Saturday 20 September 2014


This week has gone to hell in a handcart and next week isnt going to be much better. We are in the final count-down now to end of H's tour of duty at university. Next Friday it's all over and done with. What can I say but Thank F***!  But in the meantime she has to finish her dissertation, give a presentation at university, give a presentation to the company where she is an intern, and sail through a second interview (including presentation) for a major position with a leading Scottish company. I'm sure you can imagine that stress factors in the house are at an all time high.

We've also had THE referendum this week. Many of my colleagues plus some of my team were directly involved working at the polling stations. They are all very proud to have taken part in such a historic event and returned to the office yesterday with amazing tales from the front-line of democracy in action.They were bouyed up by their experience in a way I've only seen in volunteers from the Glasgow Games and London Olymics. As for me, with the exception of following the Scottish Independence thread on ARRSE (not for the faint-hearted), I blindedly ignored the media, the leaflets, the campaign, the personalities et al to make my own informed decision based not on flags or fear but a balanced view which lay somewhere between head and heart.

To help me ignore the political chaff, I've read a lot over the last two weeks or so. With a 35 minute train journey each way plus 10-15 minutes in the waiting room in the morning, I can get through a lot in a week, especially now I have the Kindle app on my iPad.

Too Far Too Few, is a tribute to Naval Party 8901 and their defence of South Georgia during the Falklands Conflict. It gets you into a bootnecks mindset but be warned that the salient battle for the defence of South Georgia is limited to one short chapter. I bought this after The Yompers (Kindle edition), about 45 Commando in the Falklands. It follows the all too common We Heard, We Sailed, We Landed, We Yomped, We Fought, We Lost Mates, We Won, We Came Home formula. Reasonable account of Two Sisters but had disappointing maps.

Also picked up Nine Battles To Stanley by Nicholas van der Bijl for 2.99 or so on eBay. All I can say is it's a poor man's version of Hugh Bicheno's Razors Edge. Bicheno wins hands down and in fact I use the very detailed battle maps in Razors Edge to follow the action described in both The Yompers and Three Days in June (Kindle edition). If you don't know Razors Edge then all I can say is that as a wargamer it is THE one and only book you need to read about the Falklands.

Three Days in June by James O'Connell I've had for about a month now and thoroughly recommend. I just keep going back to it. It's Mount Longdon from the mouth's of the Tom's who fought there and is superb if you want to get into the mind of soldiers in action as they fought from rock to rock. The book also includes lots of photos of 3 Para with 16 photos of Mt Longdon which help get the scale of the place, location of participants at given times and course of the battle as it unfolded. However,I still found I had to use Bicheno's map in tandem with reading the text to have real clarity of the actual situation. I felt the Kindle format detracted from the fact that with a real book you can more easily flip back and forth between pages to study maps and photo.

At the same time as reading 3 Days in June, I also read Brains and Bullets: How Psychology Wins Wars by Leon Murray. I can't recommend Brains and Bullets enough. I even bought a copy for Maff so we could be on the same page.  In fact when I finished reading Brains and Bullets I went back and read Three Days in June mapping the Toms accounts of their actions or reactions to battle against Leon Murray's pschological model of men in combat. And it works.

Gaming wise, the Enfilade 20mm SAS arrived mid-week. Put an order into Matt at Elhiem for a a clutch of 20mm 'Nam figures on the back of the fun we've had with Lock Stock... Don't be surprised if you find a Lock Stock 'n Two Smoking Hootches (or similar) variant in the future.



  1. Hi Mark, just a quick one regarding your comment about Hugh Bicheno's Razors Edge. the routes he has indicated on his maps are wrong, there are numerous errors, his location for Ian McKay is 200m short of the actual position where he fell, the route he indicated for 6 Platoon is completely wrong, there are so many errors including the Argentine gun positions and who was manning which Heavy Machine gun. Please ignore his maps, at the moment I am liaising with Parachute Regiment HQ who know which is the correct version and the correct locations. I have informed them of the final location of Sgt Ian McKay. I can understand why you would believe established authors like Hugh Bincheno and Jon Cooksey, but both their versions are wrong and full of inaccuracies,
    Bye for now Jimmy O'Connell

    1. Hi Jimmy

      Thanks for visiting the blog and putting us straight on the maps. Don't worry, I was following your text against the topographical features of Bicheno's map. But it's always useful for someone who was there to highlight that we can't take what we read at first value.

      One of the things I like about Three Days in June is that where 3-4 Toms in a section experienced something, you put in each of their accounts. You don't just resort to the best of the bunch to illustrate the point then move on to the next bit of action. Well done... on all counts


  2. Another very interesting post. For someone who was still at school at the time of the Falklands I'm finding that in middle age a desire to learn more about this conflict (going beyond Channel 4 documentaries). I believe you are the second blogger to recommend 'Three Days in June' so I've just bought a copy. Keep up the good work.

  3. Jimmy will the book be available in print?

  4. Hi Mike, yes the book is available, but unfortunately all the hardbacks have now sold out, but the paperback version is available, it is the same size as the H-B, it is a large A4 size, 320 pages with 60 photographs, and is available through Ebay search Three Days in June,
    Or through me at my Facebook page Three Days in June,
    hope this helps,
    bye for now Jimmy

  5. Cheets Jimmy will be in contact.