausted, cold and low on water, ammunition, and food. His concern was that the Company B reinforcements dropped by helicopter would either be used in an early morning counter-attack or used to stiffen the defences around Goose Green. He had seen the C Company assault stopped in its tracks by the antiaircraft fire from Goose Green, and had seen the Harrier strikes of earlier that afternoon missing their intended targets. In an order group with the A and C Company commanders, he indicated his preference for calling for an Argentine surrender rather than facing an ongoing battle the following morning. His alternative plan, if the Argentines did not surrender, was to "flatten Goose Green" with all available fire-power and then launch an assault with all forces possible, including reinforcements he had requested from Thompson. On Thompson's orders, J Company of 42 Commando, Royal Marines, the remaining guns of 8 Battery, and additional mortars were helicoptered in to provide the necessary support.[100]

Surrender[edit]

Once Thompson and 3 Brigade had agreed to the approach, a message was relayed by CB radio from San Carlos to Mr Eric Goss, the farm manager in Goose Green—who, in turn, delivered it to Piaggi. The call explained the details of a planned delegation who would go forward from the British lines to the Argentine positions in Goose Green bearing a message. Piaggi agreed to receive the delegation.[101] Soon after midnight, two Argentine Air Force warrant officer prisoners of war were sent to meet with Piaggi and to hand over the proposed terms of surrender.[j] On receiving the terms, Piaggi concluded:

The battle had turned into a sniping contest. They could sit well out of range of our soldiers' fire and, if they wanted to, raze the settlement. I knew that there was no longer any chance of reinforcements from 6th Regiment's B Company [Compañía 'Piribebuy'] and so I suggested to Wing Commander [Vice Commodore] Wilson Pedrozo that he talk to the British. He agreed reluctantly.[102]

Taking advantage of the local ceasefire, Second Lieutenant Juan Gómez Centurión at the head of two Air Force stretcher-bearers, Privates David Alejandro Díaz and Reynaldo Dardo Romacho and an accompanying Air Force medical officer, Lieutenant Carlos Beranek, find and rescue Corporal Juan Fernández who had left behind badly wounded behind British lines.[103] The next morning, agreement for an unconditional surrender was reached and Pedrozo held a short parade and those on parade then laid down their weapons. After burning the regimental flag, Piaggi led the troops and officers, carrying their personal belongings, into captivity.[104]

Aftermath[edit]

Prisoners and casualties[edit]

Initial burial place of British casualties at Ajax Bay

Between 45[12][105] and 55 Argentines were killed[15] (32 from RI 12, 13 from Company C RI 25, five killed in the Platoon from RI R8, 4 Air Force staff and one Navy servicemen)[14] and about 86 wounded.[15]

The claim in various British books that the 8th Regiment lost five killed defending Boca House is disputed, with other sources claiming that Corporal Juan Waudrik (supposedly killed at Boca House) was mortally wounded in late May after the tractor he was riding detonated a mine at Fox Bay,[106] and that Privates Simón Oscar Antieco, Jorge Daniel Ludueña, Sergio Fabián Nosikoski and Eduardo Sosa, the four conscripts reportedly killed fighting alongside Waudrik, were killed in the same locality on West Falkland during a naval bombardment on 9 May. In all, the 8IR lost 5 killed during the Falklands War.[citation needed]

The remainder of the Argentine force were taken prisoner. Argentine dead were buried in a cemetery to the north of Darwin, and 140[107][108] wounded were evacuated to hospital ships via the medical post in San Carlos. Prisoners were used to clear the battlefield; in an incident involving the moving of artillery ammunition, the RI 12 C Company platoon under Subteniente Leonardo Durán were involved in a huge explosion that caused 5 killed and/or missing and 10 seriously wounded.[7][109] After clearing the area and with military chaplain Mora and Sub-Lieutenants Bracco and Gómez-Centurión assisting with the burying of the dead, the prisoners were marched to and interned in San Carlos.[110] The British lost 18 killed (16 Paras, one Royal Marine pilot and one commando sapper)[7] and 64 wounded. The seriously wounded were evacuated to the hospital ship Uganda.[111]

By 3 June the Gurkhas were deployed at Darwin and Goose Green and were used in helicopter-borne operations to find Argentine patrols operating on the southern flank of the British advance to Port Stanley. This resulted in an encounter with a 10-man army-air force patrol under Lieutenant Jaime Enrique Ugarte from the Argentine Air Force's 1st Anti-Aircraft Group and Sergeant Roberto Daniel Berdugo from the 12th Regiment that had been helicoptered to Egg Harbour House, an abandoned farm house in Lafonia to shoot down British aircraft with SA-7 shoulder-launched missiles. On 7 June, a Sea King arrived with 20 Gurkhas to clear this Goose Green outpost. On being ordered to lie down to be searched by the Gurkhas, all the wet and hungry Argentine soldiers including Sergeant Berdugo did so except the air force officer. A Gurkha rifleman brandishing a 10" Kukri blade threatened the air force officer with decapitation and Lieutenant Ugarte had no option but to obey this time round.

