The Argentinian Story
Ready, Willing & Able
The Argentinian Story
Ready, Willing & Able
During the final battles for the Malvinas as the Argentinians called the Malvinas, 3 Commando Brigade and 5 Brigade of the British Task Force attacked the hills around Puerto Argentino. Their principal opponents were teenage conscripts of Brigadier-General Oscar Luis Jofre's 10th 'Lieutenant-General Nicolas Levalle' Mechanized Infantry Brigade. To this day the Argentinians are frequently tagged as third-rate troops. They were nothing of the kind.
During 1981 the 10th Brigade regiments were trained to fight on the modern battlefield in and around armoured personnel carriers, where their machineguns could be brought to bear. Training was conducted San Miguel del Monte and Ezeiza near Buenos Aires International Airport. Private Jorge Altieri, a 7th Regiment conscript remembers:
The 7th 'Colonel Pedro Conde' Regiment, with battle honours dating from 1813 and based at La Plata suburb, Buenos Aires, was the first 10th Brigade regiment to train and embark from helicopters. Major Carlos Eduardo Carrizo-Salvadores, second in command of the regiment, recalls that:I was issued with a FAL 7.62 millimetre rifle. Other guys were given FAPs - light machineguns - and others got PAMS [submachineguns]. The main emphasis in shooting was making every bullet count. I was also shown how to use a bazooka, how to make and lay booby-traps, and how to navigate at night, and we went on helicopter drills, night and day attacks and ambushes. (Vincent Bramley, Two Sides of Hell, p. 9, Bloomsbury Publishing Limited, 1994; published in Argentina as Los Dos Lados Del Infierno)
During 1981 the regiment was selected to take part in an exercise with 601 Combat Aviation Battalion. This was a terrific opportunity for the Rifle Companies to work with the Army Aviation and it was excellent value. So off we went to Magdalena [forrest, some 40 miles south of Buenos Aires] with the Army helicopters; even our chaplain went, as a rifleman. (Courtesy of Colonel Alberto Gonzalez of the Argentinian Army Historical Services Branch)
About this time, a Commando course was squeezed in. Jofre had decided that an airlanding special operations platoon would be formed for each of his regiments. Major Oscar Ramon Jaimet, the Operations Officer of the 6th 'General Juan Viamonte' Regiment based at Mercedes suburb in Buenos Aires, took over command of the formation of these platoons of mainly conscripts. Jaimet, a dedicated professional soldier had served behind 'Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo' lines as a Commando in the Tucuman province in the 'Dirty War'. Santiago Gauto, a 7th Regiment conscript, whose heritage is Guarani, was naturally selected to be part of the Commando platoon for his regiment:
We had instruction at night in all weathers. It was fucking freezing in winter. We were taught how to make and plant booby-traps, we did lots of extra shooting and had to strip and assemble weapons while blindfolded. They even taught us how to stop an electric train, which was fuck-all use to us. Maybe one day I'll go to the station and stop one! (Vincent Bramley, op. cit, p. 6)
On Friday 2 April 1982 the Malvinas were taken by Argentina and Major-General Cristino Nicolaides, commander of the 1st Army Corps, which included the Xth Brigade and the Ist Armoured Cavalry Brigade, warned Jofre on Saturday 3 April of what might be in the wind, and during the next week there was a series of conferences at the 10th Brigade Headquarters at Palermo suburb, designed to prepare his regimental commanders.
The Argentinian Army High Command knew that the Xth Brigade was one of the best of the Argentinian Army and many revelled in accounts of the feats of arms of the Xth Brigade. There was, however, a feeling when the brigade travelled to El Palomar airbase and started to move by air to the Malvinas on 11 April that, after all, the conscripts were really only amateurs when compared to the Royal Marine Commandos and Paras and everybody in the Argentinian Army High Command hoped that they would not shame the Argentinian Army.
