Saturday May 1st 1982
The campaign commences under a grey sky. Intelligence suggests that Canberra Bombers out of Trelew are preparing for a sortie however a SAS squad will be on hand to relay any activity. We await Whitehall’s instructions on countering the Soviet Bear activity we detected in Theatre this morning.
Our submarines report no contacts, too late we realise that the 2 Argentine Submarines had not strayed out of coastal waters and so we had no resources to neutralise them.
Night falls and an all fleet broadcast informs us that the Soviets have been warned off but have rallied some support against our actions (IO 9 : DO 10)
Sunday 2nd May 1982
The foggy weather seems to match the political climate , our Foreign Secretary is nervous of the opposition stirred up by the Soviets and wants to initiate a diplomatic solution. However no official rebuttal is forthcoming to the consternation of the British media but it pacifies the Soviets. (IO 10 : DO 9)
The SAS stay on station at Trelew and we hear a small Enemy task force with A69 Exocet armed frigates have formed up at Peurto Belgrano.
Two SSN’s Splendid and Spartan are tasked to patrol the coastal waters and Conqueror to patrol between them and the exclusion Zone.
The screw signals of the Santa Fe and the San Luis were detected but no firing solutions could be achieved. Another quiet day ends as we steam closer to our objective.
Monday 3rd may 1982
Arrow and Sheffield leave patrol station to cover the fleet in case TF79.4 takes to sea.
Cover is rather light South to East. However with the SAS staying put and no other possible air activity, we can provide Harrier cover if needed. It seems German Contractor’s are beefing up the radar facilities on the Falklands (IO 10 : DO 9). However the continuing Foggy weather and low air activity allows us to ignore this for now. Our subs are told to stay put and hunt down their opposite numbers.
Intelligence is received that the Belgrano and her escorts were being prepared for action and TF79.4 remains in port.
Fleet are displeased to hear that the Santa Fe let loose at Spartan before high tailing it back to port whilst neither Spartan nor Splendid reacted. The San Luis is still hugging the coastline.
Tuesday 4th may 1982
The Fog turns to Mist. The German engineers are still in place and we have had to divert Plymouth and Glamorgan to warn off Argentine Fishing vessels, scuttlebutt seems to be the Soviets are advising (IO 10 : DO 9).
Overnight the Hermes and Invincible’s Air Command were at odds again and both sent up just one Harrier each to interdict the enemies supply line yet it proved an effective tactic.
SAS squads are rotated out and with the diversion of a couple of warships they move to observe the sky hawks at Rio Grande as the Super Etendarde’s now present a greater threat. Peurto Belgrano is getting crowded TF 79.4 and 79.1 as well as the Santa Fe have all been spotted getting ready to put to sea.
However this improves the odds for eliminating the San Luis as all our Subs remained on station with more than just pride at stake. Unfortunately the San Luis also manage to get a shot off at Splendid before leaving the area, it seems their submariners outclassed and out gunned are out foxing us. The Chileans inform us that bombers out of Trelew are heading our way. The remaining two harriers of Red flight are tasked to fly Cap over the Carrier force , Tartan 1 heads SW to support Alacrity (T21) and the two remaining flights of Gold head west to provide CAP for Coventry (T42) and Broadsword(T22).
Somehow they have found the Task Force , 3 Canberra Bombers , Red 2 & 3 on CAP bounce and in a text book attack 4 AIM-9L sidewinders find their mark. The first kills go to the Fleet Air Arm.
Wednesday 5th may 1982.
The mist clears to grey skies and more disappointment from our Nato Allies. It seems the US is considering responding favourably to Argentina’s request for photo recon of the South Atlantic. This time the cabinet react and apply pressure that using civilian LANDSAT satellites would be a clear breach of International agreements the Americans refuse the request, the world press react unfavourably (IO 9: DO 9).
With the enemy fleet build up in port the subs are tasked to cover all areas. Plymouth and Glamorgan return to plug the holes to the North , leaving just the SE exposed. 2 Harriers fail to on a supply interdiction run, 2 harriers fly cap over the defence zone, 4 Harriers are available to scramble and the SAS are moved back to Trelew. The enemy task forces are on the move in coastal waters leaving their subs in port. Somehow they slip past the Spartan and disappear. tension is high and fears that they could find the main fleet are very real. As dusk descends no more activity Air or Surface is detected.
Thursday 6th may 1982.
Another Grey morning follows a night of signals back and forth to the admiralty, apparently the PM wants us to launch an attack on Argentine air bases , with the proximity of two enemy task forces and the need for CAP it is felt the risk is not worth the rewards. The PM is displeased and to top it all someone in the War Cabinet office leaks the fact that the order is cancelled and public opinion at home drops (IO 9: DO 7). Conqueror and Spartan or ordered to the coastal waters to find the enemy surface fleet, Splendid takes up a general search pattern. The two harriers from Hermes tasked with preventing enemy supply drops return following an uneventful night leaving 9 Harriers available for missions. Trelew remains under the watchful eyes of the SAS. Reports are in that Santa Fe has joined the enemy fleet in coastal waters. At last Conqueror has a fring solution and its on the Belgrano, under current ROE a request is made of Fleet to engage and following the overnight debacle and falling home opinion it is unequivocally turned down (10) some feel it is revenge for arguing with the PM.
Friday the 7th May 1982
Grey , grey, grey and to top it all the three harrier flights tasked for overnight supply interdiction had to be diverted to warn off Argentine civilian Boeing 707 clearly following a search pattern. All three subs are patrolling the coastal zone two flights are tasked to the forward defence zone leaving 6 available to scramble. The SAS are settled in at Trelew and the Chileans will let us know of any takeoffs from Rio Grande. Intelligence reports their Carrier Group is see outfitting and preparing for war. The San Luis is spotted in the general search area and the main enemy fleet is still managing to avoid detection in coastal waters. Spartan launches two fish at Santa Fe , who is last seen heading out of theatre. Nimrod reports a single Canberra and scrambles 2 harriers of gold who destroy it before it even lights them up on search radar.
The end of a frustrating first week no real losses suffered by either side, hopefully the 4 Canberra’s downed will continue to deter the Argentine Air force