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Encyclopedia > Battle of Wireless Ridge
Battle of Wireless Ridge
Part of Falklands War
Date 13 June 198214 June 1982
Location Wireless Ridge, Falkland Islands
Result British victory
Combatants
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom Flag of Argentina Argentina
Commanders
Lt. Col. David Chaundler Omar Giménez
Strength
600 500
Casualties
3 dead,
11 wounded
25 dead,
125 wounded,
37 POW

The Battle of Wireless Ridge was an engagement of the Falklands War which took place on the night of 13 June and 14 June 1982, between British and Argentinian forces during the advance towards the Argentine-occupied capital of the Falklands Stanley. Wireless Ridge was one of seven strategic hills within five miles of Stanley at 51°40′37″S 57°56′43″W / -51.67694, -57.94528 (Wireless Ridge)Coordinates: 51°40′37″S 57°56′43″W / -51.67694, -57.94528 (Wireless Ridge) that had to be taken in order for the city to be approached. The attack was successful, and the entire Argentine force on the Islands surrendered later that day. Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders President Leopoldo Galtieri Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo Brigade-General Mario Menéndez Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward Major-General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed... is the 164th day of the year (165th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 165th day of the year (166th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Argentina. ... Insignia of a British Army Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel is a British rank used in several Commonwealth countries superior to Major and subordinate to Colonel. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders President Leopoldo Galtieri Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo Brigade-General Mario Menéndez Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward Major-General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Governor Rex Hunt Major Mike Norman RM Major Ian Nott RM Major Phil Sommers FIDF Admiral Carlos Busser Lieutenant commander Guillermo Sánchez-Sabarots Lieutenant commander Pedro Giachino† Strength 46 marines 11 RN sailors 25 FIDFs troops 600 troops (some 60 actually clashed with... The Raid on Pebble Island took place on 14-15 May 1982[citation needed] during the Falklands War. ... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Captain Anthony Morton (HMS Yarmouth) Captain John Coward (HMS Brilliant) Captain Jorge A. Gopcevich-Canevari (ARA Monsunen) Strength 1 Type 22 frigate Frigate 1 Rothesay class Frigate 1 Armed coastal ship Casualties None Coastal ship beached (later taken in tow and rescued by ARA Forrest... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Lt. ... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Captain Rod Boswell Captain Vercesi Strength 19 troops 13 troops Casualties 3 wounded 2 killed 6 wounded 5 captured The Battle of Top Malo House was fought on the 31st May 1982 during the Falklands War, between 1st section Argentine Special Forces from 602 Commando... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Lt. ... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Lt. ... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Lt. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders President Leopoldo Galtieri Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo Brigade-General Mario Menéndez Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward Major-General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed... is the 164th day of the year (165th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 165th day of the year (166th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Motto En unión y libertad(Spanish) In Union and Freedom Anthem Himno Nacional Argentino Capital (and largest city) Buenos Aires Official languages Spanish Demonym Argentinian, Argentine Government Federal republic  -  President Néstor Kirchner  -  Vice President Daniel Scioli  -  Chief of Cabinet Alberto Fernández Independence from Spain   -  May Revolution 25... Map of the Falkland Islands showing position of Stanley. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


The British force consisted of 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, a troop of the Blues & Royals, with two FV101 Scorpion and two FV107 Scimitar light tanks, as well as artillery support from two batteries of 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery and naval gunfire support provided by HMS Ambuscade's 4.5-in gun. The Argentine force consisted of the 7th Infantry Regiment and detachments from other units. The Parachute Regiment is the Airborne Infantry element of the British Army. ... The Blues and Royals are a British Army armoured regiment and are part of the Household Cavalry. ... The FV101 Scorpion is a British light tank, part of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) or, CVR(T) family. ... This refers to the armoured vehicle, for other uses see Scimitar (disambiguation) FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle, although sometimes classed as a light tank used by the British Army. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Remains of a battery of English cannon from Youghal, County Cork. ... The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army It is made up of a number of regiments. ... HMS Ambuscade (F172) was a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy. ... The BAE RO Defence 4. ...

Contents

Background

After heavy losses during the Battle of Goose Green, including their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jones, command of 2 Para passed to Lieutenant-Colonel David Chaundler, who was in England at the time of the battle. In an adventure of its own, Chaundler flew to Ascension Island on a Vickers VC-10 and then to the Falklands on a C-130 Hercules that was dropping supplies by parachute. Chaundler jumped out into the sea, where he was picked up by helicopter and eventually delivered to the HMS Hermes for a brief talk with Admiral Woodward and then to Major General Jeremy Moore's headquarters. Four days after Goose Green, Chaundler joined 2nd Para. After debriefing the officers of 2 Para about Goose Green and the events following, he vowed that 2 Para would never again go into action without fire support. Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Lt. ... The Parachute Regiment redirects here, for the Indian regiment, see The Parachute Regiment (India) The Parachute Regiment is the Airborne Infantry element of the British Army. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Capital Georgetown Largest city Georgetown Official languages English Government Dependency of St. ... The VC-10 airliner was designed and built by Vickers (part of the British Aircraft Corporation) in the 1960s. ... The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop cargo aircraft and the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. ... Three ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Hermes, after Hermes, the messenger god of Greek mythology: The first Hermes was a converted cruiser that was used as an experimental seaplane tender by the Royal Naval Air Service shortly before World War I. She was sunk by a... Goose Green is a settlement on East Falkland in the Falkland Islands. ...


