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"How Many Companies in Argentine Regts (Falklands)?" Topic

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Jemima Fawr17 Jul 2012 11:12 a.m. PST

Another question:

I've got great small-unit organisational details for Argentine Army rifle companies and support companies, as well as the same for Marines. However, I can't find a single mention as to how many companies made up a regiment.

By the looks of it, Argentine 'Regiments' were battalions by another name?

The Marines I know were organised into Battalions of three companies, plus support company.

Mako1117 Jul 2012 11:24 a.m. PST

Hmmm, not sure, but if following the traditional makeup, they are usually in trios, or quads, e.g. 3 – 4 companies per battalion (the 4th is usually a support weapons company, if provided, as mentioned), and then 3 battalions per regiment, plus additional support units.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2012 11:53 a.m. PST

The 7° Regiment of Infantry at Falkland (Malvinas) went with:
3 Rifle Companies
1 Company Command
1 Company Services
1 Logistic

Each Company had more or less 120 men divided in sections and platoons.
The first Company had the best men before training (3 month running to nowere and marching like automats with only five shoots the last day of the training.)

Each Company had three sections with 4 platoons each one.

One Support Section with 81mm mortar (2) and 2 mags.

The total amount of the 7° was aprox 800 men.
The size of a battalion

The Marine infantry was similar.

Hope it helps.


Jemima Fawr17 Jul 2012 2:07 p.m. PST

Cheers Armand,

I'd forgotten that you ought to know! :o)

I was a bit confused there for a minute, but it occurred to me that Argentine organisation, like in the Spanish Army, uses 'Section' ('Seccion' in Spanish?) where we would use 'Platoon' and 'Platoon' ('Grupo' in Spanish?) where we would use 'Section'! :o)

The company organisation I've got is:

Company HQ – 10 men (FN FAL & SMG)

3x Rifle Sections ('Platoons' in British Army), each with:
HQ Group – 4 men (FN FAL & SMG)
3x Rifle Groups ('Sections' in British Army), each of 10 men (FN FAL)
Support Group – 2x FN MAG (bipod) & 3-6x Super Bazooka

Company Support Section – 2x FN MAG (Sustained Fire tripod) & 2x 81mm mortar

Regimental Support Company:
6x 120mm mortar, 6x M68 105mm RCL, 2x Blowpipe or SA-7 'Grail', 2-6x .50 Cal & Recce Platoon

Does that sound likely?

There's also mention of captured 60mm mortars. Any idea who had them? Were they platoon-level weapons in some units, like British 2-inch mortars?

Brown Fez17 Jul 2012 3:01 p.m. PST

Sección and peloton are indeed counter intuitive to English speakers.

I think there was a maximum of 2X M20s per support squad in each infantry platoon more likely only 1, the rest would have been ammo bearers either for them or the FN- MAGs.

I've seen 60mm mortars in the Museu de Armas in BsAS but no reference to them in any infantry company structure. Perhaps they were serving as proxies for the 81mm but would seem unlikely. I'd guess they either belonged to 5 BIM or perhaps less likely one of the two SF companies.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2012 3:54 p.m. PST

My friend, a Section ("Sección") was composed by four platoons.

A company of infantry had three Sections. (Some had four)

First Sergeant is the lider of the Section. One Sergeant is his second in command, the first platoon had another Sergeant and a Corporal, platoons two to four had only corporals. Each platoon was from 10 men (8 to 12).
Each corporal designated a "dragoneante" (one red bar on his arms)who was a leading men of his platoon. He was the second in command of the platoon.
At combat, a 2nd lieutenant or sublieutenant (Subteniente) took comand of the Section (Sección) and the first sargent went to second in command.
Why was this?
Because when you trained, you never trained with officers.
You only trained with NCOs (the worst in the world!).
The only officer who went to see the Company training was the Captain (time to time). Any complain about the NCOs was to be direct in the face of your Captain. Imagine how easy was that!. In front of your complete unit in formation!.
Returning to the composition, each Infantry Company had a Captain at charge and a Lieutenant as second in command.
So, you had:
1. Captain.
1. Lieutenant.
2. Sublieutenant.
2. First or Staff Sargents.
4-6 Sargents.
12 corporals.
12 Dragoneantes.
100-140 soldiers.

