Falklands

Falklands: Recalling the events leading up to Battle of Goose Green

The Argentines surrendered following two days of fierce fighting, which cost 2 PARA 17 lives, including their commanding officer.

On 28 May 1982, Argentine troops were dug in around Goose Green and nearby Darwin in the Falkland Islands.

The Second Battalion, Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) advanced to find 1,200 Argentines dug in, waiting.

A fierce battle followed that lasted 14 hours, resulting in 47 Argentines and 17 British personnel losing their lives.

Forces News has been able to gather veterans' accounts of the events which led up to the Battle of Goose Green and discover how it was first supposed to be just a raid to "duff it up and make life difficult for them (the Argentines)." 

Following amphibious landings in San Carlos, Julian Thompson, the Royal Marines Commander of 3 Commando Brigade, ordered the seizure of Mount Kent overlooking Port Stanley and a smaller assault on an enemy stronghold to the south.

Originally the 3 Commando Brigade commander had planned a raid on Goose Green.

"I'd planned we'd do a raid on Goose Green by 2 PARA, a raid not to take the place, but to duff it up and make life difficult for them," he said.

"It became a complete distraction from the real mission which was going onto Mount Kent, so I cancelled it."

However, the commander was summoned by Admiral Fieldhouse, and the problem of advancing onto Mount Kent became known, impatience grew and with "no visible progress being made", according to Mr Thompson, actions had to be taken. 

"Eventually he said 'everyone's getting very impatient, go and take Goose Green'. I said 'you mean capture it?', he said 'yes'."

Lieutenant Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones, 2 PARA's Commanding Officer, was then told to prepare his battalion for such an operation.

Former Royal Marine Commander Thompson said: "I didn't want to do it.

"My intelligence staff had described it quite correctly as a self-administering POW camp.

"You know, they'd locked themselves in there," he added.

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