Battle of Darwin and Goose Green

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Following Operation Rosario (Falklands/Malvinas War), the Argentinian occupation of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands in early April 1982, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions (2 and 3 PARA) from the British 1st Parachute Regiment were deployed as part of Brigadier Julian Thompson's 3 Commando Brigade to retake the islands in Operation Corporate.

2 PARA attacked the Argentinian garrison at Goose Green in a protracted battle that started on the night of May 27/28 and continued throughout the daylight hours. The Argentinians eventually surrendered to 2 PARA.

Task Force 'Mercedes'

The story of 'Task Force Mercedes' began on April 12 1982, when the 12th 'General Arenales' Infantry Regiment (Regimiento de Infantería 12 or RI 12) left its peacetime location in Mercedes, Corrientes Province to move to Comodoro Rivadavia, 1,200 miles on the South Atlantic coast from which they could provide a deterrent to any Chilean intervention. After an incredible journey across Entre Ríos Province and the Colorado River they reached Chubut Province replacing units from the 9th Infantry Brigade (under Brigadier-General Américo Daher).

This deployment did not eventuate because by April 18 there was evidence that a force of British ships had sailed south from Ascension Island and on April 24, the 12th Regiment as part of the 3rd (Jungle) Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Omar Edgardo Parada, redeployed to the Falklands―known in Argentina as 'Las Islas Malvinas'.

Most of the regiment with almost 800 dependants, embarked on civil aircraft on April 24 and the last elements flew out of Comodoro Rivadavia on the following day. Reaching the 'Malvinas' was like a dream to most regulars in the 12th Regiment. "There was no need for speeches," said Senior Lieutenant Ignacio Benjamín Goritti, the commander of B Company, as he recalled the regiment's departure from Comodoro Rivadavia. "From the begining we knew how important the Malvinas were. It was a kind of love; we were going to defend something that was ours." Moving into a bivouac area on the road outside Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, the 12th Regiment was ordered to Mount Kent, some 12 miles west of the capital, detaching 'B' Company to Brigadier-General Oscar Luis Jofré's 10th 'Lieutenant-General Nicolás Levalle' Mechanized Infantry Brigade as part of the Port Stanley garrison's helicopter-borne reserve.

On April 29, the 12th Regiment began deploying to the second largest settlement in the Falklands, Goose Green, and joined the first garrison, C Company from the 25th Regiment now re-designated 'Task Force Mercedes'. A small garrison consisting of Senior Lieutenant Carlos Daniel Esteban's C Company 25th 'Special' (Ranger-type) Regiment and 'Alpha' Platoon (Sección 'Alfa') from the 8th 'General O'Higgins' Infantry Regiment had already been established at Goose Green to protect a dozen FMA IA-58 Pucara ground attack aircraft there. There were also 202 Air Force personnel present at Goose Green.

Goose Green, about 44 miles west of Port Stanley, lies at a neck of land a mile wide and five miles long that prevents East Falkland being sliced in two. Halfway down the isthmus lies a long series of low hills, Darwin Ridge. It was here that Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones (Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment or 2 PARA) was killed when, followed by his bodyguard, Sergeant Barry Norman, he went off to outflank the Argentinian and was hit by automatic rifle fire from an Argentinian Army Commando sniper (Corporal Osvaldo Faustino Olmos) seconded to the 25th Regiment.

It was on April 30 that the Regimental Commander, the Operations Officer (Major Adolfo Ernesto Moore) and the Personnel Officer (Captain Pedro Horacio Lavaysse) flew in a helicopter across Wickham Heights to await the arrival of the 12th Regiment. The regimental commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Ítalo Ángel Piaggi was almost six feet tall and bore a striking resemblance to American actor Telly Savalas. At age 45, he was energetic and it was mighty hard to wear him out as was demonstrated in the battle which was to come.

Soon after their arrival Piaggi ordered Senior Lieutenant Jorge Antonio Manresa's 'A' Company to a blocking position near Port Darwin and Darwin Bay, on Darwin Ridge, and Senior Lieuteanant Ramón Duaso Fernández's 'C' Company to a similar position at Ramsground, about 2 miles south of Goose Green Settlement.

The 125 troops of the 25th 'Special' Regiment's 'C' Company waited in reserve in and around Darwin School where they regularly practiced counterattacks. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Alí Seineldín, the Argentinian Army Special Forces founder and first commanding officer, the 25th Regiment conscripts wore a shoulder patch depicting the 'Malvinas'. They were well armed, well trained and cadred by Commandos and Paratroopers.

Private Esteban Roberto Avalos fought in the Falklands as a sniper in RI 12's B Company. In all, some fifty hand-picked 12th Regiment conscripts and NCOs had also received Ranger-type training from visiting 'Halcón 8' (Falcon 8) Argentinian Army Special Forces in 1981, and then returned to their respective companies:

In my particular case, I ended up being a sharpshooter for which I had been preparing since the time we were out in the field, where I had the opportunity to shoot with a FAL. During the 45 days we spent there, we had to practice shooting three or four times a week, and those moments were taken advantage of to learn the shooting positions and familiarize ourselves with the weapon. The dealings with the superiors, in general, were excellent, although if somebody screwed up, we all paid the price. The most common punishments were taking us to the showers at night, forcing us to do push-ups or demand from us heaps of frog leaps and crawling. If someone took the wrong step, for example, it was reasonable to be pulled out of training, and they would make you 'dance' a little with push-ups on the thistles or the mud. Now, going back to the subject of instruction, I would say that it was generally satisfactory, at least as far as our group was concerned, since we had basic training in the use of explosives and we were even given some classes in self-defense."[1]

The newly arrived 12th Regiment soldiers dug positions in the freezing wind. The Argentinian winter parkas were excellent, but the danger of frostbite was always present, and the uncovered portions of their faces suffered from the biting wind. This was the start of winter, in the 'Malvinas', and the temperatures dropped well below freezing every night. The trenches were like ice chambers. The days were short, the nights endless.

Preparing clothes and equipment for battle kept the men busy. Each soldier wore a quilted Israeli-made parka. Most had woolen underclothes, sweaters, scarves, mittens and balaclavas. Each morning the Argentinian troops had green Guarani tea. It contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee; it is stimulating and helps stem the pangs of hunger. The men had the same tea in the evening. Cigarettes and chocolate bars were rationed, but each soldier had a plate of mutton soup at 3 pm.

