Si vis pacem, para bellum
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari, book 3
Anthony Williams, HM Ambassador to Argentina, 1.4.82 (allegedly)
There will be many books published and re-published to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of our victory in the Falklands. This is the one to start with.
Command of the Ice Patrol Ship must have been the most unusual Captain’s job in the Royal Navy. Besides a conventional naval presence - in an area where Defence Diplomacy presents unusual challenges, and relating to a continent where national jurisdiction is not well defined - there was support to be given to the British Antarctic Survey, the Scott Polar Institute, and other scientific bodies, and continuing hydrographic tasks for which the ship was additionally equipped. The 1980 HMS Endurance also carried an intelligence gathering suite in advance of anything in any other British warship, and its manning included fluent Spanish speakers. In 1980-2 there was also support needed for several BBC and other filming projects. There was a responsibility to the Governor of the Falkland Island Dependencies which included taking the Governor on an annual tour of his parish. The MoD, the Department of Education and Science, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office jostled for priority, and presumably back in Whitehall reams of paper poured forth contesting funding for what, although basically unarmed, was from 1975 to 1982 the only regular British warship presence in the entire southern hemisphere. Barker explains all this and, even without the war which comes upon him in the second half of the book, he provides an entertaining and comprehensive guide to this (to most of us) unfamiliar area.