South Georgia: the Santa Fe: and San Carlos: Re-examining HMS Antrim’s Falklands Conflict

Event Date: 
Saturday, 21 May 2022 - 10:00am

After the aircraft carriers, HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible, the Portsmouth-based County Class Destroyer HMS Antrim can make claim to be the Royal Navy ship with the most intense and impactful Falklands Conflict. Through a deployment of 121 days – with 110 spent at sea - Antrim steamed over [20,000] miles, overcoming multiple enemy threats and the challenges of combat planning, logistics, refueling and repair.

HMS Antrim led the Task Group for ‘Operation Paraquet’ – the re-capture of the island of South Georgia.  Her Wessex HAS 3 helicopter rescued 16 SAS troopers and four aircrew in atrocious weather conditions from a glacier and detected and disabled the Argentinian submarine Santa Fe, the first ever attack by a helicopter on a submarine.  Antrim and her helicopter then launched the assault that led to the recovery of South Georgia.  By 20th May Antrim and her helicopter deployed Special Forces at Fanning Head to start the landing operations to retake the Falklands Islands. The day spent in ‘Bomb Alley’ which followed were well-named and the ship was hit by a 1,000 bomb which did not explode; it was removed after 10 hours and, ‘dropped gently into the sea on leaving Falkland Sound’

Forty years to the day, since HMS Antrim entered San Carlos Water, this event will re-unite and feature officers from the ship and helicopter.  Speakers will share their memories of events, reflect on lessons learnt and their meaning today.  The event will be led by leading academic and strategic forecaster Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry – the Flight Observer in Antrim’s Wessex in 1982 - who will also describe the ship’s experience in the context of the wider Falklands Conflict.

Programme

10:00  - Coffee and Registration
10:20  - Welcome: Matthew Sheldon, Executive Director of Operations
10:30  - Antrim’s Falklands Conflict: Rear-Admiral Chris Parry - Admiral Parry will lead the narrative of Antrim’s War, calling on key officers for their personal experiences and reflections on the dramatic events being described.
12:00  - Questions
12:30  - END
13.15  - Royal Marines Association Concert Band
14.30  - Streamed Talk: The Falklands Myth & Memory, a tri service examination of The Falklands Conflict

Venue: Auditorium, No. 6 Boathouse, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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