Commanders[edit]

Lieutenant-Colonel Ítalo Ángel Piaggi surrendered his forces in Goose Green on the Argentinian National Army Day (29 May). After the war he was forced to resign from the army, and faced ongoing trials questioning his competence at Goose Green. In 1986 he wrote a book titled Ganso Verde, in which he strongly defended his decisions during the war and criticised the lack of logistical support from Stanley. In his book he said that Task Force Mercedes had plenty of 7.62mm rifle ammunition left, but had run out of 81mm mortar rounds, and there were only 394 shells left for the 105mm artillery guns.[5] On 24 February 1992, after a long fight in both civil and military courts, Piaggi had his retired military rank and pay reinstated as a full colonel.[112] He died in July 2012.[113]

Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones was buried at Ajax Bay on 30 May; after the war his body was exhumed and transferred to the British cemetery in San Carlos.[114] He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.[115]

Major Chris Keeble, who took over command of 2 Para when Jones was killed, was awarded the DSO for his actions at Goose Green.[116] Keeble's leadership at Goose Green was one of the key factors which led to the British victory, in that his flexible style of command and the autonomy he afforded to his company commanders was much more successful than the rigid control and adherence to plan exercised by Jones.[117] Despite sentiment among the soldiers of 2 Para for him to remain in command, he was superseded by Lieutenant-Colonel David Robert Chaundler, who was flown in from the UK to take command of the battalion.[118]

Order of battle[edit]

All order of battle data from Fitz-Gibbon (2002), unless otherwise stated[44]

Argentine Forces (Task Force Mercedes)
Lieutenant Colonel I. Piaggi
British Forces (2 Para Group)
Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones
The following forces were present at the start of fighting at circa 06:35 on 28 May 1982
Infantry
HQ Company (-) Infantry Regiment 12 (Lt. Col. Piaggi) HQ Company (-) 2 Para (Lt. Col H. Jones)
Company A, Infantry Regiment 12 (1st Lt. Manresa) A Company, 2 Para (Maj. D. Farrar-Hockley)
Company C, Infantry Regiment 12 (1st Lt. Fernández) B Company, 2 Para (Maj. J. Crosland)
Company C, Infantry Regiment 25 (1st Lt. Esteban) C (Patrol) Company, 2 Para [two platoons] (Maj. Roger Jenner)
3 Platoon, Company C, Infantry Regiment 8[119] D Company, 2 Para (Maj. P. Neame)
Support Company, 2 Para (Maj. Hugh Jenner)[120]
Recce Platoon (-) Infantry Regiment 12 NGFO 4, 148 Commando FO Bty[119]
202 air force personnel from Security Coy, Military Aviation School; Pucará Sqn, Malvinas; 1st Naval Attack Sqn [MB-399] and also including 20m AA crews[119]
Engineers
One section, Engineer Company 9 Recce Troop, 59 Independent Commando Squadron, Royal Engineers
Artillery and support fire
3× 105mm pack howitzer: Troop from Battery A, Airborne Artillery Regiment 4[119] 3x 105mm light guns from 8 Commando Battery[119]
1× 120mm Mortar 2x 81mm Mortars
NGS from 1x Type 21 frigate (HMS Arrow: dark hours only)
Anti-tank
105mm recoilless rifle 3x Milan ATGM detachments from 43 Battery, 32 Guided Weapons Regiment[119]
Air defence
2× 35mm radar controlled AA: 3 Sec, Battery B, GADA 601[119] 6x Blowpipe detachments: Air Defence Troop, Royal Marines
6× 20mm AA
Close air support
Pucará operated from Stanley airfield[121] 3x Harrier GR3s from HMS Hermes[122]
Reinforcements received during 28 May 1982
106 personnel: Company B, Infantry Regiment 12
Reinforcements received after fighting ceased
J Company, 42 Commando, Royal Marines
Remaining 3× 105mm light guns from 8 Commando Battery
Mortar locating radar
2× 120mm Mortars 6x 81mm Mortars
Reserves available as of 29 May
None Type 21 frigate for NGS
Harrier close air support

