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View Full Version : Moody Brook Barracks and the attack upon it.



1000ydstare
05-20-2007, 08:49 AM
From the wiki


Giachino's party had the shortest distance to go: two and a half miles due north. Moody Brook Barracks, the destination of the main party, was six miles away, over rough Falklands terrain. Lieutenant-Commander Sanchez-Sabarots, in the book The Argentine Fight for The Falklands (Pen and Sword Military Classics), describes the main party's progress in the dark:

It was a nice night, with a moon, but the cloud covered the moon for most of the time. ... It was very hard going with our heavy loads; it was hot work. We eventually became split up into three groups. We only had one night sight; the lead man, Lieutenant Arias had it. One of the groups became separated when a vehicle came along the track we had to cross. We thought it was a military patrol. Another group lost contact, and the third separation was caused by someone going too fast. This caused my second in command, Lieutenant Bardi, to fall. He suffered a hairline fracture of the ankle and had to be left behind with a man to help him. … We were at Moody Brook by 5.30 a.m., just on the limits of the time planned, but with no time for the one hour's reconnaissance for which we had hoped.
The main party of Argentine Marines assumed that the Moody Brook Barracks contained sleeping Royal Marines. The barracks were quiet, although a light was on in the office of the Royal Marine commander. No sentries were observed, and it was a quiet night, apart from the occasional animal call. Lieutenant-Commander Sanchez-Sabarots could hear nothing of any action at Government House, nor from the distant landing beaches; nevertheless, he ordered the assault to begin. Lieutenant-Commander Sanchez-Sabarots continues his account:

It was still completely dark. We were going to use tear-gas to force the British out of the buildings and capture them. Our orders were not to cause casualties if possible. That was the most difficult mission of my career. All our training as commandos was to fight aggressively and inflict maximum casualties on the enemy. We surrounded the barracks with machine-gun teams, leaving only one escape route along the peninsula north of Stanley Harbour. Anyone who did get away would not able to reach the town and reinforce the British there. Then we threw the gas grenades into each building. There was no reaction; the barracks were empty.
The noise of the grenades alerted Major Norman to the presence of Argentines on the island, and he thus drove back to Government House. Realising that the attack was coming from Moody Brook, he ordered all troop sections to converge on the house to enable the defence to be centralised.

My boldening, I really can't see how surrounding the barracks with MG groups was going to follow the orders they were given.

It looks far more like an ambush. Also, when you include the White Phos residue found in the barracks and possible mortars.... well you catch my drift.

From


At 5.45 am the Argentine commandos reached the Marine barracks and proceeded to attack the buildings with heavy automatic fire and deadly phosphorous grenades. This appears to have been very violent tactics for troops who later claimed that they used blank ammunition in order to save lives. This assault soon stopped when it was realized that the barracks were in fact empty. Major Norman had decided the day before that there was no point in trying to defend the barracks and had moved his HQ to Government house. The Argentine commandos, now feeling very confident after the easy capture of their first objective, now moved to join Giachino's group for their second objective, Government House. The picture on the right shows the destruction caused to the Royal Marine barracks some time after the war.

Blanks could not possibly have been used, no picture has EVER been realeased showing any form of Blank Fireing Adaption on a weapon. MGs take some time to swap over, given that they would be in a position that the Marines could come out fighting that would not be an option.

The attacks later on at Government House certainly were not blanks and flashbangs.

I can't bring any pics in but there are pics outthere of the damage caused during this "peaceful" attack.

Would the attackers be highly skilled in this sort of action? ie, police type clearance of houses?

1000ydstare
05-20-2007, 03:19 PM
It is my contention that the attack on Moody Brook Barracks was nothing less than an attempt to get the drop on the Royal, by killing them all as they slept.

Dawn raid, MG stop groups and room clearance. 30 mins and bish, bash, bosh jobs a good 'un.

67 x casualties, maybe a few lucky ones don't get killed. You own the island. The Government House falls just after, and you have the Islands.