Although straitlaced, Lieutenant-Colonel Piaggi showed more thought for his young conscript soldiers than many of his contemporaries and allowed them 'R&R' (Rest and Recreation) whenever possible.[2]"I can clearly remember it as if it was yesterday walking my platoon down from Darwin Heights to have a hot bath and a good sleep to recover,"[3]said 2d Lieutenant Ernesto Orlando Peluffo, a young platoon commander who had been a cadet only a few weeks previously.

First losses

It was not until May 1 that three Royal Navy Sea Harriers screamed in to attack Goose Green airbase at dawn. All diplomatic efforts to produce a peaceful solution to the crisis had failed, the Argentinian refusing to withdraw from the 'Malvinas'. Minutes before nine Sea Harriers had delivered twenty-seven bombs to the Stanley runway and surrounding area. Second Lieutenant Claudio Oscar Braghini, the commander of the Army 35 mm radar-guided gun detachment at Goose Green with its Skyguard fire-control radar, was taken by surprise as the fighter-bombers appeared in the horizon. One of the bombs detonated on a Pucara. The pilot (Lieutenant Daniel Antonio Jukic) was killed, together with seven Air Force mechanics who were nearby. The Argentinian anti-aircraft gunners were not to be caught dozing a second time.

Britain's military confidence suffered a knock with the downing of a Sea Harrier on May 4. At 1.45 PM Sea Harrier XZ-450 was shot down over Goose Green, caught in a stream of 35 mm fire from 3rd Troop B Battery 601st Air Defence Artillery Regiment. It went up in a ball of fire as it neared the ground. The British pilot ― Lieutenant Nicholas Taylor ― was the first British serviceman to die for Goose Green. The operator of the Skyguard, Corporal Luis Bernardo Ferreira detected the raid coming in and warned Braghini and the fire control radar picked up the three Sea Harriers twelve kilometres out at sea. Buenos Aires television which showed the mangled Sea Harrier over and over, described how a second Sea Harrier departed trailing smoke.

As a result of the British air strike, 114 inhabitants of Goose Green were kept under armed guard in the Social Hall until liberated by the British following the Battle for Goose Green. Piaggi explainied that the lockdown was necessary in order to protect the locals from "the rage of the air force men, who had lost so many colleagues."[4]

According to local farm manager Eric Goss: "Sanitation in the hall was grim. We ran out of water on the third day, the toilets were blocked and there was some dysentery. We persuaded the Argentinians to bring sea water in barrels for the toilets; and old chap, Mike Robson, did sterling work keeping them going. Two young men, Bob McLeod and Ray Robson, both radio hams, found an old broken radio, part of the club equipment, in a junk cupboard. They made this work and we listened each evening to the B.B.C. World Service; the others made noise at the windows to cover the crackling of the broadcast and we were never discovered." [5]

Indeed one local female resident reported that life in the Social Club was far from grim: "After the first week the Argentines let two women go out each day to the galley in the cookhouse, where all the men would normally eat together. They were allowed to cook up a big meal, with bread and cakes, and bring it down to the hall. Considering we were all cramped together in a small place everybody got on very well . People were generally good-natured." [6]

On May 15, 'Combat Team Güemes', 62 men strong, moved out by helicopter for the high ground around San Carlos Bay, about 12 miles to the north of Goose Green. It was comprised of 2nd Platoon C Company of the 25th Regiment, under the command of 2d Lieutenant Oscar Roberto Reyes and Sergeant Martín René Colque. They were backed by a heavy weapons platoon (under Second Lieutenant José Alberto Vázques) from A Company, 12th Regiment; it inflicted considerable losses on the British landing force on May 21, shooting down two 3 Commando Brigade helicopters fitted with machine-guns and 68mm SNEB ('Societe Nouvelle des Etablissements Edgar Brandt') rockets as they withdrew to Port Douglas Settlement.

The British claim that a downed Gazelle helicopter pilot (Sergeant Andy Evans) was mortally wounded while struggling in the water first spread like wildfire with the publication of Martin Middlebrook’s first book on the Falklands War ('Operation Corporate', Viking, 1985), who believed the mistaken claims from the locals (Thora Alazia, Suzanne McCormick and others) that Evans had been shot and killed after his helicopter ditched into San Carlos Water.

However, more recent British accounts clearly show that Sergeant Evans was already mortally wounded but alive before his Gazelle helicopter crashed into San Carlos Water. And Evans was not hit while struggling in the icy cold waters. The co-pilot, Sergeant Edgard Candlish, was also not shot and was able to swim to safety after cutting Evan’s free from the wreckage and dragging the pilot halfway to the shoreline.[7]

In 1992, the widow of Sergeant Evans called for a war crime investigation surrounding his death but the case foundered due to evidence showing his fatal injury having been caused while still flying his helicopter, rather than after the crash as mistakenly reported at the time.[8]

San Carlos

3 Commando Brigade went ashore at San Carlos on the night of May 21/22. 2 PARA (Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones) established itself on Sussex Mountain protecting the south of the beachhead without opposition. 3 PARA landed in the near Port San Carlos driving off a platoon of 40 Argentinians (under 2d Lieutenant José Vázquez), but not before shooting down 2 British Gazelle helicopter gunships.

On May 24, faced with the British beachhead at San Carlos, Brigadier-General Parada at Stanley, who had 'Task Force Mercedes' under his orders, ordered Piaggi to extend his defence perimeter to the north. Manresa's men, who had constructed a strong defence line on Darwin Ridge protected by anti-personnel mines and 250 pound aerial bombs out in front, now had to move beyond the minefields and booby-traps. In retrospect, Major Carlos Alberto Frontera, second-in-command of the 12th Regiment, said "These orders we should never have carried out." A confused 'A' Company and the Reconnaissance Platoon (under Lieutenant Carlos Marcelo Morales) now dug positions about a mile and a half north of Darwin Ridge, near Burntside Pond.

On May 26, 2 PARA was ordered to move south and engage the Argentinian 12th (Jungle) Infantry Regiment and 'Condor' Military Airbase on the Darwin Isthmus.

The Argentinians became aware of British patrolling on May 27. As Manresa's A Company dug in at new positions on Burntside Hill and Coronation Ridge, a lookout spotted three British soldiers on the forward slope of Cerritos Arroyo. "I took up position on one machinegun and with a corporal we engaged them," said 2d Lieutenant Peluffo, "It was successful, I think. If not our target got a fright."[9]

Unknown to Peluffo, an estimated 650-700 British Paratroopers[10][11]from the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) were poised to attack 'Task Force Mercedes'. Goose Green on the right flank of the approach to Stanley was a thorn on the side of 3rd Commando Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Julian Thompson. The 601st and 602nd Commando Companies along with the 601st National Gendarmerie Special Forces Squadron and Special Operations Group at Stanley could have been flown forward by helicopter and attacked the British rear from Goose Green.