BBC incident[edit]

During the planning of the assault of both Darwin and Goose Green, the Battalion Headquarters were listening in to the BBC World Service. The newsreader announced that the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment were poised and ready to assault Darwin and Goose Green. This caused great trepidation among the commanding officers of the battalion, with fears that the operation was compromised. Jones became furious with the level of incompetence and told BBC representative Robert Fox he was going to sue the BBC, Whitehall and the War Cabinet.[123]

Brutal field punishments[edit]

In the years after the battle, Argentine army officers and NCOs were accused of handing out brutal field punishment to their troops at Goose Green (and other locations during the war).[124] In 2009, Argentine authorities in Comodoro Rivadavia ratified a decision made by authorities in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, announcing their intention to charge 70 officers and NCOs with inhumane treatment of conscript soldiers during the war.[125] There were claims, however, that false testimonies were used as evidence in accusing the Argentine officers and NCOs of abandonment, and Pablo Vassel who denounced the alleged perpetrators, had to step down from his post as president of Human Rights Department of Corrientes Province.[126] Other veterans were sceptical about the veracity of the accusations, with Colonel José Martiniano Duarte, an ex-601 Commando Company officer and decorated veteran of the Falklands War, saying that it had become "fashionable" for ex-conscripts to accuse their superiors of abandonment.[127] Since the 2009 announcement was made, no one in the military, or among the retired officers and NCOs, has been charged, causing Vassel to comment in April 2014:

For over two years we've been waiting for a final say on behalf of the courts ... There are some types of crimes that no state should allow to go unpunished, no matter how much time has passed, such as the crimes of the dictatorship. Last year Germany sentenced a 98-year-old corporal for his role in the concentration camps in one of the Eastern European countries occupied by Nazi Germany. It didn't take into account his age or rank.[128]

Meeting between former enemy commanders[edit]

In 2016, retired Lieutenant-Colonel Carlos Alberto Frontera traveled to Britain to meet his opposing number at Goose Green. On 23 May, Frontera met with retired Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Keeble, then lecturing at Oxford University. Both made a speech in honour of the fallen on both sides. During dinner that evening and accompanied by their wives, Keeble surprised all those present when he presented Frontera a token of friendship; the battle flag mast of the 12th Regiment his paratroopers had been able to recover from the seabed after the Argentine surrender.[129]

See also[edit]

