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Zed View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 21 2019 at 4:30am
I recently finished reading this book, "Vulcan 607" It is the story of the longest non stop bombing run in history. Flying 8,000 miles round trip from Ascension Island to the Falkland islands; to bomb the runway at Port Stanley.
This was 1982 and the British reply to the Agentinian invasion.
The story is really quite remarkable; considering the Vulcan bomber was only 4 months from being withdrawn from service when it had it's only proper conflict. (Built in the 1950's it remains one of the most beautiful delta wing aircraft ever).

The flight required 11 refuelling tanker's; it is an incredible story of courage and luck.
If any of you would like to read the book; pm me and I'll send it. If more than one person replies, maybe we can pass it on one by one!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 6:53am
Oddly enough, I was watching a BBC documentary about this on Youtube the other day. Didn't save the URL though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 7:16am
Excellent video here as well.



The old Dalton NavComp is a classy bit of kit if you know how to use one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 7:42am
I also just watched a show on the last flying Vulcan. Cost, parts, etc. we're astronomical to keep her flying. Showed footage of it at air shows. It apparently had a unique "growl" atafull throttle that wasn't supposed to be there. Something to do with the combustion air and the insides of the cowling. Pilot would come in low, hit full throttle then pass the crowd. Made my man part tingle!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 9:34am
XH558, last of the many.
Crank up the volume, it's worth it!
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 9:40am
The Vulcan was basically the UK's B-52. Except the British government decided to scrap it rather than keep upgrading it to keep it flying for a century. There are some amusing stories online about Vulcans tangling with fighters in exercises and the fighters suddenly finding they had a bomber stuck to their six because it was more maneuverable than they were at altitude; I seem to remember that some of them were even fitted with hardpoints for Sidewinders, though they weren't actually used.

BTW, I think the video embedded up above may be the one I was watching.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 10:46am
In Maggie's biography, I found some startling issues. The U.S. denied the use of Florida as a re-feuling point for the Vulcan, because they would be seen as a "beligerent nation".
Also, many P.M.s before her..& including her - were trying to find a way to dump the Falklands, because they were / are a huge drain on British finacial resources. But, with her popularity at home dropping like a stone, she was able to use the Falklands as her "life-belt" & whipped up the population into supporting her. That saved her politically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 11:05am
The US may have denied use of Florida to military aircraft, but they also provided fuel and missiles, so it's not like they were anti-British. If I remember correctly, Reagan even considered lending the Royal Navy an ageing US carrier if one of the British carriers was sunk. I doubt it would have worked, but it was a nice thought.

As far as I remember, the Falklands were one of the places the British Empire picked up pretty much by accident over the years, because they needed a refuelling stop for ships down that way. By the 80s it was of very little use to Britain, but politically impossible to just let the Argentinians invade and take it; had they not invaded, the British government would probably have agreed to a peaceful handover in a few years.

More to the point, if the Argentinians had waited a few months, the Vulcans and some of the other forces used to retake the islands would have been mothballed. It was a bit of a balls-up all around.

And pretty bizarre considering the previous collaboration between the British and Argentinian forces. I seem to remember that, when the Argentinian submarine was sunk, the commander of the ship that launched the helicopter that sunk it knew the commander of the submarine, because they'd been working together a little while before?

Edit: back more on-topic for the forum, wasn't it also the last hurrah for the Lee-Enfield in British service, with the British forces using them as sniper rifles?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 11:37am
The USA did provide help by allowing the RAF to fly from the Ascension island airbase. But publicly they tried to play the peace maker in the early stages.

The Vulcan raid changed the dynamic's of the conflict. Showing the Argentinians that we could reach them.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 11:43am
I believe the SAS used them early in Afghanistan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 1:24pm
Our late Tony Sugden(veteran of the campaign) told me the standard rifle for British forces in Falklands was the FN...but they had to break BREN GUNS out of storage..& they were used extensivley.
I watched this event unfold & followed it intently. (BTW: It was the first time in British Naval history that a task force actually sailed on time...& the contractors that were still on board outfitting the ships were told that they were now in the Royal Navy (although reluctantly).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2019 at 2:10pm
The politics were  those of propping up a failed regime (on both sides).
I had friends with my (borrowed) equipment down there just before this went off.
They were wildlife photographers & my "Portable Studio" could be set up anywhere even in penguin rookeries.
Just before the actual invasion the Argentine General in charge contacted them & advised them to leave immediately, being non-combatants. Beyond that he could of course say nothing & he probably shouldn't have said that much either.
He flew them to B.A. so they could get a connecting flight back to the U.S. But a street mob there broke into their hotel room & destroyed everything they had (including my studio). The made a point of burning any ID papers & the U.S. Passports.
It took them almost a year & a half to be smuggled back into the U.S. through their many contacts in South America.

I met him a few years later in NYC.
He was a dedicated military officer & a fine gentleman.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2019 at 12:41am
I remember a joke from that period.
 
 Q 'What's the difference between an Argentinian conscript and a slice od toast?'
 
A  'You can make soldiers out of toast'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2019 at 5:13am
One I remember was the Argentinian Admiral had to use a glass bottom boat to review his navy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2019 at 11:43am
The job for the British soldiers was made more difficult by the loss of the merchant ship Atlantic Conveyer. At the time the full impact was not reported. It held 10 Wessex helicopters and 4 Chinook's plus much of the tent equipment. One of the Chinook's was flown off. The rest were all destroyed. Creating huge difficulties for the troop's when they landed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2019 at 5:48am
Sir Gallahad's landing was another cockup. Capt was told NOT to unload there, but did. Made for a long trek across a barren windswept part of the island with heavy packs.
IIRC, thats where Tony's mate took a round into the mag of his FN
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