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The Battle for the Falklands Paperback – September 17, 1984

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Will probably endure as the standard history of the campaign.” (New York Times)

“Authoritative and very readable.” (Newsweek)

“Stirring, impressively detailed.” (Time)

About the Author

Max Hastings, a military historian and journalist, covered the Falklands war for the London Evening Standard.

Simon Jenkins is the political editor of the Economist.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393301982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393301984
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This has to be the most definitive account, from a British perspective, of a war that continues to invoke emotive reactions when discussed either side of the Atlantic. The narrative is perfectly balanced with the immediacy of the action described by Max hasting who was on the ground with the Task Force and the intrigue of the politics explained with unnerving clarity by Simon Jenkings. The book interwieves a stark narrative of the realities of battle with an enlightening view on the working of politicians and their influence on the start and ultimate outcome of war. While the book should appeal for those with a thirst for the factual, there is sufficient analysis of both the strategy of battle and the politics of war to satisfy most. I began reading this book looking for answers to how and why the war started, in this regard I feel the account fully satisfied my curiosity. What surprised me was the degree to which the descriptions of the strategy for naval warfare invoked images and scenarios that were as reminiscent of ancient history as they were relevant to contemporary conflicts. Descriptions of diplomatic efforts to forestall a war, the series of mis-communications that led ultimately to open conflict, the initial celebrations in suport of the Task Force and the ultimate subdued reaction to conclusion of war all make sobering reading. For detailed tactical accounts of naval battles this must be one of the best case studies since the Second World War. The ultimate question as to whether the war was justified or otherwise is analysed in conclusion although the authors err on the side of impartiality raising more questions than answers. A thoroughly recommended read.
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Format: Paperback
"The Battle for the Falklands" is a good overall narrative of the history of the brief war between Britain and Argentina over the disputed islands. It delves into the politics that led to the war, the U.S. attempt at mediation between its two allies and, of course, the actual fighting. The whole affair seems a bit surreal as it also must have to the British soldiers who fought there. The Falklands themselves, as remote and windswept as it is possible for any inhabited location on Earth to be, were hardly worth all the trouble. But for both Britain and Argentina, national pride and honor were at stake. The irony is that by invading the islands, Argentina's military leadership made it less likely that the country will ever gain possession of them. This book is a good tribute to the men who fought what will probably be the last colonial war, and it is well written historical account.
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Format: Paperback
Max Hastings is a renowned and revered author on battles. His best book was published straight after the Falklands War and was titled "Don't Cry For Me Sergeant Major". I assumed that this newer book would be of a similar ilk, as he joins the troops and gets his hands (cold and) dirty. However, with Jenkins' aid he manages to step away from the action and explain more of the background processes at 10 Downing Street which, sadly, neither of the authors were privy to.
Overall 'The Battle for the Falklands' is an informative book, probably the most rounded account of the war for these small islands. A very interesting read although so much more could have been gained by the inclusionof Hastings', and others, personal accounts.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good overall narrative account of the Falklands War, as well as the diplomatic events leading up to it. Like most military writing however it does suffer from being too clinical, in spite of the fact that Max Hastings shared the same hazards and privations as the ground level soldier. For a more complete picture of what it was like being involved in the actual conflict, at the squaddie's level, you should read The Battle for the Falklands in conjunction with Ken Lukowiak's superb "A Soldier's Song" (Orion Books, 1993). Disjointed, reflective, ambivalent, irreverant, Lukowiak's account of the conflict must rank alongside "All Quiet on the Western Front" as a testament to the pointlessness of war in general. Interestingly, it does lay bare the British media's manipulation of events for maximum emotional effect -- a shining example of this being the myth that Colonel Jones, who died leading the attack at Goose Green, was affectionaly known as "H" to his men; to the ordinary squaddies of 2 Para, the Colonel was respected but only the officers referred to him as "H" - the sqaddies called him "Jonesie" or somesuch. It's also interesting how Lukowiak was repelled when The Sun ran its "Gotcha" headline on the sinking of the General Belgrano - he and many others fighting the war felt that the UK media, safe behind their word processors in Wapping, London, had no right to be so belligerant and jingoistic as they weren't the ones up to their necks in sheep ... in the trenches fighting the actual war!Read more ›
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