Notes, references and sources[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "This sniper fire was responsible for the deaths of at least seven paratroopers, according to Abols – 'all head shots. That is the main reason A Company were stuck'. He says the sniper was firing from about 500 metres behind the Darwin Hill position." (Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green (James Clarke & Co., 2006.) p. 79.)
  2. ^ "Without telling anyone or looking back, he ran up the gully that Corporal Adams had attacked when A Company was first fired upon, past the seriously wounded Private Tuffen. Sergeant Barry Norman, his close escort, was the first to move, followed by Lance Corporal Beresford, who was part of his escort and had been Jones's driver, Major Rice and two signallers. Jones advanced up a small re-entrant toward a trench, which Corporal Osvaldo Olmos, from Estevez's platoon, later claimed was held by his group." Van Der Bijl, Victory in the Falklands, pp. 108–109
  3. ^ According to Dan Snow and Peter Snow, "The Argentine corporal in that trench, Osvaldo Olmos, remembers seeing Jones charge past him alone, leaving his followers in the gully below. Olmos said he was astonished at Jones's reckless bravery: his shots, fired from behind, may have been the ones that brought Jones down." (20th Century Battlefields (Random House, 2012) p. 282.)
  4. ^ According to Corporal John Geddes, "Sergeant Norman couldn't do anything under such devastating fire, and lay there in cover unable to help his wounded colonel for over quarter of an hour. But then came a turning point—thanks to an heroic Tom named Corporal Dave 'Pig' Abols. Pig had chipped away to the top of the ridge until he could see the machine gun that had killed H. It was still knocking out bursts at anything that moved. Lying there with less cover than a stripper, Pig bided his time and then, in an inspiring act of courage, he jumped to his feet and stood in the lead storm as if he was bullet-proof. Lifting a 66 rocket to his shoulder, he lined it up on the bunker, breathed out and squeezed down the rubber trigger. Whoomph! The blistering white ball of an explosion enveloped the command bunker for the trenches along the ridge, breaking the linchpin in the overlapping arcs of Argy fire and shattering their resolve. The effect was electric. Soon white flags started appearing all along the Argy line. But it was too late for H." Was Colonel 'H' a mad fool? Part 2
  5. ^ "Nevertheless, the section's two mortar crews had fired over 1,000 bombs in the two hours of the A Company action, the mortars themselves sinking further and further into the soft peat until eventually only their muzzles were visible." Harclerode, p. 329.
  6. ^ "After nearly six hours, the battle for Darwin Hill was over, but not without grievous loss: the commanding officer, the Adjutant, A Company Second-in-Command and nine non-commissioned officers and soldiers were killed and several wounded." No Picnic: 3 Commando Brigade in the South Atlantic, 1982, Julian Thompson, pp. 79–80, Casemate Publishers, 1992
  7. ^ According to historian Mark Adkin, both Lance-Corporal Nigel Smith and Corporal Paul Sullivan were killed fighting: "Lance Corporal Smith aimed his 66mm rocket, but as he did so he was shot at the moment of firing. The rocket exploded in a flash of flame on his back; he died instantly. In the general confusion Corporal Sullivan was also hit and killed." Mark Adkin, p. 326, Goose Green: A Battle Is Fought to Be Won, Leo Cooper 1992
  8. ^ "The newspapers inevitably made much of this scrap, however, both sides agreed that this was a tragic misunderstanding. The Argentines later claimed that when Second Lieutenant Centurion was offered terms by Barry, he replied, 'Son of a bitch! You have got two minutes to return to your lines before I open fire. Get out!'" Van Der Bijl, Victory in the Falklands, p. 113
  9. ^ "I had convinced myself that the three were enemy aircraft. But I also knew that Morts, more than anybody, should be able to recognize a GR 3 even from this height and range. I called the control ship, HMS Minerva. 'Do you have any friendlies in the area at low level?' If there were any, Minerva would know about it. 'Negative. No friendlies in the Sound.' Just at that moment of distraction, I lost sight of the three swept-wing shapes below. They disappeared into the multi-coloured background of the water. 'I've lost the fucking things, Morts. do you hold them?' 'Negative. But I'm sure they were GR 3s.' I was mad as a hatter, and wasn't thinking straight. I was tired, and 'missing' the enemy jets seemed to drain me of all energy. If I hadn't been so tired I might have considered the line 'better safe than sorry', but I was in no mood for that when I landed on board. The debrief was short and to the point: 'GR 3s, my arse!'" Sea Harrier Over the Falklands, Nigel Ward, p. 227, Pen and Sword, 1993
  10. ^ The terms of surrender read:

    MILITARY OPTIONS

    We have sent a PW to you under a white flag of truce to convey the following military options:

    1. That you unconditionally surrender your force to us by leaving the township, forming up in a military manner, removing your helmets and laying down your weapons. You will give prior notice of this intention by returning the PW under a white flag with him briefed as to the formalities by no later than 0830 hrs local time.
    2. You refuse in the first case to surrender and take the inevitable consequences. You will give prior notice of this intention by returning the PW without his flag (although his neutrality will be respected) no later than 0830 hrs local time.
    3. In the event and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Geneva Convention and Laws of War you will be held responsible for the fate of any civilians in Darwin and Goose Green and we in accordance with these terms do give notice of our intention to bombard Darwin and Goose Green.