HQ Company. a Major or senior Captain plus 20 men (two platoons) No heavy weapons.
Those 20 men were only to "serve" the Major and the senior Captain. Usually then never went to combat.
Those 20 soldiers were "recomended" (sons of militars or politics, etc) and were most servants, waiters or errand boys. In Falkland (Malvinas) they had to be messengers and carried the wounded.

About the support heavy weapons, the Marine infantry had 60mm mortars and the Land infantry infantry had 81 mm mortars. Only two for each company.
So in a Regiment you had 6 mortars (half never work).
Yo also had two MAG's (they work very well)served only by NCOs. Soldiers had no training for machineguns. It was prohibited. Recruis only can carried the ammo or the wounded.
So… when the "brave" Sergeants decided that the combat began to be hot and retreat to "inform to the officers" we, the conscripts had to managed to used them "in the spot".
The most condecorated Argentine soldier was one of my Regiment because with one MAG sustain for a long time his position with no support (all of his budies were dead).
He is well know even by the english.

Bazookas? I had not seen any but yes, I saw the blowpipes when they arrived at the islands.
Impossible to forget!.
The senior Seargeant took one and said that is was so easy to used that he didn't need to read any instrucctions (who were in english and of course he decided that not want any translation from one of his soldiers who had studied that idiom). He point to a ridge, fire and the projectile shoots out…backwards! destroying a pile of drawers with supplies distant at 100 meters.
The face of fear and surprise of that ignorant fool was so comical that all the Company began to laught to tears!.
Before that, the imbécil decided that those weapons cannot be used!.
He never would accept he was wrong. And so, we had not any to used at combat.

The machine guns Cal.50 were amalgamated to another independent unit not from the Regiment.

At war, the Chief Regiments (Colonels) decided to conform a new unit (Company level) with the best soldiers (?) as snipers and special tasks (as commandos).
It was the "movile" Company.
Those Companies were conform with two Sublieutenants, two sargents, two corporals and 40 men.
I was one of the fortunate choosen.

Hope it helps.


Mako1117 Jul 2012 4:41 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing those details Armand.

They will be very useful to many.

I love the Blowpipe story too! Hilarious!

I find it interesting that your definitions of sections and platoons are reversed from ours.

In most Western units, it is Company (100 – 150 men), Platoon (30 – 40 men), and Section/Squad (usually 6 – 12 men).

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2012 8:29 p.m. PST

Yes, we usually did military things completely unlike (at least on those days).
Remember too when one day our Staff officer inform us that we were going to made "Malvinas Fortress" to stop the enemy.
When he explain it remember that I hold up my hand to make a question and it was:

- Sorry my Captain… (in the Army you had to name your superior with the word "my" first and then the rank. Only in the Navy you name your superior as "Sir" and the Army men said that "Sir" it's only in the Sky. They work a lot for we, from the Army, hated the marines but at the end they save many of us)… this plan had not previously failed with the Maginot Line?
He answer me trying to be funny.

- Why you ask that? Perhaps you are a history teacher?

- Yes my Captain, I am. As a lawer too.

Results: Three days arrested.
But, as I had my sublieutenant bars I was not staked on the ground as my fellow recruis, it was in a open tent.


Jemima Fawr17 Jul 2012 10:09 p.m. PST

Thanks Armand,

Great (and quite astonishing) information!

Sorry to keep asking questions, but was the fourth platoon in a section another rifle platoon, or was it for LMGs (and bazookas if available)?

Thanks for the info re 60mm mortars. That makes sense. I also read that the Marines had 4.2-inch mortars at battalion level, which again is different to the Army.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2012 10:43 p.m. PST

My friend, the four platoon was another rifle platoon conform from the worst of the Company.
Numbers were of paramount importance to the military, because they were so beast and ignorants.
So, First Company was the elite, first Section was the elite over the elite and not mention first platoon of first section of first company!.

First company was from the beginning conform for the older soldiers in age.

As in Argentina of those days all males had to made the military service, those (as me) who choose to go to the University at the age of 17 could present a certificate of "extended military" for a year.
If you aprobe that year, you can presented another one, and so, every year until you finish your career (including tertiary education (not univesity) as teacher of gymnastics profesor , nursing, masters degrees in public relations, etc
As in Argentina the middle class is very strong (43%) a lot of boys finished the hight school and continue with another career.
If you choose the long careers as Engineer, Architect, Medic, Lawer, etc you can take till 26 years old to present your "extention".
So, in the first Companies, first Section you had soldiers from 22 to 26 years old only.
I had 23.
So, in the first Company you can managed with growest "men" than in the other Companies which conform the bulk of the soldiers of 17 to 18 years old.
Then, you began to trained and if you had any problem with it, even if you had 26 years old you can go directly to the fourth company, fourth section.
At war, the young soldiers loves us because we acted as their fathers and save many of their lives under fire.
They call us "The good grandfathers".

