In the anti-blockade actions involved the Argentine submarine "San Luis". In total, she had three combat contacts (1, 8, 11 in May), but only the first was relevant to the future landing party. With a very poor visibility, “San Luis” discovered a big target with security. According to the operation of the hydroacoustic station, the commander of the boat captain 2 of the rank Fernando M. Ascuet identified the targets as destroyers of the type 42 (Sheffield) and frigates of the type 21 (Amazon) or 22 (Brosord). With good sonar contact and incomplete classification of targets, an enemy-controlled torpedo of the “Telefunken” type SS-T-10000 “Telefunken” of German production was released from the 4 m distance, which normally left the device, but after three minutes the operator lost control. The crew decided that the attack fell. However, she got into the MK.182 towed acoustic anti-torpedo device of the Arrow frigate (21 type) and destroyed it.
The British found the boat and 20 watches unsuccessfully pursued her with two helicopters and three frigates. Ships did not approach the boat, but maintained contact. They attacked only helicopters, dropping more than thirty bombs and the Mk.46 torpedo to the target. When they later chose places for the landing, one of the conditions was that the area was inaccessible to submarines, although by that time the San Luis was under repair in Argentina.
Of interest is another episode related to the death of Sheffield. After the Exocet rocket hit the post of the struggle for survivability, the destroyer lost contact with the rest of the patrol ships that came to his aid. Guessing about the causes of the sudden fire, some commanders believed that this time the Argentine submarine achieved an accurate hit. Immediately for the helicopter "Lynx" with "Glasgow" attacked a nonexistent target with torpedoes Mk.46.
"Sheffield" long agonized. During the evacuation of the crew, its commander, Captain Sol, said sadly: "Probably, this ship was created only for one strike!" The British command was no less shocked, including Rear Admiral Woodward, who had high hopes for this type of destroyer. The Argentines had three more Exocset AM-39 missiles and, in order not to give them hope for new successes, the British counterintelligence spread over the BBC the information that the Super Etandar volley hit the target accidentally, since Sheffield did not operate aerial surveillance radar, so as not to interfere with negotiations with London on the satellite system Skynet. Many fell for cunning. Even in the memoirs of M. Thatcher, the death of the ship is explained by a fatal conversation with London. The mystery came true in 1987, when David Brown (head of the maritime history department of the British Navy) waited all the terms for censorship restrictions and published his book written back in 1983.
The British overcame the shock of only 9 in May, when the 317-e connection achieved several encouraging successes. Destroyers of the 42 type were already guarded by frigates of the 22 type ("Broadsord" and "Brilliant"), armed with the C-Wolfe air defense system. Early in the morning of 9 in May, Coventry and Broadsord in 12 miles from Port Stanley two rocket salvoes shot down a helicopter and two aircraft. The successful strike encouraged the British after the death of Sheffield, creating a precedent for violating the enemy’s air lines using naval anti-aircraft missile systems.
On the same day, the Harrier from Hermes discovered and attacked the trawler Narval on a low-level flight. The ship received heavy damage, although part of the bombs did not explode. One sailor died, and the 12 others were injured. A boarding team was landed from three British helicopters on the Narwhal and an Argentine intelligence officer was captured. By the end of the day, the trawler sank from damage. The British sought to prevent any breakthroughs in the blockade, believing that this would help the upcoming landing party to complete the assigned tasks with little blood. On May 10, after a short artillery shootout in the Falkland Strait, the frigate Alakriti destroyed the Isla de los Estados transport. On May 16 in the southern part of the strait, attack aircraft from Hermes attacked a mobilized Rio Carcarana container ship (8482 t) with bombs and two Xi Squay missiles. As a result, the ship was cast ashore and left by the crew. On the same day, a similar fate awaited the 3828-ton military transport "Biaya Buen Suseso", which was loaded with anti-aircraft shells. He was set on fire by the "Harriers" at Fox Bay Pier, and he was also left by the crew. The fire itself went out, but the intensified storm disrupted the transport from the mooring lines, and it drifted in the strait for several days. During the landing operation of 23 in May, he was again discovered and attacked by two Sea Xiu missiles, this time by a helicopter from the frigate AntiLoup. Having suffered severe damage, the "Biaia Buen Suseso" ran aground. Later, the British took him as a trophy.
By the middle of May, the headquarters of the 317 operational connection had reliable information from special forces groups that the blockade had done its work and that the enemy was weakened enough. In addition, the nature of the antiamphibious defense, its strengths and weaknesses, and minefields were already known. The impending winter, the diplomatic efforts of Argentina and its Latin American allies urged the British. That is why Woodward believed that the “D” day should not be postponed any longer. 17 May was presented with a landing operation plan. There were several proposed landing sites.
