The first crucial land battle of the Falklands War took place over 14 hours on May 28-29, 1982.
Located on East Falkland’s central isthmus, the settlement of Goose Green was also the site of a small airfield. Almost 1200 Argentinean forces, mostly army but some airforce, were in a series of well-defended positions, within striking distance of San Carlos Water, where the British task force had just made its successful amphibious landing and therefor posed a potential threat.
The main British assault force consisted of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) together with a troop of three 105mm guns from 29 Commando Regt., Royal Artillery and one Milan anti-tank missile platoon plus several Scout helicopters. In addition, close air support was provided by three Royal Air Force Harriers and naval gunfire from a Royal Navy frigate, HMS Arrow.
Initial intelligence suggested that Goose Green was lightly defended however as the British paras began moving forward across the bare, windswept landscape they came under increasing enemy fire while still managing to force some of their Argentinean opponents to fall back.
As the enemy retired they combined with other units and actually strengthened their defence line bringing down heavy machine gunfire on the advancing British forcing them to take cover.
With the advance held up 2 Para’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. ‘H’. Jones moved forward to see for himself the situation on the ground.
To regain the initiative and inspire his men Colonel H. led a charge towards one of the main enemy trenches and was fatally shot down by an Argentine army sniper.
In the hours following the death of their colonel the various elements of 2 Para began moving forward once more fighting a continuing series of fierce skirmishes and fire fights that again forced the enemy back.