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Charging Para--single British figure from the Falklands War

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King & Country

Item Number: TF009

Charging Para

Following his C.O. in the assault on the enemy machine gun position this, ‘2 Para’ soldier rapidly moves forward with his L1A1 rifle.



When the Argentine ‘Junta’, the military dictatorship that then ruled Argentina, decided to invade and take the Islands by force they were under the false delusion that Britain would not fight for this faraway territory peopled with just 1800 islanders virtually all of whom were of British ‘stock’.  They also falsely believed that Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, would not have the stomach for any kind of military action.

How fatally wrong they were!

After seeking the advice of Admiral Sir Henry Leach, the First Sea Lord who asserted that ‘Britain could and should send a task force’, the Prime Minister confirmed her senior naval advisor’s opinion.  The British ground forces that were then dispatched down south with the Naval Task Force were many of the best and most professional soldiers Britain could produce among them the following:

3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines including: 40 Commando, 42 Commando and 45 Commando plus… 29 (Commando) Regiment Royal Artillery

     In addition, among the British Army units deployed were the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of The Parachute Regiment as well as two whole squadrons, ‘D’ AND ‘G’ of the Special Air Service.

This month’s King & Country ‘Falklands’ release focuses on the amazing exploits of the men of ‘2 PARA’ and their hard-won victory at ‘Goose Green’ on May 28, 1982.

‘The Battle of Goose Green’

A week after the successful British landings on East Falkland it was decided that ‘2 PARA’ should attack the Argentine position nearest to the British beachhead:  Goose Green and the civilian settlement at nearby Darwin.

Originally it was thought that the number of enemy was about 500 strong including infantry and some artillery (both ground and anti aircraft).

This original assessment of enemy troop strength was a gross underestimate.

At dusk on May 26th, ‘2 PARA’ began their move forward and by the morning of the following day their commander, Lt. Col ‘H’ Jones had planned his attack on the enemy positions while his men remained undetected for most of that day.

In the early hours of May 28th, ‘A’ Company of 2 PARA advanced on the left flank and soon made contact with the first Argentinean troops in that sector driving them backwards.  Soon afterwards ‘B’ Company moved forward on the right flank encountering strong opposition but swiftly overcoming it.  ‘D’ Company held the centre between ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies.   All of this took several hours, however, and by first light, all three assaulting companies were encountering heavy resistance from machine gun and mortar fire and the advance ground to a halt.

At this point, the Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. ‘H’ Jones and his Tactical HQ moved up to determine the cause of the delay and, frustrated by the slow progress, ran forward and attacked an enemy machine gun position.  Alas he was fatally wounded, but his attack inspired ‘A’ Company to follow his assault and take the opposite enemy trenches and bunkers.

2 PARA’s second-in-command, Major Chris Keeble now took over as ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies continued to press their attacks, while ‘C’ Company took over ‘A’ Company’s position in the centre as fighting continued.

By sunset on May 28th, the Paras had taken Darwin and surrounded ‘Goose Green’, but remained exposed to freezing conditions throughout the night.  Fortunately, British helicopters continued to evacuate the wounded from the battlefield, and, by dawn of the 29th, Major Keeble sent two Argentine prisoners into Goose Green with an ultimatum and terms for the garrison’s surrender.

At 1450 hours, the Argentinean commander decided to capitulate.  It was a remarkable achievement with ‘2 PARA’ triumphant against odds of over two-to-one!

Not one of the 112 civilian prisoners had been harmed, though 2 PARA lost 16 men killed and 36 severely wounded plus another 30 suffering minor injuries.  A Royal Engineer and a Royal Marine pilot were also killed in the action.  Argentina lost 45 killed, 90 wounded and almost 1,000 captured.

A hard-won victory but a great example of British military professionalism and determination against a much more numerous opposition.

Released in JANUARY 2024.