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One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  421 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Contains the personal reflections of Admiral Sandy Woodward, during the hours up to the surrender at Port Stanley, of the repulse of the Argentinian navy and defeat of their air forces, of the sinking of the "Belgrano" and of the landing at Carlos Water, 8000 miles from home.
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 360 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by U.S. Naval Institute Press
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Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, military
A fascinating insight into the British military mind. I almost put it down around page 50 as unrealistic--which of course, it can't be--and then persevered. The problem for me was that the British Naval strategizing and decision making is quite different from what we Americans believe to be good military leadership. Admiral Woodward struggled over decisions, plodded to the inevitable end, worried about losing boats and helicopters over men, often had to check in with Britain to confirm--or ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides superb insight into Naval operations and the issues/dilemmas that the BG Commander must handle. It also shows the wisdom of the adage "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." Recommended reading for anyone who sails in a warship.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This ebook edition is updated with the diary that Sandy Woodward kept during the course of the campaign.
History from 37 years ago.
RADM Woodward by his own admission just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right assets. By his own admission, the fact that he was on annual exercises with his fleet in the Mediterranean Sea meant that the fleet could be re-directed quickly 8000km south from the spring northern season to autumn/winter in the South Atlantic.
There is a short
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part Tom Clancy, part Patrick O'Brian, this book constantly makes you forget you are reading a memoir and not a thriller. One Hundred Days opens with the first major sea-air engagement of the conflict in gripping, minute-by-minute detail, and gives us the best look available at what a Cold War naval battle looks like. While Sandy Woodward then takes a time-out to provide some background on his training and education, most of the rest of the book follows the rest of the Falklands War day by day. ...more
Bas Kreuger
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book on the naval side of operations in the Falklands campaign in 1982.

Funnily enough I also compared Woodwards book with novels by Tom Clancy or Larry Bond. But had Clancy or Bond written this one, I would have laid it aside as being not very realistic! The British missiles continuously miss target, about 80% or Argentinian bombs don't explode, the Argentinian navy is not responding very clever to the British moves etc. etc.

But oh boy! Does it read like a Clancy or Bond
Julie Ferguson
One Hundred Days tells the story of the Falkland Islands war of 1982 from the perspective of the commander of the naval battle group, Admiral Sandy Woodward. It is an unashamedly and intense personal viewpoint as a leader drawn from his diary written at the time showing all the frustrations, anxieties, and grief that assailed him.
As an author of naval history, I couldn't put it down. Readers must read all three prefaces to understand what Woodward knew when and didn't know during the campaign
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'One Hundred Days' is a must have for any Naval Historian. Admiral Woodward does a superb job explaining and critiquing modern paradigms of the 'air sea' battle. I cannot exclaim the praises of this book loudly enough!
Very open and seemingly honest personal account of the thoughts, considerations and frustrations of the Naval British Battle Group Commander during the Falklands conflict.

Bernd Velling
First of there can be no spoiler alert for this book as the outcome is known. Would be like writing about the Titanic and be surprised she sank.

This book makes it to my „will reread“ list.

The thoughts in here are something that should make people think.
This goes way beyond tactics and orders of battle.
The Admiral confronts the issues of battle stress and ptsd before that became a topic.

He mercilessly points to flaws in weapon systems and tells the story of how people overcame them.
David Rubin
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed Admiral Woodward's personal history of the Falklands War and his personal history. The book is not so much a story of ships and lives lost, of victories gained, and of strategy and tactics as it is about real men facing real battle conditions with less than perfect ships and weapons, facing political and reporting challenges.

This is primarily the story of the modern day British Navy bearing the dual burden of a glorious history and current budget restrictions which make
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plainly and simply, this is the best book covering the Falklands War by the Task Force commander, himself.

How this man was able to make the decisions he had to with the knowledge and strategy available at the time is amazing.