During the training the NCOs present several info to their officers and they (behing their desks) decided who went to each Section. Then the Sargent Major decided who went to each platoon of the whole Company.

Be on the first Section of the first Co was a privilege and a proud result because on the training we had to run, jump and bleed (yes, bleed, because the NCOs always tried to broke us with many blows,etc)and there were no privilegies, even if you were a son of a General.
I remember one soldier from my Section who was the son of a Colonel of the HQ and he decided to be "funny" with the NCOs
so they made them a "special tour" which ending with him in the hospital in a very bad state.
His father visit the training camp next day and while we wait the public punishment of those beasts, he made a little speach congratulating them for their zeal.(??)
That was really crazy!.

Well, when you end your training and was apointed to the First Section, first platoon, two of those soldiers had to be inmediatly promoted to the rank of Sublieutenant.
The two chosen was a medic (a very good one) and me.
So, imagine the faces of the brutal NCOs next day when I return to the unit with my bars on my shoulders! (smile).

Please, any doubt you had ask me without hesitation.
Hope not having boring with my memories!. (smile).


Jemima Fawr17 Jul 2012 11:04 p.m. PST

Not at all, this is great stuff! I know there will be others reading this who, like me, are astonished at how the system worked (or didn't!). I guess it was a throwback to the days of Grenadier Companies; massing the best together in a single unit on one flank of the line.

pigbear18 Jul 2012 3:11 a.m. PST

What a great read. This is what makes TMP worth visiting. Thanks to all for great posts, especially Armand. You've ignited an interest in the period in me that I didn't previously have. Not to game necessarily, but at least to understand.


Griefbringer18 Jul 2012 4:30 a.m. PST

I saw the blowpipes when they arrived at the islands.
Impossible to forget!.
The senior Seargeant took one and said that is was so easy to used that he didn't need to read any instrucctions (who were in english and of course he decided that not want any translation from one of his soldiers who had studied that idiom). He point to a ridge, fire and the projectile shoots out…backwards! destroying a pile of drawers with supplies distant at 100 meters.
The face of fear and surprise of that ignorant fool was so comical that all the Company began to laught to tears!.
Before that, the imbécil decided that those weapons cannot be used!.
He never would accept he was wrong. And so, we had not any to used at combat.

Was there anybody in the regiment with actual prior training in their usage?

My understanding is that the Blowpipes require quite a bit of training. Trying to learn it on your own on the field (without any dedicated training equipment), with just the assistance of a foreign language manual, sounds like quite a challenge.

I presume that the dedicated Blowpipe operators in the British army had quite some hours of training.

Jemima Fawr18 Jul 2012 4:38 a.m. PST

The Royal Artillery AD Regts trained almost continuously on simulators – the sim looked like a normal Blowpipe launcher, but the sighting unit contained a video screen. The graphics were very basic, but the operator was presented with a series of targets flying from various directions. He'd then have to acquire, launch and guide the missile to target and would have to do that 'x' many times per month to maintain his qualification. They also fired LOTS of live rounds at drones on Manorbier Range. So yes, they were extremely proficient, but it was still apparently damned difficult to hit stuff with Blowpipe! Javelin was a vast improvement and Starstreak is lightyears ahead of Blowpipe.

I've never played with the Blowpipe simulator, but I have fired plenty of simulated rounds on Javelin and Starstreak – and even hit something (once) with the latter. :o)

I imagine that the Argentine Army was sold simulators along with the weapons and someone was proficient on it, as IIRC, they shot down a RM Gazelle with one. But giving someone a weapon and just expecting them to get on with it is madness.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2012 9:45 a.m. PST

Glad you had enjoy my poor experiences at war my friends.
I had a privilege to be at first line as witness of the most important combats there because I was appointed to the Communication Co of my Regiment because I know english (ha!ha! many here think otherwise)and "hear" a lot of good info.

