On 1 April 1982 Major Mike Norman, commander of Naval Party 8901, was looking forward to a peaceful year-long tour of duty on the Falkland Islands. But events turned out differently, for the next day the Argentinians invaded and he and his small Royal Marines garrison found themselves fighting for their lives.
They took up defensive positions in and around Government House and on the approaches to Stanley to protect the Governor, Rex Hunt, and delay the enemy’s advance. They were prepared to die executing these orders. After a desperate battle against vastly superior numbers, Hunt ordered them to lay down their arms. As the surrender took place, an Argentinian told a Marine: ‘The Islands are ours now’. The response was simple: ‘We will be back’. They were, and this is their story.
The Royal Marines of Naval Party 8901 volunteered to join the Task Force and, some seventy-five days after the invasion, the men who were forced to watch the raising of the Argentine flag over the Islands were able, in return, to proudly run up the Falklands flag once more at Government House.
Mike Norman and Michael Jones’s dramatic account draws upon Norman’s vivid recollections, the log book and action reports of the defence of Government House and Stanley, the testimony of Marines under Mike Norman’s command and recently released government archives. It is a powerful and moving tribute to men who confronted the Argentinian invaders and then fought to regain the Falklands.
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