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, 25 Apr 2022 01:00
It's May 1982. British Special Forces land on East Falkland and both the Argentinian cruiser Belgrano and the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield are sunk.
Join Saul and Patrick for episode 4 of Battleground: The Falklands War, where they're joined by a former Special Forces operator who reveals his team's dramatic infiltration of the islands.
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Hello and welcome to episode 4 of the Battleground Podcast with me, Saul David, and me Patrick Bischard. Last week as part of our Forklens War special told in real time we looked at the failure of diplomacy and the recapture of South Georgia. This week we move our gaze back to the Forklens Island proper and consider the seismic events of early May 1982 as an RAF Falcon bomber carried out the first raid on Port Stanley Airfield. British Special Forces landed on East Forklens and in rapid succession the Argentinian cruiser Belgrano and the Royal Navy's destroyer HMS Sheffield were sunk by torpedoes and an exoset missile respectively. Okay, but first let's just remind ourselves of some of the key events of the previous week or two. So on Sunday the 18th of April 1982 the task force battle group including the aircraft carriers Hermes and Invincible and 11 escorting ships left Ascension Island that's the halfway point in the Atlantic for the South. Five days later Britain issued a general warning to Argentina that any approach on the part of their warships, submarines or aircraft which might threaten British forces in the South Atlantic would be dealt with accordingly. On 25th of April British Special Forces recaptured the island of South Georgia, 800 miles to the east of the Forklens Islands and a day later the British government established a total exclusion zone, the TEZ, that's a 200 nautical mile radius area around the Forklens Islands from which any Argentinian ship or plane was excluded and would be engaged militarily if it ventured into it. Okay, so that's the background and now let's deal with the events that we have under review for this episode. First of all in the early hours of Saturday 1 May 1982 alone R.A. Falcon bomber of 101 squadrons strike command attacked Port Stanley Airfield after an epic 8000 mile round trip from Ascension Island that involved no fewer than, apparently, 17 air to air refueling operations. Climbing to 10,000 feet for the bomb run, the pilot released 21, 1000 pound superfuze iron bombs when he was still two miles short of the target. I mean, imagine getting the aim right at that sort of distance before he then swung away and headed for home. And the whole point about the difficulty of bombing at that sort of height was revealed when they did the reconnaissance aerial photos done by sea harriers a couple of days later which showed that only a single bomb had hit halfway down the 4000 yard long runway cratering the tarmac just south of the center line. Now there have been extravagant claims by the R.A.F. that continued to this day I might add that the attack and I quote denied the airfield to the enemy's attacking fast jets. Those of course were the Mirage planes in particular. One of the Vulcan pilots later insisted we had one bomb right on the runway and as a result the runway was never used for the rest of the war by the Argentinians. We're not entirely convinced this is correct and nor indeed what many of the people on the Falklands down there at the time including of course the Navy and the military. And they claim that the runway was too short to take fast jets and the single crater was quickly repaired. That's allowing the Argentinian Hercules transport planes to continue to use the airfield for every day of the war. And yet we should also acknowledge that despite this the raid was still an astonishing achievement and showed the Argentinians that Britain was capable of attacking strategic targets at a greater distance that many had ever thought possible. Margaret Thatcher herself later acknowledged this when she described the refueling effort alone as a stupendous feat. I was on the camera when the news came through. Now you might expect that this would produce kind of jubilation among the Marines and the parrots on board and indeed the sailors. But in fact the reaction was a bit muted. It was only when it was learned that only one bomb had hit the runway that everyone seemed to cheer up. The crabs, that's what the Army and Navy called the RF, had screwed up. That was the general view. And that caused a huge amount of hilarity and a certain amount of satisfaction. Now, it might seem strange to civilians, but competition between the services and indeed between units within those services is very real and it's very intense. And in this case, most of the