Also, when I was pointed to the "movil Co" had to be at "Two Sister" as an advance guard, then when we literaly had to run from there I return to my original position at "Mount Longdon" and when our enemy broke our lines there, the remnats of my unit fly to "Tumbledown" were we made our last stand with our friends of the Marine Infantry.

About the "bloopers" of the Argentine Army, the list is incredible large.
Only some I remember here.

1st. When we arrived to the Islands our equipment was in large bags as the WW2 US Marines used. No backpacks for the infantry!. Do you know how it was to carried that long, heavy and unconfortable bags 15 kmts?
And at rapid trot?
Half of my Company went sick only when we arrived to… nowhere!. In an open space without tents or tools.
Yes, there were one WW2 shield for each four platoons which of course broke before the first fox-hold was made.
You had to asked yourselves: So, how the Argentines made their defense positions?
Answer: Stealing material from Puerto Argentino (Port Stanley)of course!. But be aware if they caught you!.
Directly to be staked on the ground.
Do you imagine what was to be staked as in the XIX° Century Indian frontier on a ground so fluid with strong winds and temperature under 0°?
And of course only with your shirt (from summer weather).
My fellow officer, the medic, inform me that from each 12 men who go to be staked, only one can return to the lines and in a very bad state of health.

2nd. Ammo and practice.
You are at war and you had only fired one round (of five bullets) so you ask for more to practice.
Answer: NO.
They only give us ammo 24hrs before the combat began and not much of them. Many soldiers had to fight only with the three magazines they had when they arrived to the islands.

3er. Food and cleaning.
Food?. What was that? Some poor WW2 German kitchens for 200 men when they had to feed 800. Meat? Bread? Vegetables? NEVER. Only soup and some potage or stew if you were lucky enought with some floating things that better never know what they were!
So… you had to steal again or kill some sheeps to survive.
Water? Well, a very old tractor came everyday from Port Stanley with a tank. But it was soon destroyed by the British Air force, so you had your canteen for one or two days only.
And you had to be shaved!

4th Your weapons.
Anyone knows that you had to perform the diary maintenance of your weapons, especially in a climate so inhospitable.
Elements for that?
Your handkerchiefs (if you had carried one from your house) and some kitchen oil.(stealed of course, or buyed to the cooks)
Of course, 80% of the conscript never tried. They were more worried to eat, drink or withstand the intense cold who broke your bones.
Same for the heavy weapons. That's why half of the morters never fire and the MAGs had some problems with the ammo (locked very often).

5th Medical care.
Only the "doctor" of the Regiment were near. I'm talking about the soldiers-doctors, those who came to made the military service and finished they career and were raw conscripts. The profesional-doctors were at Puerto Argentino enjoing good food and privilegies.
There were not a single male nurse. That task belongs to the most useless soldiers, administratives, gunners without gun and other light wounded.

6th. Intelligence.
We were all time inform about how the war was (big smile).
The intelligence was so good that 24hrs before the fall of the 12° Regiment at Goose Green they still said that the english never came, that they were afraid of us, that they had lost half they fleet, etc.
Suddenly!. It changes and began the tales of the devil "Gurkhas" and what would be our fate in their hands.
That day all the officer with the rank superior to lieutenant decided to retreat to Port Stanley for "instrucctions for the superiority". Our Captain left the place with our only jeep and never return. From four Captains only one remain with our Regiment.
Some seniors NCOs take the same path some minutes after.

Well, there is some examples to how the argentine infantry was training before and on the field at the Falklands (Malvinas), so the anecdote of the "blow pipes" not took my atention. It was a funny day.

Ah!. About the simulators that were mention, maybe had been used by "veteran" units of the Argentine Army. Half our Army was veteran and in good training as the Mountain troops, the Marines, Commandos, old units as the Grenadiers of San Martin, etc, but the units in Malvinas were mostly conscripts, so easy expendables.


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2012 10:59 a.m. PST

Not my period of interest, but I figured Armand would pipe up with some useful information.

Armand--great stories and information my friend.

Jemima Fawr18 Jul 2012 11:34 a.m. PST

Good grief…

The RAF once booked me into an inferior hotel… :o(

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2012 1:04 p.m. PST

Glad you had enjoy it boys!.
Somebody insisted me time ago to wrote a book (smile).


Jemima Fawr18 Jul 2012 1:53 p.m. PST

You should! While I've read other Argentine accounts quoted in other books, I've never seen a full memoir by an Argentine soldier (not in English, anyway).