As the 10th Brigade troops arrived in Stanley airbase many seemed optimistic of victory. Indeed Private Ariel Czemerinski in Daniel Kon's Los Chicos de la Guerra (New English Library 1984) talked about going home to Buenos Aires with a British Paratrooper red beret! The Xth Brigade mobilized with creditable speed. The Argentinian reservists were sustained by patriotism and indignation. Private Patricio Perez:
Before the war I had just finished my secondary education. I wasn't working. I did a lot of sports and played music. I lived really like a student with my family. We rejoiced when the Islands were reoccupied but there was also concern. A week went by before I was called up. A letter arrived from my regiment telling me where to go, but at the barracks it turned out that I hadn't been included in the combat list. Some of us protested and said we should replace the soldiers who had just started military conscription because we were fully trained [A high degree of markmanship was an essential in the regiment]. For us it was very important because all our mates were going and we felt that we had to defend the Fatherland also. None of our superiors expected a war - we were just going to fortify the Islands. At the same time we knew there was a possibility of war; but because our friends were there, we thought that if we died we would all die together. Ever since we were kids we learned the Malvinas were part of our territory, part of Argentina, and therefore we had to defend them. (Michael Bilton & Peter Kosminsky, Speaking Out: Untold Stories from the Malvinas War, p.191, Andre Deutsch Limited, 1989; published in Argentina as Hablando Claro, Emece Editora, 1991)
Private Horacio Benitez:
I had eight days left with the Army before I was due to return to civilian life. I remember that we got up that morning and I found a newspaper announcing the invasion. There was a picture of soldiers climbing into a Hercules transport plane. We were not invaders, we were going to recover what was ours. We knew that we had to go, although we did not know whether our unit would be sent. They began calling up the rest. I think we wanted to go because we felt it was now our turn to defend the Fatherland. Also, because we were so young, we were very naive. We didn't quite realise what it all meant. All your friends were going so you had to go too. It was a sort of party atmosphere: only our mothers were really worried and they were crying. (Michael Bilton & Peter Kosminsky, op. cit, p. 181)
As the British Task Force steamed into the South Atlantic the Xth Brigade set to work to dig themeselves in until the range they occupied was honeycombed with excavations and resembled a "vast mining camp". The soldiers dug deep into the rocky earth. The ground was so hard that dugouts and caves had to be blasted out with explosives. It was an exhausting task.
The 7th Regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Gimenez had been sent to dig in on Mount Longdon and Wireless Ridge. More specifically, the regiment was supposed to counter a British force coming from Bahía de la Anunciación (Berkeley Sound). The garrison on Mount Longdon was made up of the 7th Regiment's 'B' Company. 34-year-old Major Carlos Carrizo-Salvadores had been selected to command all the Argentinian forces on Mount Longdon. He seemed an excellent choice when taking into account his aggressive nature.
Second Lieutenant Juan Domingo Baldini's 1st Platoon was positioned on the rocky outcrops running west of 'Fly Half', the western peak of Mount Longdon. To the south of 'Fly Half' First Lieutenant Enrique Eneas Neirotti's 3rd Platoon was placed. First Sergeant Raul Gonzalez's 2nd was placed to the north of Baldini and his platoon. The Argentine command post and Lieutenant Hugo Quiroga's engineer platoon which was acting as the reserve were on 'Full Back', the eastern summit of Mount Longdon. There was also a Marine platoon of Major Sergio Dachary's Machinegun Company of 136 which took an important part in nearly every major engagement until the end of the campaign. This 24-man platoon used their six Browning 12.7 millimetre machineguns protected by Marine riflemen, very effectively during the night of battle. Contrary to British reports, there were no 'Buzos Tacticos' or Army Commando snipers present.
Major Carrizo-Salvadores would later be at special pains to explain that he did his best to arrange some measure of comfort for his men on Mount Longdon:
We took good care of the personnel. We did what we could do to set an example. Captain Eduardo Lopez was there with the platoons, with news-updates and nougat bars. The soldiers had everything you can imagine in their kitbags, including thermos flasks and transistor radios. Some of the soldiers heard that the British had disembarked at San Carlos and captured Pradera del Ganso (Goose Green) by tuning radios on to the BBC. In the mornings the soldiers had a mug of the green Guarani herb 'mate' which contains around the same amount of caffein as a cup of coffee; it is stimulating and helps register a feeling of fullness. Meals were served in the open and consumed in mugs. I remember that mutton and pasta figured largely on the menu. There was a strict ration of one ratpack per man per week, eaten slowly to make it last. (Courtesy of Colonel Alberto Gonzalez)
On 29 May (Argentinean Army Day) Second Lieutenant Baldini held a parade of 1st Platoon and later handed round hot chocolate. This is not the action of a man who didn't like the conscripts. Private Alberto Carbone remembers 29 May as if it was yesterday:
"Snow had fallen, it was bitterly cold, and it was my turn to relieve my mate on guard duty. I found him collapsed behind a rock. No sooner had I got him round than I, too, fainted. The next day they gave us chocolate. It was the only time I can ever recall being given something sweet." (See Vincent Bramley, Two Sides of Hell, pp. 105-106, Bloomsbury Publishing Limited, 1994) Sergeant Rolando Spizuocco also refutes the charge that he left the 1st Platoon conscript to fend for themeselves: "I saw to it that they were not cheated of their ratpacks, that they had chocolate bars, balaclavas and the best possible warm-up tents."