Unfortunatley Royal get's out of bed early, the Argies end up in a pretty embarassing bun fight in which despite the advantages of numbers and surprise (not to mention heavy weapons) they end up slugging it out with 80 Marines. For hours.

The Argentines lost their first man in this action, not to mention a few wounded.

None of the FIDF were commited to battle. Besides which less than 25 turned up out of 150 odd.

Similar story on SG, where 22 men from the Endurance Boat Party held off the Argies, including the damage to a ARA ship (with a Carl Gustav) and two helicopters, four Argentine Marines were killed to zero casualties on the British side. The shot down Puma was the first vehilce casualty of the Argentines.

The men of Boat Party 8901 (at double strength due to rotation at the time (The Argie Intelligence didn't know about the rotation)) and men from 42 Cdos Defence and Milan Platoon were merged to form J Company, 42 Cdo.

This was neccesary as M Coy, 42 Cdo were sent to reclaim SG before the retaking of the Falklands. They fought admirabley considering they were a scratch team.

The Endurance Boat Party never saw combat again, during the Falklands War.

Don't get me wrong, my above points about the lethality and cold bloodedness are not to bash the Argentines. The attack was a good plan, after all you want to take all your men back, not neccesarily the opfor.

Edit
Just wonder why the Argentines claim to be trying to do the job without bloodshed when they must have been out to do the job thoroughly.

Gen. Sandworm
05-20-2007, 03:40 PM
Just wish the Argies would have some spine and admit it. Instead of all this "we were only using blanks and rubber knives" malarky.

Im not going to tell ya again! I see this nothing more than an attempt at baiting. Keep you personal remarks to yourself and stick to facts.

Lone Ranger
05-20-2007, 03:55 PM
None of the FIDF were commited to battle. Besides which less than 25 turned up out of 150 odd.

Is it true that they didn't engage the enemy but they were committed to the battle - just in the wrong place. Some of the photographs the Argentines took of NP 8901 include members of the FIDF.

1000ydstare
05-20-2007, 04:14 PM
THE FIDF were not commited to the battle, by the time they formed up the British knew that, ultimately, the Islands were lost (ie. when an enemy Marine Regiment lands complete with tanks and other support).

They pooled weapons and didn't engage. Awaiting their capture. They would have been treated in the same way as the Royal Marines for POW purposes, possibly alongside them.

The majority were under house arrest for the duration of the war, near Fox Bay. Althouth some, ironically those who didn't turn up for the call up, fought through out the war. Some spied on the Argentines at considerable risk, others actually fought in the battles, as Scouts for the Paras and Marines or as actual riflemen.

Lone Ranger
05-20-2007, 04:43 PM
Not the most reliable source, wikpedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_invasion_of_the_Falkland_Islands

Graham Bound who lived through the Argentine occupation reports instead in his book Falkland Islanders At War that approximately 40 (both serving and past) members of the (FIDF) reported for duty at their Drill Hall. Their commanding officer, Major Phil Summers, tasked the volunteer militiamen with guarding such key points as the telephone exchange, the radio station and the power station.

Nearly all the references I find refer to the attack at Moody Brook being quite deliberate e.g.

On April 2 the destroyer Santisima Trinidad halted 500 metres off Mullet Creek and lowered 21 Argentinian Gemini assault craft into the water, containing 92 troops of the Argentinian Amphibious Commando who then soon landed. At 5:45am the Argentinian Marines had reached their primary objective, Moody Brook Barracks. The Commandos then launched a chaotic and heavy attack on the barracks, using heavy weapons and phosphorous grenades. It was soon halted when it became apparent that the barracks had been abandoned.

1000ydstare
05-20-2007, 04:52 PM
If you search for the pictures, you may find some rather cheeky looking damage that certainly was not from blanks and tear gas.

