Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

40 Years On – The Lessons of the Falklands War

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Interesting post on the importance of preserving institutional knowledge and experience, by “Sir Humphrey” (of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister fame, in which Sir Humphrey was the prototypical civil servant) in The Thin Pin-Striped Line:

40 years have elapsed since the Falkland Islands were liberated, and the local population were freed from dictatorship to choose their destiny again. This short, bloody and wholly unnecessary war was started by dictators, and finished by the British Armed Forces. Even now, four decades later, its lessons continue to resonate and must be considered.

In a series of tweets, the French Navy Chief of Staff has set out thoughts on the enduring lessons of the war, and why it still matters. Many others have done likewise – it has been a period to reflect on why, even many years later, the war still has something to teach us. This article is a short reflection on what the author believes are five enduring lessons we must continue to reflect on.

The first and most simple lesson is that time and again we end up fighting the war we didn’t expect to fight, but we succeed because we keep the skills alive to do so. In 1982 we planned to conduct high intensity armoured warfare in Central Europe for 7 days before the literal end of the world was nigh. Little thought was given to expeditionary warfare at long distance, beyond the amphibious reinforcement of Norway. Naturally we ended up fighting an amphibious war many thousands of miles from home with no anticipation. In 1991 we still expected (just) to fight in Europe, and we ended up fighting the desert, just in time for expeditionary operations to become central to our doctrine, only for deterrence in Europe to come into vogue again in 2022 – in short, we prepare for one, and often end up doing another.

While this may sound familiar ground, what we fail to take into account all too often is that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 June 2022 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Government, Military, War

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