people on board canberra would rather that the RF messed up than that they would steal some of the glory that they wanted for themselves. And I suppose Patrick, when we think about that, it does make it quite sobering when looking after the event one size blame me the other and under and effectively saying you didn't do as good a job as we did. That's fairly typical, isn't it? We see this in all wars that all British armed forces have ever fought. Yeah, it's very competitive environment. So let's get back to that. The first of May, Harry is from Hermes, also attacked various targets on Eastfall, clunding including the airfield radar and anti aircraft defenses around Goose Green. And three ships from rear admiral Woodward's battle group, that's the destroyed Lymorgan, the frigates, arrow and alacrity. They bombarded Argentine positions around Port Stanley. The Argentinians immediately claimed to have shot down many of those areas involved in the raids, but that lie was exposed by the BBC. They were responding Brian Hanrahann. Now you've got to remember that everyone reporting on this was heavily constrained by restrictions which didn't allow you to give away any operational details. However, Brian Hanrahann was able to get around it brilliantly by not revealing numbers, but simply saying, I counted them all out and I counted them back. The phrase has gone down in broad casting history. The enemy did respond though by attacking the bombardment ships with three Mirage 3 jets that had just taken off from the Argentinian mainland. Fortunately, 2,000 pounds, bombs narrowly missed the Lymorgan, but it did show. It was a reminder again that the Argentinians meant business and even though these were kind of like today's standards, primitive bombs, they could still, because of the skill of the pilots, they were able to actually get them pretty close to the ships. Two of the three Mirages were destroyed by sea harriers and the third was shot down by the Argentinians own ground defenses in mistake. Now that's not all that was going on that day of course Patrick. Meanwhile, on the island itself, East Falkham that is, British special forces had landed their first teams. Why to recognize to the ground and confirm the location and size of Argentinian forces? This is exactly what the SPS and the SAS were created for in the Second World War. To get the sort of information that the heavier ground force is coming behind will need before they can launch an operation. Now we are incredibly fortunate on the podcast to have one of the members of those teams that did deploy that day. He was part of Britain's maritime special operations unit, the special boat squadron. He was then a 29 year old sergeant from Wales known as the nickname Shiner. Having joined the Royal Marines at the age of 16, he had passed selection for the SPS three years later, the youngest who have achieved the feat at that time, and in 1982 was a team leader who traveled down to the Falklands with the rest of the special boat squadron's sixth troop in the nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror. He told us how he heard he was going to war. We were all excited. We had a probably a warning order saying that we are likely to be tasked to go. The then some major then said, look, and warned us as he did, that this is the first conventional war since the Second World War. We had to be reactive to it. We were then deployed. We took everything but the kitchen sink with us and we were then informed that we were going to Mute Fazlain, board a nuclear submarine, and a travel south, which we did, quite an eerie feeling actually going to fact, a lot we've been to Fazlain many, many times. We worked on our boats doing excellent military and things like that, but this is the first time we'd actually been on a nuclear submarine. We turned up at probably 3 o clock in the morning, very eerie seeing this HMS Conqueror, Bulk, At night, Misty, people just scurrying around, just loading it up and things like that. Then we turned up. They estimated that we had about 9 tons of stores on that boat. It was stored within the forens. Apparently, we learned later that the crew had been reduced, slightly to accommodate 16 of us on board. Then we set sail for the south. I think it took us about two weeks to get down there, submerged at probably about 30 knots. It was exciting. I left my family in the lounge with my wife and my son crying because I was so excited about going down there. As we just discussed, we was our job. We trained for this. I think it's important to mention at this stage that the Conqueror leaves on the 3rd of April, which is the day after the invasion. Everything must have happened very quickly. It's heading down to the fault times with the first unit of special forces that's going to arrive there. That's the SBS, the 