This war was also the first one since WWII where an admiral had to contend with restrictions (interference?) of the powers that be at home and not have the autonomy that previous admirals. Having to contend with the media and international interference from the world at
Jeff Servello
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid book. Woodward's experiences in command provide many opportunities for thought provoking reflection on how one in command would approach handle operations if place in a similar circumstance. Of note are his reflections on fear, logistics, training , and the likelihood that equipment will work as advertised.
Steve Prince
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fascinating story of the Falkland Islands campaign as told by the British battle group commander himself. I found this book to be very informative and interesting to read, though a little tedious at some points. While not an altogether bad author, I am fully confident that Admiral Sandy Woodward found his true calling as a naval officer.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful into the career of a Royal Navy admiral and the Falklands War. Highly readable and entertaining. There may have been a couple of cases where things were inadequately fact checked, but this is understood as Sandy Woodward's memoir rather than an official history.
I appreciated his candor regarding his personal experience in command.
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good from battle commander for someone who has also been there ...more
Peter Goodman

“One Hundred Days: the memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander,” by Admiral Sandy Woodward (HarperCollins, 1992). Woodward, originally a submariner, was named to command the British task force sent to prepare for the recapture of the Falklands after the Argentine invasion, a period from April through June 1982. Woodward worked backward: when did the counterattack have to succeed before the winter made operations impossible; when did they have to land; when did they need air superiority;
Barry Sierer
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written from the viewpoint of the commander of a naval task force at war in the missile age. Admiral Sandy Woodward commanded the naval task force that was ultimately used to reclaim the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion. He was ordered to proceed to the south Atlantic following an exercise off Gibraltar. He has a short time timeline in which he must wear down Argentine forces deployed on and near the battle zone, and support an amphibious landing on the islands. He is ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having read Ian Gardiner's book Yompers on the same subject as Sandy Woodward's story, I was expecting the latter to complement the former. The conclusion after having read '100 days' was quite different than I expected though. The difference between both books is characteristic for the Falklands war, those at sea had their own view, as did the soldiers on land. I can therefore recommend reading both, since they not also show two sides of the same coin, yet also resemble each other in ...more
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, a nice one to read after The Battle for the Falklands by Hastings and Jenkins. It is clear that Woodward intended this book to be read by future naval officers, as he spends a lot of time describing his decision making process and the agony of making tough decisions. (for example, denying air support to 4 pinned down SAS troops because his Sea Harriers could not be risked) He strives to be as objective as possible, including some fairly harsh self-criticism. The ground battle is not ...more
Stan Bebbington
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a task to walk into! Throughout Woodward remained detached, analytical and seemingly unaffected by adversity, in a very unusual war in miniature. The, "Boys Own" stuff was left far behind when the realities cut in. I was surprised by the need for tight timing of the operation due to the weather. While successful, the losses particularly of the screening vessels, were hard to bear. The book is the story of the Naval part of enterprise and is not intended to cover the land war in any great ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An account of command, this book details the Falklands War through the eyes of the naval commander, Admiral Sandy Woodward. While only a 6-week war, Woodward's account reminds me of Slim's Defeat Into Victory. While not as reflective in terms of theories of men and war, Woodward is just as humble and introspective.

It is a wonderful perspective to study the campaign. It also shows the natural tension resident in joint operations with opaque lines of command.

Finally, it was an easy and
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given that this is one of the few English-language books by the theatre commander of a modern naval conflict, I can think of few comparable works to this tome. Be it peerless or not, this is a fine memoir of a military commander at war. Any student of naval history or of modern naval power would do well to consider Admiral Woodward's book.
Very good as a personal account of admiral Woodward, and his very important and particular insight within the task force. Obviously it lacks a lot of the wider context and necessitates further reading in order to achieve a more comprehensive view.
Fresno Bob
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
terrifying when I think about what naval conflict will be in the South China Sea. Argentina never sent up more than 20 planes at once, and only had 5 Exocet missiles, yet the Brits lost a lot of ships.
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent and insightful account of the first air-sea conflict of the modern electronic and missile age. Few books examine leadership and command within a naval context. Compulsory reading for the military professional and/or enthusiast of war strategy and military history in general.
A top down look at the Falklands campaign...obviously to be a text for futer commanders for its devotion to the decision-making enlightening read and I look forward to the Hastings and Jennings work!!!
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
had to read this for a professional course i took recently, but frankly i didnt finish it. takes him a long time to get to the war. lot of (highly uninteresting) personal background.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The definitive insider's look at the Falklands War
Roger Misso
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be read by all naval officers today. A great look at modern task force/amphibious structure through the (British) eyes of the man who led one. Well done.
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