The most enticing of them were in Fox Bay, Fitzroy Bay and San Carlos Bay. The choice of Fox Bay, as a springboard, could mean that the fighting would continue until spring, as it guaranteed a consistent invasion of Fr. West Falkland, and then on the East, which for the above reasons did not suit the 317-e operational connection. The offer with Fitzroy Bay was also rejected, although it had a number of significant advantages. Its proximity to the administrative center promised a quick end to the campaign, but, on the other hand, the place was very open. Woodward was afraid of stormy weather and strong opposition from the enemy, since his forces were at the southern flank of the MPAA of General Menendez. In addition, here the Argentine Exocset anti-ship missiles could show their best. Rejecting all other proposals, the headquarters stopped at a beachhead at the port of San Carlos on the northwestern coast of Fr. East Falkland. It provided an opportunity to bypass Menendez's MRP from sushi. Special Forces groups have established that there are no Argentine troops in the area, the strait is not mined and too shallow to present a real threat from enemy submarines. The steep banks did not allow the use of Exochet anti-ship missiles.
However, there were inconveniences: remoteness from Port Stanley and impassability, which suggested a difficult offensive. The mountains and hills of the area gave the advantage of the Argentine assault aviation. She could secretly approach the landing and ships, bomb with impunity and leave. Close, on about. Peble was a field airfield from which serious antagonism could be expected in the San Carlos area.
But these nuances did not stop Woodward. First, it was decided to neutralize the airfield on about. Pebble 11 May to the north coast of. West Falkland, a helicopter was abandoned by a special forces group of 8 people with boats. Because of the bad weather, she did not have time to move on about. Pebl, but conducted a visual reconnaissance - established the disposition of the enemy and found a landing site for assault group helicopters. On the night of May 14, two “Sea King” from Hermes delivered 45 “commandos” under the command of Major Cedric Delvis, as well as a post to correct the artillery fire of the destroyer “Glamorgan”, which supported the landing with their guns. The saboteurs managed to approach the dirt runway and lay remote-controlled plastic explosive devices in the ammunition depot and on the planes, and after leaving, blew them up. The Argentines tried to counteract, but the commander of the security unit was killed by a sniper and the counterattack failed. The British commando group left the island and returned to Hermes in full force. The garrison lost an ammunition depot, five IA-58 attack aircraft of the Air Force Pukar, three combat training combat Navy T-34s and one Coastguard Skyvenen - all 9 aircraft (according to other sources - 11).
This promotion is considered the most successful in stories British special units after 1945. 21 in May. The 317-th operational unit was to land the main landing force in the San Carlos area and demo in Port Darwin and Fox Bay. At night, in demonstration directions and at Port Stanley, strategic and carrier-based aviation, as well as naval artillery, conducted 30-minute fire training. Not only bombed San Carlos. The airborne squadron approached 20 in the evening and began to maneuver in the 80-90 area miles from the northern entrance to the strait, until special forces groups descended on helicopters and speedboats and prepared landing points. At midnight, the infantry and first-line equipment was already planted on airborne assault vehicles, crossed the Cape Fanning Head traverse (the baseline during the landing) and began to move to the bay of San Carlos.
The train consisted of three stages. With virtually no opposition, the main forces landed at designated and unprotected points at 2.00 h on May 21 under the following weather conditions: sea - 3 points, wind - 10 m / s, air temperature - minus 3 ° C, fog, rain and snow. At the same time as the naval, helicopter landing was also landed, observing a clear organization and maintaining a high pace. The soldiers were superbly trained and equipped. In this regard, individual night vision devices, portable radio stations, etc. are especially interesting. In total, before dawn, 1000 soldiers of the Third Marine Brigade were on the San Carlos bridgehead, light Tanks "Scorpion" and "Simiter", six 105-mm guns, 60 and 81-mm mortars, ATGM "Milan". Anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense was organized. Entrance to the strait “Entrim”, “Ardent”, “Antilope” and “Diamond” were to assist her.
North of the island maneuvered shipborne radar patrol of the Coventry and Broadsord frigates. In the morning the landing of the brigade was discovered by Argentine air reconnaissance. The first attacked four attack aircraft "Pukara" with Port Stanley, two of which were shot down. The 10.00 General of the Argentine Air Force, Ernesto Crespia, who was responsible for the air strikes, finally received an official report on the events in the archipelago and organized 11 strikes on the landing party, in which a total of 68 bombers participated. By the end of the day, 20 had not returned to their bases. In the afternoon, the attacks followed one after the other. The planes flew low, camouflaging themselves in the folds of the terrain, going out on targets and bombing at low altitude. As a result, the frigate “Ardent” was destroyed, and the “Entrim”, “Broadsord”, “Brilliant” and “Argonaut” were damaged by projectiles and unexploded bombs of the Mk.82 type.
