View Full Version : Land Rovers in THe Falklands

03-29-2007, 12:41 AM
Have just read an interesting article in Land Rover Owner, wrt the Falklands. I'll try and bring up some interesting information later. But it looks like I will have to type in pertinent quotes, and see if I can locate the pictures online.

It is particularly about a Series IIA that was used by both sides of the conflict.

I make NO apologies, right now, that this is a British Magazine and will be written with a British bias. Although I can't find anything in it that is insulting to the Argentines, there may be something that they do. If easily offended do NOT read.

The article, and quite possibly the quotes I use, uses pictures such as the Sun headline "Gotcha" for the sinking of the Belgrano and describes one families hurried eviction from a house to the Community Centre on Goose Green in which they used their Rover to transport them.

I would also point out that I am a Land Rover owner, and a Land Rover addict. I get this magazine monthly, and there is nothing on the front cover wrt Falklands either. In short I haven't gone out of my way to find an Argie bashing/embarassing article.

03-29-2007, 12:17 PM
From Land Rover Owner International, Spring Issue 5 2007.

On the night of April 2 1982, 10 year old John Pole-Evans was gently woken by his father. “The Argentineans have arrived,” he whispered. “We’ve got to go.”

The Pole-Evans family lived in Port Stanley, capital of the Falklands Islands, a remote British dependency 300 miles off the South American coast in the South Atlantic. They were among the first witnesses to a conflict that was to invoke the might of the British armed forces in their biggest battle since the end of the Second World War.

But with Britain 8000 away, they knew that it would be a long time before help arrived. So, they climbed in to their aged Land Rover.

Now 35 years old, and working as parts manager for the island’s Land Rover franchised dealer, John can still vividly recall the events from a quarter of a century earlier.

“Our Land Rover was a Series IIA short-wheelbase diesel that my dad owned and used both as our daily transport and as a vehicle to cart home the peat that we used for heating and cooking.

“I lived in Stanley with my mum, dad and younger sister, but most of our family was living out on an island farm about 80 miles away.

“The night the Argentines invaded, we were at home, but we also had my uncle and aunt staying with us. Their children were still out on the island with my granddad.

“We all set off in the Land Rover – four adults, me and my sister and another school friend, along with a few belongings that we were able to fit in with us.

“My parents had intended to come back home to our house within a few days, but we arrived at Goose Green the first night and spent the night with friends. Soon, the Argentine troops arrived and took over the farm, so we then stayed there.

“The Argentines confiscated our Land Rover along with others from the farm, so we had no way of getting back home, anyway. They used the Land Rovers that they took for moving their troops and equipment around, and laying minefields.”

Meanwhile, what had been going on in this tiny rocky outpost was causing a huge stir on the world stage.

03-29-2007, 12:18 PM
Ever since the birth of the Land Rover in 1947, it had earned a very special place in the affection of Falkland Islanders – not least because there were no proper roads on the islands and no other vehicle was capable of getting from A to B across the treacherous terrain, which consisted of rocky crags and deep peat bogs, whit little else between.

The British forces knew that Land Rovers would be invaluable in the conflict ahead, so hurriedly placed an order at Solihull.

Mick Gould, who at that time was Land Rover’s military product planning manager, recalls: “We got an order for more than 600 emergency Series III vehicles. They were made to a reduced spec called CL, which stood for “commercial”.

“The problem was that most of them went aboard the merchant ship Atlantic Conveyor, which was struck by an Argentine Exocet missile and they all ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic.

“That’s why you won’t see any Land Rovers on photographs from the Falklands War and why soldiers “yomped” (speed marched) across country.”

Points to note: The Royal Marines yomped, with full kit (36 Kg or more including rations, water, clothing, sleeping bags, weapons, ammo and everything else they needed to survive. The Parachute Regiment tabbed (TAB – Tactical Advance to Battle) with just belt kit. Their kit was brought up by the last remaining Chinook and other helicopters.

Royal Marines yomping to Port Stanley.

299 Parachute Engineer Squadron (V) tabbing on Exercise (V denotes Volunteer, they are our part time/voluntary Territorial Army similar to the US National Guard)

03-29-2007, 12:18 PM
Prior to the war, the British didn’t realise how good the BV 206 and CVR(T) tracked vehicles would be on the ground. Both have a weight per square inch of less than a fully loaded soldier. It was believed that the CVR (T) would sink in the boggy ground of the Falklands.

BV 206 as used by the Royal Marines and several British Army units.

A Scimitar CVR(T) in the desert. Scimitar and Scorpion were the two variants used in the Falklands, armed with a 30mm Rarden or a 76mm gun and chain guns. 4 of each were deployed and a ninth vehicle, the Samson CVR (T) was also deployed. Samson is the Recovery variant used by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

B Squadron of the Blues and Royals (now part of the Household Cavalry Regiment) were deployed to the Falklands. With around 30 men.

A Land Rover Series IIA. Short wheel base. Just like the farmers on the Islands.

This is a long wheel base Series III, of the sort the British Army bought hurriedly.

I don’t know what sort of Land Rovers (Short or Long Wheel Base) made up the 600 ordered. It could have been a mix.

I have a feeling the 600 were not true military Rovers with their specific modifications such as 6 way Lighting switch which gives everything from total light to total light disabling and the horn, indicators and brake lights. Probably 600 Rovers from the assembly line/waiting for distribution to civilians customers that were hurriedly splashed with green paint and dispatched.

Although it only took 72 hours to get the Task Force ready, Atlantic Conveyor came down later.

03-29-2007, 12:30 PM
More to come....

The British Task Force arrives.

2nd of foot
03-30-2007, 06:02 PM
Just to be piky because I can, the CVR(T) had L37s not chain guns as I am sure you know, slip of the fingers?

03-31-2007, 09:30 AM
Yep, my bad. Not sure why I typed that.

Do the Sabres have chain guns? There was a bit in the web site I was reading ref the Sabre. How heavy was the gun on the Scorpian? was it 6 pdr? I can't remember.

2nd of foot
04-01-2007, 09:23 AM
Sabres, which I believe are the converted Scorpions with Fox turrets, has chain guns. Scorpion had the low power 76mm gun as used on the Salidine.