From Fitzroy, 2 Para were moved by helicopter to Bluff Cove Peak where they were held in reserve. The first line of hills, the Two Sisters, Mount Longdon and Mount Harriet, were taken. Following this phase the next three hills would be taken; the Scots Guards taking Mount Tumbledown, the Ghurkhas Mount William and 2 Para Wireless Ridge. The final phase of 3 Commando Brigade's campaign, the battle for Stanley, would have been a street-fight but in the end wasn't necessary. On the morning of 13 June it became clear that the attacks on Tumbledown had been successful. 2 Para would now march around the back of Mount Longdon to take up their positions for the assault on Wireless Ridge. As the action was to be concluded quickly, they took only their weapons and as much ammunition as possible, leaving the camp behind. On Bluff Cove Peak, the Battalion's mortars and heavy machine guns were attacked by Argentine A-4 Skyhawks who delayed their planned move forward, although causing no casualties. RFA Sir Tristram at Fitzroy, June 1982 Fitzroy is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland. ... Sea inlet of East Falkland. ... The Battle of Mount Longdon was an engagement of the Falklands War between British and Argentinian forces, which took place on the 11th/12 June 1982. ... The Scots Guards are a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division, and have a long and proud history stretching back hundreds of years. ... Map of the Falkland Islands showing position of Stanley. ... is the 164th day of the year (165th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The A-4 Skyhawk was an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. ...


Initial assault

In the closing hours of the 13 June, D Company began the attack, advancing upon 'Rough Diamond' hill north-west of Mount Longdon. It had been hit by an immense barrage from British guns, from land and sea. In the preceding 12 hours, British artillery had fired 6,000 rounds with their 105 mm pieces, and as they began their push, they were further backed by naval fire and the 76 and 30 mm guns mounted on the light tanks. The approximately eighty casualties sustained by the Paras a few weeks earlier at the Battle of Goose Green (including the loss of their commanding officer), had induced them not to take any unnecessary chances the second time around.


When D Company reached the hill, they found that the Argentinian C Company of the 7th Infantry Regiment had withdrawn due to the heavy bombardment. As Major Philip Neame's D Company started to consolidate their position, the Argentinian 7th Regiment launched a series of heavy recoilless rifle, rocket and mortar (weapon) attacks on Mount Longon causing casualties and destruction to the 3rd Parachute Battalion the Parachute Regiment (Jolly, 1983; p. 138). M67 recoilless rifle. ... US soldier loading a M224 60-mm mortar. ...


With this massive fire support A and B Companies were convinced the enemy on Apple Pie were defeated, and began to advance confidently forward, but they met fierce resistance when they left their trenches. They came under heavy machine-gun fire and a massive retaliation was initiated by the British machine-gunners and the guns of the Blues and Royals light tanks. A Trooper of the Blues and Royals on mounted duty in Whitehall, London The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) are a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry. ...


One Mount Longdon survivor from 3 PARA recalled the British attack in Hugh McManners' The Scars of War (1994) which was initially repulsed the Argentineans:

They tried going over the top first, but the incoming fire was too heavy so they went back behind the peat and waited for more artillery to soften them up.

(McManners, 1994)


The Argentinian defenders there eventually withdrew in the face of such withering fire and A and B Companies took their objective. By this stage of the battle, there were not many Argentine officers left. The Forward Artillery Observation Officer (Major Guillermo Nani), the Operations Officer (Captain Carlos Ferreyra) and the A and C Company commanders (Captains Jorge Calvo and Hugo García) and at least three senior platoon commanders (First Lieutenants Antonio Estrada, Jorge Guidobono, Ramon Galíndez-Matienzo) were wounded. C Company then moved down from their northern start line to advance to a position east of Wireless Ridge where they found a platoon position to be unoccupied.


Final assault

D Company then began the final assault from the western end of Wireless Ridge, under the cover of heavy fire from HMS Ambuscade, tanks, twelve 105 mm artillery guns, several mortar pieces and anti-tank rockets. Earlier Argentinean GHQ had sent the dismounted 10th Panhard armoured car squadron to make a reconnaissance foray into the western rocks of Wireless Ridge. Captain Rodrigo Soloaga was particularly effective in persuading his men to engage the light tanks, Milan Platoon and the Machinegun Platoon on Apple Pie while the 7th Regiment's HQ sorted themeselves out. In two hours the cavalry unit suffered five killed and about fifty wounded. The British tankmen were so sickened by the slaughter that they held their fire as the walking wounded stumbled back to Moody Brook and stretcher-bearers tried to find the seriously wounded. Similar to the rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), this weapon propels an explosive projectile. ... A Panhard-Levassor was the first automobile to be introduced in Japan, in 1898 Panhard & Levassor X18 1912 Panhard & Levassor 1914 Panhard & Levassor X31 1921 A 1920s Panhard Dyna Panhard X 86 4-Door Sedan 1952 Panhard repair manual cover showing PL 17 A VBL of the French Army Panhard...