16 SBS, including Shiner. Can you tell me a little bit about the commanding officer of the Conqueror because he is well known to history as the commander of the submarine that sunk the Belgrano, which became very controversial and will deal with that later on in the podcast. Tell me a little bit about your impressions of Rayford Brown. I understand that HMS ships captains must be of a very high standard. Some marine captains are at another level as I saw it in my humble opinion. He could saw with the Eagles and the donkeys. He had such a great relationship with the crew and that then passed on to us. He realized very quickly that he had to sort of curb our boredom. We can only do a certain amount of press of some pushups in the forens of a nuclear submarine. We could only unload torpedo tubes and reload them, which we were doing. So he took us as part of the crew, which I think was an excellent idea. We then were within with the crew and he actually put me on the foreplanes of a nuclear submarine. It worked out extremely well for the whole team. The crew and we always had exceptional relationships with submariners. And they were us. And that's how it worked. It's fascinating, I think Patrick to hear some of that detail from Shiner. Because I personally wasn't aware that any special forces had gone down on the conqueror. Now we're going to hear about the conqueror in a bit more detail in a moment. One of the things that Shiner doesn't mention in that clip, but did tell me in confidence, which is that during the voyage, they actually painted on the missiles. Because one of the jobs that you heard that the SPS had during their time on the conqueror was to actually carry out crew duties. And they were involved in loading and unloading the torpedoes. Why do you need to unload them? Because apparently signals were coming all the time, saying, use the Mark 8, which were the old effectively second world war versions, or use Mark 24, which are the wireguided versions. And the fact that they don't well hear later on a little bit of the detail of what happened when they attacked the Belgrano. But it's fascinating to realize that in time on it fashion, the SPS guys, including Shiner, actually painted on those torpedoes messages like with love from conqueror, fairly typical stuff that we see often in the Second World War. Exactly. Yeah, I know that's nice to know these traditions continue. I particularly thought it was interesting also to hear of the close relationship between the SPS and the submarine service. And again, if you go back to their early days in the Second World War, you can see that this is a close bond that's created between these two units. Why? Because the submarines have been used in the Second World War and ever since to insert SPS operators to hostile shores. And are still to this day doing the same thing. So, you know, it's really interesting. They were aware of life on board a submarine. And you could see how hard Reeford Brown worked, a little bit like Jeremy Larkin on the fearless, to make everyone who's on board their vessel feel a part of the team. Yeah, I mean, vital bit of combat effort is, especially the cramped space of submarine everyone has to get on. Now, that's down to man management and just to people's ability to forge a team and make sure everyone's pointing in the right direction. So I think that's a kind of underappreciated aspect of being a commander. Yeah, one last bit of detail to add. He talks about how some of the original submarine crew had to leave to accommodate the guys from the SPS. Actually, it was about a third of the crew. So that's a collect sizable number of guys running the submarine. It's no wonder Reeford Brown had to ask SPS to step in and do some of their jobs. Anyway, let's move the story on. So after 22 days on Conqueror, Shiner and the rest of six SPS are eventually cross deck to the effect of the move from one vessel to another onto the county class destroy HMS Antrim as the recovery of South Georgia, which we heard about last episode was underway. Five days later, he and his team are put ashore on East Forklin by a Lynx helicopter. Shiner told us how that happened. Since we hit the landfall, we're going to be dropped off. Lynx could not land. It had to hover and we had to jump out. We did this. We were looking down, that's about 10 foot. I would go out first, probably being free for about 30 seconds. It's more like 30 feet. I hit the ground. Luckily, it was a nice soft patch of long grass. I looked up and that's when I realized the height. And then I saw all the teams. Burgers come out, team, member and it kept on coming out. We then, more under fence, we'd stay there. Lynx would go back to Antrim, I think. Pick up the next team, come back out and do exactly the same thing. And then once all the team were on the ground, we'd