Think Defence looks back at the successful amphibious landings in the Falkland Islands by a less-than-fully-prepared British military:
If the amphibious operations in Normandy were unprecedented because of the scale those in 1982 in the Falkland Islands were equally remarkable, nor for scale but for the huge distance involved. Another breathtaking feature of Operation Corporate was the speed in which it was mounted and the degree of improvisation that would in the end, be needed.
One might argue that even taking into account Inchon and Suez it was the worlds most complex and demanding amphibious operation since D-Day.
Since VE day and Suez the UK’s amphibious capabilities had dwindled both in scale and capability, the Royal Marines concentrating on their Northern Europe role.
When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 the scale of the challenge had many echoes of D-Day; a need for joint service cooperation and a number of technical challenges to overcome for example. What we did not have was the luxury of time, no time to develop new and novel solutions, no time for testing and no time for practice beyond what was available on the journey south.
Due to the short timescales British Rail could not reposition their rolling stock to get the War Material Reserve (about 9,000 tonnes just for 3CDO, 30 days combat supplies and 60 days of general stores) to the ships so instead, a fleet of RCT and civilian trucks were used.
More or less, we went with what we had.
In little over a month from the invasion, the first ships had departed the UK on their 8,000 mile journey South.
There is no need to recount the general history of the campaign but from a ship to shore logistics perspective there were a number of equipment and capabilities available to Commodore Clapp and Brigadier Thompson worth describing.
Earlier posts on the Falklands War can be found here.