Royal Navy to Lose Amphibious Capabilities

HMS Ocean sails into the sunset

 

Possible cuts will leave Britain incapable of the offensive.

Under the cover of darkness on May 21, 1982, British forces landed on the beaches of San Carlos in the Falklands. The 2 Para, 40 Commandos, and the 3 Para and the 41 Commandos conducted an unopposed amphibious assault, assisted by special forces, in a campaign to retake the capital city of Stanley. By the time the sun rose, the rest of the 3rd Commando Brigade was onshore to repulse the Argentinian counterattack.

The British could not have won the Falklands War without using their amphibious capabilities. The Thatcher government received a great deal of praise for the war, and it was a moment that made Britain believe in itself again as a major power. Ironically, all of that would have been impossible if the Conservative government’s plan of cutting the aircraft carriers and amphibious fleet had come about earlier. The Falklands War saved the Royal Navy.

Remarkably, the current Conservative government is planning similar cuts, by retiring the Royal Navy’s last aircraft carrier, the hms Ocean. Continue reading