    C KEEBLE

    Commander of British Forces

References
  1. ^ "Goose Green – The first major land victory – 27/28 May 1982". Royal Air Force. RAF. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Observé por el visor y confirmé la presencia de los ingleses. Apunté a la base de la estructura de dos pisos y abrí el fuego. Pedazos completos de ella desaparecieron al hacer impacto los proyectiles y se incendió luego." Malvinas: Relatos de Soldados, Martin Antonio Balza, p. 149, Circulo Militar, 1983
  3. ^ a b La artillería antiaérea terminó haciendo fuego de superficie
  4. ^ Adkin, Mark (2003). Goose Green – A battle is Fought to be Won. London: Cassell. p. 23. ISBN 0304354961.
  5. ^ a b "Italo Angel Piaggi (2001) GANSO VERDE". Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  6. ^ Fitz-Gibbon, Spencer (2002). Not Mentioned in Despatches: the History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green (2nd ed.). Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 9780718830168.
  7. ^ a b c Van Der Bijl (1999) p. 140
  8. ^ An Airborne Tribute
  9. ^ Dale, Iain (2002). Memories of the Falklands. London: Politico. p. 73. ISBN 9781842750186.
  10. ^ "The fourteen-hour battle had cost the British a total of seventeen killed and sixty-four wounded, with the majority from 2 Para." Storming The Falklands, Tony Banks, Little, Brown and Company, 2012
  11. ^ "The Argentines lost 45 men killed, 90 wounded and 961 captured." The Falklands 1982: Ground Operations in the South Atlantick, Gregory Fremont-Barnes, p. 43, Osprey Publishing, 2012
  12. ^ a b "Their fatalities total 45 men ..." Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the Western Hemisphere, 1492 to the Present, Volume 2, David Marley, p. 1073, ABC-CLIO, 2008
  13. ^ "According to Eric Goss — the local farm-manager who buried the Argentine dead — only 47 enemy corpses were interred." The Listener, Volume 109, p. 20. British Broadcasting Corporation, 1983
  14. ^ a b Adkin (2003), p. 363
  15. ^ a b c Boyce (2005), p. 131
  16. ^ "El total de heridos fue 98 (4 oficiales, 22 suboficiales y 72 soldados)." Malvinas: otras historias, Rubén Oscar Palazzi, p. 202, Claridad, 2006
  17. ^ "Antonio Jukic falleció junto con siete miembros del personal de atención y otros 14 resultaron heridos." Compilación Malvinas: Actuación de las fuerzas armadas y civiles que participaron en el conflicto, Joaquín A. Boccazzi, p. 352, Ediciones Gráfica Sur, 2004
  18. ^ LA BATALLA DE PRADO DEL GANSO
  19. ^ "We had previously arranged for a message to be sent to Argentina requesting the Bahia Paraiso to rendezvous with our hospital ship SS Uganda in an area which we have set aside for Hospital Ships some 30 miles north of Falklands Sound. 140 wounded Argentine servicemen – who are receiving medical attention on board the UGANDA – will be transferred to the Argentine ship for an early return home." The Falklands War: The Official History, p.44, Latin American Newsletters, 1983
  20. ^ "A total of 961 prisoners were accounted for including 81 held at Camilla Creek House." The Official History of the Falklands Campaign: War and Diplomacy, Volume 2, Lawrence Freedman, p. 493, Psychology Press, 2005
  21. ^ "Falkland Islands – Stanley's Sunrise and Sunset on 27 May 1982". TimeZoneGuide. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  22. ^ Leone, Vincent R. Major USMC. "The Falkland Islands War: Winning With Infantry". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  23. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) p. 5
  24. ^ Moore, Darren Maj. "Rear Admiral Woodward: Political Influences during the Falklands War" (PDF). Australian Defence Force Journal: Issue 165, 2004. Australian Defence Force.
  25. ^ Middlebrook, Martin (1985). Operation Corporate: The Falklands War, 1982 (1st ed.). London: Viking: Penguin Books Ltd. p. 249. ISBN 0670802239.
  26. ^ a b Thompson, Julian (2008). No Picnic: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands. Pen and Sword Military. p. 200. ISBN 978-1844158799.
  27. ^ Hastings, Max; Jenkins, Simon (1983). The Battle for the Falklands. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 264–265. ISBN 9780393017618.
  28. ^ Freedman, Lawrence Sir (2005). The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volume 2: War and Diplomacy. Oxford: Routledge. p. 477. ISBN 978-0714652078.
  29. ^ a b c van der Bijl, Nicholas (1999). Nine Battles to Stanley. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. p. 116. ISBN 9780850526196.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g Blood and Mud at Goose Green Archived 4 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine. David Aldea & Don Darnell, EBSCO Host Connection.
  31. ^ Battle order at Goose Green
