Friday, May 28, 2010
Goose Green, May 28, 1982
The memorial for fallen Lt. Col. Herbert H Jones.
The English are the best people in the world for colorful place names. I'm not sure why a place would be called Goose Green, but it's not the sort of name you forget.
This little spot on the globe became famous on May 28, 1982 as the site of the first major ground clash in the unusual Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
Action had been fiecre up to this point, but it had mostly involved naval and air forces. At Goose Green and Darwin the British and Argentines came to grips in a sharp action between a battalion of British paratroopers and a 1,200-man Argentine garrison made up of air force troops and a battalion-sized force of infantry.
Both sides were remarkably evenly matched and the the fighting was long and difficult. After about 30 hours of combat the Argentine force surrendered. The British lost 17 killed, including the commander of the 2 Para, Lt. Col. Herbert "H" Jones, who was awarded the Victoria Cross. The Argentine lost around 40 soldiers killed and the entire garrison as prisoners of war.
The battle is depcited in some detail as Scenario 18 in South Atlantic War, a Harpoon 4 campaign book published by Clash of Arms Games. It's also a scenario in the Test of Arms from GDW. Still, this would seem to be fertile ground for scenario designers for modern tactical wargames and I'm surprised it hasn't been tapped more often.