Lone Ranger
05-20-2007, 06:57 PM
To be honest I don't buy the Argentine story. Major Norman reports hearing the explosions of grenades at Moody Brook from his position at Government house; on Google Earth I make it about 6 km. Tear gas grenades don't make that much noise, if it had gone the way they said, he would never have heard it.

1000ydstare
05-20-2007, 08:39 PM
I sometimes wonder if the new "softly, softly" approach story, is used to prevent comeback wrt other things.

They are lucky there were no Marines in the barracks, but you can't complain about the ARA General Belgrano and her sinking, if you planned and executed the cold blooded killing of 67 people (albeit they were only expected 30 odd).

It could certainly be used as a counter, not legally but morally.

Lone Ranger
06-02-2007, 05:43 AM
From Graham Bound's book "Falkland Islanders at War".

"After their humiliating surrender they found themselves being treated with some courtesy. Some were taken back to Moody Brook and allowed to collect personal possessions. The old barracks had been devastated in what looked like a classic house-clearing operation: walls were riddled with bullets and scorched by white phosphorous grenades. Again there was no sign that the Argentines did not intend to kill.

Plate 18 of the same book shows a picture developed from an undeveloped film found in an Argentine trench after the war. It shows an Argentine soldier posing outside of the barracks, they're trashed.

Eye witness testimony and photographic evidence clearly casts doubt on the Argentine version of blanks and tear gas.

Gen. Sandworm
06-02-2007, 07:29 AM
To be honest I don't buy the Argentine story. Major Norman reports hearing the explosions of grenades at Moody Brook from his position at Government house; on Google Earth I make it about 6 km. Tear gas grenades don't make that much noise, if it had gone the way they said, he would never have heard it.

That all depends! Terrain can carry a sound quite far. Also in many versions its meant to make a loud noise as an added effect. As your guess is just short of 4 miles it would be extreme but not impossible.

1000ydstare
06-02-2007, 10:22 AM
Flash-Bangs as used by modern Special Forces and crack police units in breaking sieges, etc. are used to disorientate and confuse.

However the explosions, at distance, sound different and don't carry as far.

The carriage on a true grenade sound is further because the explosion is far more violent.

Blanks would have no use in any live situation, even if trying to minimise casualties.

BDL
06-02-2007, 10:41 AM
Blanks would have no use in any live situation, even if trying to minimise casualties.

Exactly - who in their right mind would go into a combat situation, even one where you should have total surprise, with some blank rounds and a couple of big bangers? What you going to do if they start shooting back? Fire a couple of Roman candles at them?

Gen. Sandworm
06-02-2007, 12:46 PM
Fire a couple of Roman candles at them?

Those and the all to fun grenade launchers (firework) can be quite scary! :D Talkin from experience here. You wanna experience that will give ya a shock try going to a 4th of July party in the US where loads of drunk ppl are playing with fireworks. Ive never ran so fast in my life.

Rising Sun*
06-02-2007, 01:11 PM
Blanks would have no use in any live situation, even if trying to minimise casualties.

Assuming that the blank firing attachment actually works.

Anyway, all it can do in action is identify the firer as hostile and attract fire to him, when he can't respond with live fire.

Why would anyone do that?

Rising Sun*
06-02-2007, 01:21 PM
That all depends! Terrain can carry a sound quite far. Also in many versions its meant to make a loud noise as an added effect. As your guess is just short of 4 miles it would be extreme but not impossible.

4 miles is a very long way.

Unless it's over calm, windless water 4 miles will kill most sounds beyond the point that they're recognisable in normal terrain where there is a mix of even slightly undulating country with some scrub or forest.

At that distance you might be able to identify some general sounds, but without a lot of experience you'd be struggling to go beyond identifying, say, small arms fire and explosives which might be grenades or small mortars.

Rising Sun*
06-02-2007, 01:49 PM
This appears to have been very violent tactics for troops who later claimed that they used blank ammunition in order to save lives. This assault soon stopped when it was realized that the barracks were in fact empty.


Why was the assault stopped when it was realised that the barracks were empty?

