Saturday, November 5, 2011
Before/After: "A Damn Close-Run Thing"
Today's Before/After is the first non-fiction one I've been hired to help with, "A Damn Close-Run Thing" by Russell Phillips. It's a short military history of the Falkland Islands War. Russell says, " I didn't really have any idea what to expect, and because of that it was a bit of a gamble. As it happens, I think the gamble paid off--I'm happy with the result, and I think it was well worth the money."
In April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British dependency in the South Atlantic. The small British and Falkland force on the islands was soon overcome, and the Argentinians occupied the islands. The British response was to form a task force to sail to the South Atlantic and re-take the islands. This was a major undertaking, and Major-General Sir John Jeremy Moore later described the ensuing conflict as "a damn close-run thing".
This short history includes a summary of the events preceding the war, without which the war itself cannot be properly understood. It shows why the ruling military junta in Argentina believed that an invasion would not be opposed. As well as describing the major military actions of the war, it also includes details of an Argentinian plan to sink a Royal Navy ship in Gibraltar harbour (foiled at the last minute by Spanish police) and an audacious British plan to land SAS soldiers in Argentina to destroy exocet-carrying aircraft while they were still on the ground.
In 1982, the average Briton didn't know the Falkland Islands existed, let alone their status as a disputed British territory just off the coast of Argentina. That changed when the Argentinians invaded the islands and overwhelmed the small defending force. Both nations claimed the islands were theirs, but now Argentina thought the British would give them up without a fight.
They were wrong.
Britain sent a task force into the South Atlantic to re-take the islands, and the short, intense war that followed was--in the words of Major-General Sir John Jeremy Moore--"a damn close-run thing."
This short history sums up the events leading up to the war and its major military actions including details of an Argentinian plan to sink a Royal Navy ship in Gibraltar harbour (foiled at the last minute by Spanish police) and an audacious British plan to land SAS soldiers in Argentina to destroy Exocet-carrying aircraft while they were still on the ground.
It was a pleasure working with Russell.
PS: Russell has written a blog post about his experience working with me. Thanks, Russell!
Want me to help with your blurb? I can do that.