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ITH more of a
bounces around the rocky terrain, And, to be sure, RFA Largs Bay
splash than a
mingled by the sporadic deep is not bristling with weaponry. She
crash, a landing
IT’S bread and butter to the Royal Marines, ,
boom of mortar fi re. possesses no missiles, no 4.5in
Why, you might ask, is Navy gun, no torpedoes.
craft nudges
but it’s not traditionally been on the Army’s
News dedicating so much space to But then try fi tting an infantry
the shore, its ramp rapidly
plate... until now. Men of 1 Mercian (Cheshire) a bunch of pongoes? company (plus kit), BVs, trucks,
drops on to the sand and
were introduced to amphibious warfare
Well, let me answer that one. tents and a Rapier battery on a
pebbles below.
courtesy of RFA Largs Bay in the Falklands.
It’s because without the boys Type 23 (actually don’t, because
in dark blue – the RFA and Fleet you can’t…).
Twenty troops tramp quickly Richard Hargreaves and photographer
Air Arm to be precise, in this Then try ferrying all that lot
through the water, then throw
LA(Phot) Iggy Roberts went along. instance -– this simply wouldn’t ashore by Lynx or RIB (actually
themselves on to the ground,
be possible. don’t, because you can’t…).
hiding behind tufts of grass.
You see, it should have been “It’s not a question of losing a
On a bluff a couple of hundred
HMS Northumberland patrolling warship,” Largs’ CO Capt Kim
feet above the water’s edge there’s
the Falklands right about now… Watts says emphatically. “We offer
the chatter of machine-guns, the of no-less imposing rocky hillocks the hill, then sweeping back down are virtually indistinguishable –
but she’s thwarting pirates in the a lot more – albeit very different. A
echo bouncing off the crag-strewn and peaks. it, rooting a couple of snipers out towards even craggier rocks.
Indian Ocean (see pages 11-13). warship cannot take the equipment
ridges. The soldiers, 3 Platoon, 1 from foxholes impossible to see At the appointed hour, the
The decision not to send the we can.”
Up a ravine to the right, a few Mercian (Cheshire), take cover from the shore. troops begin ‘pepperpotting’ up
frigate to the South Atlantic and Indeed. Before leaving the
men puff and wheeze, zig-zagging behind a cluster of rocks, bringing The troops pause for a couple of the hill – advancing in ‘sticks’
‘only’ send an RFA raised a few UK, her dock was loaded with
their way up this hill overlooking heavy machine-gun fi re to bear on hours (time for a wet and a bacon (small groups), one stick on the
eyebrows Roger Moore-style in diggers, tractors, trucks, hawsers,
Port Howard -– not, as its name the hill top. butty, of course) then regroup for left, then one in the centre, then
Fleet Street. BV tracked vehicles, all safely
suggests, a port, but an inlet The more distant gun chatter a fi nal assault up an even steeper one on the right.
anchored down next to Betsy,
fl anked to the east by an imposing relaxes. The men continue slope – Suffolk Hill for the record, Once again the chatter of
ridge and to the west by a series upwards, moving along the top of although most of these peaks machine-gun and small arms fi re
marina Continued on page 26
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