Hear two key commanders present at the operations give their thoughts about the strategic and operational lessons learned from their involvement in the Falklands War. As an example of the small scale type of amphibious operation Australia may have to conduct in the future, this presentation will provide a unique opportunity for contemporary and future planners to hear about the opportunities and obstacles that were faced by the British commanders at the time.
Major-General (retd) Julian Thompson was the commander of 3 Commando Brigade in 1981 and, in that role, was British land commander on the Falkland Islands during the first phase of the conflict ashore. He retired in 1986.
In retirement he has written extensively on the Falklands conflict and other aspects of British military history including the Iraq War. He is also a visiting professor at the department of War Studies, King's College, University of London.
Commodore Michael Clapp was given command of the of the Amphibious Task Force and had the job of selecting a suitable landing area and delivering the troops ashore safely. He selected San Carlos Water as the most appropriate place and conducted an efficient amphibious landing. Problems occurred when the Argentine Air Force became aware of the British action and launched aerial assaults on the waiting ships. Fortunately for the British amphibious operation, they concentrated on the picket and guard ships rather than the all-important troop ships.
VIDEO Part 1 - Presentation (158 MB)
VIDEO Part 2 - Questions (81 MB)
R1 Theaterette Russell Offices, Canberra