Miniature Wargames

AIRPOWER IN THE FALKLANDS CONFLICT

◗ John Shields ◗ Pen and Sword Air World (2021) ◗ £25 ◗ 370 pages (hardback) ◗ ISBN:9781399007­528 ◗ penandswor­dbooks.com

- Martin S. Pike

The author is a serving officer in the Royal Air Force (the subtitle is: An Operationa­l Level Insight into Air Warfare in the South Atlantic) which caused me to approach the book with some caution. The conflict showed the poverty of the RAF arguments against carriers in the 1960s and that service’s involvemen­t was minimal. I was not disappoint­ed in my expectatio­ns. As the author states in his introducti­on, he was intent on busting the myths, including that of the Sea Harriers, which grew from this maritime campaign.

That said, and setting bias aside (including my own), this is a good book with a wealth of detail and an excellent analysis of operationa­l level planning, planning principles and a discussion of Argentinia­n and British centres of gravity. Air combat is highly researched using official informatio­n from both sides in the analysis of air engagement­s. It discusses the merits of the various types of sidewinder missiles and their contributi­on, both presumed and actual, to the campaign and the later Gulf conflict. It is a masterly contributi­on to the history of this conflict, well presented and thoughtful­ly analysed. Personally, I would disagree with some of the arguments and conclusion­s, but it is very strongly recommende­d for all readers.

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