Book Review – Sea Harrier Over The Falklands
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 fella when the Falklands War took place, but there are parts of it that really stick in my mind – sinking of the Belgrano, A4s attacking the British landing forces, sinking of the Sheffield – and while there was a fair bit of back slapping for the Harrier jump jets, this book paints the real story.
This is written by the Squadron Leader of one of the Sea Harrier units, ‘Sharkey’ Ward who is referred to as a ‘maverick’, and he calls it as he sees it, and certainly does not hold back at lashing out at seniority and old way of thinking in the modern world of warfare.
While that theme pops up now and again, especially in the final chapters (which certainly shows the hierarchy and bureaucracy I saw first hand in the Navy), it is his first-hand narrative of the transit south, the battle, dog fights and the aftermath that makes this a very good book to read. While I have played a lot of video games involving jets, I did get lost in some places trying to re-enact manoeuvres in my head, hence the re-reading of some passages. But all in all, a great book, with some shocking revelations – a completely different view-point from the propagandist carry-on I remember at the time…mind you, I was 10.
It has got me wanting to read a book referred to by Ward, Sandy Woodward (Flag Admiral of the Task Force) wrote a conflicting view-point, 100 Days.