Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Well its been a quiet year on the blog which isn't really true representation of what has happened over the last 12 months.

I have been to 3 lectures at the Military Academy here in Stockholm, 2 by Mike Cole and 1 by Tim Collins.

Mike in particular was an interesting speaker as his talks were about Zulu Company (of which he was the company commander) and their assault on Two Sisters. I have always had the greatest respect for the Marines as they accomplished everything with so few casualties. Listening to Mike I got the impression that a Marine is trained completely differently from a regular Army soldier like myself. In addition to a high emphasis on physical fitness he was trained to be a thinker and to operate individually.

I was also able to transfer Mikes presentation from VHS video and slides onto a memory stick and a Powerpoint presentation, something that he was able to use for his second talk and proved to be a great success :)

Tim Collins was also a fascinating speaker mainly because of his outspoken opinions on the role of women in the Army (which fly in the face of how the Swedish Army feel) and the fact that he was very "in your face". His talk was funny, witty, controversial and thoroughly entertaining. He is famous for giving a truly inspirational speech to his battalion prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was later played by Kenneth Branagh in the film "10 Days to War"

I have had a few contacts from veterans of the fighting and from members of the public which has been heartening because sometimes you have to ask yourself if anybody is actually reading what you write. For all those who are reading this I would like to thank you.

Lastly my year was rounded out with what must be the best reason for writing this blog.

I have mentioned in the past that my best friend in the Scots Guards was tragically killed in car accident in Cyprus in 1984. It broke my heart knowing that Tally, having survived a tour of Northern Ireland and Tumbledown, was to be killed returning from a darts match while stationed in Cyprus when his taxi plunged off a mountain side.

Tally was a typical Guardsman. Tall, bushy mustache, stocky, brave and a great friend to his colleagues. He was also married to Chris and had two young boys Paul junior and Carl. When I found out about Tally I contacted Chris who I was able to track down through the Army pension office and we talked but since then I have lost contact.

Anyway completely out of the blue Paul, his eldest son, contacted me and we have exchanged a few emails and it's been fantastic to hear from the family again after so many years!

I promise to make 2010 a little more interesting

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr and his series about Britain made this interesting report about Thatcher and the Falklands

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Falklands - Veterans

I know I have been quiet recently with my blog entries but it's not because I have nothing to say, just not a lot of focus on saying it.

Digging around on YouTube I found some interesting videos telling the veterans story from the Argentine side.

And something from the British side, though this is more generic and includes events from Northern Ireland

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Interview by Alastair Mitchell of Left Flank

While doing a bit of research for an upcoming talk I am going to give at work I came across this rather interesting interview of Alistair Mitchell describing the initial contact by Left Flank with the Argentine defenders.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Day out at the academy

In a repeat of last years event the Swedish Military Academy at Karlsberg invited me back for their annual Falklands event.

This year had a very similiar feel to last years with a paper exercise based around an EU task force being sent to intervene after the islands had been invaded. Of course they renamed everything and turned the map upside down to try and throw the cadets off from coming up with solutions that mirrored 1982 and it was interesting to hear some of the presentations.

However I must admit that considering how little training they have had they did a pretty good job. Very well presented and they had thought of most factors.

The highlight of the day for me though was attending the lecture by Mike Cole.

Mike was Company Commander for Zulu Company 45 Commando and it was his men who stormed the right hand peek of Two Sisters (codename "Summers Day") or as its more afffectionately known by the locals as "Right Tit". if you don't already know 2 Sisters is a dual peek mountain hence the reference to female anatomy. His description of the build up and eventual assault was very interesting and so different to that experienced by the Scots Guards.

Also at the presentation was Rachel Aspagard who despite her Swedish name was actually English. Her father moved to the Falklands in 1979 and bought the farm at Bluff Cove along with 2 other Irishman, believe it or not, to escape the troubles in Northern Ireland and get away from it all. Rachel at the time was training as a nurse and was working at the hospital in Stanley. She was there during the whole invasion and watched Tumbledown from Stanley. She told us that the shockwaves from all the artillery firing cracked the walls of the hospital and you could put a finger into the gaps that formed. Her step mother was Doctor Alison Bleaney who helped broker the Argentine surrender.

A fascinating day only slightly spoilt by the fact I didnt get a chance to present anything to the cadets. I prepared a presentation which I ran through with Major Jonas Blomquist (Chief Tactics instructor) afterwards and he agreed that I should come back in the near future and present the story of the Scots Guards to everyone.

I am very much looking forward to doing that.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Colin Coull

So there I was last night watching a chick flick with my wife, something called "Love Actually" starring about every British actor there is.

And who should I see but SGT Colin Coull :)

Way to go Colin