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  • Bbc 21:00 Hrs

    Friday night next BBC 2 AT 21:00 HRS SOUND GOOD

    21:00 Sea of Fire (T) The story of British warship HMS Coventry, attacked by Argentinean Skyhawk fighters during the Falklands conflict, told by the surviving crew members and their captain

  • #2
    On Now.


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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    • #3
      awesome documentary, those boys really earned their pay.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rooster View Post
        awesome documentary, those boys really earned their pay.
        A very well made and moving documentary. You could feel the tension, grief and sadness. Equally the euphoria at the homecoming on the QE2. Still thinking about it this morning.
        Test Pilot
        2/Lt
        Last edited by Test Pilot; 2 June 2007, 11:36.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Test Pilot View Post
          A very well made and moving documentary. You could feel the tension, grief and sadness. Equally the euphoria at the homecoming on the QE2. Still thinking about it this morning.
          met a few of those guys when we were in rosyth and they all seem to blame the admirals and staff for the blunders that was made and they hate going on the south atlantic patrols as there is nothing to do only anchor every few days and patrol around the islands

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          • #6
            Hi all
            I saw that programme.Very good viewing and quite personal and emotional too.The bit where the Ops guy was counting down the distance as the Skyhawks closed in was chilling, especially as they all realised that the Sea Dart couldn't get a lock, the 4.5 was missing it's targets and it was down to GPMGs and lengths of wood to fend off the attackers. Bet they wished for 20mm for close-in defence.It was amazing that only 19 died, at all.
            regards
            GttC

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            • #7
              From what I remember, the low casualties was down to good damage control training and well drilled sea survival skills. The main cause of serious injuries on the Type 42 was caused by the extensive use of formica in internal furnishings, which shattered like glass. The Majority of casualties came from the area where the bombs exploded, the Forward engine room and the computer room. The Calm weather on the day of the attack assisted greatly in ensuring the survivors of Coventry did not have to remain in the liferafts for long.
              Possibly worth mentioning that among Coventry's fatalities, was one irishman, Leading Radio Operator(warfare), B.J. Still, from Co Laois.
              The Crewman of one of the helicopters CPO "Alf" Tupper, was awarded a DSM for his actions in the rescue.


              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

              Comment


              • #8
                I remember seeing this on a different documentary a few years ago but this programme focused mostly on the technical and not the personal part of the incident. HMS Coventry's SEA DART missile system could not get a lock on the Sky Hawks because of the land mass behind them and they appeared to leave out the part that the Captain ordered the Coventry to turn hard to Starboard to reduce the profile of the ship. By the time when the second pair of Sky Hawks were attacking, HMS Broadsword had reset its SEA WOLF missile system and had them locked on and was ready to fire when the Coventry sailed across their radar beam and they lost the lock. They were able to show the video from Broadsword during the attack. After that there was nothing to stop the attack.

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                • #9
                  Correct trooper...it was poor seamanship on behalf of the watch keepers and failure to note where broadsword was in relation to The Air Defence umbrella that was a major contributory factor in the loss.

                  Most of the formica had been removed on the trip down south and thrown overboard as they were aware of the hazard it posed. Aluminium fittings and plastic cabling were all contributory factors.

                  Close in weapons systems were in their infancy at the time but the fact that the ship was equiped with only 2x20mm guns along side the main gun was also contributory.

                  Later additions also known as the second group beefed up their AA armament by fitting extra 20mm mounts where ever possible.Even the old twin mountings from the Ton class sweepers were used in some instances.

                  Its is worthy to note the Type 42s and the Amazon Class..Type 21s.. fared much worse than the older build ships such as the Leanders and County Class ships.

                  The Naval architecture and layout and use of synthetic materials proved to be fatal in some cases.

                  And then there is the famous uniform issue where the RN had just completed the transition from cotton type uniforms to man made fibres which caused horrific injuries.

                  The whole RN was lucky to get away with relatively light losses given the forced cut backs it had endured before fighting the war.
                  hptmurphy
                  Commander in Chief
                  Last edited by hptmurphy; 11 June 2007, 22:35.
                  Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Trooper View Post
                    Captain ordered the Coventry to turn hard to Starboard to reduce the profile of the ship.
                    As he feared an exocet attack

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                    • #11
                      Part of operating with a tight group is the responsibilty towards other ships in the group....weapons sytems all round at the time were fairly primitive and the RN placed far to much faith in missile sytems above guns, which were largely untested under action conditions.

                      The reaction to the Exocet threat was natural in this case seeing as how Coventrys' sister ship Sheffield had suffered. All sensibilities had gone out the window at this stage and the higher ups within the RN knew that loosing ships at the level they were attaining was unsustainable so there was pressure all round to take actions that would have not normally prevailed if the RN had been fighting the war it had trained for....the Anti submarine war in the North Atlantic...not the type it was facing in the falklands.

                      The RN had been optimised for the North Atlantic situation and was barely able to sustain itself under the scenario the Argentinians posed.

                      It should also be remembered that the Argentine Navy had not fully commited itself in the surface role and the Airforce was playing a relatively minor role in the action.

                      Argentinas prime ground and airforces were poised for an attack from Chile which they had pervieved to be a far more realistic threat than that of the UK.

                      Had there been time to commit more of these forces the whole outcome would have been completely different.

                      The British by their own admission at the end of the war within two weeks of having to pull back and reconsider their options.
                      hptmurphy
                      Commander in Chief
                      Last edited by hptmurphy; 6 June 2007, 22:26.
                      Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi all
                        I recall from several accounts that the cannon(20 and 30mm) of the attacking aircraft proved to be quite deadly, as the rounds were found to have passed thru the outer hulls of the ships, into the interiors, and sometimes, clean thru the ships.The Argentinians also had the advantage of having their own Type 42 at home, with which they could practise anti-ship attacks. As for the bombs, many simply passed thru the ships, for well-known reasons, but were deadly even then. One of the actual film clips showed the Skyhawks dropping retarded bombs.... I wonder why the RN didnt fit the .5 browning instead of GPMGs. Also, the personnel shown on deck firing SLRs were so very vulnerable. A bad policy there.
                        regards
                        GttC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                          I wonder why the RN didnt fit the .5 browning instead of GPMGs.
                          Mainly because they didn't have them in the Falklands. The .5 was not part of the equipment of the Navy or Army. During Goose Green, 2 Para were regularly engaged by Argentine .5's far beyond the range of the GPMG and had to endure. They had no equivalent. The Milan was used to counteract the .5's.

                          After the Falklands, it was decided to equip light infantry units with the .5. I'm sure that this also led to the purchase of the .5 by the Irish Army.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Docman View Post

                            After the Falklands, it was decided to equip light infantry units with the .5. I'm sure that this also led to the purchase of the .5 by the Irish Army.
                            One of the main reasons for the introduction of the .5 was the experience of the early UNIFIL Bns. Like the Brits the Irish only had the GPMG..... the capabilites of the .5 were an eye opener.... range, effect on buildings were an eye opener and the sound of the weapon ... it was totally different from anything we had experienced before....

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                            • #15
                              After the Falklands, it was decided to equip light infantry units with the .5. I'm sure that this also led to the purchase of the .5 by the Irish Army.
                              I remember training in section attacks etc before and being told that the loadout carried by us and our section (upwards) tactics/drills we use were based on lessons learned (and shared) by the british in the falklands war.
                              "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
                              "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

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