Warfare in News

Posted on Monday 5th August

Admiral Sir John 'Sandy' Woodward - the commander of Margaret Thatcher's Royal Navy Falklands task force to retake the Islands after the Argentines invaded - has died following a long illness, aged 81.

During the Falklands conflict, Admiral Woodward gave the controversial order to sink the Argentine cruiser, General Belgrano, resulting in the loss of 323 lives. Last year, in an interview with the Telegraph, he said of the sinking:

'It’s very simple. There was the Belgrano and two destroyers armed with Exocet missiles milling around in the southern ocean. I know from experience that while they were within 200 miles of our ships, they could have us overnight. So I wanted them removed, didn’t I?'

The defence secretary Philip Hammond has expressed his sadness at Admiral Woodward's passing, saying:

'I am saddened by the news that Admiral Sir John "Sandy" Woodward, has died and my thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.'

In later years, Admiral Woodward served as Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, and went on to be the Flag Aide-de Camp to the Queen before his retirement.

Further Reading

The Falklands War

Only £16.99

The Falklands War

(Paperback - 432 pages)
by Martin Middlebrook

With the surprise Argentine invasion of the remote Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982, the United Kingdom found itself at war. Due to the resolve of a determined Prime Minister and the resourcefulness of the Armed Forces, a Task Force, codenamed Operation CORPORATE, was quickly despatched. Remarkably, just over two months later, the Islands were liberated and the invaders defeated. By any standards this was an outstanding feat of arms, cooperation made possible by political… Read more...

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