So I finally got the end of this book. I was reading it in parts, just grabbing it when I had some spare time and getting through a handful of pages. Sitting down and really smashing a decent amount happened on a few occasions but it should have been read much quicker. Perhaps there’s a reason for that?
I seem to always have about 7 books on the go that I rotate through, not with any set plan but just either whatever I felt like reading or if I just see it lying around.
The aim of reading Battle for the Falklands was to get a decent overview of the Falklands War. I knew little bits about the battles like how the Paras fought at Goose Green and Mount Longdon but thought if I read a decent book that covered it all I could fill in the missing parts.
Did Battle for the Falklands do the job?
Yes and no. I did want the background I suppose so I got that but a little too much. I was more interested in the fighting side of things. The co-author of the book, Simon Jenkins, is a politics writer who had lots of access to Downing Street and politicians when the war was occurring. For this reason he explained, in detail, the previous history of the Falklands and the build up to the war.
The thing I thought let the book down a bit was that it took until about page 180 before the task force landed. When it did land I flew through some parts of the book as it was finally getting a bit more interesting.
From here I really enjoyed it. It touched on the politics and decisions side of the battle and explained the fighting side of the war in enough detail as well flipping between the two to keep things flowing. Hastings didn’t spend too long on one point.
It didn’t really touch too much on the SBS and the recce’s they were conducting which I have read about before, it would have been good to get some more information on those, or from a different point of view.
Any Bad Points?
One point that let it down a bit was the end. The battles for the mountains were covered but it would have been good to get a fair bit more detail about the fighting and how the Marines and the Paras took the peaks.
One of the battles they merely explained that the Marines took it and just noted the men lost and wounded in the battle, nothing more. I thought that could have been explained with more detail as these were the last days of fighting that resulted in victory for the British.
I have a few other books covering the war so I will have a look at those in time. What I usually prefer are the autobiographies though. The men that were there can tell it how it really was and what they were feeling. I always get through those much faster than a book half full of politics.
Overall I am glad I read Battle for the Falklands as I did learn a fair bit about the fighting and the politics of it. I would have preferred more action and fighting explanations but we can’t have everything.