Jemima Fawr18 Jul 2012 3:00 p.m. PST

A very mundane question for you, Armand: What sort of transport did the Argentine Army use? I know you had very little transport, but what were the typical Jeeps and trucks? I think I've seen Unimog trucks in the odd photo of Port Stanley during the war?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2012 3:47 p.m. PST

My dear friend, our transport were our legs.
The few Unimogs remain in Port Stanley because of the British Air Force (as the armoured vehicles and tanketes)
As I had said, an old tractor bring the water (for a while) and each Company had a jeep for their captain.
There were a old truck with supplied stuff at the beginning, but soon it desappeared because of the enemy Air Force again.
Remember that the terrain was flat.
So, we had to walk from early in the morning (4AM) to Puerto Argentino with a platoon, pick up what they decided (comic supply) and then took a time to steal something useful or buyed it with the money the soldiers gathered.
Then return the next day or at first hour the next day walking all night.
What we used for carried the stuff?
The stretchers for the wounded.
The last week all supply was cut off.
At the middle of this page you can see some of them.




Jemima Fawr18 Jul 2012 5:27 p.m. PST

Cheers Armand, :o)

I should have asked "What SHOULD you have had, had your chain of command not nicked it?"

It looks like a mix of VW Iltis, Mercedes-Benz 230 G-Wagen, Unimog, M35 4-tonner and some 4x4 airborne thing I don't recognise – plus commandeered civvy transport, of course.

Sorry I didn't say it earlier, but as a British ex-serviceman (who was still in school when you were fighting), I'm very, very glad that you made it out of there. I've got a lot of friends who did serve in the Falklands – Royal Marines, a Para, Royal Navy, Welsh Guards, RAF, Merchant Navy and a Gurkha (many of them wargamers), as well as a lady friend whose parents were in Stanley during the war, and I know they'd say the same and would love to share stories with you over a 'few' (ok, many) beers.

I'm planning to take my cadets to the Falklands in a few years (having taken them to Normandy and a few other places) and I know for a fact that your story will form part of the tour.

Mako1118 Jul 2012 6:14 p.m. PST

Wow, I knew you guys were poorly supplied on the Falklands, but I had no idea the situation was so dire, Armand.

Thanks for sharing your story, and glad you survived as well.

A shame corrupt leaders put good men in situations like that.

I guess on the positive side, perhaps the poor supply and training helped win the war, with less loss of life, on both sides.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2012 7:54 p.m. PST

Chain of command.
Junior officer had to managed with what they had (nothing) and complains were forbiten. Of course, in my case, I wasn't a career oficer, I was a civilian with bars with an open mind and with a good preview experience with weapons thanks to my european granfathers and great uncles.
As mostly of them had fought in Europe and as I was the first boy generation after more than 20 years in both families (dad and mom) they "trained" me with their histories of war, hunting, surviving camps, etc since I had memory. Specially my favourite parent who was a french great uncle ex Foreign Legion NCO.(S. Mayor).

Well, returning to the chain of command Captains (except for one) tried to survive in their cabins or tents far away from the first line and they managed the provisions. So you went to them to ask for food, ammo, etc and they treated you like trash and order you to return to your position.
But things began to change when you had a weapon in your hands and you are determined tu used in your defense or in defense of your soldiers.
Before the first week there no one soldier of my unit had been staked again and of course I didn't obey the silly orders anymore.
When 2 PM travel one day to take me under arrest because I had killed two sheeps for food for my men, they had to return to their jeep as fast as his legs allowed him to go there because I was decided to shoot them in the spot if the touch me or any of my men.
Since that day, I became "Mad de la Cruz" in the Regiment.
Officer from the rank of Mayor were in Port Staley excepted one who takes care of the men.
Officers from Lt-Col to Col not mention Generals never quit the Hotel.
With some exceptions of course.
Colonel Senieldin visit our lines three times, but not under fire.
Communications was another great problem.
Equipment was very old and nasty to use. Batteries had not replacement and many of the equipment was from WW2, yes those old that you had to used the crank to give some power.
Nobody follow the radio instrucctions when the combat began or was near.
All the orders were stupid and far away to understand the situation.
Even when time to time we send some good info about the enemy, we never got a serious answer.
Only the artillery was good to support us.
Our artillery was really good. I remember that.
The pilots of the helicopters were good and brave too. They tried to help us until all of them went down.