They were firing only blanks which couldn't hurt anyone. Firing harmless rounds into an empty barracks couldn't do any more harm than already had not been done by not firing live rounds into occupied barracks.

1000ydstare
06-03-2007, 03:21 AM
The assault was stopped because it was a waste of time, if no one was in there. And they all headed off to Government House, where a far more deadly firefight ensued.

Strange that tear gas did not factor in this attack, as it could have been quite useful. The Argies must have used all the tear gas at Moody Brook, and their 10% reserve.

Lone Ranger
08-21-2007, 04:13 PM
Mooching around on Youtube, I found a video of Op. Rosario. It shows a brief shot of Moody Brook barracks. With a bloody big hole in the wall. Does tear gas do that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_4E8FeiXrQ

Apologies for the sound track.

I cut out a frame to show just the picture.

http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/4438/movie0001gn4.jpg

Its pretty poor but its been through three formats to grab an image. I'm sure there is an easier way.

Panzerknacker
08-21-2007, 07:29 PM
It looks like artillery but no sure the "hole" is too square to me. Seems more a burned out frame of a window.

http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/507/moodykr5.jpg

Lone Ranger
08-22-2007, 04:06 AM
Could well be but tear gas doesn't do that does it?

Panzerknacker
08-22-2007, 12:51 PM
To start a fire? well I think it can do that if the grenade is launched near an inflammable material, but I dont know if this was the case.

1000ydstare
08-27-2007, 01:43 PM
It is a window, this particular one is a "skylight" sort of affair in the top of the building.

Tear gas grenades do not usually start fires, nor do smokes. Except on absolutely tinder dry grass/hay or similar.

Flash bangs have been known to start them (see Iranian Embassy).

It would be particularly hard to start a fire in this building as it is the training hall/drill hall of the FIDF not Moodybrook Barrack as such but part of the complex. Inside was a wooden floor like found in a school gym and very little incendary matierial. The windows may have had curtains.

Inside the lower window is part of segregated office, and the front bolt on bit is the way in and a toilet block.

The smoke damage from the window was caused by something a little bit more inflamatory.

Zulu_Zulu
01-02-2009, 02:34 PM
To be honest I don't buy the Argentine story. Major Norman reports hearing the explosions of grenades at Moody Brook from his position at Government house; on Google Earth I make it about 6 km. Tear gas grenades don't make that much noise, if it had gone the way they said, he would never have heard it.


Naw, from GH up to Moody Brook is 2 to 3 km at most.

Firefly
01-02-2009, 06:21 PM
Naw, from GH up to Moody Brook is 2 to 3 km at most.

Id say about 2km maybe 1.5 miles, which is about the same.

Zulu_Zulu
01-02-2009, 07:09 PM
I've got a picture somewhere of Moody Brook before and after, I'll dig it out over the weekend.

Come to mention it, I've also got a shit load of pics both during the war and recently on the pilgrimage. Anyone interested I'll post a few.

By the way, esta mi amigo Sr Aversa aqui? Hola Santiago :)

1000ydstare_redux
01-06-2009, 12:21 PM
Why not...

put them up, would be quite interesting.

Zulu_Zulu
01-06-2009, 01:18 PM
Will do it, need a scanner though. Wait out.....................

Lone Ranger
01-10-2009, 07:38 PM
I measured the distance on screen from Google Earth which isn't that precise.

I came across an account of the state of Moody Brook barracks in Graham Bound's book. Major Norman described it as hit by machine gun fire and white phosphorous in a classic house clearing operation.

I'd be very interested in seeing your photos, would you be interested in loading them on the Wikipedia?

bootneck
04-22-2009, 01:17 PM
Moody brook was attacked and trashed in a classic attack to kill everyone in there. I visited moody brook a few weeks :) later and it had all the signs of a firefight albeit a one sided one. I know major Norman he is a no nonsense down to earth sort of bloke, he moved 8901 out as no doubt because if he was attacking he would had gone for the Det first as well.