Throughout May 27, Royal Air Force Harriers were active over Goose Green. One of them in responding to a call for softening up fire from Major Roger Jenner's 'C' (Patrol) Company of 2 PARA attacked Darwin Ridge and that led to its loss. As the intruding aircraft disintegrated in a stream of 20 mm fire (No. 1 Gun under Air Force Private First Class Ramón Garcés)[12]a parachute blossomed, and its pilot ― Squadron Leader Bob Iveson ― landed several miles away, near Paragon House. The shooting down of Harrier XZ-988 greatly boosted Argentinian morale.

On the eve of the first battle of the ground war there were 684 Argentinian Army personnel at Goose Green, including half a 105 mm howitzer battery (under Senior Lieutenant Carlos Alberto Chanampa) of the 4th Airborne Artillery Regiment. Air defence was provided by a battery of 20 mm Rheinmetall pieces manned by the Air Force (under Lieutenant Darío Del Valle Valazza) and two radar-guided 35 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns from the 601st Air Defence Artillery Regiment. In overall command was Wing Commander Wilson Rosier Pedrozo, but it would by Lieutenant-Colonel Piaggi's responsability to handle the coming battle. Contrary to British reports all of the airworthy Pucaras had been withdrawn to Stanley.

Darwin Parks

The British attack began under the cover of darkness of 28 May with heavy naval and artillery support.

At 3.35 AM, Major Dair Farrar-Hockley's A Company moved off on the left and attacked Burntside House believed to be occupied by the Argentinian 12th Regiment's Reconnaissance Platoon (Lieutenant Carlos Morales), but found no-one there other than four civilians. Major John Crosland's B Company started forward from the other side of Burntside Pond down the right flank with Major Philip Neame's D Company following them long the middle. With artillery support on both sides, B and D Companies were soon in close-quarter combat with the 12th Regiment's A Company (under Senior Lieutenant Jorge Antonio Manresa and Sergeant-Major Juan Carlos Coelho). During the fight for Burntside Hill, Corporal Edmundo Federico Marcial and Privates Juan Carlos Monzón, Carlos Agustín Díaz and Fernando Jesús Lugo from the 2nd Rifle Platoon (under Second Lieutenant Gustavo Adolfo Malacalza), were killed fighting No. 5 (under Lieutenant Geoffrey Weighell, B Company) with the British Paras forced to use L2 fragmentation and L84 White phosphorus (WP) grenades in order to clear the defiant Argentinian defenders. [13]

While this fighting was in progress Senior Lieutenant Carlos Chanampa and his airborne gunners from the 4th Airborne Artillery Regiment brought their Italian-built Oto Melara 105 mm pack howitzers into action with considerable accuracy. [14] Fortunately for the British parachute battalion, the damp peaty ground absorbed the impact of the shells and reduced the killing power of the splinters.[15]

Back in the Argentinian Command Post (CP) Lieutenant-Colonel Ítalo Piaggi felt that the defence of Manresa's original company positions was going to be critical at this point of the battle, so he ordered that no more ground be lost. Manresa ordered Second Lieutenant Marcelo Martin Bracco's 3rd Rifle Platoon on Coronation Ridge to hold their trenches at all cost. As the Paras continued their advance, the platoon lay in wait concealed in the terrain.

The British march became confused as companies lost touch with each other. Lieutenant-Colonel 'H' Jones' Tactical Headquarters headed for Port Darwin, but came under heavy fire from the Argentinians entrenched on Coronation Ridge. Advancing towards Darwin Settlement, three Paras in Major Philip Neame's 'D' Company were shot dead by Argentinians hunkered along Coronation Ridge. Much valuable time was lost clearing this position, but Neame's company took Coronation Ridge at about 6 AM.

The 12th Regiment's 'A' Company delayed the Paras for six hours, but with tragic loss. Twelve members of 'A' Company were killed during the night action.

Leaving No. 3 Platoon (under Second Lieutenant Guy Wallis) of A Company to provide covering fire from the north side of Darwin Bay, the remainder in the company started to circle round to take Darwin Settlement.

Perceiving an urgent need to stabilize the precarious defence line on Darwin Ridge, Piaggi ordered 24-year-old Lieutenant Roberto Nestor Estévez's 1st Rifle Platoon (C Company 25th 'Special' Infantry Regiment) to take Middle Hill, the hillock south of Coronation Ridge. As Estévez's platoon moved away from Goose Green Settlement, the green-bereted conscripts sang the 'Malvinas March' and that certainly raised their spirits. Reaching Darwin Ridge around 7 AM local time, the first British soldiers suddenly appeared out of the mist on the shoreline that was Darwin Bay.

The Argentinians mistook the British as Argentinians and greetings were exchanged at times. "It was a very confusing situation when we saw troops approaching", said 2d Lieutenant Peluffo. "At first we were not sure whether it was the enemy or part of our 12th Regiment that was withdrawing towards our line. We thought they could be our troops".[16]

Eventually shots were exchanged and the fight for Darwin Ridge really got underway. With daylight the nature of the battle changed. The British companies who had had the initiative under cover of darkness, were now caught in the open, holed up in small hollows in the ground or behind tufts of heather. The situation provided the Argentinians a brief session of revenge as they cut them down as the Paras scurried from cover in search of more suitable protection.

Supporting British mortarmen were, however, stuffing bombs down their barrels as fast they could, plastering any group large enough to engage while the machine-guns, manned by Number 3 Platoon from 'A' Company, were now engaging the Argentinian platoons from Coronation Ridge.

Lieutenant Estévez, although hit and bleeding heavily, kept his platoon organized and under control. Estévez was hit in the right leg and left arm as he moved about in the confusion encouraging his men and finally a British sniper marked him down and put a bullet into his right eye. Finding their advance route blocked by Major Farrar-Hockley's 'A' Company, Corporal Mario Rodolfo Castro took the radio from his dying lieutenant and was shot dead shortly afterwards. Private Fabricio Carrascull took over the radio and he too met the same fate.[17]But the sacrifice of Estévez's soldiers proved not to have been in vain. At 09.30 local time, 2 PARA's A and B Companies disengaged and started to withdraw.[18][19][20]

Before the British withdrawal into cover, 'H' Jones, armed with a Sterling sub-machine-gun, went up to examine the situation and ordered Major Farrar-Hockly to try outflanking to the left of the defenders. It was a fatal move. While he was leading from the front, an Argentinian Army Green Beret sniper in the form of Corporal Osvaldo Faustino Olmos found his mark, dropping Lieutenant-Colonel Jones into the Goose Green mud at about 10.30 am local time. Corporal Olmos shot the British battalion commander again within 50 metres of his position, as 'H' Jones tried to take out his trench with hand grenades.[21][22][23][24]

