Abandon Ship

The Real Story of the Sinking’s in the Falklands War


By Paul Brown

Available from Osprey Publishing

First of all I want to say right from the beginning, that this is an excellent book on the Naval Warfare of the Falklands War by a noted maritime historian. Mr. Brown’s memberships include:

  • Society for Nautical Research
  • Britannia Naval Research Association
  • Secretary of the Naval Dockyards Society

And he was formally a consultant to National Historic Ships which is the UK’s authority on the preservation of Historic Ships and Boats. His recent publications include Britain’s Historic Ships, Historic Sail, Maritime Portsmouth, The Portsmouth Dockyard Story as well as articles in leading maritime magazines. As you can see from Mr. Brown’s background, it is impeccable and, he is well written and respected.

Once you get into the meat of the book, you see the following table of Contents. The Contents are:

List of Maps
List of Illustrations
  1 Going to War
  2 The Sinking of the ARA General Belgrano
  3 The Loss of HMS Sheffield
  4 The Loss of HMS Ardent
  5 The Loss of HMS Antelope
  6 The Sinking of HMS Coventry
  7 The Loss of SS Atlantic Conveyor
  8 The Loss of RFA Sir Galahad
  9 Lessons from the Conflict
Addendum: After the Conflict
Appendix: Honors and Awards
Select Bibliography

As you’re reading the book, you quickly see that almost every Chapter follows the same format. You are first given the background or history of the ship and the weapons that were placed on that class of ship. After this, you are advised of any updates to the ships weapons or systems that took place prior to the ship being dispatched to the Falklands. Next, you are provided with the path that that particular ship took to get into the action area of the Falkland Islands and the ships assignment once they got there.


Following this, you are given the status of the ship in the Falklands as well as what dangers the Captain or tactical officers feel were prevalent in that area of the ocean. For example, while all ships were aware of the Argentinian Air Forces Mirage III or Super E threat using conventional bombs, there was an uncertainty whether or not they could fire Exocet missiles. Another equally dangerous foe, were the Argentinian diesel submarines that were said to be patrolling the area.


Some ships were well suited towards anti-submarine warfare while others towards air warfare. After this, you are given an idea of which type of attacks the ships complement were leaning towards. Now you read about the attack, the damage to the ship and the causalities that the ship had from the attack.


Now, I want to let you know that the information provided about the battles is NOT a dry and boring presentation. The reading is exciting as the author takes you right into the middle of the action. The action is well written and, if the written word can capture the drama and excitement of the moment, then Mr. Paul Brown does a masterful job at relaying the drama and excitement into the words of the book.

At the end of the book there is an Appendix titled Honours and Awards which is the perfect close to an excellent book. It is here that you read about the honors that were bestowed to men who fought in the Falklands War. You also learn the reason why the Honors and Awards were given to these very brave men which itself makes for excellent reading.


MS Arrow Assisting HMS Sheffield’


I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed reading Abandon Ship. I lost a number of nights sleep, staying up late, and reading this book. It easily held my interest from chapter to chapter and I felt that I was placed right in the middle of the action with the description of the fighting that took place. The author researched all of the latest declassified documents to give you this history. I feel that Abandon Ship by Mr. Paul Brown will become the definitive book on the Naval Battles that took places during the Falklands War.

This book is available from Osprey Publications

MSRP  Hardback   $25.00

eBook ePub           $17.50

eBook PDF             $17.50