then go to our various tasks. And we talked about mistakes. We made mistake early on. One of our team members is weapon got caught on the skin of the Lynx. And he arrived down on the ground without a weapon. And of course, it happens. You're annoyed at the time. You laugh about it now because we got away with it. Fully enough, the Lynx went back. One of our colleagues saw the Lynx coming in and the AR16 was hanging from the skin. So eventually, on the return trip, our colleague had his weapon back. It's interesting that there's always been this sense that special forces use slightly different weapons to the conventional army. Was that the case in the SPS at that time? Well, at that time, we went in and it was a mistake on my part. I mean, we went in as a fighting patrol because we didn't know what we were going to hit. We didn't know what was on the ground. I had a pistol, an L42 sniper weapon. And I had a NAF 16. I mean, we had grenades, ammunition, magazines coming out far too heavy for a reconnaissance patrol claimant. But we just didn't know what we were going to hit. Once that first mission was finished, we realized that as with Ops in Ireland that we've done, there's no IRA or the arch in time would not be behind every corner. Because that's what we thought. Because we were going into some delicate areas. Can you just describe how long you were there and what the conditions were? Talk a little bit about the conditions on the island because it looks from the outside and from the descriptions that we've already had on the podcast. They've pretty windswept, grim conditions, kind of shetland type conditions. What were they like? That first mission we had to move in for... And I'm not... I don't think I'm exaggerating. We had to do at least 30 kilometers to our relevant areas. It was... It's the hardest ground to walk over. It is wind swept. It is cold. It's tough to... How do you describe it? Tough to ask. Tossucks. Tossucks. Easy to spray, now, and calls them. Oh, yes. Easy. And no cover. We soon learned that we had to sort of look for somewhere, you know, three o clock in the morning. We had to start looking. And the first place that we would come across that was suitable to offer us some sort of decent cover we would take. We soon learned that because if we left it any later, we were exposed. So you're marching at night and then you need to get cover, obviously, for the daytime. So you're finding what you can. And how do you create a little lying up place there? Well, in most cases, we were digging down. And when you're digging down... And a number of times that we would dig down, and we couldn't see what was around us, we would just dig down overhead cover, and that would be it. Our protection would be our claim. Which is an anti personnel mine, isn't it? So you'd surround your position with... If anyone came near, they might trip it, and obviously you'd know that they were approaching. Well, yeah, we would initiate it. You know, we had one instance where we dug into a concave slope, overlooking a brigade of arching, on the time. And I think... And we put the climbers 12 o clock, six o clock, three o clock, nine o clock. And the seagulls started picking up the lines. And they had big birds. They were picking up, and they were... And what we were afraid of is being compromised, and the seagulls had picked up the lines, and turned the climbers to us. We couldn't do anything about it in the day. At night, we'd go out and reposition them. And it was those sort of things that made us laugh at the time, but could have been quite serious. Fascinating stuff, that patriarchy. I think a couple of things stand out for me. I mean, one, the sheer deprivation once they were assured. The rough conditions they had to survive in, literally living in a hole in the ground for up to a week at a time. And the second point is the physical effort required to actually march into the place where they're doing the observation. And of course, the obvious reason for that is they have to be dropped well away from the location because helicopters can be heard. So it means a long, tough walk in. Real tough stuff. Yeah, I think you can always remember on the kind of landside of the camp, it's really horrible conditions. He makes a point about put your speed into your entrenching tool into the pit, and it immediately fills up with water. Because everyone was wet from the moment they stepped ashore until the day they got off the islands. Absolute grim, soggy life that one was leaving there. Now, after a week ashore observing the enemy, Shiner and his pals were recovered by a seeking helicopter and taken to HMS Hermes. The recovery didn't go quite to plan as he explains here. When we got on the helicopter to come back, we were in such, not ragged, we were all professional, but we looked as if we'd