According to Corporal Osvaldo Olmos

Later in a British Broadcasting Corporation interview they conducted in 1996 ... they wanted to know ... how Lieutenant-Colonel Jones had been killed ... They came to Argentina and began to call in those who had manned those positions ... they called me in too ... Then I began to tell them how my battle had been ... how this guy bravely ran to me and how I shot him ... how he fell, and how he maintained an aggressive stance ... how he screamed again and finally stopped moving ... and then they (the BBC journalists and British veterans involved) took turns asking me what weapon he had, his military insignia, things about him ... Then they reveal to me at the end of the interview ... they had shown me a battlefield sketch, they had shown me photographs ... 'Do you know why we asked you so many questions about the soldier that fell near your trench and had been charging alone?' ... 'Where you mark the spot he fell ... that is the place where we found Lieutenant-Colonel Jones dead.'

[25]

Darwin Ridge

By daylight, the British attack was clearly held up by 2d Lieutenant Ernesto Orlando Peluffo's 12th Regiment platoon on Darwin Hill and 2d Lieutenant Guillermo Ricardo Aliaga's 'Alpha' Platoon (3rd Platoon, C Company from the 8th Regiment) on Boca Hill. The Paras were suffering heavy casualties, but continued to press home their attack.

An ammunition resupply by Land Rover and artillery and aggressive small arms fire stopped the many British assaults. Private Stephen Illingsworth was just 20 years old when he died during the fighting for Boca Hill. Illinsgworth, a member of 2 PARA's 'B' Company, rescued a wounded Para but was then shot dead as he strove to retrieve abandoned machine-gun ammunition to help the company, running desperately low after fierce fighting. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, although he had in fact been recommended for the Victoria Cross.[26]

The 12th Regiment platoon under Peluffo, responsible for holding the central hillock, was typical. Half of the platoon were of Guarani stock. On Darwin Ridge Peluffo and his platoon uttered cries of 'Sapukay!'. This war-cry shouted by these young soldiers with their blood up and automatic rifle in hand no doubt sounded both strange and savage to British ears. Afterwards Captain Rod Bell, a Spanish-speaking Royal Marine Commando attached to 2 PARA, had an interesting conversation with Brigadier-General Omar Parada and expressed his admiration for Peluffo. Peluffo had been a tireless platoon commander throughout the action, taking a hand in the sniping and shouting encouragement to his men. Volunteering for parachute training after the war, he served with the Argentinian Army 4th Airborne Infantry Brigade.

During a lull in the fighting the Regimental Medical Officer, Senior Lieutenant Juan Carlos Adjigogovich summoned over the radio, was up with Manresa on Darwin Ridge, organizing Private Claudio Cesar García from RI 8 and others from RI 12, to act as stretcher bearers. The respite in the action also gave Second Lieutenant Aliaga and Platoon Sergeant Carlos Geronimo Maldonado the opportunity to send one jeep loaded with 'Alpha Platoon' wounded down the track linking Goose Green and Darwin.

At this point 44 men[27]of Combat Team 'Güemes' (under Senior Lieutenant Carlos Daniel Esteban) were flown by helicopter to Goose Green. It took sixty minutes for Combat Team 'Güemes' to spread over the schoolhouse position to face an attack coming from Darwin Ridge. It is an interesting speculation that if, Combat Team 'Güemes' occupied Darwin Ridge, the British battalion would probably have been forced to withdraw and the battle might have taken a different course.

In the meantime, 'Malvinas Military Air Base' near Port Stanley, flew in support missions. The first air strike took place in the morning when a 'Grupo 3' Pucara was hit, probably by a Blowpipe shoulder-launched SAM, but the aircraft limped back to Stanley airbase. The next sortie by two more Pucaras caught two Royal Marine Scouts on their way in to evacuate Lieutenant-Colonel Jones. Captain Jeff Niblett managed to evade them, but Lieutenant Richard Nunn was killed by cannon fire and crashed down near Camilla Creek House. One of the Pucaras was later found to have crashed into high ground returning to Stanley after chasing Sea King Helicopters near San Carlos.

Not until 1.15 PM local time where the British Paratroopers able to climb Darwin Ridge and winkle the Argentinians out. Now Major Neame moved to the assistance of Major Crosland who had taken casualties in their attempt to take Boca Hill. The new plan called for D Company to outflank the stubborn defenders on Boca Hill along the seashore, which they did.

No less than 18 Argentinians were killed on Darwin Ridge, and many more wounded, including 2d Lieutenants Ernesto Peluffo and Guillermo Aliaga and Company Sergeant-Major Juan Carlos Coelho (A Company, 12th Regiment) and Platoon Sergeant Carlos Maldonado ('Alpha' Platoon). Lance-Corporal Framingham and Private O' Rourke moved among the Argentinians and began to treat the wounded. The place smelt of cordite. During the fighting, the British fired over one-thousand 81mm mortar rounds to suppress Argentinian defenders, otherwise British casualties would have been horrendous.[28]. The 25th Regiment platoon lost 5 men killed on Darwin Ridge. For their contribution to the defence, Lieutenant Estévez was posthumously awarded the Heroic Valour Cross, Corporal Castro was posthumously awarded the Gallantry In Combat Medal, and Private Carrascull received the same posthumous award for bravery. So far the British battalion had suffered 12 killed and 30 wounded.[29]

The Argentinian defenders had courageously held the ridge for over six hours against a numerically superior British force.[30]Gradually as the British companies from 2 PARA managed in early April to obtain fifty-four 7.62 mm machine-guns, they started to slowly but steadily clear the Argentinian strong-points.

Company Sergeant-Major Colin Price of A Company, who was interviewed by BBC war correspondent Robert Fox soon after the fall of Darwin Ridge, is reported to have said he "admired the way the enemy machine-gunners had fought".[31]

For exemplary leadership in the fight for Darwin Ridge, Majors Farrar-Hockley and Crosland each won the Military Cross. The Paras completed the job under Major Chris Keeble, second in command of 2 PARA. Keeble ordered 'D' Company to seize the airfield from Boca Hill, while 'C' Company moved through Darwin School to Goose Green and 'B' Company, which had reorganized, were brought forward to capture the ground south of Goose Green Settlement.

