Falklands' Most Daring Raid (2012)
Documentary · 18 March 2012
This gripping film tells the humorous yet heroic story of how a crumbling, Cold-War era Vulcan flew the then longest range bombing mission in history and how a WW2 vintage bomb changed the outcome of the Falklands War. On 30th April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission; to bomb Port Stanley's runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Task Force depended on its success. But the RAF could only get a single Vulcan 8,000 miles south to the Falklands as just one bomber needed an aerial fleet of thirteen Victor tanker planes to refuel it throughout the 16 hour round-trip. From start to finish, the seemingly impossible mission was a comedy of errors, held together by sheer British pluck and ingenuity. On the brink of being scrapped, only three of the ageing nuclear bombers could be fitted out for war, one to fly the mission and two in reserve. Crucial spare parts were scavenged from museums and scrap yards - one vital piece found as an ashtray in the Officer's Mess. In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, which they hadn't done for twenty years and conventional bombing, which they hadn't done for ten. The RAF scoured the country for old WW2 iron bombs and complex refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5.00 pocket calculator. With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF's hopes riding on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge; fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and ultimately not enough fuel. Of the Vulcan's twenty-one bombs dropped, only one found its target. But that was enough to change the outcome of the war...
- Written by
Darlow Smithson Productions
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