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In all his Vietnam experience he had met only one American "who had the same ' belief structure' as the Civil War soldiers." In Vietnam "the soldier fought for his.

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The older Churchill- class Conqueror hunted south of the Falklands, while more modern and quieter Swiftsure- class attack subs Splendid and Spartan patrolled northwestern and northeastern quadrants respectively.

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All three 5,ton nuclear-powered submarines could sustain up to knots without needing to surface for air and were armed with Mark 24 Tigerfish acoustic homing torpedoes with a range of 13 miles, and World War II-vintage Mark 8 torpedoes designed to fire in a straight line. As the Tigerfishes were unreliable versus surface targets, the short-range Mark 8s were preferred.

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The nuclear-powered Courageous and Valiant and the diesel-electric Onyx would arrive later in the conflict. The Veinticinco prepared to launch its A-4Q Skyhawk jets to attack the British carriers—only for the Skyhawks to be grounded by unusually long-lasting dead wind.

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Then at midnight, a British Harrier jet located the Argentinian fleet. Hours later, far to the south, the Conqueror torpedoed the cruiser General Belgrano, killing Argentine sailors. Her sistership Spartan could easily have joined the hunt but was denied permission to avoid potential friendly fire incidents. The Veinticinco adopted a zig-zag course over shallow waters that would force pursuing submarines to slow down to avoid running aground.


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Her escorting destroyers were spaced five miles to her left, right and front: two British-built Type 42 destroyers, Hercules and Santisima Trinidad , and the older Py, a Gearing -class destroyer formerly named USS Perkins equipped with a longer-range sonar. Veinticinco also carried four ex-U. Navy S-2E Trackers, large twin-radial-engine planes with folding wings and a crew of four. Despite not needing to surface for air, the British submariners still rose close to the surface every few hours to receive orders, transmit reports, and observe with their periscopes—during which time they were more exposed to detection.

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If a submarine appeared to be nearby, the Tracker could then parachute-drop a Mark 44 lightweight homing torpedo. This would swim in circles scanning the water with its active-sonar until it acquired a target. Trackers also hefted two pound Mark 54 depth charges for dropping directly above a submarine. The carrier also disposed of two SD-4 Sea King helicopters that could lower an AQSA dipping sonar into the water with an effective range of three miles.

The Sea Kings also were armed with depth charges and torpedoes, but were slower max miles per hour , and had only a few hours endurance. Sarcona decided to keep the Sea Kings running close patrols, while the Trackers roved over miles away, laying a triangular-pattern field of sonobuoys spaced nine miles apart.

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But senior Argentinian officers insisted on using only passive hydrophone sonar, not wishing to broadcast anything that could be traced back to them, compromising their position. The British submariners were also acutely aware of the aircraft hunting them thanks to their own ESM systems. For example, at AM on May 4 the Splendid detected the radar of a Tracker and dove deep to avoid detection.

An hour later, her sonar acquired multiple contacts—the Veinticinco and her destroyers!

By the time the British submarine closed within torpedo range, however, all but one large, slow ship had passed into Argentinian territorial waters, beyond which they were forbidden from attacking. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his experiences in the bestseller The One That Got Away, which was adapted for screen, and since then has written three other works of non-fiction, over twenty bestselling novels and a series of childrens books.

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