Intelligence was SO BAD that we had only one personal radar who make a big noice all time and attracted the enemy artillery night by night (take note that on winter night was most part of the day), but it works.
The day when the british began to advance to the Regiment position, it was shut down by order of the Lt Colonel for maintenance.
Do you believe that?
We hear how the enemy advance to our positions and beg to the Lt Col to turn on the radar and he refused with insults to us calling us "cowards" and " fags".
Of course we lost the radar soon.

That Lt Colonel was the worst officer in the Regiment and when I return to Buenos Aires I tried to kill him.
I failed, fortunately.


Mako1118 Jul 2012 8:49 p.m. PST


Sounds like you need to write a book on how not to run a war.

Armand, did you or the other units have any direct contact, and/or support from the Pucara unit stationed on the islands, or did they just run their own sorties independently, as conditions permitted?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2012 10:06 p.m. PST

My friend Mako 11 the Pucarás were mostly in the other Island and they fight supporting our troops at Goose Green.
But mostly of them were destroyed by the SAS on ground.
We had not air support.
Relationship between the three forces (Navy, Army, Air force) was nile.
The own Generals promote the dissent from the begining.

Example: Poor 12° Regiment (part of them because one of their unit was with us and when they decided to send them to reinforce the Regiment by Helicopters, they land and had to surrender on the spot because their Colonel had signed the surrender of his Regiment. It was not his fault, he advice to the HQ that he had not more ammo or men and that that unit had to return, but they never hear his comments), when the 12° had been cut in pieces by the British Paras after a brave fight he ask for help to the Commodore at charge of the air base there. He had twice the number of soldiers than the infantry Regiment, but he refused waiting orders from thir superiors in … Buenos Aires!.
At the end, the Commodore decided to surrender his troops (mostly infantry,not any pilot at all) without a single shoot.
That's why the Paras saw so many soldiers surrendering the last day of battle at Goose Green.


Malibu Max19 Jul 2012 4:53 a.m. PST


Interesting comments from the other side of the hill. Glad you made it back in one piece. You might like to have a look at this link:


There are some comments from British veterans on page 5 and 6 which you might find interesting. In particular there is little or no animosity against your soldiers who fought there. You fought hard and fair, and both sides shared the hardships of poor food, the winter weather and the danger.

Best wishes

Malibu Max

GeoffQRF19 Jul 2012 5:15 a.m. PST


May I just echo thanks for your commentary above. It is extremely interesting to see the experiences from both sides.

Thank you for sharing, with the greatest of respect.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2012 12:05 p.m. PST

My dear friends Malibu Max and GeoffQRF happy you had enjoy my experiencies.
Many thanks Malibu Max for the link.
I'm going to read it in detail.


Jemima Fawr19 Jul 2012 12:26 p.m. PST

Fantastic stories again Armand! Thanks very much indeed.

To think I started this thread to get some boring organisational trivia, but you've turned it into one of the most interesting TMP threads in a very long time.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2012 12:40 p.m. PST

Glad you think that my friend.
There were only tiny memories of an old soldier.


basileus6625 Jul 2012 12:59 p.m. PST

When I was in Argentina back in the 90s, I interwieved several Malvinas' veterans. All of them told the same stories than Raúl: absent officers, coward NCOs, no food, no water, no transportation, scarce ammo, and cold. The memory that stuck in their minds was the monstrous cold they suffered. One of them was a young lad in the Malvinas, only 18… he lost several of his toes to frostbite. He showed me the stumps, while he cried for his lost health. Other told me a story that put a lump in my throat: after the war was over, the British ordered their commanding officer to clear a minefield they had planted; the officer didn't bother to report the British that he had lost the map with the position of the mines, but cleared the field anyway… with his soldiers using sticks to find the mines! Two guys were blown off by mines before the British learnt what was happening and sent their own team of combat engineers to clear the field.

The Argentinian high command didn't deserve the bravery and loyalty of those kids. I am not surprised that they were ousted out of power by the Argentinian people shortly after the war.

Brown Fez25 Jul 2012 1:33 p.m. PST

There were far more compelling reasons to oust them. This was just the final straw.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2012 10:11 p.m. PST

Thanks for your comments Antonio.
Hope one day you can finish your book about that conflict.
As I had said many times, those superior officers (and many middle ones too) were criminals.
They lern to "fight" against the civil population in the "dirty war" but forget so quickly what they lern in their Military school.
I still waiting to see any of them shot in the wall, but it seems that they made their arrangements when they lost the government of my country and save their miserable lifes.