Major Neame's parachute company took the first half of the obective relatively easily but upon advancing to the second half, came under very fierce attack from Major Guillermo Berazay A Company of the 3rd Regiment which had tried to move forward to Mount Longdon during the fighting two nights earlier but had only reached Moody Brook valley. Private Patricio Pérez, who had just left school, recalled the unnerving experience of 66 mm rockets coming straight at them like undulating fireballs (Bilton and Kosminsky, 1989). He believed he shot a British Paratrooper (12 Platoon's commander?) and became enraged when he heard that his friend Private Horacio Benítez of his platoon had been shot ("Speaking Out" Bilton and Kosminsky pg. 192). The platoon of 2nd Lieutenant Víctor Rodriguez Pérez of Major Guillermo Berazay's company in fact closed with the British 12 Platoon, under the command of Lieutenant Jonathan Page (following the death of Lieutenant Barry at Goose Green). The fight surged back and forth. Lieutenant Page managed to hold the line, but only just. Major-General John Dutton Frost of the British Army describes the resulting attack on 12 Platoon:

For two very long hours the company remained under pressure. Small-arms fire mingled with all types of HE [high explosive rifle-grenades] fell in and around 12 Platoon's position as the men crouched in the abandoned enemy sangars and in shell holes.

(Frost, 1983) Sangar is a small temporary fortified position with a breastwork originally of stone[1] now built of sandbags and similar materials. ...


But Major Neame officers and NCOs rallied the men to capture the final part of their objective and in the face of immense fire, the Argentinians having run out of ammunition broke and retreated.


The battle was not all over yet. Some 200 Wireless Ridge survivors had been rallied by the 10th Brigade Operations Officer, Major Eugenio Dalton to form under heavy gunfire a last-ditch defensive line in front of the now silenced guns of the 4th Airborne Artillery Group on the racecourse.


Near the church in Stanley, intent on helping Berazay, Major Carrizo-Salvadores, 2IC of the 7th Regiment, helped by the chaplain Father José Fernández, mustered about 50 Wireless Ridge survivors and led them on a bayonet charge, with the soldiers chanting their famous 'Malvinas March', but were stopped by heavy artillery and machine-gun fire. ("Razor's Edge" Hugh Bicheno pg. 312) The Marcha de las Malvinas (March of the Malvinas) is a patriotic anthem of Argentina. ...


The Paras were momentarily alarmed and watched the amazing sight, with one British officer describing it as 'quite a sporting effort, but one without a sporting chance'. ("Operation Corporate" Martin Middlebrook pg. 371)


2 Para had suffered three dead and eleven wounded. The Argentinians suffered approximately twenty-five dead, about 125 wounded (mainly by explosive rounds rather than direct shots) and about fifty were taken prisoner.


For the bravery shown at Wireless Ridge, 2 Para was awarded three Military Crosses, one Military Medal and one Distinguished Conduct Medal. 29 Commando was awarded one Military Cross. The Military Cross (MC) is the third level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Army and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries. ... The Military Medal was (until 1993) a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land. ... The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was (until 1993) the second level military decoration awarded other ranks of the British Army and formerly also to non-commissioned personnel of other Commonwealth countries. ... The Military Cross (MC) is the third level military decoration awarded to officers and (since 1993) other ranks of the British Army and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries. ...


See also

British military history is a long and varied topic, extending from the prehistoric and ancient historic period, through the Roman invasions of Julius Cæsar and Claudius and subsequent Roman occupation; warfare in the Mediaeval period, including the invasions of the Saxons and the Vikings in the Early Middle Ages... Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders President Leopoldo Galtieri Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo Brigade-General Mario Menéndez Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward Major-General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed...

External links

References

  • Bilton, Michael and Kosminsky, Peter (comp.) (1989). Speaking Out: Untold Stories From The Falklands War. Andre Deutsch Ltd. ISBN 0-233-98404-6. 
  • Frost, John (1983). 2 Para Falklands - The Battalion At War. Buchan & Enright. ISBN 0-7221-3689-7. 
  • Jolly, Rick (1983) The red and green life machine : a diary of the Falklands Field Hospital, London: Century, ISBN 0-7126-0158-9
  • McManners, Hugh (1994). The Scars Of War. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-586-21129-2. 
  • Paul, James and Spirit, Martin (2002) Second time around for 2 Para: The Battle for Wireless Ridge, Britain's Small Wars, WWW site, Accessed 19 March 2007

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