A history podcast that explores the narratives, turning points and characters that shape conflicts, encompassing a blend of social and military history. Following on from the series on the Falklands War, best-selling military historians Patrick Bishop, and Saul David turn their attention to the war in Ukraine.
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Mon, 20 Jun 2022 01:00
As the war nears its climax, British forces launch an attack on the Argentinian positions despite savage Falkland Island winter weather in the mountains surrounding Port Stanley.
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Hello and welcome to a specially extended episode of Battleground the Falklands. It's Patrick Bishop here and today Saul David and I will be discussing the first stage and the grand finale of the campaign. That is the very intense battles for the summits of the mountains. They kill as they are really that guard the approach to port Stanley and their capture or otherwise is going to finally decide how come of the war. In telling this story, we've got some great witness interviews but also some rare actuality of a brilliant eve of landing speech by the CEO of Falku Commando and a recording of the actual fighting when the shot and shell were flying. So where are we? We're now three weeks into the land campaign and the weather is steadily worsening as the savage Falklands winter sets in. Every hour counts now if stalemate which would have dreadful political and diplomatic consequences for Margaret Fatcher and her government is to be avoided. Last time we told the story of the tragedy at Fitzroy Bluff Cove when the Sir Gellahab was attacked by Argentinian aircraft that was on the 8th of June and that was until in 56 dead and many more wounded. After the casualties, we went from the Welsh guards who were moving forward to join up with the rest of 5 brigade who you will remember had controversially been thrust along the southern side of the island to take part in the final attack. This at first sight seems like a huge setback. Any faltering, any delay, Mike Cripple, the vital momentum that land force commanders had decided was essential to win the war. But that didn't happen. No, the decision had been taken that there was absolutely nothing to be gained by pausing to lick wounds. They had to crack on and that is what they did. At the same time as the Gellahab was hit, General Jeremy Moore, the overall land force commander, was finalising his plan for the attack on Port Stanley. He was taking the advice of his deputy Brigadier John Waters and the commander of three commander Brigade, Julian Thompson, whose men had led the push forward. But they had different viewpoints. Before getting into that, we better say something about the geography here. Basically, Stanley is overlooked by a semi circle of so called mountains. All of them less than a thousand feet high. But nonetheless, they're very steep, very rocky, very difficult ground. In the north and closest to Stanley is Mount London, which is the lowest. But nonetheless, it looks like a fortress with great slabs of stone rearing up like the turrets of a castle when you're standing underneath it. Next to the southwest is two sisters. At the bottom of the semi circle comes Mount Harriet. There are some war heights before you get to Stanley, notably Mount Tumble Down, which we'll be hearing a lot about later. So Brigadier Waters proposed concentrating one big effort on the southern flank, i.e. towards Harriet and Tumble Down, which would bypass two sisters in Longdon. Thompson, however, wanted an attack on a wide front in order to keep several corridors open to move fresh troops forward and ferry casualties back. In the end, he got his way. Now the Thompson approach is slightly unorthodox, given that concentration of force is one of the principles of fighting a battle. So Patrick, do you think that was the right decision? Well, one thing it was was simple, and that's always a virtue, especially in warfare. Each of the objectives is being attacked by a single unit. They don't have to act in concert with another outfit, which always complicates. Things, you know, it's a pretty straightforward idea. You have the first lot going in for the first attack. They take their objectives. Then the second, other units, reserve units, two parrots in reserve here, move forward to exploit forward, and so on. It goes until the enemy cracks. OK, they've been on the mountains. They're physical conditions getting eroded with these dreadful weather. But on the other hand, there are positives about that. They've been there a while now, they've been out patrolling aggressively, patrolling, getting the li of the land. So that gives them a good idea of the terrain and possible approaches, although it doesn't really give them an idea of enemy numbers. One thing we hear quite a lot is sort of misunderstandings about how many people they're actually facing on the other side. It's interesting, Patrick, isn't it? Given the experience of Goose Green, that you might have thought the opposite would be true in the sense that they hugely underestimated the defenders at Goose Green Darwin. And therefore, why aren't they assuming that actually there are more troops in the hills than they really did think? And that, of course, was the case. They hugely underestimated, as you say, once again. Yeah, another missing element here is, I mean, you've got the SAS on the ground and the SPS on the ground. But I mean, there's a very limited amount of the picture that they can see. What you really need is aerial reconnaissance photographs. Now, back in the Second World War from a very early stage, you've got every operation that's carried out is preceded by an intense overflight program where they get really good pictures of what's on the ground. I mean, DEAP, that there were endless hundreds and hundreds of aerial recon missions called to the extent that the RA have got fed up with it and said, please, can we just stop loading all this work on this? You can read all about