Review: The Falklands War

The Falklands War
The Falklands War by Martin Middlebrook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Falklands War” is a very readable account of the military side of the war in the Falklands. Middlebrook gives the bare bones of the history of the Falklands, diplomacy, and the political side of the war to set the scene for his narrative of the military buildup and military operations. The Argentinians didn’t cooperate with the author, so there isn’t as much in the book from their perspective but Middlebrook tries to be as objective as possible. He also includes accounts from the Falklanders themselves including their experiences under Argentinian occupation. It’s worth mentioning that this book also has the most detailed account of the Vulcan operations during the Falklands War and the logistics that enabled the use of the Vulcans.

I particularly enjoyed how the book is organized. Middlebrook not only gives an account of what happened and analysis of how and why things happened, he includes accounts from participants (unfortunately just from the British and the Falklanders, but not because he didn’t try to get accounts from the other side). He doesn’t spare the British when mistakes and errors are made either, he makes it clear that it wasn’t a contest between a perfect British force and a bungling Argentinian force; at times it was a closely run thing. My only complaint is a lack of maps; I read the Kindle version so I’m not sure if the print version is any different.

For a more detailed account of the history of the Falklands, the diplomacy that ultimately led to war, and politics in both Great Britain and Argentina, “The Battle for the Falklands” by Hastings and Jenkins is still the book to read, but if you want a good account of just the military aspect of the war, you can’t wrong reading “The Falklands War.” I would also go so far as to say “The Falklands War” is the easier read of the two. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of two is a lack of maps.

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