Brigadier Julian Thompson, who commanded 3 Commando Brigade and its supporting Parachute battalions in 1982, now had a firm footing on Mount Kent, an important position on the road to Stanley. For 'B' Company, 7th Regiment, the initial contact came as a series of probing patrols. The Rasit ground surveillance radar operator, Sergeant Roque Nista, on the night of 4-5 June, spotted a 3rd Parachute Battalion patrol northwest of Longdon. The 3rd Artillery Group artillerymen on Stanley's outskirts took up position and with the forward artillery observation officer on Mount Longdon correcting the artillery fire, the Parachute patrol abandoned the beaten zone. The following day a 601st Commando Company fighting patrol found the British "visiting cards".
The Mount Longdon defenders waited in a complex of bunkers. On 12 June, the 3rd Parachute Battalion assaulted these bunkers and for the next 12 hours were involved in desperate close quarter combat and the Argentinians counterattacked them time and time again. Instead of the hasty field fortifications that the Royal Marine Commandos faced on the Monte Caseros Line, they came against a strongly entrenched company.
The Night of Battle
At 2015 local time on Friday 11 June 1982 the 3rd Parachute Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Hew Pike began to advance to Mount Longdon. At the same time, 42 Commando Battalion was advancing towards Mount Harriet, whilst 45 Commando Battalion was heading for Dos Hermanas (Two Sisters) Mountain. The objective of the night attack of 11 June were three rocky peaks in the area west of Puerto Argentino: Mount Longdon, Dos Hermanas (Two Sisters) Mountain and Mount Harriet.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pike's plan was for Major Mike Argue, commanding 'B' Company, 3rd Parachute Battalion to capture Mount Longdon ('Fly Half' and 'Full Back') while 'A' Company seized the hill running north ('Wing Forward'). 'C' Company would attack the hill north of the 7th Regiment's Command Post, nicknamed 'Rough Diamond'. The apparent ease with which the British Paratroopers got right up to Mount Longdon was lost when Corporal Ian Milne of 4 Platoon 'B' Company stepped on an anti-personnel mine and this alerted the Argentinians 1st Platoon. Corporal Gustavo Pedemonte deployed one of the 7.62 millimetre belt-fed machineguns higher up 'Fly Half', and he engaged the Paras, holding up the British advance. Only after an hour or two, perhaps more, a couple of Paras blasted him out of the darkness.
One British Paratrooper nearly succeeded in bayoneting Lance-Corporal Carlos Rafael Colemil, literally falling at the feet of the Argentinian NCO. The fighting was that close. Lieutenant Jonathan Shaw's 6 Platoon, tasked with clearing the southern slopes of Mount Longdon where First Lieutenant Neirotti's 3rd Platoon was located, for a time was on a roll with their successful battle against the Argentinian soldiers until a navigational error in the dark, left Shaw's advance shattered. In fact, it later transpired that 6 Platoon had run into a dead end. (See Vincent Bramley, Excursion to Hell, p. 121, Bloomsbury Publishing Limited, 1991) It was here that 6 Platoon came under fire from the rear from a half a dozen conscripts with FAL 7.62 millimetre assault rifles which fatally wounded four Paratroopers in quick succession.