this, a bit of get a plug in here. I am my new book, Operation Jubilee, about the DEAP raid, which is coming out in paperback a couple of weeks, Tim. Yeah, you're absolutely right, Patrick, the Second World War, which we've both written about extensively, you see that no stone is left unturned, particularly by 1943, 1944, when the, of course, the Allies have got virtually unlimited resources to get all the information they need about every operation. Now, that doesn't stop Bulls Up, still being made, of course, Arnhem springs to mind. But it does show you that there was a kind of sense of to reduce the risk of war, and of course, it's always a risk, get as much information as you can. And I think part of the problem here is that they never, as we discussed at the beginning of the podcast, establish air superiority over the Falklands. Yeah, but none of this, there's another principle of war, which they do very much adhere to, which is get as much kit forward as much artillery supporters you can, as much ammunition as it's possible to lift into position. So you can really proceed the attacks with a serious bomb, we'll hear a lot about this. It really was pretty impressive, I was there. This combination of naval gunfire support, you've got the frigates and the destroyers able to come in quite close at night in the day, it's far too risky because there are these land based exosets still, a threat. And so between the two of them, the 105 batteries, I think the Royal artillery don't really get enough credit for what they did and the gunfire support, they can actually put up a pretty impressive bomb in support of the ground attack. Yeah, and I think we should have a quick shout out here for some of the unheralded heroes of the campaign. We haven't heard from one of them yet, we might do before the end. And that's the men of 146th Commando battery who were basically calling in the support from ships off to sea. It's something that had been done very effectively in the Second World War, particularly by the Americans, interesting enough in the Pacific. But this was, you know, it's a very tough job because if you think about it, the naval ships are firing from relatively long distances and you've got to get things right and they don't always go right. But let's also have a quick thought about Argentinian morale. I mean, they also got a sense at Goose Green, the first major battle that not all the Argentinian defenders were going to hold strong for any great length of time. So do you think, Patrick, did you get any sense when you were there at the time that there was this belief that they would crack sooner rather than later? What was said, as we'll hear from Nick Valk, so I mean, I think this wasn't just a attempt to boost morale, raise spirits by putting out hope for rather than truthful information. I think what they were getting was that the Argentinian conscripts, as a constant mention of conscripts, just on that point, the conscripts were none of them was less than 18 years old. Under Argentinian law, you couldn't go off to war unless you were 18. Unlike in Britain, so I think guys, on our side, were 17 years old. Some of them indeed started the camp in the age of 16. Anyway, there was quite a good amount of evidence to suggest that morale was not great. We'd taken a few prisoners, I saw a few of them myself. They didn't look very cheerful. We got the impression that they were relations with the officers, they were pretty poor. There was clearly a yearning gap between the officers and their men in the conscript units. Of course, they also had some special forces, units, Marines, who were much better trained and whose morale was a lot sounder. The kind of basic posture is passive. They've had all this time to prepare positions. They've got great kits. When we overran those positions, we found these loads of night vision goggles, in one case, 0.5 machine guns, very, very useful weapon if you're trying to defend a position such as theirs. Still in their cases, still packed in Greece. Also, great boots. That's a very important thing. They had these nice kind of like dock martin style, where boots. But despite all these advantages, they haven't done anything aggressive. They haven't tried to preempt the attackers at any point. What we deduced from that is that this was actually rather than inaction, it was the strategy. The idea was to just sit tight, wait for the weather and all the difficulties of a very, very long distance campaign to start kicking in. Then hopefully the British will start to realize the positions. Hopeless and seek a diplomatic solution which would be favorable to Argentina. Yeah, it's very optimistic, isn't it? One of the great theories of war is by clouds of it, the Great Prussian military theorist. It's better to do something than nothing. Of course, what Mnendez is effectively doing is nothing. He's hoping the British and the elements and possibly a diplomatic intervention will solve the problem for him. But that inaction, of course, rarely ends well as we're going to discover. So let's go on to the battles. They are, of course, to be fought at night, surprise, of course, but daylight attacks, as we know with the Argentinian firepower, would be suicidal. They hold the high ground and there's actually no cover in the approaches up to those features. All units began moving towards their start lines as dust fell on the 11th of June. It was cold, as always, and the dark was flecked with flaries of snow. The boys had just endured ten days on and around Mount Kent and Mount Challenger next to it in conditions that would put most people into hospital with exposure. But nevertheless, they were cheerful and determined. Nick Vox's plan for 42 commanders assault on Mount Harrier was to start with a noisy, diversionary pseudo operation by J company from Wall Mountain to the West, which is where the Argentine defenders were expecting the attack to come from. Meanwhile, K&L companies would have worked their way around in as much silence as possible to the southern side