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Politik, Gesellschaftskritik
Buch Leseprobe The lonesome Commander, Martin Mahle
Martin Mahle

The lonesome Commander

Military History Falklands War

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The research on this book actually began in the late spring of 1982 when the last of Britain's small wars took place in the Falkland Islands.

Back then I was fifteen years old and of course this war was on the agenda every day, in class and at home.


But as young as I was, this war was soon left behind, when it turned out that the British forces would defeat the Argentines. And also there was the next important item on the agenda already: The football world cup 1982 in Spain.


It catched me up some years on, after having graduated from high school and having completed successfully my bankers' apprenticeship. From October 1987 until December 1988 I was serving with the German Army in my mandatory military service.

I was doing so in the then still existing German Army's 1st Mountain Division and there I also was trained in the basics of mountain winter warfare, what is known in the British armed forces to this day as "Mountain and Arctic Warfare".


In the Division's training on military tactical procedures for this particular kind of warfare we were told about examples of difficulties which happened in reality in the Falklands War and were also teached how to cope with and how to adjust to such circumstances.


The main part of my military service time I've spent in Sonthofen, a small town in the middle of the Allgäu Alps. There was not only stationed a German Army Sports Company, but also the British Army conducted it's ski training there, so on the campuses of the still existing three barracks we'd the chance to talk to each other from time to time - and at that time the conflict was just about six years back. Admittedly, these young British men, barely older than I, weren't Falklands War veterans at all, but they often claimed to know some.

And because I neither counted to the so-called "home sleepers" nor to the occasional "evening home drivers", I bought my first books about that war at this time. And time to read them was available widely.


Following my military time I started my civil career and again worked for the bank, but also started my holiday travels, together with my wife, and of course we'd been to the United Kingdom and Ireland, too.

I took advantage of these opportunities in buying more and more reading on this topic.


Through second-hand bookshops, I also purchased then long out of printing publications, such as Marshall Cavendish's album „THE FALKLANDS WAR The day by day record from invasion to victory" or Linda Kitson's „THE FALKLANDS WAR A Visual Diary".


Over the many years I've collected an impressive collection of some two hundred publications of this event.

But since there are estimates that so far there have been published about three thousand publications, the number of my relevant literature appears rather small again.

But, after all, I can say that I've read all the books I've bought.

In reading them I also got a certain routine, I recognized repetitions, or texts at one point or another lyrically altered only slightly.


And again and again I read the same names of important people who have participated in the fighting, their names usually given at the end of a book in the "Roll of Honour", or, tragically, in the list "Names of the fallen".


And yet - there's a big exception for one of the most senior members of the military commanders on the spot, namely Brigadier Sir Mathew John Anthony Wilson, 6th Baronet of Eshton Hall (1874), OBE (Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), MC (Military Cross).


In most publications named as „Brigadier Tony Wilson", the then commander of the 5th Infantry Brigade didn't receive any honours or titles after the cessation of the hostilities. This was in sharp contrast to all other senior commanders who were honoured without exception.

Of course this didn't went ahead in secret and so various authors have tried since to bring rather less than more light into the darkness of the question, why this was like it was.


Unfortunately, this always stuck in the approaches and as a non-British reader, I wondered about it, because just the British otherwise love to go deep into such details. And at some point I wasn't sure anymore whether this non-investigation was consciously held or whether the authors weren't actually able to find out anything, indeed.


So, it is hardly possible, indeed, to find out something about this man through internet search engines or knowledge portals, because there are virtually no information about him.

And the non-honoured contributed and still contributes to this complication by himself.

Just turned forty-seven he resigned from his post on the 31st December 1982, so only a few months after the fighting in the Falklands, and has to this date ruled any comments on the former operations - unlike many, many other soldiers who were active participants and have immortalized themselves in the most diverse literary forms.


Born on the 2nd October 1935, Wilson turned to publishing travel books under his name "Mathew Wilson" in the following years, books which were not even close to military tasks. The titles are „Taking Terrapin Home  A Love Affair with a Small Catamaran" (1994), the in it's fourth edition available bestseller „The Bahamas Cruising Guide with the Turks and Caicos Islands" (1997), „The Land of War Elephants  Travels Beyond the Pale  Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India" (2003) and finally „Seeking Havens  Travels Along a Line of Latitude 17 Degrees South in Andean Peru, Bolivia, and the South Pacific" (2006).




My book will try to explain why the promising military career of the 6th Baronet of Eshton Hall (1874), Brigadier Sir Mathew John Anthony Wilson, awarded with the „Military Cross" in 1972 and made an „Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division)" in 1979, ended so abruptly, short after the end of the Falklands War and without any honours or titles.

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