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Summary

When the Falkland Islands were invaded by Argentina in April 1982, Britain’s immediate response was to send a task force. But behind the pomp and bravado of its departure, a sober reality lurked. A mere 20 Sea Harriers operating from two aircraft carriers would take on the might of the Argentine air force, some 200 planes strong. The MOD estimated that within four days and against such formidable air power, half the harriers would likely be lost.

To reinforce that meagre force, and in just three weeks, the Navy formed, trained and equipped a brand new squadron from scratch. Not since the Second World War had so much been expected of such a small band of pilots. Their home would be a container ship converted into a makeshift carrier. 809 Naval Air Squadron was born.

Other covert operations mounted by MI6 and the SAS in Latin America would provide vital intelligence to protect the task force from attack, but in the vanguard of the conflict it would be the Sea Harriers of the 809 whose heroics in the South Atlantic which would become legendary.

With characteristic insider knowledge and in thrilling detail, Rowland White tells the story of those amazing exploits - the dogfights, the 23 kills, the deadly Exocet attacks, the ejections - demonstrating just why the Harrier is mentioned in the same breath as the Spitfire, the Lancaster, and the Vulcan and is destined to join them in the ranks of our most celebrated aeronautical achievements.

©2020 Rowland White (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Usual greatness.

Sublime writing by Roland White, great reading by Roy McMillan. Must add five more words.

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Harrier 809

Excellent book , having grown up when the conflict was on this book brings to life the struggles & scarifies of are armed forces. The attention to detail is superb on every level a must read

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Another classic from Rowland White

This is the 3rd audible book I have downloaded (and kept) from Rowland white. All have transported you into the cockpit of Vulcan bomber, space shuttle and now a sea harrier during the Falklands war. Great detail on actual events coupled with a great storyline. Highly recommend Harrier 809 and also suggest checking out other books as well. Very well narrated by Roy McMillan. 5 stars all around!

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As good as expected

Another excellent read, nice balance of technical and history. End credits hinted at next book Dambusters 617... Looking forward already.

1 person found this helpful

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An excellent read

Great story and keeps you gripped. Another great book after White’s Vulcan masterpiece. Look forward to the Dambusters!

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FAR too much detail

The average reader doesn't need serial numbers and product codes for every piece of kit used; the content is far too over detailed. I found it unnecessary and confusing which interrupted the flow. Boring actually. The story was far less about the Falklands and far more about the Harrier sign off process - dull and not as expected. Unclear descriptions and nicknames used throughout makes for a book which is difficult to follow and understand. It was well researched but a shame the author wasn't able to pick the best bits of research and bring the story to life.

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Great book, buy it!

Really enjoyed this book, fantastic account of the falklands war in general and specifically on the harriers. Well researched, well written, well read. Loved it.

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Brilliant book

Really enjoyed this book, The story was engaging and facinating to hear, even after reading other books of the Falklands war this could standalone without the need to have more than a basic understanding of what happened, or add to what you may have read in other books that focused on other area's of the campain. I would highly recommend this to others.

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The story of a world class plane

Perhaps it would have been completely different if the harriers had been sold to Argentina as was the plan, the story of how the men of the task force turned around a military beset by cutbacks and achieved a victory is impressive but why does Britain have to always "achieve" on a wing and a prayer?

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  • msl
  • 22-10-20

Falklands Aviation , one of the best I’ve read/ heard.

Finished it in 3 days. Which is something I haven’t done for years. Have always liked books by this author and this I think is one of his best. Crammed full of interesting facts and anecdotes. Lots of new information I was unaware of. A must buy for anyone interested in the 1982 conflict.