of the mountain. Then, under cover of a huge bombardment, launched from Royal Navy ships lying offshore, they would creep up the mountain. We'd get a flavour of the mood from this great recording, which was made by Kim Sabido of IRN. He was the bravest of the 30 odd correspondents in the field for my and most people's money, like me, he was with 42 commander. And morale was good in no small part due to the outstanding leadership of their CEO, Nick Vox. Before we went ashore, he gave a stirring address, which set the tone for the rest of the campaign. I want to share one of two thoughts with you. And I'd like to begin with, from my point of view, the most sincere thing that I want to say, which is that to each and every individual here in this room, I wish you the very best of luck in what is to come. Now one thing you could be quite sure of is that your training, your equipment, the leadership throughout this unit, and most important of all, your own morale, is going to give you the best possible chance to come through what lies ahead successfully. For a moment, however, I want to say two things concerning casualties, believe we all must face. The first is that unlike Northern Ireland, where normally casualties take precedence over operations, for obvious reasons that cannot be so while we recapture the folk in islands. For obvious reasons, because if you learn an operation, casualties occur and you stop by the individually or collectively on the operation, to look out for the casualties, you could lose the operation and we would have more casualties as a result. So we have got to press on and complete the job before giving the highest possible priority to casualties afterwards. Now that doesn't mean that anybody is going to be left behind. The British services never leave their casualties behind and the war wounds particularly so. Nobody will be left behind on the contrary as soon as the task is complete, the very highest priority will be given to treatment, casavac, and giving you to the most excellent facilities which we've all seen being set up on the ships. I want to say one more thing about casualties and it's a personal plea to each one of you and for now on you're going to be loaded down with lethal dangerous bits of kit with which you are meant to kill the enemy. Now do not through carelessness or over excitement kill one of us. Nothing could be a greater waste than that somebody sitting here now loses life or then because of one of his offers, carelessness, so be careful at all times with weapon safety. Now I want to turn to a more cheerful topic and say a few words about the enemy. The enemy as you've been told, our numbers us has a lot of modern effective equipment and should have been spending the last six weeks or so constructing an impregnable defence. The facts are very different and again many of you have heard. Most of the enemy are poorly trained confused conscripts. They increasingly appear to be suffering, not only from shortages of food, clothing and indeed the right frame of mind to live in the sort of homeic conditions that were familiar with them they are not. But recent intelligence reports indicate that they are listless, they are pathetic, in some cases they're even refusing to carry out the basic duties. If they do crack let the butter surrender. If you don't let them surrender, they'll pretty soon realise that there's no point in it and then resistance will stiffen and we of course will only take further casualties. So if you see people that hands up or show the white flag and so on, let them come forward. And when they are prisoners and I need hardly remind anyone of this, let us remember that very high tradition we in the British have always had about treating prisoners of war. We don't brutalise our prisoners of war and we're not going to start now. Finally, I'd like to tell you of one or two convictions that I personally have and the first one is that what we are doing is right. Now I'm not going to talk about the political rights and wrongs of the fault that I own. I believe each one of us is entitled to work that out for himself and I know that most of you have. What I'm talking about is one country seizing another country's property. And if Argentina gets away with it, it'll be open season for every country that weapons it can take away somebody else's land or their freedom or both and the world really will find itself in total chaos. And it so happens that by coincidence it's Britain that has to put the school right and that's what we're doing and I know in my heart of hearts that if we don't do it, it will get us nowhere. It will just get us into another situation, probably much more serious in some other part of the world. The second conviction I have is that we will succeed because of the reasons I just said. And because in the last six weeks all of us have watched at very short ages one of the most powerful, one of the most modern and as it developed one of the most effective task forces the world has ever seen which is now less than a hundred miles away from the Forten Islands. And already in that period of time in the year at sea and on the land, notably our own company, M Company and South Georgia, in all those spheres we've had significant successes against the enemy and that's why I believe quite clearly that this is going to be a success. The last thing is that I want to tell you that I believe it's all going to be a success because as I stand here I count myself exceedingly personally fortunate because I don't believe that any commanding officer could ask for a harder, more experienced, better tried and more particular, better motivated team than I'm commanding in Forty Commandant. In fact the other day when I watched the video of your Melvina song I actually felt a freezing moment of sympathy for those miserable spits over there. Well that was Nick Vork's commander of Forty Two Commandant giving the address before the troops landed as Patrick pointed out about what they were going to do when they get into their first big