been walking over this ground for 30K, 60K's back then, 30K's back, 30K's in. And he thought, the pilot thought that we were Argentinians. Anyway, on the way in, we couldn't, even the crew were a bit apprehensive in the seeking. We then landed on Hermes. They didn't open the door. Normally, you land, door opens, you disembark. They didn't open the door. Then, they got the signals to open the door. We opened the door. Naval ranks there pointing SLRs at us, ordering us off the helicopter onto the deck of Hermes. We were laid spread eagle and it wasn't until our boss come up to us and confirmed who we were. And the reason for that is that the pilot thought that we were Argentinians, how he thought that, I don't know. It's great to hear that, isn't it Patrick? I mean, you know, there you are. You've been a week, a week, freezing your butt off, trying to gather a vital reconnaissance information. You look so dirty and so disheveled when you're finally picked up by the seeking. You actually think you're Argentinians. I mean, if it wasn't potentially quite serious, it would be laughable, wouldn't it? Indeed, indeed. I saw, you could occasionally come across special forces patrols on the islands, that they did look like a pretty wild bunch. Indeed, something to the SAS guys were famous for growing their hair long, etc. So you did actually have to look twice to make sure that you hadn't actually just encountered the enemy. OK, now we're going to take a short break. Part two will consider the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser, Belgrano, and in Revenge, I suppose, you could say what followed the British destroyer HMS Sheffield, that was on the second of the 4th of May, 1982, respectively. We'll also look at how those losses impacted the future course of the war. Welcome back. On Sunday, the 2nd of May, 1982, Margaret Thatcher convened a meeting of the war cabinet at her country retreat at Chekars to consider intelligence from the South Atlantic. They were briefed by Admiral Sejón Fieldhouse, who explained that the nuclear powered submarine HMS Conqueror, of course we've just heard the details about the trip down from Shiner, had been shadowing the 13,645 ton Argentine cruiser Belgrano, and its two exoset capable destroyer escorts. The cruiser had substantial firepower, including six inch guns with a range of 13 miles, anti aircraft missiles, and possibly exoset anti ship missiles herself. The whole group was sailing on the edge of the TEZ and signals intelligence, indicators that these ships, in conjunction with the Argentinian aircraft carrier, the Vinci Cinco Demayo, were planning a pincere attack on the British task force. Given that there was a strong possibility the Conqueror might lose contact with the Belgrano, Admiral Woodward wanted permission to sink it outside the TEZ. This permission was given by Thatcher and the war cabinet, and the Belgrano was attacked by the Conqueror, which fired a pattern of Mark 8 torpedoes, those of course were the Second World War Vintage versions, from a distance of 2,000 yards just before 8PM GMT. The submarine then went deep to escape a counterattack from the destroyers in the textbook manner, as she did so, her crew, her two heavy explosions as the torpedo struck the cruiser. The Belgrano sank soon after, with the loss tragically of 368 lives, many fatalities caused apparently because the destroyer escorts left the scene instead of rescuing the sailors in the water. Now, the sinking of the Belgrano outside the TEZ later attracted much criticism, so Lawrence Friedman, the official historian of the war, wrote that the sinking gave Britain, quotes an important military victory, yet it turned it into a political defeat because of the premium that the international community put on the appearance of avoiding escalation. Any military action which is not self evidently for defensive purposes, even if it is preemptive, becomes an outrage. But of course, Margaret Thatcher was adamant that the decision was taken for strictly military and not political reasons. She said there is a clear military threat which we could not possibly, responsibly, ignore. Moreover, subsequent events more than justified what was done. As a result of the devastating loss of the Belgrano, the Argentine Navy, above all the carrier that's the Vinti Cinco de Mayo, went back to port and stayed there. Thereafter it posed no serious threat to the success of the task force. That's Mrs. Thatcher writing in her memoirs. But as Friedman says, the incident was much more than just a military event. It did impact on British domestic politics in the future. It became one of the foundation stones of her reputation. Thatcher's reputation is the iron lady, a ruthless individual who sometimes seemed devoid of normal human emotions. Now I can remember, like a lot of people