'Condor' Military Air Base ( the 'White Flag' incident)

At 2.15 PM the final British attacks began. Elements of the 1st Anti-Aircraft Regiment (under Lieutenant Darío Del Valle Valazza) of the Argentinian Air Force tried to defend 'Condor' Military Airbase, but withdrew under intense British mortar fire. However, as Major Hugh Jenner's C Company moved down the forward slope of Darwin Ridge, 2d Lieutenant Claudio Braghini brought his 35 mm anti-aircraft guns into action and they did some damage, killing one paratrooper (Private Stephen Dixon), wounding eleven and destroying Darwin Schoolhouse.[32]

Still under fire, D and C Companies headed towards the Goose Green air base while B Company circled east to cut off Goose Green Settlement. During the attack, three Paratroopers were killed in an ambush involving 'Romeo' platoon under 2d Lieutenant Juan José Gómez-Centurión (2nd Rifle Platoon, C Company, 25th Regiment).

Piaggi reasoned that the British would go for the airbase and neutralize the 20 mm anti-aircraft guns there so that reinforcement could be landed there. Accordingly he had organized 2d Lieutenant Juan José Gómez-Centurión's rifle platoon there. Gómez-Centurión had all the usual Special Forces skills. He was a trained parachutist,frogman, skilled climber and abseiler. With only 37 men, however, the platoon commander knew he had an impossible job. The task he set himself, therefore, was to hold out as long as possible. He ordered his conscripts on a rise overlooking Goose Green airbase to await the Paras. They did so, their hands tensely gripping their weapons.

Gómez-Centurión gave out the orders: only one round at a time. Lying down in the cover of trenches the Argentinians began shooting into the air in order to make the British believe that the Argentinians obstructing their advance were weak in numbers, badly trained, inexperienced and not ready for an all-out assault. It was a ruse. Gómez-Centurión was waiting for the British to swarm forward in one human wave and then wipe them out with grenades and automatic fire. He kept his 3rd Section back in reserve. To assist Gómez-Centurión the Pucaras from Stanley were to provide a napalm strike on those Paras that had survived.

According to Private Graham Carter from 12 Platoon, D Company, 2 PARA:

We found the first enemy position when one of the lads actually fell into a trench. There were weapons and ammo all covered in mud, just left there. They'd all bugged out, so we never saw anybody. After an hour or so, we began getting effective fire on us. We started taking cover when we heard rounds whistling around us ... we saw who was firing at us and fired back .... the section commander (Corporal Paul Sullivan) who was behind me, was hit in the knee and screamed out, and then took two more straight through the head and was killed. I got on the radio to bring up some reserves into the dead ground to the left - to go through the enemy position. When they arrived back, the sergeant sent me back to see if Paul could be helped. It was no use. He'd gone.[33]

What happened is well known is well known among members of the Argentinian platoon. The Argentinian fire eventually slackened and died. Then 2d Lieutenant James Barry, 29, came out to urge the Argentinians to surrender, promising good treatment. Gómez-Centurión had wondered for a moment, "Are the English in such a bad state that surrender is their only option? Well best for us." The 25th Regiment platoon commander answered Barry succinctly, in perfect American English: "Son of a bitch! You've got two minutes to return to your lines before I give the order to open fire: Get out of here!"[34]

Barry started walking back and was just climbing over a barbed wire cattle fence when the rattle of machine-gun fire came from the British machine-gun platoon on Darwin Ridge. The 25th Regiment platoon was hit by machine-gun fire and Corporal Héctor Rubén Oviedo was killed. The enraged Argentinians opened fire and Barry was killed. Lance-Corporal Nigel Smith then tried to fire a 66mm anti-tank rocket using his left shoulder as the cattle fence was obstructing his aim. Although the British NCO managed to fire the projectile, its "back blast" hit him the face and chest and Smith soon succumbed to his injuries.[35]

Private John Graham from No. 11 Platoon (under Lieutenant Chris Waddington) D Company, told a different account of the incident: "I saw the white flag incident; I was in 11 Platoon. We were going up the hill and the flag went up. The officer called the sergeant, and the got halfway up the hill. Bang! They let rip into them. Killed them. One guy was hit in the knee and one of the bastards (Ricardo Andrés Austin or Jose Luis Allende) came forward and shot him in the head. He moved forward out of his position and shot him."[36]

During that fight the British Paratroopers watched transfixed for a moment, while two conscripts, Ricardo Andrés Austin and Jose Luis Allende, crawled towards them, one trying to draw their rifle fire, while the other clutched hand grenades. Then they were shot. Both Argentinians received posthumously the Gallantry In Combat Medal.[37]

The fighting for Goose Green airbase was cold, hard and brutal. 'Romeo' Platoon ambushed Number 12 Platoon, killing three men. Captain Hugh McManners in 'The Scars of War' (HarperCollins, 1993) noted that:

He (Private Graham Carter) had been involved in a savage ambush which, as the Paras regained their initiative and fought back, turned into a vicious gun battle. His platoon commander had been killed, and his section effectively put out of action, with section commander (Corporal Paul Sullivan) killed and 2 ic (Lance-Corporal Nigel Smith) seriously wounded. Despite being the most inexperienced man in the platoon, Private Carter had fought off the enemy, attended to the wounded, then got control of the section and called up the rest of the platoon to make a counterattack- all under continuous fire.[38]

Only at about 5.45 pm did Gómez-Centurión realize that his ambush had gone seriously wrong and that he was being trapped. Unfortunately for the Argentinians, the platoon's radio was damaged and the 120 mm mortars at Goose Green Settlement couldn't be used. Gómez-Centurión yelled to his platoon to get out and his men hurried away in good order, dragging their wounded. Sergeant García continued to hold his position with his machine-gun against repeated British attempts to cut their withdrawal route. But the Argentinian platoon sergeant was eventually shot dead through the head, shoulder and spine. His bravery was later recognized by the award of the Gallantry In Combat Medal.[39][40]while Álamo won the Argentinian Military Commendation Medal (Medalla al Merito Militar) for helping, along with his platoon commander, cover the Argentinian withdrawal.

Private Carter led the dispersed paratroopers forward in a counter-ambush to clear the Argentinian positions, winning the Military Medal in the process. Second Lieutenant Gómez-Centurión disengaged, and covered by Private Domingo Víctor Álamo[41], managed to join the survivors of his platoon.