battle and one of the striking things about his words are the determination it sounds ruthless to a modern audience but the determination for the soldiers to keep going. You very much get a sense in these types of battles in which the attackers had a lot of disadvantages as we've already pointed out that you must keep going the momentum is everything and if that means leaving someone I made who's badly wounded then that's what they're prepared to do. Yeah well this was all brought back to me very forcefully the other day when I was at a memorial dinner for the battle commemorating the victory down at Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth when Nick spoke again as did Julian Thompson the brigade commander and it was terrific stuff it was a great great evening brilliantly organised by Colossage and Gary Chapman who's a fact of the podcast I'm pleased to say there was some four two legends there Mike Norman who commanded the Royal Marine to touch me in Stanley where the Argentinians invaded and fought gallantly until he was ordered to stop by the governor but he returned to Fortance as CEO of the newly created Jay Company and fought in the Harriet Battle he's got a book out actually called There and Back highly recommended there were other great names there Ken with Million Lima Company troop commander Rod Boswell etc etc and the following day there was a gathering at Bickley at the four two command to HQ at Bickley on the edge of Dartmore with lots of other old comrades and veterans among them are old friend Mark Hanken and he tells us now what he got up to on Mount Harrian. Once he got that we set off a single file and I can just remember the naval gun file and artillery support that the covering fire if you like as we were moving it was landing on the top of the mountain and it was just an incredible sight and sound they were absolutely getting pulverised and I can remember walking along and you can see the mountain basically the mountain size exploding all the time and I was just thinking God no one's going to be able to survive that and I can remember he's going to be a bit of a doodle this once we started vencering the mountain there's going to be no one left on there and anyway so we get to the start line basically we turn left facing up the mountain with the CBI and us and we're all lined up in the start line so adrenaline is pumping but all really anxious you know this is the first time any of us have ever done anything on this sort of scale before I guess the start line was somewhere between I don't know 800 900 meters to the top of Mount Harrian so we all lined out the order came through to advance and it seemed like we'd only took two or three steps and the enemy spotted us and opened up with the heavy machine guns and there's 50 kel, tracer flying down the mountain small lambs coming down the mountain I'm sure artillery started arriving pretty quick and I can just remember we literally in no cover remember diving on the floor my face was pressed into the dirt I could feel soil in my mouth it was absolutely terrifying that was Mark Hanken now we just want to break in here with a bit of extraordinary actuality it was recorded by Kim Sabido the radio reporter from IRN who actually accompanied Lima company up the hill this is the Kekophony going on all around him officers around us and the NCOs did a good job we started to get us going but I do remember after the first initial contact our company commander captain David Wayne shouting that this is not effective enemy fire come on get up and get moving but at the same time I could hear someone screaming for a medic so it was pretty sure we've already took casualties but here we were getting told to get up and we did you know the officers and the NCOs did a great job, motorvating us and we got up and we started moving forward under this machine gun fire and basically for the next few hours it was pepper pot and doing our drills fire and movement grenades and rocket launch as you know guys had 66 and 84 millimeter shoulder fire anti tank rockets we were using as bunker busters against the RG positions more fire heavy weapons troop were using Milan wire guided anti tank missiles again to take out some of the heavy machine gun post and just the noise was incredible every now and again a pararilum more around would go up and these bright lights would float down under parachutes casting sort of light and shadows over the mountain it was just a really sort of surreal experience and it was slow going at times every now and again we'd end up pin down heavy machine gun fire and the RG is ripping past us and you know the ground was getting tore up it wasn't just a case of over stuck fixed bayonets let's just charge at them the young officers and the nco's I think looking back they did a great job they worked it out whatever the problem was they worked away around it now we're going to overcome that problem you know did a great job great stuff I was at the foot of the mountain watching all this going off there's amazing firework display one thing that I think you don't expect and these extraordinary light effects caused by pararilum shells which are fired up into the air and they parachute down I don't know what the the thing that is that generates the light maybe magnesium or something like that was a very very strange eerie white light which gives the whole thing a kind of strange theatrical element a kind of air of unreality yeah those star shells are incredibly bright I remember reading once that they have the power of sort of you know 20,000 light bulbs you know so they clearly did their job there but listening again to mark hankin you know you have to remind yourself this guy's just 17 at the time it's his first proper time in action and what you realize listening to his account is how important training is he keeps referring back to you know we did what we've been trained to do fire a movement keep moving but he also gives due credit to the officers in elite units you often get a sense that it's actually