Secrets of the Conqueror

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by Polycell, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. Any one else read or reading this book?
  2. Got it for christmas and just started reading it the other day. I'm maybe four/five chapters in at the moment. It's interesting, but goes off on what, currently, seem to be rather irrelevant tangents. I'm assuming they'll come back at some point later in the story. I'll give you a more articulate/well formed opinion once I've read some more/finished it.
  3. Apologies for the double post: Just finished the book about 15 minutes ago. I'm 21 and currently applying to become a submariner, so I would expect that my experience with the book will be a bit different to that of you guys that are currently serving/have served on submarines. Also, almost all my knowledge of the Falklands War comes from Admiral Sandy Woodwards fantastic 'One Hundred Days'.

    Therefore, much of the information in the book was completely new to me, especially the huge political fallout of the sinking of the Belgrano. The book gets off to quite a slow start, but after Conqueror has sunk the Belgrano it really picks up and gets a lot more interesting, it even got to the point where I was struggling to put it down. As I mentioned previously about the random tangents, some of these do come back, especially his seemingly random fascination with one Lieutenant Narendra Sethia, who adds a human element to the later half of the book which I feel really helps keep the book readable.

    That said, the author does have a bizarre taste for introducing a person and then going on to describe in great detail some event in their life, far in the future, which has tenuous links, if any, to the story being told at the time. A section where he introduces a bloke called Chris Morely and then goes on to spend the next page and a half telling us how he now calls himself Daijhi and rescued a Nepalese boy from poverty once is especially irrelevant. It smacks slightly of the author trying to pad out the book. The meat of the book concerns what happened to the crew and Conqueror after the war. These portions of the book are detailed and interesting, and this seems to come from the fact that the author was much more involved with these sections at the time they were occurring.

    I think your mileage from the book will vary on how much knowledge you have of the political aspects of the Falklands and the goings on of submarines during the Cold War. Having said that, I'm sure all but the most learned scholar on the aforementioned subjects will learn something new. I would recommend you have a 'palate cleanser' book to read after you finish this one, as certain aspects left me with a sour taste, especially the treatment of Lieutenant Sethia during the fallout of the war.
  4. Followed a couple of Googled links mentioning that of Lt Sethia which led me to an article in the Gruniad of him meeting Captain "Coco" of the Belgrano. Now that we know the Belgrano was heading East to meet up with other ships before returning to undertake a pincer movement just shows what a lying twat Coco is when he said that they were returning to Argentina.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  5. ......................I've read the book and to be honest I thought it was quite poor, with several inaccuracies; "Sink the Belgrano" also had inaccuracies but was a much better "read".
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  6. Book review

    Thanks Sogz

    Narendra Sethia

  7. Come on then what inaccuracies?
  8. Book review

    As far as I am aware, there are in fact very, very few inaccuracies.

    One is that on 7th May, when the submarine was concerned that an aircraft may have dropped a weapon on the boat, having sighted its periscope and wake. It turns out that in fact the aircraft (a C130) did sight the submarine, but was flying at very low level (less than 100 feet above sea level) on a straight supply run from the Falklands back to Argentina. They reported the position of the boat but did not drop any weapons. The Argentineans took no action.

    I, too, would be greatly interested to know what other inaccuracies there are......

  9. You're very welcome. I found the whole thing quite sickening, especially the ease with which someone's name can be smeared with very little they can do to rectify it. I was glad to see that you managed to drag out a happy ending from the ordeal.
    The story about you rowing around the St Lucia harbour selling smuggled wine to the yachts made me laugh for a very long time.
  10. Sogz - if you want a few more laughs (all true stories) you can read about my post-RN exploits at Road Junky Author Bio: Narendra Sethia

    All the tales are true!

  11. I like to move it-move it....

    Any decent jobs going? Bored out of my tits with this one, and I yearn for some sunshine.

    Yours beggingly,


    Turbulent/Courageous/Valiant/Warspite/Sealion/Opossum and some other stuff along the way.

    (We could spend many an hour swapping dits whilst getting rat-arsed.)

    [Put the pedal to the metal)

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  12. So what did you do with the control room log then Seth?? :pirate::pirate::toothy8:
  13. Read the book, Poly, there you may find that similar groundless accusations have resulted in a couple of nice little earners for yon Seth.

    Alternatively, keep watching out for the log on his ebay account...:wink:
  14. Read it mate!
  15. I have just finished the book. As a former pongo, my Regiment was not involved in the Falklands campaign, but we ended up as the resident Battalion on the Island some years later.
    A friend of mine at work was a CPO on the Conqueror and told me tales of his time in the south atlantic. On his advice I bought the book and found it to be one of the most fascinating reads that I have had.

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