Sergeant John Meredith, armed with a machine-gun, saw gobsmacked 2d Lieutenant Barry and Corporals Sullivan and Smith shot dead in the ambush. The British platoon sergeant showed “outstanding gallantry and leadership” by taking command of several men in No. 12 Platoon and joining Corporal Carter in the counter-attack to take the disputed airbase, and in so doing saved the lives of five of his pinned down Paratroopers.[42]

During the action at Goose Green airbase two naval Aeromacchis from Stanley attacked Major Philip Neame's D Company and one of them was shot down by a Blowpipe missile at 4.36 pm.[43]The jet crashed, and its pilot (Lieutenant Daniel Enrique Miguel) was killed. Shortly after 5 pm two Pucaras attacked British troops near the airbase. The second Pucara was caught in a blizzard of small arms fire, which caused the Argentinian pilot (Lieutenant Miguel Antonio Cruzado) to eject among British troops and was taken prisoner.

Argentinian surrender

As night fell some Paras in Darwin School began to snipe at Goose Green Settlement and in response 2d Lieutenant Claudio Braghini concentrated his 35 mm guns on the schoolhouse, and the building was destroyed. During this time 2 PARA's D Company came under heavy fire from the 35 mm guns, and a splinter hit Private Steve Dixon in the chest and killed him.[44]It was here that the British advance stalled again. Under heavy mortar fire 2 PARA's C Company had no choice but to withdraw into the safety of the shoreline of Carcass Bay. Just as their position seemed quite hopeless, three Royal Air Force Harrier jets swept overhead, almost at ground level, and their cluster bombs and rockets rained down on where the two Army 35 mm guns were gathered, knocking out the generator for the radar-guided guns. [45]

It was 5.30 PM when 62 men[46]from Combat Team 'Solari' (B Company 12th Regiment) landed by helicopters at Ramsground. Mindful of the possibility of being counterattacked, Major John Crosland decided to pull back B Company and go firm on high ground near Boca Hill.

Major Chris Keeble took stock of the situation and estimated that one in six of the British Paratroopers had been killed, wounded or injured in the fighting so far: "In that dusk, I then took stock of our position. It was bitterly cold, it was snowing, one in six of us had either been killed or injured and they were lying around us. Our logistic supply had not really reinforced all our ammunition. We were very short on ammunition, and we were exhausted. We had been fighting for something like sixteen hours and we still had not achieved the mission."[47]

A fierce sniper battle ensued with 2d Lieutenant Orlando Lucero's 12th Regiment platoon, now dug in among some sheep shearing sheds in Goose Green Settlement's outskirt along with 2d Lieutenant José Alberto Vázques and his men.[48]There were some close calls, and Private John Burridge from 12 Platoon, D Company, was wounded and a Wessex helicopter was hit by machine-gun fire from this mixed force and forced to seek shelter in San Carlos.[49]

Time was running out for 'Task Force Mercedes'. The settlement was encircled, artillery shells and mortar rounds were pounding the outskirts. The situation at Goose Green was such that Major Oscar Ramón Jaimet's B Company from the 6th 'General Viamontes' Regiment at Stanley Common (Camp), was ordered to concentrate near Murrell River and given a warning order to be prepared to move by helicopter to Mount Simon in a spoiler move. By then, however, Piaggi, surrounded and threatened with aerial attack, offered to surrender his force to the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment and the helicopter-borne operation was cancelled. Piaggi had received orders from Parada to resist as long as his troops were physically capable of doing so, but allowing Piaggi to be the judge.

Negotiations with the Argentinians produced their surrender the next day. The Argentinian troops had a short parade, burned their regimental flag and lay down their weapons. Around 50 Argentinians were killed and 140 wounded[50], with the 'The Official History of the Falklands Campaign' reporting that 961 Argentinians were captured. The British Paratroopers at the time reported a much larger count of 250 Argentinians killed and 1,600 prisoners. British losses in 2 PARA were 15 killed and 64 wounded.[51][52]The men of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment were completely exhausted with only 190 men left standing and able to continue fighting on May 29, according to Private David Brown from C Company 2 PARA.[53]A Sea Harrier pilot (Lieutenant Nick Taylor on May 4), a Royal Engineer (Corporal Michael Melia on May 28), a Scout pilot (Lieutenant Richard Nunn on May 28) and a Gurkha (Lance-Corporal Budhaprasad Limbu on June 24) were also reported killed taking and clearing Goose Green.

Aftermath

The Battle of Darwin and Goose Green was a resounding British military victory against a resolute and well dug-in enemy. But many within the Task Force and 2 PARA itself, questioned the need to fight a strong enemy force, which could have been isolated and bypassed.

It also came as a profound shock that a largely conscript force could fight so determinedly for several hours against highly professional British Paratroopers.[54]The skill and bravery of the Argentinian Air Force had already been proven and recognized, but the Argentinian defense of Darwin and Goose Green was a salutary experience.[55]

The fighting showed that "H" Jones was a strict CO who had to have complete control over every aspect and demanded his company commanders to not stray from the battle plan. Major Neame was the only officer who commanded his company with flexibility and allowed initiative among his officers and NCOs, something which benefited his platoons greatly.[56]

History was not kind to Lieutenant-Colonel Piaggi. Because he surrendered on Argentinian Army Day he was forced to resign from the Argentinian Army. And his military competence was called into question.

The performance of Lieutenant-Colonel Piaggi, was better than British and Argentinian assessments would indicate. During the battle, Piaggi did not panic when he was out of touch with what was happening and took up the reins as soon as it became possible. At no time did he completely surrender the initiative―his artillery, mortars and anti-aircraft guns and infantry were used to counter every move made by the British. At the critical point his rifle platoons plugged the gaps. On a personal level, his calm and determination inspired his men in the line of fire. During the evening fighting, Lieutenant-Colonel Piaggi and Major Moore were observed rallying the troops and Piaggi had stood exposed while cursing and firing several 9 mm rounds from his side-arm at one of the 3 low-flying GR-3 Harriers sent to obliterate his 35 mm anti-aircraft guns.[57]

After a long fight in the military and civilian courts, Piaggi had his retired military rank and pension reinstated. He died in 2012.

In 2007, stories emerged that Argentinian soldiers had booby-trapped bicycles and the doll of a 5-year-old girl (Sarah Clement, daughter of future Falklands politician Mike Summers) at Goose Green[58], but no mention is made of this in the 'Falklands - The Islanders' War' (2012) documentary in which the producers got the chance to interview the Goose Green residents that had been rounded up and locked up after the British air attack on May 1. Nor is there any mention of this in Graham Bound's book 'Falkland Islanders at War' (Pen & Sword, 2006) that details the experiences of the Falklanders in Port Stanley, Goose Green and elsewhere during the Argentinian occupation.

