Vulcan 607, Dark Skys, Sink The Belgrano

Discussion in 'History' started by Stepto, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. Just finished reading these books. Do any of you guys have any first hand experience of any of the missions that these were about?

    Really interested in the role of HMS Conqueror during the Falklands and of HMS Hermes.

    I was six at the time and seeing the images on TV is one of the reasons I'm joining up now.

    Kind regards

  2. Thankfully you never watched Texas Chain Saw Massacre then :w00t:
  3. What do you want to know about Hermes? I worked on the Flight deck.
  4. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Feller. Things have changed significantly since them good ol' days. I don't think I am too far wrong in saying that the differences are as profound as they were for the smattering of post WWII verterans (who joined in the fifties and sixties) who were still present in the mob during the Falklands Conflict as they are today for those who remember what you are referring to. It's a completely different ball game. If you are referencing your 'navy' by what you have read and watched about it from 1982, you really do need to speak personally and visit ships before you join. The terminology, the uniform and the nicknames are broadly similar, but the way we run business these days is completely different.

  5. stepto,

    At 32 (ish) your a little old to be a star-struck by those images, reports and books arn't you? So much so to start a major change in your life. That said, if your serious about joining, go for it! I did for the 'second time' 3 years ago at 44..!
    Anyway, if you see an earlier post of mine you will see I was on the H for that conflict; a lad I now work with was on the C.

    I don't know what you are asking for precisely, but if I speak generally it was a very mundane period for the most part. Food was strictly rationed, this meant you were ALWAYS hungry, 'normal' work wasn't carried out, mess/bunk area was out-of-bounds in case of submarine attack, meaning you crashed where you stood/fell (although there were a sea of hammocks rigged down in the officers area where you could try and sleep if you was lucky enough to get one), WAFU's slept all the time (Chockhead :thumright: ). This intensely boring period was occassionally broken with an attack of some sort, and wasn't without its humourous events (but then thats Jack!).

    Though 'LA' quite rightly points out that times have changed since those good ol' days, one thing hasn't changed (2nd point below), and I'm sure he will agree with this.

    There's two sides to the Navy; the peacefull day-to-day routines where Jack drips, managers manage, bullshit baffles...

    The second side is the bit you are there for. To go and upset some foreign person in a far away land... and piss him off you will! But rest assured that when that poo does hit the fan, your mates/oppos/crew will gel like glue. You will be part of a team, the likes of which I dare say you have never experienced before in your life.
    You will aquire memories you will relish for the rest of your life. Some people may resent this if they are particularly bad ones but by and large you will never forget them. You will feel tested and hopefully, come through it successfully. Above all you will feel proud, and proud to be Navy.
    But beware, others won't. Both oppos and civvies. And in the fullness of time you will feel disillusioned. Thats the time for you to once more make some major choices in life.

    A very general perspective from my POV, but then, very similar to hundreds of thousands of others who stand adjacent to a stone monument every November..!
  6. Slightly off-topic, but I thought Sink the Belgrano was pretty weak. It was mostly a rehash of other people's stuff filled out with comments primarily from Graham Libby and one of the Argentine officers (the medical officer, if I remember rightly). Although Rossiter has written a number of books on the RN/RM (Ark Royal and Target Basra to name two) he still comes across in his writing like he's repeating parrot fashion what he's been told by sundry RN types. He spent a long time talking about peripheral areas and then sped through the conclusion. More on the controversy/aftermath would have been good too.

    I think there is a great story to be told about Conqueror and the Belgrano, but I don't think that book pulled it off.
  7. Have you any info to the Harrier accident involving LT/CDR G.W.R. Batt. :salut:
  8. Something I'll never forget.
    I didn't know Gordy Batt at all, but on the day he died he was Alert 5 & looking well pissed off. So with the chockheads locker next to his SHAR I gave him a cup of tea.

    Later the SHARs were tasked to do a night bombing mission, he was N0 3 off, All the SHARs launched without problems. The next thing the sky went bright orange & no sound it was totally wierd. We could see everyone on deck looking at each other as well as all the other ships round us.
    At first no one knew what happened with rumours of a ship blowing up or we had been nuked by the Argies??

    Later we found out it was Gordy Batts SHAR, there were a few speculations what had happened
    1.Fuel leak
    2.Bombs Armed
    but no one will ever know.
    I place a cross at his sea in the memorial wood at stanley last year along with one on Budgie Marsdens as well as one at Nick Taylors grave in Goose Green.
  9. Many many thanks for that info . Have you the same for L/T N Taylor . POACMN K S Casey. I Have L/T W A Curtis and LT/CDR JE Eyton Jones with NA(AH1) B Marsden with HMS Invicible ?RIP
  10. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    I'm inclined to agree with you in principle. However, we have not been 'at war' so to speak and suffered concerted attacks for many years now. The medals we accrue (and don't get me wrong here chaps) are deserved, but are hardly there for the same tempo of operations that our illustrious colleagues have them for in the sand pit, the Balkans and West Africa. We sit off shore in defence watches readied against a largley maritime impotency. We haven't seen ships sent to the bottom or witnessed the likes of the hoorors sufferec in Corporate since then. So our combat capability is tested ... true ... but with the last known reference point, namely those bleak months in 1982. As the navy slowly bleeds this experience out, soon we will find ourselves in the position we did ant the end of 1981 with our reference points based on WWII indicators (look how many 'Damage Control Saved HMS Swallermeknob' posters were pinned up around the passageways and how we made the fundamental mistakes of building our ships out of crap materials, training our staff wrongly and learning, learning and learning more by error more than by judgement. I feel that our next dust up could reveal more about or reliance on the initiatives of defence industry executives and other moneysaving shortcuts than we would care to believe. Technology doesn't fight you out of a cornier when your ops room screens go blank and you're hoping the next raid passes you by. Technology didn't save HMS Nottingham or HMS Southampton when they came croppers. It was Jack's ability to dig deep from times such as Corporate and make the system work. As we advance, we may find we lose much of that in the miasma of bullshyt that funnels out of the head shed that tells everyone who cares to listen that the new Type 45 can track and kill seven million targets and make the ships company a cup of tea whilst it is doing so. You can't beat teamwork. You can't grow teamwork with slender, demoralised ships companies and under a thin veil of crappy correctness disguised as righteous sanctity. As was mentioned, our peacetime job is 'professional tourist' and our wartime one is contracted warmakers. These days we are pulled from pillar to post trying to do it all with nothing but promises and lies. Sometime in the future all the goodwill will run out and we will be found wanting - it happened in 1982 it happened two years ago with the F99 clowns and it will happen again. Hope I'm outside when it does.

  11. Thanks guys, particulary R12 CV.

    What I was after was some flesh to put on the bones of what I have learned.

    I've got my interview in three weeks and I've been trying to do my prep as best I can.

    I know times have moved on but I'm sure that the spirit is still there?

    Kind regards.

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