  32. ^ Andrada, pp. 86–90
  33. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) pp. 4–5
  34. ^ Van der Bijl (1999) p. 117
  35. ^ The men of Co. C/RI 25 fought with courage, perseverance and effectiveness at San Carlos and Goose Green ... a regiment that received a good deal of special forces training under the energetic command of LtCol. Seineldín. The Military Sniper Since 1914, Martin Pegler, p. 63, Osprey Publishing, 2001
  36. ^ a b c Boyce (2005) p. 129
  37. ^ Argentine Fight for the Falklands, Martin Middlebrook, p.64, Pen & Sword, 2003
  38. ^ Nine battles to Stanley, Nicholas Van der Bijl, p.13, Leo Cooper, 30/09/1999
  39. ^ Guerra de Malvinas Regimiento de Infanteria 12[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) p. 6
  41. ^ Partes de Guerra, Graciela Speranza, Fernando Cittadinil, p. ?, Numa Ediciones, 2000
  42. ^ Middlebrook (1985) p. 252
  43. ^ Freedman (2005) p. 481
  44. ^ a b Fitz-Gibbon (2002) p. 8
  45. ^ Boyce, D. George (2005). The Falklands War (1st ed.). Hampshire: Macmillan. p. 128. ISBN 9780333753958.
  46. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) Appendix 2, pp190-194
  47. ^ Middlebrook (1985) p. 254
  48. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) p. 23
  49. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) p. 25
  50. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  51. ^ We were landed to the East of Mount Usborne carrying huge weights of ammunition just after dark on the night of 20/21 May. Memories of the Falklands, Iain Dale, p. 36 Politico's, 2002
  52. ^ Rodríguez Mottino, Héctor (1984). La Artillería Argentina en Malvinas. Ed. Clío, pp. 193–194. ISBN 950-9377-02-3. (in Spanish)
  53. ^ "On the late evening of 22 May four Harriers were launched from Hermes armed with CBUs, their intended targets being the POL dumps and Pucaras at Goose Green. The aircraft were subject to intensive anti-aircraft fire during this attack." RAF Strike Command, 1968–2007, Kev Darling, p. 159, Casemate Publishers, 2012
  54. ^ Comandos en Acción, Isidoro Jorge Ruiz Moreno, Emecé Editores, 1986
  55. ^ "1830 hs – Se lanza el ataque de desarticulación sobre el punto acotado 392 para perturbar, hostigar y desconcentrar al enemigo; es una intención, por cuanto no tengo información fehaciente sobre su presencia y actividad." Ganso Verde, Italo Angel Piaggi, p. 64, Sudamericana/Planeta, 1986
  56. ^ Pook, Jerry (2007). RAF Harrier Ground Attack-Falklands. Pen & Sword Books ltd., p. 109. ISBN 978-1-84415-551-4 (in English)
  57. ^ Jackson, Robert (1985). The RAF in action: from Flanders to the Falklands. Blandford Press, p. 156. ISBN 0713714190
  58. ^ Van der Bijl, Nicholas (1999). Nine battles to Stanley. Leo Cooper, p. 127. ISBN 0850526191
  59. ^ Middlebrook (1985) p. 257
  60. ^ Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Seaforth Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 978-1591148128. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  61. ^ At home on new battle front. An ex-British soldier is putting Pasco High on the state soccer map. By Izzy Gould. Tampa Bay Times. Published 9 February 2007
  62. ^ "It was still dark when Estevez moved north past the dairy, up the reverse slope of Darwin Hill, over the gorseline to join Pelufo's platoon on the ridge west of the settlement. The two officers conferred. Estevez explained that his orders were to counter-attack, to advance north to assist Manresa's A Company." The Battle of Goose Green, Mark Adkin, p. 146, Pen & Sword, 2017
  63. ^ "He was hit in the leg, arm and left eye, while crouched with his radio operator, Private Carrascul, trying to adjust supporting artillery fire. Carrascul continued to fight the battle over the radio himself until he too was killed. Both were posthumously decorated. It is an interesting example of the closeness that often develops, despite the differences in rank, between an officer and his operator. The officer relies heavily on the competence of his radio operator. " The Battle of Goose Green, Mark Adkin, p. 193, Pen & Sword, 2017
  64. ^ Decreto nacional 577/83 - Condecoraciones al personal que ha intervenido en el conflicto armado con el Reino Unido por la recuperación de las Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur y Sandwich del Sur
  65. ^ a b Reassessing the Fighting Performance of Conscript Soldiers
  66. ^ a b The Battle for the Falklands, Max Hastings, Simon Jenkins, p. 243, Joseph, 1983
  67. ^ "These British reverses occurred between 9.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. It took two hours for 2 Para's second-in-command to reorganise the attack." The Falklands War, D. George Boyce, p. 131, Macmillan International Higher Education, 2005