In 2016, retired Lieutenant-Colonel Carlos Alberto Frontera traveled to Britain to meet his opposing number at Goose Green. On May 23, Frontera met with retired Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Keeble, then lecturing at Oxford University who received him with much courtesy. Both made a speech in honour of the fallen on both sides. During dinner that evening and accompanied by their wives, Keeble surprised all those present when he presented Frontera a token of friendship; the battle flag mast of the 12th Regiment his paratroopers had been able to recover from the seabed after the Argentinian surrender.[59]

References

  1. Esteban Roberto Avalos, clase 1962
  2. "Decidimos hacer una especie de centro de recuperación, donde por grupos los soldados llegaban, descansaban un par de días, secaban su ropa y se los alimentaba bien para que estuvieran en mejores condiciones." Partes de Guerra: Malvinas 1982, Graciela Speranza, Fernando Cittadini, p. 62, Edhasa, 2005
  3. Blood and Mud at Goose Green, David Aldea & Don Darnell, Military History, April 2002
  4. Making Their Dispositions Accordingly: Civilian Experiences of the 1982 Falklands War
  5. Operation Corporate: The Falklands War, Martin Middlebrook, p. 169, Viking, 1985
  6. Speaking Out: Untold Stories from the Falklands War, Michael Bilton, Peter Kosminsky, Trafalgar Square, 1989
  7. ‘Flying Marines: A History of Royal Marines Aviation’ (available online)
  8. "Sergeant Andy Evans from Landrake in Cornwall, had been married to his wife Julie for 12 years. They had two little children, Samantha and Mark. Ten years after the war, his widow called for an investigation of his death but the case foundered due, it appears to his fatal injury having been caused before his crash, rather than after as inferred by his co-pilot's statement." The Falklands War: Then and Now, Gordon Ramsey, pg, 194, After The Battle, 2009
  9. Blood and Mud at Goose Green, David Aldea & Don Darnell, Military History, April 2002
  10. British Attackers Said to Dominate Hills Near Stanley
  11. The pity of war: what a paratrooper’s tale can teach us about humanity
  12. Malvinas: la historia del excombatiente dado por muerto y que rechazó una invitación de la TV inglesa
  13. "The first attempts at clearing them had little impact. After we laid down some fire on each trench, Neil Dance's half section went forward and threw L2 grenades into it. These proved to be worse than useless and the Argentinians were soon firing back at us with machine-guns and FN rifles. With the weight of fire they threw up, who knows how none of us got killed ... Having no luck with the L2 grenades, some of the lads began throwing Willie Petes (white phosphorus grenades) into the Argie trenches. In a blinding flash, the chemicals burned and we heard the screams." CQB: Close Quarter Battle, Mike Curtis, p. 118, Random House, 1998
  14. Malvinas desconocida: el artillero descendiente de un cacique diaguita que luchó 36 horas sin dormir para no rendirse ante los ingleses
  15. Meanwhile the weight of fire seemed to increase rather than diminish; artillery and mortar rounds were landing all around us and it was a miracle that I hadn't seen any casualties. It was only much later that I learned the reason. If the weather and terrain had been dry, the whole company would probably have been wiped out. Instead, a lot of the artillery shells and mortars were landing in peat bog and either not exploding or having the sodden earth take the sting out of the blast. Ironically, we'd been complaining constantly about the horrible tabs and our rotting feet, yet if the conditions had been any different, we'd have died within hours. CQB: Close Quarter Battle, Mike Curtis, p. 121, Random House, 1998
  16. Blood and Mud at Goose Green, David Aldea & Don Darnell, Military History, April 2002
  17. " El Tte. Estévez murió en la acción. El Cabo Castro se hizo cargo del equipo de comunicaciones y continuó trasmitiendo, pero al ser alcanzado por proyectiles rasantes que incendiaron su cuerpo, moría poco después." Malvinas: Relatos de Soldados, Martín Antonio Balza, p. 31, Círculo Militar, 1986
  18. "These British reverses occurred between 9.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. It took two hours for 2 Para's second-in-command to reorganize the attack." The Falklands War, D. George Boyce, p. 131, Macmillan International Higher Education, 2005
  19. "The Argentine platoon, commanded by Lieutenant Estevez, which had fewer men than its British counterpart, entered the fray. Ahead of them was British Company B, advancing from the west. The lieutenant reached the first line and was able to block the enemy by penetrating to Boca Hill, from which, although wounded, he started calling his artillery's range. He thus succeeded in holding up the advance of the British paratroops, inflicting heavy casualties, as he covered the withdrawal of the 12th Infantry Regiment. Estevez fell, mortally wounded by enemy fire, but not before he had proved himself in combat. His dying order was to his squad leader, who continued to call the artillery's range. The position was being riddled by British fire, and the squad leader soon succumed to the withering hail. A private took up the position and soon joined his companions. But the sacrifice of these brave Argentinians proved not to have been in vain. At 0930 hours, the enemy broke off the attack and began to withdraw." The History of the South Atlantic Conflict, Rubén Oscar Moro, pp. 259-260, Praeger, 1989
  20. "They found it impossible to move down the forward slope facing Boca House under intense mortar and machine-gun fire and were driven back over the crest." VC Heroes - The True Stories Behind Every VC Winner Since World War Two, Nigel Cawthorne, p. ?, Kings Road Publishing, 2012
  21. Goose Green carnage "served no purpose", The Guardian, Thursday, July 11, 1996
  22. 'The Battle of Goose Green', Secret History: Season 4, Channel 4, 1996
  23. La muerte de un coronel británico en Malvinas
  24. According to Dan Snow and Peter Snow, "The Argentine corporal in that trench, Osvaldo Olmos, remembers seeing Jones charge past him alone, leaving his followers in the gully below. Olmos said he was astonished at Jones's reckless bravery: his shots, fired from behind, may have been the ones that brought Jones down." 20th Century Battlefields, Dan Snow, Peter Snow, p. 282, Random House, 2012
  25. ENTREVISTAMOS AL SM VGM DE INF (R) OSBALDO FAUSTINO OLMOS
  26. Doncaster soldier becomes second town victim of Falklands War
  27. "Calvi gives slightly contradictory timings for them, but it is clear that on 28 May 44 reinforcements arrived from Regiment 25, and 62 from Regiment 12." Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green, Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, p. 10, James Clarke & Co., 2006
  28. "Nevertheless, the section's two mortar crews had fired over 1,000 bombs in the two hours of the A Company action, the mortars themselves sinking further and further into the soft peat until eventually only their muzzles were visible." Para!: Fifty Years of the Parachute Regiment, Peter Harclerode, p. 329, Arms & Armour Press, 1992
