It was to be one of the most ambitious operations since 617 Squadron bounced their revolutionary bombs into the dams of the Ruhr Valley in 1943 . . .
April 1982. Argentine forces had invaded the Falkland Islands. Britain needed an answer. And fast.
The idea was simple: to destroy the vital landing strip at Port Stanley. The reality was more complicated. The only aircraft that could possibly do the job was three months from being scrapped, and the distance it had to travel was four thousand miles beyond its maximum range. It would take fifteen Victor tankers and seventeen separate in-flight refuellings to get one Avro Vulcan B2 over the target, and give its crew any chance of coming back alive.
Yet less than a month later, a formation of elderly British jets launched from a remote island airbase to carry out the longest-range air attack in history. At its head was a single aircraft, six men, and twenty-one thousand-pound bombs, facing the hornet's nest of modern weaponry defending the Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands. There would be no second chances . . .
Rowland White is the author of three critically acclaimed works of aviation history: Vulcan 607, Phoenix Squadron and Storm Front. All three have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers. His writing has appeared in a variety of national magazines and newspapers including the Guardian, Daily Mail and Esquire magazine. Born and brought up in Cambridge, Rowland studied Modern History at Liverpool University. He has held a private pilot's licence since 1998 and lives near Cambridge with his wife and three young children.