On 1 April 1982 the Argentinian junta invaded the Falkland Islands, while the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment was on leave. Recalled to barracks, it joined the hastily assembled task force to recover the Islands. No parachutes – instead a journey of 8000 miles on a North Sea ferry to deliver the battalion into battle. Philip Neame commanded D Company, one of the battalion’s three 100-strong rifle companies, and in this compelling book he tells their story.
2 PARA was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel ‘H’ Jones, who was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross at the Battle of Goose Green. After winning the first major land battle on the Falklands, 2 PARA were the only battalion to fight two, going on to fight at Wireless Ridge, the final gateway to Port Stanley. D Company played the decisive role, but, in the closing moments, suffered a deadly artillery barrage – from their own guns.
D Company was the Cinderella of 2 PARA, at the back for everything: on training, always in reserve; in barracks, the parking lot for those who proved too troublesome for A and B. It was nicknamed ‘Penal Company’.
This searingly honest but humorous account explores the realities of war – the tightrope between success and disaster, comedy and tragedy; the strength of companionship and the solitude of fear.
Above all, it is a tribute to a band of brothers who, taking their nickname as a badge of honour, fought, cursed and laughed together, to win through on those ‘ringing plains of windy Troy.’