The Falklands War was one of the strangest in British history - 28,000 men sent to fight for a tiny relic of empire 8,000 miles from home.
At the time, many Britons saw it as a tragic absurdity, but the British victory confirmed the quality of British arms and boosted the political fortunes of the Conservative government. But it left a chequered aftermath; it was of no wider significance for British interests and taught no lessons. It has since been overshadowed by the two Gulf Wars, however, its political ramifications cannot be overestimated. Max Hastings’ and Simon Jenkins’ account of the conflict is a modern classic of war reportage and the definitive book on the war. Republished as part of the Pan Military Classics series, The Battle for the Falklands is a vivid chronicle of a call to arms and a thoughtful and informed analysis of an astonishing chapter in the history of our times. Max Hastings, author of over 20 books, has been editor of the Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard. He has won many awards for his journalism, particularly his work in the south Atlantic in 1982.
©1983 Max Hastings (P)2014 Audible Studios
Hastings and Jenkins have provided a very detailed account of what happened before the conflict and the failure of the major powers to settle a very simple question by diplomatic means. Efforts by Great Briton, the US and Argentina to resolve the question of who should own this tiny piece of real estate went back many years but after numerous meetings by various high powered teams of negotiators agreement could not be obtained.
Argentina then took the first step by sending troops to occupy the islands, effectively challenging Great Briton to do something (or nothing as they assumed) about it.
There followed the decision to take back the Islands by force and this forms the major part of the story.
A fascinating tale of success in spite of many errors and mistakes by all those involved. Very well written and an excellent narration by Stewart
I have listened to a number of Hasting's books and have yet to find one that has proved to lack interest. All his works are well researched and, more importantly a great story to tell. His work "Bomber Command" and "The Second World War" are both highly recommended
Have not heard Cameron Stewart before. His delivery was excellent including pronunciations of the Spanish and other foreign names and places.
This book comes highly recommended.
A narrative history--well done-- as usual for Max Hastings
Hastings does make an effort to present the Falklands crisis in context of Argentine history and politics, but still rather one-sided British perspective. Other wise a very good history of the war.
This is my first Max Hastings book but it will not be the last. I often tell people that my favorite war history is a book by the name of Pegasus Bridge by Stephen Ambrose. It is a great story about a critical but small operation during the D Day landings in France.
Hastings is in that style and for those interested in learning about the last war of empire this book is a critical and beautifully assembled collection of strategic, tactical and individual narratives that allows one to see the folly of overconfidence and the instability of a world were extreme violence and loss of life can occur over the most trivial of issues.
I have ordered more Hastings books and look forward to hearing them.
Max Hastings writing makes the English language bloom with the peculiarity typical of the British. Laden with humor and wit, it conveys the story of the Falkland war in great detail. The chosen narrator is the perfect match and makes the entire experience a treat. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
"Comprehensive But Not What I Hoped For"
My first read of a Max Hastings book was the excellent "Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45" and so I thought I'd give his treatment of the Falklands war a read too. Hastings has a superb writing style that takes a holistic view of the conflict which is sprinkled with quotes, diary entries and observations from the various participants which are used and woven together to provide a great work of historical fact and analysis.
I found that I got a lesser personal perspective on the trials and tribulations of the conflict by those directly involved than in the aforementioned book. In "Nemesis", I got a deeper feeling of the combatants and civilians alike during the events depicted than I did from this book. To me, this work seemed to lack the gritty realism of prolonged first hand accounts which I had rather hoped for. That is not to say that this is not a well written and comprehensive book as it clearly is but it does not provide quite the raw flavour of combat that perhaps a memoir of those on the front lines would. From that perspective, this was not as satisfying a read as I'd hoped but again, that is more my fault than anything the author has done. In future I will seek out those books written by those directly involved for something a bit more visceral and which puts you in the shoes of those that fought.
One review, I think, compared this to the Eugene Sledge memoir "With The Old breed" which I have to disagree with wholeheartedly. Thus far, I still rate Sledge's personal accounts of his war time experiences as the best I've read to date on the sheer horror and misery of total war.
For those who are looking to read a book that is a broad canvas of the history of the Falklands war along with the back story of the ownership of the islands then this is perfect as a comprehensive treatment of that conflict. However, In its meticulous research, it also spends quite some time on the rather dry and dull background politics too which for me is uninteresting despite me understanding why the book had to include this aspect.
Reading this will certainly provide detailed insight into the events of the Falklands conflict and is an excellent overall description of the events leading to an during the war but doesn't contain enough accounts of those that fought it. Perhaps I should clarify that last remark and say that it has many partial accounts but which are very limited and more brief quotes or anecdotes comprising just two or three sentences from an account here or there rather than more lengthy substance.
Fantastically researched and complete but a little dry and reads at times like a government report.
"everything you need to know."
Tells the whole story from soldiers on the ground to the political reasons behind the war. the fact the author was on the ground during the conflict really helps give an overall picture.
if you are only going to read one book about the Falklands conflict this would be a good one.
"Arguably the most authorative work on the subject"
I've read a number of books on the subject, all were good but had a personal slant. Max Hastings gives a very truthful and balanced account with equally balanced analysis. The book is very comprehensive but flows well. The initial chapters deal well with the history of the islands and the basis for territorial claims by different sides, a useful tool for setting the context.
Overall it was gripping listen, a strong title within the Audible catalogue.
A fascinating account that is well written and flows nicely as a result. A piece of history that I lived through but was too young to remember well. Superbly read. Highly recommended.
the overall strategy was a sound and very well presented account of the war
"If you like this sort of stuff, you'll love this."
Yes, because there is a lot of information to take in and I guess you can always over look stuff that you pick up the second time around.
How the British armed forces overcame all the obstacles to achieve victory against the odds.
I don't think so, so can't compare.
The odds are stacked against the task force, who have the nations hopes and pride resting with them. Will they be victorious against this unknown enemy, and at what cost?
Awesome book, makes me what more and really gives an insight into the minds of the soldiers that fought for our nation.
Loved listening to every minute of this book
I remember it well being a schoolboy and watching it on the news every night
A great listen
A brilliantly detailed and balanced review of the conflict. This is a very informative book and shows the war through the eyes of the service personnel on both sides of the conflict, and also provides accurate portrayals of the political ramblings from both sides of the conflict. A really brilliant book.
"Makes a great audiobook."
A very good account. My one criticism is that early on he is very critical about the RN's desire for "proper" large aircraft carriers, and he doesn't make the connection that these ships would have made a massive difference and saved many lives. Otherwise an excellent book and it makes an excellent audiobook. Not all books survive the conversion to audiobook but this one does.
"Authoritative story of a modern war"
I remember how surprised I was by the invasion of the Falklands and so found the section of the book about the protracted history of the claims of sovereignty illuminating. I chose the book on the strength of Max Hasting’s superb books about the First and Second World Wars and this one is similarly scholarly and engaging as he combines historical fact with the personal experiences of the people involved in the conflict. There are vivid descriptions of the the action that get over what it was like to be engaged in battle. The author is unbiased in relating the triumphs and failures of both sides and the strengths and weaknesses of those in authority and the short-comings over supplies that undermined the effectiveness of the combatants.
As with all books about wars I was left with a feeling of sadness that so many men were maimed or lost their lives over something that should have been negotiated but for megalomania, hubris or political expediency getting in the way, but also admiring the courage and forbearance of men in the face of terrifying situations and ghastly conditions.
The narrator is excellent.
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