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Telegraph: David Hart Dyke, The Captain Of HMS Coventry, On The Loss Of His Ship

Handler

War Hero
A very interesting and poignant account, from someone who has obviously thought a lot about his involvement there and since.
 

Sharkey

Banned
One bit says he pulled over and asked if anyone wasnt up for it, four said no so they were swapped with four from another ship,and sent home, was that done throughout the taskforce
 

trelawney126

War Hero
Certainly not on my war canoe, we were a proper ships company. We were made aware on our commissioning ceremony what was expected of us. Haven't met anyone who complained about going to war, most of those who were not sent tried their level best to get down there. I wouldn't expect that in this professional navy you'd be given the option either, the matelots joining today are of the same calibre as they were in 82. Only in today's navy they have to fight harder to get in it, and prove professionally that they too can do the job.
 

Sharkey

Banned
One of my jobs in the attack team was to push the fire button, the skipper took me to one side and asked if I was "OK" with that, at the time I thought it a strange question, I joined the Royal Navy, I took it for granted that meant if it came to a fight I would be expected to fight, and if I wasnt then I should look for another job, I wonder if there was any follow up on the blokes that said not for me chief?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
So far as I'm concerned the practice of offering service personnel the opportunity to "opt out" is piss-poor, weak management, if that's what actually happened. It actually flies in the face of the prosecution of service personnel not willing to deploy to Afghanistan in an operational capacity.

So far as I am aware that the only people that were ever offered the chance to "opt out" of the conflict were NAAFI staff & Chinese laundrymen.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Still the argument rages whether Coventry cut-off Broadswords firing arcs and the fact that whilst Sam Salt took command of HMS Southampton, Hart-Dyke never "drove" another ship. Then again few "4-ringers" go to sea twice at that rank, to be fair.

Perhaps a signal worded thus would hardly be considered "Nelsonian" to their Lordships, even if tragically proved 100% correct:

Hart Dyke said:
: “I tried desperately not to be in that position and sent a very strong signal to the Admiralty, saying 'I am vulnerable, it’s too dangerous here’.”


 

Waspie

War Hero
Certainly not on my war canoe, we were a proper ships company. We were made aware on our commissioning ceremony what was expected of us. Haven't met anyone who complained about going to war, most of those who were not sent tried their level best to get down there. I wouldn't expect that in this professional navy you'd be given the option either, the matelots joining today are of the same calibre as they were in 82. Only in today's navy they have to fight harder to get in it, and prove professionally that they too can do the job.

As one who was was on the only naval air squadron NOT to go south in 82 we were, to a man, well pissed off that we weren't going. To watch the news nightly of the ships departing and knowing we weren't included was like we weren't invited to the best piss up of the century.

All the hype about were staying and providing SAR cover and training the ASW crews didn't do anything to mask our utter disappointment at not going.

I have nothing but admiration for those who did take part. For me it's like a part of my naval career missing.
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Book Reviewer
"Destroyer" (2014)

"Set during the Falkland War between Britain and Argentina, 'Destroyer' is the true story of vital British warship HMS Coventry, which was unexpectedly attacked by Argentine Air Forces on 25 May 1982, with tragic results."

Based on the book "4 Days in May", with scenes being filmed in Malta and the UK, and also on board HMS Edinburgh.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
As one who was was on the only naval air squadron NOT to go south in 82 we were, to a man, well pissed off that we weren't going. To watch the news nightly of the ships departing and knowing we weren't included was like we weren't invited to the best piss up of the century.

All the hype about were staying and providing SAR cover and training the ASW crews didn't do anything to mask our utter disappointment at not going.

I have nothing but admiration for those who did take part. For me it's like a part of my naval career missing.


With you on that Waspie - I was on Mech's course at the time and we all felt like spare parts - very difficult to explain, but I think you summed it up.
 

Guzzler

War Hero
Can relate to the above. I was at Mercury on CTs course and me and my oppo practically begged the OIC to 'send us to war', but of course we got a big FO pill as the ships were fully manned, the course we were on was already costing the taxpayer a zillion pounds, and who wanted a fat golly and confused scribbler anyhow?

I think I'm probably among many of my generation who feel a small guilt for not 'being there' - something which I didn't feel whilst sitting out the Iraq thing a few years later as well.
 
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