my vintage can, the election campaign of May 1983, when the Belgrano suddenly became a big live issue. There was a BBC TV live election broadcast, a nationwide broadcast, you know, that was the name of the program, in which questions were taken from members of the public. What followed made really electrifying TV. There was a certain Diana Gould, Mrs. Diana Gould, who popped up and asked Mrs. Thatcher, why she'd given an order to sink the Belgrano when it had been sailing away from the exclusion zone. Now for once Mrs. T seemed visibly rattled. She insisted in a very kind of strident tone, so that the ship presented a real threat for task force. But Diana Gould persisted quoting the heading that the Belgrano was on, etc. And she spoke with authority. It turned out she was no ordinary member of the public. She was a former Ren, and she was married to a former Fleet Aeroam officer. Now the controversy we've rumbled on for years, that what we learned later was that Mrs. Thatcher, apparently, started talking about the need to abolish the BBC with her husband, Dennis, muttering about the program makers and denouncing them as a bunch of trotsky heights and woofters. We also know, don't we, from Jeremy Larkin, our interview with Jeremy Larkin, who was then skipper of the amphibious assault ship HMS Fearless, that he had no doubt, and I'm sure the rest of the rule maybe would have agreed, that it was of course a good idea to sink the Belgrano. And if possible, the aircraft carrier too, as he was certain they were engaged in offensive operations. In 2011, it was revealed that the Belgrano was indeed heading for the exclusion zone, as Mrs. T said. Of course we had all this controversy in the 1980s Patrick Back Home. I remember famously the Sun Headline Gotcher, that really grim, I don't know, delighting in the loss of all these Argentinians lives. It was really nasty, jingoistic stuff. Yet at the same time, the mood of the nation was effectively good on them, because if Argentinian sailors don't die, we're going to lose many of our own. Of course we're going to come onto that in just a minute. It is also worth pointing out that Jeremy Larkin told us in his interview that he was insistent that on his ship HMS Fearless there would be, as he put it, no jingoism. In other words, no exaltation in the loss of lives of fellow sailors. And that's really a poignant point to have made. And I suspect many sailors would have felt similarly. Yeah, well, I mean, that's I can vouch for that because I was on, as I keep saying, I was on the camera. And when the news broke, there was no rejoicing at all. Very little satisfaction, because we could all picture the scene in the self Atlantic, going into these freezing waters, chances of survival, practically, nil. And so it was a very, very sobering moment. And of course, made even more acute a couple of days later when the Sheffield goes down, which we'll be hearing about very shortly. Yeah, so let's talk about the Sheffield, because it's interesting how close these two interlinked events were. And one other quick point to make, of course, is that it was a real kind of diplomatic crisis after the sinking of the Belgrano, because people were jumping up and down and saying, hold on a second, what wine earth are we knocking out a ship that's not even in the total exclusion zone when there are potential peace talks going on? So we can come back to that in a moment, but just to come on to the Sheffield, because in some ways, the Sheffield was, of course, it was a tragic loss of life for the Royal Navy. But in a political sense, it was quite useful for the fact that the government, to be able to say, actually, no, our task force is under real threat. So what actually happens on the Fourth of May? Well, let's talk about some of the air activity, first of all, because there was more air activity that day. There was a second Vulcan raid on the Port Stanley Airfield that, unfortunately, this time failed to score any more hits on the runway. Again, another astonishing logistical achievement getting it there. Later that morning, there were some casualties, because a second carrier raid on Goose Green resulted in the loss of the first carrier casualty, and that was flown by Lieutenant Nick Taylor when it was hit by radar controlled anti aircraft fire. Taylor failed to eject and became the first carrier casualty of the war. And then, of course, as we've been alluding to, came a devastating reminder of the vulnerability of the task force. So out among the ships, the Type 42 destroyer, HMS Sheffield, was guarding the southwest corner of the task force, then lying about 40 miles south of Port Stanley. Our armament was a little bit restricted. She was armed only with sea dark missiles, which were not as sophisticated as to see wolf. And this was meant to protect her