the NCOs who are who are driving things forward they're the key to everything both special forces and also elite units like the powers on the Marines but mark is giving due credit to his officers patrick and do you think that's right yeah well this is very much a junior commanders battle and I think this is what all the COs would say and Julian Thompson said many times is that you know once the thing starts they're out of it if you're a battalion commander or the brigade commander you know your job is done and you have to stand back and let the junior officers and senior NCOs right at a corporal level making the you know decisions so they're going to win or lose the battle and most of the decisions they took were good ones as we hear there's quite a lot of thought goes into this which again it's slightly surprising if you're a civilian if you're crouched behind a rock with them but it's whizzing past you in water's exploding the next year you think there's probably not the best environment to be making cool and calculated decisions but one thing that I think you do find when you are in battle is a remarkable clarity of mind you're either freak out or you suddenly become icy calm and clear because your survival depends on the next decision you're going to make and I think that's clearly what happened here bolstered by all the great drilling and training they're done okay Patrick you were there this is your first battle you're a young ish journalist I mean you don't need to put your life on the line this is something you've done voluntarily this is not a professional career for you in terms of actual fighting so what were your feelings as you went up that hill presumably not too close behind the front line yeah well the trouble of the fault was you couldn't get out of the front line because in some case I mean no better how cautious one was there was always sort of danger and there was sort of shelling going on quite a lot of this and of course the air threat I mean I remember going to a this was a little bit later on but being up with Julian Thompson at his forward brigade headquarters is it moved up pretty much to Mount Kent and we would just sort of hang you around outside the tent where the briefing was taking place with Thompson was giving his final orders for the final bit of the battle actually suddenly without any warning whatsoever over the hill come I think was four a four skyhawks flying very very low and immediately stopped dropping bombs and machine gunning whatever they could see on the ground by this stage people are building little stone sangers as they call that's like little defensive positions of the rocks and I dived into one of these which was handily nearby and immediately was buried under an avalanche of senior officers Julius Thompson himself and Jeremy Warrior dived in on top of me so you know you couldn't know how timid you were you couldn't really get away from it so the best thing to do is just accept it and crack on okay in part two we're going to describe the other two big battles that night when four five commando move on to sisters mountain and the parrots storm mount longden it what turns out to be the most hard for battle of the war welcome back well four twos battle was a brilliant success with minimal casualties Marines lost only two dead which was far less than expected meanwhile four five commando under left hand and Colonel Andrew Whitehead were launching their operation to capture two sisters just to the north of Mount Harriott now it took them quite a while to reach the start line moving over the very difficult terrain in darkness and as the name suggests the feature has two peaks ex company were tasked with the southern peak but was soon pinned down by accurate machine gun and mortifier the Argentinians were making good use of their night vision goggles but eventually they managed to take out the positions giving the most trouble with two sixty millimetre rockets and together with wine zed companies clawed their way to the summit and victory the zed company platoon commander left hand and clived item won the military cross in this action by rallying his eight troop and leading it forward at bay net point to take their position code named summer days he later recalled I began listening to our rate of fire and I realized we were going to run out of ammunition I remember the line in a book about the black watch in the second world war they were pinned down and the adjutant stood up and shouted is this the black watch charge what I didn't remember until I read it again later was that he was actually cut in half at that point by German machine gun the next thing I knew I was up and running on my own shouting zulu zulu zulu which was our company battle cry and also the battle cry of my father's old regiment the south Wales borderers we all to just mention here something else that was going on out at sea which was much remarked upon and noticed even in the middle of the battle this was the role of hms glamorgan which played a big part of the success of the operation her twin 4.5 inch guns with showering shell onto the Argentinian positions greatly demoralizing the defenders but then glamorgan herself was attacked I mentioned earlier that the Argentinians still had some land based exercises and one was mounted on an improvised launcher near port Stanley early the following morning that's the eleventh now eleventh of June glamorgan was steaming about 20 miles off the shore when she was hit and 16 of her crew were killed they were buried at sea this is something that happened throughout the campaign this rather moving ceremony before the dead are dispatched to the deep so despite the loss of life and the damage she was still sea worthy for Morgan and was taken out to see where there was a repair ship and then a sea spread another little known element of the story which we carried out you know these sort of south Atlantic seas was amazingly able to actually patch glamorgan up and put her back into action the same goes for the helicopters the