  68. ^ The Battle for the Falklands, Max Hastings, Simon Jenkins, p. 244, Michael Joseph, 1983
  69. ^ "La muerte de un coronel británico en Malvinas. Clarín. 18 June 1996". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  70. ^ a b c "Sama82.org". Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  71. ^ Lost in the fog of war. Robert Fox takes issue with Hugh Bicheno's history of the Falklands conflict, Razor's Edge. By Robert Fox. The Guardian Published Saturday 1 April 2006
  72. ^ "Some of them seemed to be looking at us, their dead eyes full of reproach. Few looked peaceful. Some had died trying to escape back into the foxholes they'd poured from. Many had fallen to the pinpoint shower of mortar shells that had dropped on them." Spearhead Assault, John Geddes, p. 12, Random House, 2008
  73. ^ They passed up the plainly marked hospital ship Uganda and executed a turn into Darwin. Unknowingly, they made a pass over their own positions, firing as they went, and were promptly repelled by their own air defenses. The lead plane was hit but could still fly. History of the South Atlantic Conflict, Rubén Oscar Moro, p. 244, Praager, 1990
  74. ^ 1130/1150 hs – Ataque aéreo enemigo a las posiciones (Compañía A y Batería de Artillería) desde tres direcciones, y en cuatro oportunidades, con bombas, ametralladoras y granadas beluga. Nuestro fuego derriba un avión ( a confirmar ). Ganso Verde, Ítalo Ángel Piaggi, p. 94, Sudamericana/Planeta, 1986
  75. ^ "1647 Support Company had reported lots of white flags." Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green, Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, p. 197, James Clarke & Co., 2006
  76. ^ "1613 Enemy have surrendered on BLACK. Now moving to WHITE." Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green, Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, p. 197, James Clarke & Co., 2006
  77. ^ "It had taken around six hours to dislodge the Argentinians from their vital ground - which says much for their tenacity." H. Jones VC: The Life and Death of an Unusual Hero, John Wilsey, Hutchinson, 2002
  78. ^ a b Naval History page
  79. ^ Fitz-Gibbon, (2002), pp. 147–148.
  80. ^ Reynolds, David (2002). Task force: the illustrated history of the Falklands War. Sutton, p. 150. ISBN 0-7509-2845-X
  81. ^ a b DEFENSA Y CAÍDA DE DARWIN-PRADERA DEL GANSO, página 12
  82. ^ BASE AÉREA MILITAR CÓNDOR
  83. ^ a b Malvinas Banda de Hermanos Regimiento de Infantería 12 (Programa 19 - Martes 19 de Julio 2016)
  84. ^ "As Godfrey made his dash for the rut, Knight shot and killed two of the enemy who were skirmishing forward, and Private Carter fired coolly and continuously into the nearest trench." The Battle of Goose Green, Mark Adkin, p. 236, Pen & Sword, 2017
  85. ^ Forgotten Voices of the Falklands, Hugh McManners, p. 265, Random House, 2008
  86. ^ The World's Elite Forces, Bruce Quarrie, p. 18, Berkley Books, 1988
  87. ^ He [Private Graham Carter] had been involved in a savage ambush which, as the Paras regained their initiative and fought back, turned into a vicious gun battle. His platoon commander had been killed, and his section effectively put out of action, with section commander killed and 2 ic [second in charge] seriously wounded. Despite being the most inexperienced man in the platoon, Private Carter had fought off the enemy, attended to the wounded, then got control of the section and called up the rest of the platoon to make a counterattack- all under continuous fire. The Scars of War, Hugh McManners, p. 126, HarperCollins, 1993
  88. ^ The fight for the "Malvinas": The Argentine forces in the Falklands War. Martin Middlebrook. p. 189. Penguin, 1990
  89. ^ The History of the South Atlantic conflict: The War for the Malvinas. Rubén Oscar Moro. p. 264. Praeger, 1989
  90. ^ "Goose Green: The Argentinian Story" Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine by David Aldea. British Small Wars website
  91. ^ No habíamos terminado de tomar cubierta cuando un Harrier se desprende de entre los cerros y suelta una bomba "beluga" sobre el cañón; pero con tan mala puntería que la mitad del ramillete cae en el agua y el resto a unos 80 metros de la pieza. Braghini's statement, Rodríguez Mottino, p. 196
  92. ^ "Two misses and the cluster bombs the Harriers had been carrying killed fish as they exploded in the sea just off the settlement." Excerpt from Geddes, John (2008) Spearhead Assault: Blood, Guts and Glory on the Falklands Frontlines. Arrow, p. 193. ISBN 1846052475
  93. ^ One aircraft crashed close by, drenching several men with fuel and napalm, which fortunately did not ignite. No Picnic, Julian Thompson, Pen & Sword, 2008
  94. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 339
  95. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 340
