The following introduction is as provided by Pen and Sword:
In May 1982, Captain Roger Field, The Blues and Royals, attached to HQ 5th Infantry Brigade, sailed on the Queen Elizabeth 2 as part of the second wave to liberate the Falkland Islands. Surprised by what he saw at Brigade HQ he started writing a diary.
His journey took him to Fitzroy as the Argentinean aircraft struck the landing ships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram. A chance meeting led to him joining the Commanding Officer of 2 Para for the Battle of Wireless Ridge. When the Paras lost the commander of one of their four The Blues and Royals armoured cars part way through the battle Roger took command of that Scimitar. He fought the rest of the battle from the turret. Next day his Scimitar was at the very tip of the spear as 2 Para and The Blues and Royals led the victorious charge into Port Stanley; Max Hastings hanging onto the back of his vehicle.
‘Revisionist’ in places and always refreshingly candid, this account is unique as it describes the War from the viewpoint of a staff officer, infanteer and armoured vehicle commander. A gripping read.
This book titled is authored by Roger Field and titled ‘Scimitar into Stanley’. This is a hard backed book offering from Pen and Sword offering 208 pages and 35 photographs. The book is presented in the following chapters:
Chapter 1 - Queen Elizabeth2, Southampton Docks, 12 May 1982
Chapter 2 – QE2 Sailing
Chapter 3 – Sailing South
Chapter 4 – Stiff Upper Lips
Chapter 5 – Africa
Chapter 6 – Tropical Torpor
Chapter 7 – Active Service
Chapter 8 – Towards Grytviken, South Georgia
Chapter 9 – Grytviken to Bomb Alley
Chapter 10 – Ashore
Chapter 11 – Tractors at Darwin
Chapter 12 – The Power of Command
Chapter 13 – Blooded but Unbowed, Wazzock
Chapter 14 – Playing with the Paras
Chapter 15 – Berets on Helmets off – The Fog of War
Chapter 16 – The Battle of Wireless Ridge
Chapter 17 – The Fog of Victory
Chapter 18 – The Spoils of War
Chapter 19 – Windsor
This book is one of those that tells a person’s experience of war and any of you who have been to war or on active operations will feel right at home here. The author despite being an officer presents himself well and has a very British sense of humour with the military twists installed on top. The book starts with the will we, won’t we and the constant stand by stand down before moving onto the mad rush of getting your kit and you to a specific place at a specific time and mounting up before going to war.
You then get the hours of boredom with time only being taken up with the task of avoiding work (you know how it works always carry a piece of paper and you will be left alone). The time when things begin to change is when you enter the war zone and you are in charge of not just keeping yourself alive but also those under you, or at least no letting them die due to a cock up. The severity of the cock ups during the Falklands Campaign were brought home to me by the section covering the Royal Artillery and Parachute Regiment not being informed about 600 Scots Guards coming in by sea and nearly engaged by friendly forces (And we wonder how blue on blue happens!) As you continue to follow this man’s war you begin to wonder how we ever won as it is a list of issues from equipment not supplied or available to a lack of communication resulting in attempts to kill troops on your side.
For those who have never been to war or served then this book gives the kind of insight into the events faced in times of war, the trials and tribulations faced in this case by an officer, but similar issues faced by all military personnel regardless of rank or arm of service. The author has presented his Falklands War in a way that makes it very readable and bounces from fun to action along the way in a way that enthrals the reader.
This is a great read due to the style in which it is presented that makes for a book that makes you want to follow the story. Fun and frolics are covered along with death and destruction, and I think everyone who has served or knows someone who has served will see something of the person they know in this story. If you ever meet the author give him a sip of Whisky as it may take him back to another place and a younger person with more of a story to tell.