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.

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