  96. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 341
  97. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 343
  98. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 345
  99. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 346
  100. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 351
  101. ^ Adkin (2003), pp. 353–354
  102. ^ The Falklands War, D. George Boyce, p. 131, Macmillan International Higher Education, 2005
  103. ^ El arriesgado rescate de un suboficial herido que quedó detrás de las líneas enemigas
  104. ^ Van Der Bijl (1999) pp. 139
  105. ^ "The Argentines lost 45 men killed, 90 wounded and 961 captured." The Falklands 1982: Ground Operations in the South Atlantic, Gregory Fremont-Barnes, p. 43, Osprey Publishing, 2012
  106. ^ "Pero la lluvia y el barro hizo que el tractor se desplazara fuera de la senda e hiciera estallar una mina que le voló una pierna y dos días después, le produjo la muerte." Malvinas: 20 Años, 20 Héroes, Armando Fernandez, p. 107, Fundación Soldados, 2002
  107. ^ "We had previously arranged for a message to be sent to Argentina requesting the Bahia Paraiso to rendezvous with our hospital ship SS Uganda in an area which we have set aside for Hospital Ships some 30 miles north of Falklands Sound. 140 wounded Argentine servicemen — who are receiving medical attention on board the UGANDA — will be transferred to the Argentine ship for an early return home." The Falklands War: The Official History, p.44, Latin American Newsletters, 1983
  108. ^ "Towards the end of May Uganda entered Falkland sound to evacuate casualties, and some days later met the Argentine Bahia Paraiso, 30 miles north of Falkland Sound were 140 casualties were transferred." Jane's Merchant Shipping Review, p. 68, A. J. Ambrose, Janes, 1983
  109. ^ Se confecciona un acta con las circunstancias y consecuencias del accidente: 2 soldados muertos, 1 oficial y 9 soldados heridos, y 3 soldados desaparecidos. Ganso Verde, Ítalo Ángel Piaggi, p. 145, Sudamericana/Planeta, 1986
  110. ^ Van Der Bijl (1999) pp. 141
  111. ^ Dale (2002), pp. 73
  112. ^ "Italo Angel Piaggi (2001) GANSO VERDE". Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  113. ^ "Falleció el Veterano de Guerra Ítalo Ángel Piaggi" (in Spanish). El Malvinense. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  114. ^ Middlebrook (1985), pp. 391
  115. ^ "No. 49134". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 October 1982. p. 12831.
  116. ^ London Gazette
  117. ^ Fitz-Gibbon (2002) pp. 183–184
  118. ^ Ferguson, Greg (1998). The Paras, 1940–1984. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 9780850455731.
  119. ^ a b c d e f g van der Bijl p241
  120. ^ Adkin (2003), p. 36
  121. ^ Middlebrook, Martin (2009). Argentine Fight for the Falklands. Barnsley: Pen and Sword Military. p. 186. ISBN 9781844158881.
  122. ^ "Goose Green – The first major land victory". Royal Air Force. RAF. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  123. ^ The Falklands War, Paul Eddy, Magnus Linklater, p. 238, André Deutsch, 1982
  124. ^ Argentina's Falklands War Veterans. 'Cannon Fodder in a War We Couldn't Win'. By Jens Glüsing, Spiegel.de, 4 March 2007
  125. ^ Confirman el juzgamiento por torturas en Malvinas (in Spanish), Clarín, Buenos Aires, 27 June 2009
  126. ^ Centro de Ex Soldados Combatientes en Malvinas de Corrientes Archived 7 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  127. ^ "Categorized | Feature, Human Rights The Enemy Within: Investigating Torture In The Malvinas. By Marc Rogers". Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  128. ^ "Sigue estancada la investigación por torturas en Malvinas". Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  129. ^ Alberto Frontera, héroe de Malvinas
Sources
  • Adkin, Mark (2003). Goose Green – A battle is Fought to be Won. London: Cassell. ISBN 0304354961.
  • Andrada, Benigno (1983). Guerra aérea en las Malvinas. Ed. Emecé. ISBN 950-04-0191-6. (in Spanish)
  • Harclerode, Peter (1 May 1993). Para!: Fifty Years of the Parachute Regiment (Reprint ed.). Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-097-6.
  • Fitz-Gibbon, Spencer (1995). Not Mentioned in Dispatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green. Lutterworth Press. ISBN 0-7188-2933-6.
  • Kenney Oak, David J. 2 Para's Battle for Darwin Hill and Goose Green. Square Press April 2006. ISBN 0-9660717-1-9.
  • Falklands War Binderbook – Author Information Pending
  • Martin Middlebrook (1989). The Fight For The Malvinas: The Argentine Forces In The Falklands War. Viking. ISBN 0-14-010767-3.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°49′43.8″S 58°58′9″W / 51.828833°S 58.96917°W / -51.828833; -58.96917