Un fuerte abrazo

Maxshadow26 Jul 2012 6:23 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Tango. It sounds like a nightmare. I too think you should consider writing a book about them. I think it would honor those young men who despite the way they were mistreated did their duty for their comrades and their country. It would also highlight the criminality of their superiors.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2012 10:11 p.m. PST

Thanks for your support Maxshadow.
I had tried, but when you quit the Army you had to signed a document "very official" were you asure not to comment by name any of your superiors officers which were there.
Even the nasty things that had happened too.
If you don't signed, the Army will not give you the dawn and you remain in the limbo, because you had to deliver your ID (personal document)to the Army when you were under flag and if you had not the dawn they never return it to you.
You can work without ID, nor study, etc.
So, all of us (the survivors) had to signed it.
I know that some of my comrades tried to wrote their experiencies and the government made a demand to them and had to stop.
That's why there are so few books from our part about the crimes in Malvinas (Falkland).


Brown Fez27 Jul 2012 2:14 a.m. PST

I suppose it must be some slight consolation that at least the members of the junta were jailed, even if some got off quite lightly or that idiot Menem pardoned them. Videla was convicted again just last month for his role in the kidnapping of children. Of course nobody, save one brave judge in Mendoza, has ever lifted a finger against Isabelita, who started the whole proceso.

Still, in Uruguay they all escaped under a general amnesty. A few weeks ago in Brazil, Dilma announced a truth commission but the immunity enjoyed by the military isn't open to debate. In Chile, Pinochet never served a day in prison. You have to wonder just how pragmatic, these pragamatic solutions really are. Sad really.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2012 11:13 a.m. PST

You are quite right Almond.
And remember that idiot Menen had to managed with a coup d'etat by the military in his first year of government.
Alfonsin, the previous president and a really "white fly" because he was honest and promulgated the "Junta trial", had to managed too with two military attemps.

When the next President after Menem (De la Rua)decided to continue with the trials, he was quit off inmediatly by a "civil" coup d'etat. So, the Kirtchners (man and wife) still remain and had no problems anymore with the uniform guys because they signed a "full pardon" to the old criminals and for their part, they accepted the destrucction of the military school.
All South America had amesties for their military in power for many years.
Of course, in this blessed continent people think that the real guilty of the military governments were USA.
So, that's one of the most important causes of the bad realtionship between them and us.
Not agree from my part.

But Politic is s…


Prof Pate27 Jul 2012 5:24 p.m. PST

Very interesting thread and a veteran's input not just welcome but respected. Never was shot at but was in RNR at time.

In interest of like for like stories

HMS Sheffield and indeed most naval vessels operated on a 'peacetime' regime of maintenance and this could have been significant factor in loss (unable to fight fire because pumps were being stripped for routine clean)

And ref Gazelle wasn't there one shot down in a 'blue-on-blue'?

Thanks Armand for your willingness to share these memories with us.

John FoA

Jemima Fawr27 Jul 2012 7:20 p.m. PST


Yes, a 656 Sqn AAC Gazelle was shot down by HMS Cardiff, with a Sea Dart SAM.

badger2227 Jul 2012 7:47 p.m. PST

Not exactly on thread, but

RMD do you lot use Blue for friendlys? I am sure I read somewhere that you used Red while we used blue, and then reversed for enemy units on maps. So you would have a red on red.
Is this really ture? Or just another service rumor? I know I read it before the internet exsted( yes you youngens there really was a time) so it is not a net rumor. Or did it exist at one time but now we are all on the same page?


Jemima Fawr27 Jul 2012 9:39 p.m. PST

It was all orange symbols of different shapes on a CRT screen – Friendlies or Bandits. The only time I recall ever using colour to indicate degrees of friendliness was on exercise – we were always Blue Force while the enemy was usually Orange Force.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2012 11:40 a.m. PST

Dear John, thanks for your kindly words.

About sharing memories, one I enjoy to share more was how the british, our enemies, save my leg and probably life after the end of the combat.

I had already forget how a human been should to be treated since I land in the Islands so many weeks before the surrender and our "enemy" were in the end who really showed me that.
And to many of my comrades too.

This didn't confirm that I was in the wrong side. I had my own ideas about that territory, but they show us (the argentine soldiers) how humanity can be shown even at war.

I will never tire of thanking them.


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