British fighters could hardly intercept these aircraft, but they managed to disrupt the transfer of Argentine commandos in the San Carlos area. Thus, the southern patrol destroyed two helicopters in flight (Puma and Chinook) and thus prevented General Menendez’s plans to conduct an antiamphibious defense. Of virtually all the forces of the garrison, only strike aircraft was able to counteract the start of Operation Souton.
The next day, a second echelon was planted consisting of a 200 man, 105-mm guns, mortars, etc. The construction of a field airfield and the strengthening of the bridgehead began. Argentines did not hinder this. Aviation was engaged in the transportation of reinforcements to Port Stanley and the protection of transport aircraft.
Argentine aircraft continued to attack in the strait. As a result, the anti-Loop frigate was destroyed, and the Sir Galahed and Sir Lancelot amphibious transports were damaged. The targeting of the Argentine strike aircraft was carried out from a Boeing 707 aircraft. It was discovered by the destroyer Coventry at Pebl Island, but due to a malfunction of the Sea Dart air defense system, the British did not manage to knock it down.
The national holiday of Argentina 25 May was marked by powerful air strikes on the landing force and ships 317-th connection. Its attack aircraft destroyed two Atlantic Conveer AM-39 missiles and three Coventry bombs. Broadsord was damaged. The Argentine naval aviation still had another anti-ship missile, and on May 30 tried to sink the enemy aircraft carrier for the last time. 10 Skyhawk attack aircraft and a Super Etandar deck bomber participated in the attack. In the battle, the Invincible escort drove down two aircraft, the dipole reflectors from the destroyer Glamorgan rejected the missile, and the 114-mm gun from Evencher shot her.
By the end of May, battles were fought on the sea, in the air and on land. After the forces strengthened on the bridgehead in San Carlos, the brigade commander ordered the second airborne battalion (commander Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones) to seize the narrow isthmus connecting the northern part of East Falkland to the Lafonia peninsula and isolate the garrison of the administrative center of Lafonia and isolate the garrison of the Eastern Falkland Peninsula and isolate the garrison of the administrative center of Lafonia. Two 81-mm mortars and three 105-mm guns were transferred to Jones for this task, which together with the ammunition were delivered to the 12 position by helicopters. The offensive was supported from the right flank of the 114-mm gun from the Arrow frigate, as well as the three Harrier GR.3 bombers. The battalion approached the enemy after a march on the night of May 27. On the isthmus there were two villages - Gus Green and Port Darwin. There, the Argentines were built airfield, fortifications and warehouses. The garrison numbered 2000 people under the command of Commodore Pedros, an air force officer. He managed to unravel the intentions of the enemy and asked for help from General Menendez, who sent helicopters to him with a helicopter.
The offensive began on May 28. English paratroopers easily captured the approaches to Port Darwin, however, when they approached the main positions, units had to lie down under heavy fire of anti-aircraft machine guns and machine guns. Two Skyhawks and two Pucara attack aircraft flew from Port Stanley and launched an air strike. Although a company of fire support shot down half the aircraft, the damage was significant. In battle, Lt. Col. Jones was mortally wounded. The command of the battalion took major Kibel. He managed to master the situation, take advantage of artillery support from the Arrow, as well as the fact that three “Harriers” were hit by anti-aircraft positions at wooden houses and Gus Green piers. His fire support company destroyed several of the anti-tank artillery missiles of the anti-tank missiles "Milan". The battalion occupied Port Darwin, broke through the left flank of the enemy defense and surrounded him in Gus Green. 29 May Commodore Pedrosa ordered the garrison to be folded weapon.
Then the brigade continued its advance to the east, successfully overcoming off-road. Argentines offered sluggish resistance. In early June, it was decided to accelerate the offensive by landing the fifth infantry brigade in Fitzroy Bay, south of Port Stanley. After a tiring march, the 2 airborne battalion approached this place along the coast. On the night of June 6 without security, the first transport arrived in the area and began disembarking. 7-th all repeated again. The next day, the Sir Galahed and Sir Tristan amphibious assault ships entered the bay, guarded by the Plymouth frigate, and began unloading combat vehicles and troops. They were discovered by servicemen of the Argentine coastal mobile radar, which caused attack aircraft. As a result, Sir Galahed and the Foxtrot 4 landing craft were sunk, and Sir Tristan and Plymouth were heavily damaged. The brigade lost 51 people killed and 46 wounded. During the air attacks, most of the property and equipment of the paratroopers was destroyed. Argentines lost five bombers.
