Sea Harrier Over the Falklands: A Maverick at War

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Leo Cooper, 1992 - History - 299 pages
Sharkey ward commanded 801 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Invincible, during the Falklands War of April to June 1982, and was senior Sea Harrier adviser to the Command on the tactics, direction and progress of the air war. He flew over sixty war missions, achieved three air-to-air kills, and took part in or witnessed a total of ten kills; he was also the leading night pilot, and was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry. Those are the bare facts, though they do no sort of justice to this remarkable and outspoken book, nor to its author. For what, after all, could twenty Sea Harriers, operating from a flight-deck bucketing about in the South Atlantic, do against more than 200 Argentine military aircraft flown by pilots who, as the raids against British shipping proved, displayed enormous skill and gallantry? The world knows the answer - now; as it knows the debt owed to the author and his fellow flyers. What is puzzling, therefore, is this book's truthful depiction of the attitudes of some of the senior non-flying naval officers, and of the RAF, towards the men (and indeed the machine) that made possible the victory in the Falklands. This extraordinary first-hand account charts, in clear and forthright detail, the naval pilots' journey to the South Atlantic, and how they took on and triumphantly conquered the challenges they faced. It is a dramatic story, leavened with brilliant accounts of air-to-air fighting and of life in a squadron at sea and on a war footing. But it is also a tale of inter-Service rivalry, bureaucratic interference, and the less-than-generous attitudes of a number of senior commanders who should certainly have known better; indeed, some of them mighteven have lost the campaign through a lack of understanding of air warfare - particularly if all their instructions had been followed to the letter and without question. The author puts the record straight - no one interested in the Falklands, or in aircraft and air combat as a whole, can afford to miss this marvellous book.

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User Review  - scuzzy - LibraryThing

This book took a little longer to complete than normal, but not because it was a dull read, anything but, but I re-read some parts of it to get the right mental picture in my mind. I was just a young ... Read full review

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User Review  - sainsborough - LibraryThing

First review by a "girl" perhaps! - although the author told me he had (perhaps still has) a 95-year-old female fan. I am currently working with him on a project entirely unrelated to his flying ... Read full review


The Lead Up to Sailing South with the Carrier Task Group
Early 1982 Alloy Express and 801 Naval
Warning of possible action Squadron preparations

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About the author (1992)

Sharkey" Ward is the nickname for Nigel MacCartan-Ward, who was a Harrier pilot during the Falklands War.

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