AT WAR AROUND THE 50th PARALLEL SOUTH

A Poem By Bob Shepherd

A Royal Navy “O” Class diesel submarine flying the Skull and Crossbones at the ending of the Falklands War, 1982.

During the Falklands Conflict back in 82, I was part of an 8 man SAS team sent on a mission to attack Argentine aircraft on mainland Argentina. The threat, they were sinking our ships at an alarming rate, and we were in danger at that point of losing the war. This small covert invasion force was the last throw of the dice for those running the war from the UK.

We were aboard a diesel submarine, extremely close to the Argentinian mainland off Patagonia Region’s coastline about to deploy when the Argentinians surrendered on the Falkland Islands.

As we were NOT officially at war with one another, we had to immediately pull back sub surface to save a serious diplomatic incident from happening. Fighting on the Falkland Islands was one thing, a possible skirmish or worse on the mainland post surrender was quiet something else.

Had they waited until the next morning to surrender, we would have been well on our way inside Patagonia…it would have been the smallest invasion in military history.

On returning to the Falkland Islands we spent weeks there post war, in case the Argentinians attempted a return. Whilst there continuing with our training, I wrote a poem with a kind of Naval sea shanty theme, given the time spent with the Royal Navy in training over the years, and at war in and around the Falklands for the last several weeks, including this last mission. After reading it to a couple of mates who loved it, like all written materials, unwanted mapping etc…I burnt it.

It went something like this:

We are off to a place called Patagon I A

To take out the aircraft that are sinking our ships I A

We may well have to fight using our four man drills I A

When we arrive on the lands of Patagon I A

Our enemy is not just the military type people

It’s also the mountainous terrain more jagged than any steeple

The ground is akin to deep pan pizza

It could swallow us all up or just ruin our feetza

The weather is crazy each day

From snow and ice and rain

Followed by a warm sun to melt it away

The howling Antarctic wind is biting

And the land overall is frightening

In that place called Patagon I A

However it’s the most beautiful landscape…it would appear

Yet I won’t get to appreciate it…I fear

As we will lay up in the day to move at night

In order to avoid any fight

In that place called Patagon I A

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit www.bobshepherdauthor.com

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