repair teams were working out the open all weather and they must keep a flying rate of like 90% of the helicopter fleet operational yeah great stuff Patrick and it's you know unheralded heroes you get right across the armed forces and the sort of support auxiliary people who are helping out down in the campaign so let's move on to the longest and bloodiest battle and that is three paras epic struggle to take Mount Longdon the intelligence they had suggested it was only held by a company all be it well dug in and armed but only a hundred or so men in fact as it turned out later there was a battalion defending Longdon I near a thousand men and they had lots of support let's hear from COQ Pike about the problems that three paraphersthaced we've done all this reconnaissance yes but I think we found that we were confronted with a lot more heavy weaponry on that position than we'd anticipated I'm talking about things like recoillers rifles heavy machine guns that sort of thing and also some very skillful sniping by well trained small groups individuals in amongst a great mass of peasant soldier really real trained conscripts so there was that there was a heavy weaponry but there was also very good use of artillery and heavy mortars from positions around port stand itself which was very accurate observed and caused a spectacular trouble based during and after the battle what are your main memories of the battle itself you know it's interesting some of the comments about age Jones about where he was on the battlefield but frankly a close in fight like this does require the battalion command is to be reasonably close to the action doesn't it yes yes but of course this is a night battle there's two pair of fighting in daylight mostly in a night battle in a sense once the plan is made and you're up to having a sense of what's going on and having a sense of when to use reserves and move a particular unit or subunit on the battlefield it's really done to the small group the four men squad the eight man section and the the two level as well that is where the battle is won and lost just by the skill and team work and determination and share courage of these wonderful soldiers that's the thing I remember most about this awful battle it was an awful battle went on all night there were moments when you thought hang on you know how much more we have to do to actually break the will of these people one particular awful moment I do remember very vividly was just behind me there was a terrible explosion and I only later realized cause the death of three members of the same Milan team and Milan and tank team who tried to get into a better position and they would take three of them were taken by one round from a 105 millimeter recovers rifle which killed a corporeum to private soldiers and initially one thought hang on that must be a water or an artillery shell but it wasn't it was a targeted recovers rifle run but there were a lot of there were a lot of similar horrible incidents and we lost 17 men in that night battle and then another six from indirect far in the 48 hours that followed after you of course we're getting supporting fire yourself I think I read some of it it got very close but you know fortunately there were no casualties from blue on blue I mean that's always a great danger but I'm pretty sure in my mind that there were none but that could easily have been because it was hard to know when the stuff was coming in whether it was ours or theirs so we had our theory if we had far from an HMS Avenger at sea for the first few hours anyway and then they had to withdraw because of the exit threat as they like came up but then unfortunately Mount Longdon if you look at the map it's directly obviously across the Moody Valley to the south is a mountain tunnel and of course for the 48 hours after the battle the Argentine observers were still on Mount Humboldt Island directing the far from batteries around Port Stanley directly onto the mountain which they could do very very accurately similarly with the heavy mortars. Well that was huge pike there describing the dimensions of the battle it was a very long and very hard and even when they're taking the position it wasn't over because they're still getting shielded and were shielded throughout the rest of the following day taking casualties the whole time it says a lot for the morale and the guts of three parrots they stuck it out you've got to also remember that everyone's absolutely exhausted they can be few harder things to do physically than fight a battle especially one uphill and in dreadful weather so it must have been the elation of having taken the position must have been quickly I think supplanted by a sense of apprehension about what happened next is still a couple of hills to go on the soil before you get to Stanley. Yeah there are and one of them has gone down in history as an infamous struggle and that of course is Mount Tumble Down and next week we're going to hear a little bit about that battle and how it was finally taken and this of course is where five brigade and we've spoken a lot about five brigade where they actually needed was it a mistake to send them on this southern leap around the bottom of the island but they might now finally actually have a role to play. We're obviously getting very close to the end of the Falklands series and we've been getting Patrick haven't we quite a lot of really interesting feedback most of it complimentary I might add but we haven't been discussing any of it on the show and I think that's something we need to do in future so if anyone has any burning questions any kind of responses to what we've been talking about anything to add then can you please please please either come to me on social media that's Saul David 66 on Twitter or email us at my email address is Saul.David at gmail.com and Patrick's is Patrick Bishop 2001 at hotmail.com so join us next week when we'll talk about the last big showdown when the Scots guards go into action and two parrots fight their second battle of the war.