Falklands Warship Mutiny- Any Truth

Just after the Falklands War I met the brother of a friend. He had just returned from the Falklands. During a drunken evening he alluded to one of the warships despatched from Blighty having to be escorted home after something approaching a mutiny on board. He siad that it had been hushed up. I have searched for any information on this without success. After 20 years I would have expected something to have leaked out, but … nada.

Was he just bullshitting or did something like this really occur?

The story I heard was that a battalion (The RWF) refused to disembark from a troopship-this was after the landing ship “SIR GALAHAD” was struck by two Argentine bombs-quite a large loss of life, and many soldiers were horribly burned. I don’t know if this was a real mutiny, but I’m sure a few were court-martialed for it!

Is it true that the British navy is so weak that they couldn’t even take the Falklands at this date?

No, it’s not. The RN is in a poor and underfunded state, but in a crisis could eventually roll out all three light carriers and a number of modern frigates, destroyers and SSNs. We couldn’t take on most other modern western nations, but would be more than a naval match for most of South America.

If the “mutiny” story has any basis in the Sir Galahad trgedy, it was concerning the Welsh Guards, not the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

The following a quote from history of the Falklands War published 1983 by Marshall Cavendish: the incident happened on the 8th of June 1982.

At 1300 hours, the two ships were attacked by Argentine Skyhawks and Mirages.

Blame at the time was laid with the Welsh Guards for not disembarking when asked to, and that the unloading, when it did start, happened too slowly.

From the Hansard record of 18 June 1996, Lord Kenet’s speech, apparently from the House of Lords debate then on the death penalty during peacetime (British dopers could help pin-point this better, I would think):

Off topic, but I’m pretty sure the RN comes second only to the USN among western navies. The French and maybe Japanese would be close runners-up.

Well a quick look at the official web-site gives a fleet strength of

3 Carriers
11 Destroyers
20 Frigates
16 Submarines
plus sundry patrol boats, minesweepers, tenders etc etc.

There are also plans afoot to replace the old carriers with 2
new much bigger ones.The current crop are ‘pocket carriers’.
Suitable for Harrier jumpjets and helicopters only and with very
limited air group. The new ones will be much larger and more
capable.Not quite Nimitz class but still a vast increase in
capabilities

There was no mutiny, as my uncle so elequently put as he served on the destroyer you have mentioned but there was some drunk sailors who had got up to the command deck and acted like dicks thats all.

Which destroyer was it that your events took place on?

The guy who told me about this said that a group of sailors was removed back to Blighty under armed guard- did that happen in your case?

Yes, as they did threaten the crew of the invincible the aircraft carrier I should of said this before.

No there was no mutiny, it could not have been hushed up from other RN personnel and I never heard of it at that time nor any other.

As for the the Galahad incident, the problem was that the OC of the Welsh guards outranked the OC of the escorting warship, I think it was HMS Rosyth but memory fades a little.

When the small convoy went into Fitzwilliam sound the captain of the escort recommended immediate disembarkation but the OC of the Wel guas, a brigadier I believe ignored him statng that his men had been cooped up for weeks on the journey down there, that they would not get another chance to rest for who knows how long.

There were other units on the land around the bay who couldn’t believe what was happening, the Welsh gaurds didn’t even set up air defence systems which they had availabe for deployment.

We all know what happened, and if the Argentine ground tropps had fought back more detemindly the effective loss of the brigade could have proved crucial, we were very lucky indeed.

Any further information- when, where, how, who, result etc.?

Oh i was lying, y’know to be a big shot! But I my uncle did serve in the navy in the falklands

I believe that the last mutiny in the RN occured in the latter stages of WWII, after VE Day. It happened on a LST type ship in the Panama Canal Zone something about British and American sailors working different routines. CaptBilly

Memo to Komsomol:

Just to help you get adjusted to how things work around here…in the General Questions forum, that kind of behavior to which you have just confessed is frowned upon.

I think that would go for just about any other forum on the SDMB, as well.

Did you see that bit about “fighting ignorance” on the Straight Dope homepage? It’s taken seriously around here.

Lying is not permitted here. If you do it again, you risk losing your posting privileges.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

I resent any comment to that say the RN was incapable of taking the Falklands due to years of Mis managment and cost cutting the royal navy is a shadow of its proud world conquering past. But it remains the best trained navy in the world with a tradition and history many countires entire armed forces would be proud of. The Frtench ‘Navy’ Has never achieved anything of value since it was first formed, the Japanese navy is limited to coastal defence vessels. I find it hard to believe such a event took place on a navy vessel.

I question the bolded part of your post (my bolds). In what way is the training better than, for instance, the US Navy?

Except, perhaps, permit the creation of the United States…? Check me on this, but were not the naval vessels keeping Cornwallis trapped in Yorktown… French? IIRC, it was Cornwallis’ forced capitulation the finally put ‘paid’ to the British war effort during the American Revolution? And did not a British relief fleet go elsewhere, rather than face those French warships in battle?

Sounds pretty valuable to this American. Thanks, Comte de Grasse!

I can’t claim to be supremely knowledgeable regarding the British Navy (or ours, for that matter), so I will not be able to resolve this issue, but I can at least butt in and mention that the British submariners, at least, receive superb training. Whose is best is of course debatable, but for a “quick and dirty” analysis of the submariners’ training in both navies, Tom Clancy’s Submarine is handy. It’s not terribly well-written, but it contains a fair amount of information.
RR