Pebble Island: The Falklands War 1982, Francis MacKay with Jon Cooksey

Pebble Island: The Falklands War 1982, Francis MacKay with Jon Cooksey

The Pebble Island raid was the first SAS attack on an enemy airfield since the end of the Second World War, and was an entirely succesful attack that resulted in the destruction of every Argentinean aircraft on Pebble Island, while the Argentineans themselves destroyed their new runway in case the raid was the precursor to a full scale invasion.

This book looks at this raid in great detail. We start with a look at the reasons the British decided to attack the small Argentinean airfield on Pebble Island, the island itself, why the Argentineans had decided to base some of their aircraft there and how they defended their new base. We then move on to the raid itself, starting with a look at the British Special Forces available with the Task Force and the planning for the raid, before moving onto the raid itself. The actual raid doesn’t fill much space – it was over very quickly, and with minimal contact between the two sides.

I’m not convinced by the idea that the Argentinean attack on HMS Coventry was carried out in revenge for the raid. The Coventry was clearly vulnerable, carrying out an important but isolated duty as a radar picket ship (as well as shooting down several Argentinean aircraft) and thus a good target for attack. However it did happen just after the raid, and in the seas just to the north, so fits nicely into the narrative.

The Pebble Island raid was a classic example of the correct use of Special Forces. The Argentinean airfield on the island posed a serious threat to the upcoming British landing at nearby San Carlos in Falklands Sound, and had to be eliminated. However the British inhabitants of the island were still present in the settlement, so an air raid or naval bombardment was too risky. This is an excellent account of the raid, with good material from both sides.

1 - The Threat
2 - Pebble Island
3 - Occupation
4 - Defence
5 - Special Forces
6 - Reconnaissance & Planning
7 - Raid
8 - Aftermath
9 - Riposte
10 - Epilogue

Author: Francis MacKay with Jon Cooksey
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 121
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2017 revised edition

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy