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Second time around for 2 Para

Wireless RidgeFollowing the death of Lieutenant Colonel Jones, Lieutenant-Colonel David Chaundler was flown out to replace him, from the United Kingdom, flying out to Ascension Island on a VC10 and then by Hercules to the Falklands. After the Hercules had dropped its supplies to the fleet, Chaundler parachuted into the sea, from where he was plucked by a helicopter and flown back to one of the ships where he was given the chance to dry off before being flown to HMS Hermes for a brief talk with Admiral Woodward. After talking to Woodward, Lt.-Col. Chaundler proceeded to Major General Jeremy Moore's headquarters where he was brought up to date on the course of the war and then joined 2 Para, four days after the battle of Goose Green.

He debriefed the officers of 2 Para about Goose Green and afterward vowed that 2 Para would never again go into action without the fire support, which had been lacking at Goose Green. From Fitzroy, 2 Para were moved by helicopter to Bluff Cove Peak where during the battles for Mount Longdon and Mount Harriet, 2 Para were lying ready to back up any unit that needed help. Following this phase, the next step was for the Scots Guards to take Mount Tumbledown, the Ghurkhas to take Mount William and 2 Para to take Wireless Ridge. The final phase of 3 Commando Brigade's campaign, the battle for Port Stanley, would have been a street-fight but in the end wasn't necessary.

On the morning of 13th June, it became clear that the attacks had been successful. 2 Para would now march around the back of Mount Longdon to take up their positions for the assault on Wireless Ridge. Taking no bergens, as they expected to go into action that night, they carried only their fighting order and as much ammunition as possible. On Bluff Cove Peak, the Battalion's mortars and heavy machine guns received a nasty surprise, as they were about to move. Argentine Skyhawks on the lookout for Brigade HQ strafed their positions and delayed their planned move forward. They suffered no casualties.

The attack began at 8.30pm on 13th June, following a twenty-four hour delay as 5 Brigade had been delayed. In addition to two batteries of guns with plentiful ammunition, a frigate for naval gunfire support, and a machine gun platoon on the start line providing fire support, the Paras took with them a troop of the Blues and Royal's Scorpions and Scimitars with their formidable 76mm gun, Rarden cannon and night-vision sights. Lt.-Col. Chaundler's confidence was not increased by the sudden arrival of a map captured from the Argentineans 15 minutes before H-hour showing a minefield lying in the midst of A and B Companies axes of advance. He shrugged and commented 'Too late for that' and moved forward with his tactical headquarters.

The moment D Company moved forward to assault the first Argentine position, a devastating volume of fire smashed into the enemy positions. In the last twelve hours of fighting 6,000 artillery rounds hit the Argentines' positions. The Blues and Royal's guns, naval shellfire and artillery fire smashed the Argentine positions. D Company achieved their objective virtually without resistance. A and B Companies swept forward through the alleged minefield without serious difficulty. Whenever Argentine machine gunners attempted to respond, massive fire was brought down on them. D Company finally swept around eastwards to seize the forward slope of the ridge and Lt.-Col. Chaundler was concerned when he learned that the Scots Guards were in difficulty on Tumbledown and his men would be dangerously exposed at dawn if the enemy still held the mountain. But a few minutes before first light he heard that the Guards had achieved their objectives.

2 Para made themselves as comfortable as possible in the abandoned Argentine positions among abandoned weapons and equipment as the snow showers gusted and began to brew up. That dawn saw the word come through on the radio of the Argentine troops running for it. British officers and soldiers watched along the length of the line as Argentine soldiers fled across the hillsides towards Stanley. 2 Para's D Company found themselves looking down on the old Royal Marine barracks at Moody Brook at dawn. Sporadic Argentine shelling was still coming down in between the positions of 2 Para and 3 Para.

Suddenly, D Company saw some forty enemy paratroops approaching up the rocky hillside. The Paras were momentarily alarmed as their ammunition was almost exhausted, so they hastily fixed bayonets and prepared grenades. The gunner forward observation officer called down artillery support and a few moments heavy shelling sent the Argentineans off. They headed off down the valley to join their comrades.

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