On May 21st, 1982, nearly four hundred soldiers from the 2cd Battalion Parachute Regiment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert 'H' Jones, landed with a British Task Force at San Carlos Bay on the Falklands. Their mission: to take the strategic position at Goose Green where military intelligence reckoned there were a couple of hundred Argentine troops guarding an airstrip.
The intelligence was wrong and when they attacked on May 27th, they were confronted by a 1,500-strong regiment of Argentine soldiers dug in with so much machine-gun ammunition they stood on the ammo boxes to keep their feet dry. Some of the enemy soldiers were Special Forces; some were Guarani Indians, a proud warrior race; a few even were Welsh-speaking members of a community founded in Patagoina in the nineteenth century. What they had in common were two .50 calibre machine guns in every position. It was going to be a hard and dreadful fight.
Fourteen hours later when the smoke had cleared on the most ferocious battle in post-war British history, nearly 250 Argentine soldiers were killed, scores more were wounded and another 1,300 had been captured. Goose Green would cost 2 Para the lives of seventeen men, including 'H' Jones, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his role in the action.
This is a no-holds barred account of what it was really like to walk into the storm of lead the Argentines hurled at their attackers.
John Geddes fought in the Falklands War with the Parachute Regiment and saw action in the ferocious battle at Wireless Ridge as well as at Goose Green. He was then selected for the SAS where he served in Air Troop with distinction. He is a veteran of covert operations worldwide including the Balkans, Northern Ireland and Africa. His first book, Highway to Hell, about his mercenary adventures in Iraq, was published by Century in 2006.