The bloody events of June 8 did not stop the upcoming. By June 11 approached the approaches Port Stanley. On the night of June 12, an event occurred that went unnoticed, although important for the statistics of modern naval history. “Glamorgan” has already finished shelling enemy positions when, on 2.35 nights from the 18 distance of miles, it was covered with a volley of coastal rocket battery Exeset MM-38. The commander of the 1 rank captain, M. Barrow, increased the speed to 24 bonds, turned the ship aside to the coast, put passive interference in the form of a cloud of dipole reflectors and used the C Cat air defense system to attack the aerial target. However, the measures did not bring results - the rocket hit the stern hangar, damaged the Wessex helicopter, six out of ten people were killed in the room. Its combat unit did not explode, but the destroyer was very seriously injured by the fire. Between 13 and 19 June, the crew managed to eliminate the fire with the help of the Wall Sispert rescue ship. This was the first successful attack of the World Defense Forces team in world naval history.
The decisive attack on Port Stanley began on June 12 with the support of aviation and the ships of the 317 junction. In this situation, General Menendez capitulated in 21.00 h on 14 Jun.
During the fighting, the sides suffered the following losses: Great Britain: 255 killed, 777 injured, seven destroyed and 11 heavily damaged ships and transports, 12 aircraft and 23 helicopters. The expenses of Great Britain for the restoration of destroyed and damaged equipment amounted to 900 million pounds sterling, for military operations - 700 million, for the maintenance of the garrison before 1986 - 400 million.
Argentina: 712 or 652 killed, of which 58 pilots, 1000 injured and sick; 109 airplanes (31 A-4, 26 Mirage, 23 1A-56 Pu-ra, 1 medium-range bomber Canberra, 1 C-130, etc.) and 13 helicopters, two combat and seven auxiliary ships and transports.
Crucial for the success of Operation Souton was the tactical surprise of the landing, with a rapid increase in forces on the bridgehead at night. This was facilitated by the use of high-speed amphibious assault vehicles and multipurpose helicopters. Perhaps there is no other example in the history of local wars after 1945, when a large naval landing group did not have full air superiority. The only exception is Operation Pluto in Cochinos Bay (16-19 on April 1961), but it ended in the defeat of the invading forces. However, in that case, the actions of the antiamphibious defense forces were much more active and aggressive, in comparison with the actions of General Menendez, who gave the initiative to the enemy and passively waited for his actions.
In contrast to the ground forces, Argentine aviation made a significant contribution to the effectiveness of counter-blocking operations and antiamphibious defense. On her account all destroyed British ships and strikes on the 3 and 5 teams on the island. Of the planned 505 flights, she performed 445, although only 302 ended successfully. At the same time every fifth aircraft was lost. The reason for the large losses - obsolete, free-falling bombs, primitive aviation navigation equipment and the wrong choice of targets - often attack aircraft instead of transports attacked well-armed destroyers and frigates, which did not contribute to the disruption of the landing force. Against this background, the success of the Super Etandar squadron, which sank two ships with Exocet missiles without loss in its composition, is particularly noticeable. Having shot the entire stock of anti-ship missiles, the Argentine Navy sought by all means to get more. But, as mentioned above, France refused. The government of Tel Aviv also denies selling weapons to them. In all likelihood, the smugglers went to meet the junta, however, with great delay, so that their efforts could no longer change anything, unless the statistics.
The day before Port Stanley's surrender, 13 Jun, the Canberra bomber launched a remote-controlled missile, apparently the Israeli Gabriel Mk.2, on the frigate Penelope guarding the Nordic Ferry transport. She did not hit the target, as she was shot from anti-aircraft guns, and from other escort ships the plane was shot down by a Sea Dart missile.
Outdated aviation weapons, the passivity of the garrison and the poor coordination of the types of armed forces did not allow Argentina to use its superiority in the air, which ultimately was crucial to the outcome of the South Atlantic crisis. The incomplete preparation of Operation Rosario had an effect on the course of events, in which was a great professional miscalculation of General Galtieri and his entourage. On the other hand, the excellent planning of the headquarters of the 317 unit, unconventional solutions to problems, the availability of modern weapons, excellent equipment and training of British soldiers and sailors returned to Britain a colony in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
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