This book was recommended to me from a gaming WhatsApp group I’m on. As I’ve probably mentioned before on this blog the 1982 Falklands War was the first war I can really remember (I was 4 at the time) just vague memories of the news really…
… Rowland White made his name with the superb Vulcan 607, highly recommended, and this his latest book follows a very similar pattern, dealing as it does with the same war and also the same sort of improvised and muddle through to pull it out of the bag in the end in the best British military tradition. Harrier 809 follows the story of the efforts to pull together the 3rd Sea Harrier squadron that was sent down to the Falklands. Cobbling together pilots and airframes from wherever they could be found the squadron sailed south on the ill- fated Atlantic Conveyor, albeit the squadron’s aircraft were flown off and split between the two aircraft carriers. The story of the assembly and deployment of this third Harrier squadron was new to me but I did expect the rest of the book covering the air war to tread more familiar ground. This was mostly the case but there were some very interesting snippets of information that were new to me, regarding the deployment/ sale to Chile of the Canberra reconnaissance aircraft and the relationship between Chile and the UK. Still even the bits I was familiar with were a pleasure to read again given the quality of White’s writing.
All in all, I strongly recommend this book and it is a great addition to my Falklands War library.