against air attack. Her crew had been told to expect an air launch, exosert anti ship missile, to be fired from the distance of around 45 miles, which is about at the edge of the, think of the exosert's capacity when launched from an aircraft. They were also expecting it, the aircraft who fired it to be coming in at sort of medium height. But when they picked up a contact approaching from the west much closer and much lower than what they were anticipating, they assumed it wasn't a missile. It was either a returning carrier, one of their own, or an enemy, Mirage or Skyhawk. And so there was no need to fire the anti missile, Cheff, Cheff being this kind of metallic strips that are put up to confuse the navigational guidance on the incoming exosert. They were wrong, tragically wrong, five seconds afterwards. Spoke appeared on the horizon and except missile fired from a French built superret on target aircraft at a distance of only six miles and traveling at 680 miles per hour. Hit the Sheffield just above the waterline. Almost immediately thick black aquid smoke began to fill the lower decks. Most of those killed immediately were in the galley preparing supper or trapped in the computer room below the operations room. Four hours later, where the fires still out of control, the Skipper Sam Salt gave the order to abandon ship. 21 men had lost their lives. The shock across the task force was, of course, profound. Jeremy Larkin, Skipper of HMS Fearless told us, the loss of the Sheffield well, that obviously was a pretty traumatic moment for us, almost certainly we were going to have to land in earnest. That was becoming clear. Yeah, I'd actually commented on it later in her memoirs saying that the loss of the Sheffield was the result of a number of mishaps and mistakes, but it was a terrible demonstration of the risks our forces faced. This was felt most profoundly, of course, by Sandy Woodward, the naval force commander in the area. It was obvious now that the ships were vulnerable and so it was absolutely vital that the carriers had to be protected. Sandy Woodward realised that he was going to have to keep well away from the possibility of aerial attack. He eemed himself a confess later that for three days after the loss of the Sheffield was called, he was a state profound depression. He gradually recovered his confidence and sent a signal to all his captains, a kind of nilsonian tone striking there. We shall lose more ships and more men, but we shall win. What strikes me, when we're talking about this now, is how there's a lot of resonance with what's just been going on in Ukraine with the loss of the Russian guided missile cruiser, Moscow, which was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. We don't really know what's happened, but Ukrainians are certainly claiming that to of their own Neptune anti ship cruise missiles, sure, lawless, lawless from land batteries, were what sent the Moscow to the bottom? Yeah, I mean, it's fascinating, isn't it? The timing is extraordinary, Patrick. We're very close on to the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Sheffield, and we get, for the first time in my memory, an almost identical episode with the loss of the Mospa if the Ukrainian reports are correct, and it certainly looks pretty likely that they are. I mean, the Russian explanation that ammunition blew up. I mean, that's even more incompetent than losing a ship to two anti ship missiles, which they certainly had the ordnance on board we are told to deal with, but clearly didn't recognize they were coming. You know, not unlike the Sheffield, of course. You know, there was a fair amount of criticism among Sam Solte, who was the skipper on Sheffield that day, Sam Solte fellow captains that actually, you know, errors were made, and they weren't keeping a good enough look out. And of course, this is fairly typical when the first ship goes down, because then everyone else thereafter is going to be making, you know, a particular effort. It's interesting. The Exocet means flying fish. It's going to become a feared word in the rest of the Falklands campaign, and Exocets, as we are going to discover, will go on to hit the Atlantic conveyor and the destroy HMS Glamorgan on the last day of the war. Yes, indeed. Things are now getting very serious, indeed. There's a new somber mood settles over the task force. But well, that's all we've got time for this week. Join us next time when we'll consider the point of no return. There's three Commando Brigade, head south from Ascension Island in the Canberra. That's the landing force. A little bit of an incident that's very little known about the Argentinian spy trolling now well is attacked by herrias and special forces, and final plans were drawn up for the Big Event, the amphibious landing on East Falklands. Do join us. Bye bye.