  29. "So ... after nearly six hours, the battle for Darwin Hill was over, but not without grievous loss: the Commanding Officer, the Adjutant, A Company Second-in-Command and nine junior non-commisssioned officers and soldiers were killed and thirty wounded." No Picnic: 3 Commando Brigade in the South Atlantic, Julian Thompson, p. 91,Leo Cooper, 1985
  30. "First B Company, then D Company, then Support Company were eventually involved in the battle for Boca House. It was a complicated engagement, the great bulk of it conducted at long range. It started at the same time as A Company made its rush for the gorse gully, just as it got light, and finished with the surrender of the Argentines south of Boca House some six hours later." The Battle for Goose Green: A Battle is Fought to be Won, Mark Adkin, p. ?, Casemate Publishers, 2017
  31. "Price of 'A' Company, who had come down from Darwin Hill to fetch ammunition. He confirmed that the colonel had been killed and I taped a short interview with him. He said he admired the way the enemy machine-gunners had fought." Eyewitness Falklands, Robert Fox, p. 180, Methuen, 1982
  32. Goose Green The Argentinian Story
  33. The Scars of War, Hugh McManners, p. 125, HarperCollins, 1993
  34. Blood and Mud at Goose Green, Military History, David Aldea & Don Darnell, April 2002
  35. "Our 2ic Smudge (Lance Corporal Nigel Smith) then tried to fire a 66 using his left shoulder as the fence was in the way. Although he got the rocket off, its backlash took him in the face and chest, so he was in a bad way. I tried to go back to give him first aid, but was hit in the helmet, so I scurried back into my little hollow. Up front the medic and signaller were flapping, and we had a bit of mucking about ... Brummy (Private Brummie Mountford) and I tried again to use the GPMG. A sniper was doing all the damage, from a dip in the ground about 200 metres away. He moved and we saw him. I put half a magazine into him and he curled up like a cat. I knew I'd hit him, so I finished him off with the rest." The Scars of War, Hugh McManners, p. 177, HarperCollins, 1993
  36. The World's Elite Forces, Bruce Quarrie, p. 18, Berkley Books, 1988
  37. Honrando el valor de los bravos del 25
  38. The Scars of War, Hugh McManners, p. 125, HarperCollins, 1993
  39. "'C' Company sustained heavy losses and 'D' Company also saw some extremely fierce fighting, particularly No. 12 Platoon of 'D' Company, who managed to fight off an ambush before Private Graham Carter led the men forward at bayonet point to take the airfield. The RI 25 Platoon fled, and, single-handedly covered by Sergeant Sergio Ismael García, managed to escape." Paratroopers, RW Press
  40. "Desempeñándose como Encargado de Sección en un contraataque y al quedar fuera de servicio una ametralladora, se hizo cargo de ella, abriendo el fuego con eficacia, provocando la detención del avance enemigo en su sector. Posteriormente, al efectuar una maniobra para silenciar las armas pesadas enemigas que lo batían y próximo a alcanzar el objetivo, ofrendó su vida." Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino, p. 56, Ejército Argentino, 1983
  41. A 35 años de Malvinas: "Hay que transmitirle a los jóvenes que la guerra no es el camino correcto, sino el diálogo"
  42. Falklands War hero who witnessed notorious ‘white flag’ incident to sell his nine medals
  43. "1636 hs – Un Pucará reitera su suicida pasada de ataque a la infantería enemiga. Estalla en el aire en el límite Oeste de Ganso Verde y se pierde en el mar. Saludo militarmente, rindiendo honores al piloto, en dirección al punto de impacto." Defensa y Caída De Darwin y Pradera Del Ganso
  44. Major Philip Neame: "One (35mm) round landed quite some way on the track and the shrapnel splinter hit one of my soldiers (Steve Dixon) a few yards in front of me. This lad took several minutes, many minutes to die in front of us." Channel 4: The Battle of Goose Green (1996)
  45. Al pie del cañón: las grandes hazañas de los artilleros argentinos en Malvinas
  46. "Calvi gives slightly contradictory timings for them, but it is clear that on 28 May 44 reinforcements arrived from Regiment 25, and 62 from Regiment 12." Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green, Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, p. 10, James Clarke & Co., 2006
  47. Channel 4: The Battle of Goose Green (1996)
  48. Entrevista Nº 7: Soldado Conscripto Clase 63 VGM Carlos Landaida - RI 12 (available on YouTube)
  49. Falklands: The Air War, Rodney A. Burden (et al), Arms & Armour Press, 1986
  50. Malvinas: Otras Historias, Rubén Oscar Palazzi, p. 202, Claridad, 2006
  51. "All the 64 wounded in the fight for Goose Green had survived and were now in the hospital ship Uganda. It was all down to their basic fitness, plus the wonderful work done by the Regimental Medical Officer of 2 Para, Captain Steve Hughes and his battlefield medic teams." Memories of the Falklands, Iain Dale, p. 73, Politico's, 2002
  52. "Throughout the afternoon, helicopters arrive and unload wounded human cargo. Later, we tot up the numbers; nearly 80 casualties have been processed through the dressing station with 47 actually operated on under general anaesthetic." The Red and Green Life Machine: A Diary of the Falklands Field Hospital, Rick Jolly, p. 75, Century Publishing, 1983
  53. "An average battalion strength is about 650 ... There were echelons and signals and various other units ... and that morning we had only 190 men left to fight." Ordinary Heroes: Untold Stories from the Falklands Campaign, Cristopher Hilton, The History Press, 2011
  54. "Despite their defeat, the conscripts at Goose Green had shown themselves willing and able to resist fiercely from fortified positions. In this, the Argentinians, so many of whom were of Italian stock, were fighting in the Italian way, so reminiscent of World War II." Fight for the Falklands!, John Laffin, p. 143, Chivers Press, 1982
  55. "His men had fought a battle with insufficient combat support and had forced 2 Para to fight a long battle by night and day, longer than any other Argentine commander would do ... Piaggi confounded Jones's theory 'Hit them really hard and they will fold', but he was forced to resign his commission. For the second time during the week Argentine troops had stood their ground and it was only when resistance was seen to be futile that withdrawal and surrender were contemplated." Nine Battles to Stanley, Nick Van Der Bijl, Pen & Sword, 2018
  56. To what extent does the Battle for Goose Green reveal command problems in the British army of the period?, James Wallis, University of Kent
  57. "1810 hs - Dos ataques aéreos enemigos sobre los puestos de comando y posiciones de la 601 antiaérea a tan baja altura que no vacilo en vaciar furiosamente mi pistola 9mm sobre uno de ellos." Ganso Verde, Italo Angel Piaggi, p. 82, Sudamericana/Planeta, 1986
  58. 25 years on
  59. Alberto Frontera, héroe de Malvinas