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Mountain Commandos at War in the Falklands

Rodney Boswell

Eight specially trained Royal Marines infiltrate Goat Ridge, a long rocky hilltop between Mount Harriet and Two Sisters which are occupied by a battalion of 600 Argentine infantry. The next day, from their hiding place just metres away from the enemy, they note and sketch the Argentine positions, then withdraw as stealthily as they had come. Their daring patrol provides essential intelligence that guided the British assault which overwhelmed the Argentine defences two days later.

This was just one example of the missions undertaken by the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre during the Falklands War, all of which are described in graphic detail in Rod Boswell's eyewitness account. Using his own recollections and those of his comrades, he describes their operations in the Falklands - the observation posts set up in the no man's land between San Carlos and Port Stanley, their role in the raid at Top Malo House, and the reconnaissance patrols they carried out close to the Argentine lines during the conflict.

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The Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre in Action during the 1982 Conflict Sunset, 8 June 1982, East Falkland. Eight specially trained Royal Marines infiltrate Goat Ridge, a long rocky hilltop between Mount Harriet and Two Sisters which are occupied by a battalion of 600 Argentine infantry. The next day, from their hiding place just metres away from the enemy, they note and sketch the Argentine positions, then withdraw as stealthily as they had come. Their daring patrol provides essential intelligence that guided the British assault which overwhelmed the Argentine defences two days later.

This was just one example of the missions undertaken by the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre during the Falklands War, all of which are described in graphic detail in Rod Boswell's eyewitness account. Using his own recollections and those of his comrades, he describes their operations in the Falklands - the observation posts set up in the no man's land between San Carlos and Port Stanley, their role in the raid at Top Malo House, and the reconnaissance patrols they carried out close to the Argentine lines during the conflict. His first-hand account gives a fascinating insight into the operational skills of a small, specially trained unit and shows the important contribution it made to the success of the British advance. It also records the entire experience of the Falklands War from their point of view - the long voyage south through the Atlantic, the landings, the advance and the liberation of Stanley.


ISBN: 9781526791627
Format: Hardback
Author(s): Rodney Boswell
First Publishment Date: 14 April 2021
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Author(s) Rodney Boswell
Customer Reviews
  1. great addition to my collection of books about the Falklands War
    I found it an extremely easy to read and well written book full of interest. A great addition to my collection of books about the Falklands War.

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  2. Enjoyable book
    Despite the fact that the Falklands War was nearly 40 years ago, there are still some untold stories. The author commanded the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre of 36 men during the Falklands War and has written the story of their war, not just because time is passing, but also because others (including Argentines) are trying to “rewrite history”. Taking command of the Cadre in 1980, Boswell set about changing the perception that they were a “bunch of professional climbers” and established an operational role, with the Falklands becoming a proving ground. The book describes the deployment of the Cadre from Rosyth to San Carlos in April 1982, where they got ashore at the earliest opportunity and set up 4 man team observation posts in support of the main Marine yomp across West Falkland, “protecting the flanks and forward line”. The Cadre’s operational baptism was the only planned daylight battle of the Falklands campaign when 19 Marines attacked the Top Malo House where 17 Argentine troops of 602 Commando were sheltering. Accounts from the author and commandos from both sides, describe this successful short but frenetic action; the Cadre took 3 casualties while the Argentines incurred 5 dead and 7 casualties. This book illustrates the challenging conditions the M&AW Marines faced moving at night over the Falklands terrain and its notorious stone runs, in pre GPS days with inadequate maps and very heavy loads whilst staying covert. It is a testament to the professionalism of the Marines that they were able to withstand the hardship, both physical and mental, and still achieve their operational tasks. Difficulties such as getting priority helicopter support and deploying in small boats at night were overcome and show the value of highly mobile and adaptable forces in a conventional battle scenario. With sections written by individual members of the Cadre, there are moments of service black humour, including one in which the author tripped and nearly drowned with the weight of kit, describing the Falklands as “take Dartmoor and float it” and an attack on the delicate part of the anatomy of a Marine Sergeant by a duck (read it!). This is a story that needed to be told and it is best summed up by the Commander of British Land Forces - “the battle initiation of the M&AW Cadre was an unqualified success …. Ideally suited to long range patrolling and information gathering in which role its performance compared most favourably with some of the Special Forces patrols”

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