The fighting had now lasted for about an hour. It appeared that the attack on Mount Longdon might be the only action of the night and Brigadier-General Oscar Luis Jofre asked Lieutenant-Colonel David Ubaldo Comini for a company from the 3rd Regiment with a major to help Major Carrizo-Salvadores to make a major counterattack on the British. The 3rd Regiment's 'A' Company, overlooking Eliza Cove, was ordered to move in Unimog lorries to the foot of Mount Longdon. Major Guillermo Ruben Berazay, went with the company to take charge:
We were in the Command Post when Jofre told Lieutenant-Colonel Comini to prepare A Company for a special mission and that he wanted an officer of at least 'jefe' rank to lead it. The Colonel said he could send two such officers; which one was to go? Jofre said to send the Operations Officer - that was me! I called the commander of A Company, which was our reserve company. He and I went to Stanley House where Jofre was. He showed me a map and told me that things were difficult and that he wanted me to take the company and go up to Tumbledown Mountain. A guide from the 5th Marines would then show us exactly where to place the company.
We were ready to move at about 3.00 a.m., but it was a very frosty morning, and a lot of the trucks we needed were soon in difficulties. Some found it hard to start; others were breaking down or had difficulty with the ground in the dark, and it took a long time to organize the convoy. We could hear the firing, away to the west, but could not see anything because it was too misty. The Colonel gave me his jeep, and we started to move out of Stanley on the road towards Moody Brook. But the road out of the town was steep, and the vehicles all started skidding. I told my driver to swing into the fence on the left, otherwise we would be in the sea. I heard the lorries behind us hitting each other. I ordered the men to get out of the lorries and be ready to march, but their boots were slipping as well, and that slowed us down. It was starting to get light by then, and as soon as we passed the last houses the British started shelling us. The men all took cover. That was the first time I had been under fire. After about five minutes the firing stopped, and we met the guide from the 5th Marines. I got the men moving again, and we got into
position just north and north-west of Tumbledown. (Martin Middlebrook, The Fight for the Malvinas: The Argentine Forces in the Malvinas War, pp. 244-245, Viking, 1989)
Despite moving in all-terrain lorries, the 3rd Regiment company took about 5 hours to cover just four miles. The 3rd Regiment had been conditioned to rely heavily on armoured personnel carriers to wage a war. Before long Baldini and his platoon sergeant were surrounded by more than 100 Paras and asked the reserve platoon for assistance and Carrizo-Salvadores soon despatched the engineer platoon.
Kneeling, Second Lieutenant Juan Baldini fired a 7.62 millimetre machinegun steadily but found the machinegun jamming. He took a knife to pry out the jammed belt, but seeing a group of Paras jump out of the darkness, and charge him, he threw away the machinegun and drew a revolver. After 13 shots, aimed wildly, he needed to reload, but by then the Paras were upon him.
Carrizo-Salvadores made an official submission to Lieutenant-General Cristino Nicolaides when the war was over recommending Baldini for the highest military decoration. He was in fact put up for the Heroic Valour Cross, the Argentinian equivalent of the British Victoria Cross and the 7th Regiment's officers and NCOs to a man believed he deserved it. But he was awarded the lesser decoration of the Gallantry in Combat Medal.
The Gallantry in Combat Medal also went to Sergeant Rolando Spizuocco who displayed great heroism by rescuing most of the wounded conscripts in the forward tents and carrying them back through a nightmare of shot and shell to a place of safety. There was no mention of this in Two Sides Of Hell.
Uptill 2130 local time the night of 11 June had been like many other nights for the Argentinians on Mount Longdon.
Major Carlos Eduardo Carrizo-Salvadores:
I recall that, that evening, with a small reciever, we were listening to the Mass that his Holiness the Pope was saying from the Basilica of Lujan. Just as he was giving the blessing - night had already closed in - the Platoon Commanders telephoned me to let me know that, apart from the shelling, there was nothing to report.
Through all the vivid events that week we knew that even with the efforts that had been made to achieve peace, the enemy attack was imminent and it would happen at any time. I therefore ordered all personnel to get ready for action, foreseeing necessary rest periods by reason of our having had a week of permanent readiness because of the events already related, and of what happened during the 4th and 8th days respectively. At about 2030 hours I got in touch with the Commanding Officer to tell him the latest developments up to that time. An hour later Lieutenant-Colonel Gimenez called me, since a somewhat confused situation had arisen due to a message sent out by Lieutenant [Alberto Rolando] Ramos, who was my artillery forward observation officer - a message which never could be cleared up, because the officer was dying moments later occasioned by enemy fire [Lieutenant Alberto Ramos was the first to raise the alarm]. To obtain the greatest detail on what had happened I established telephone contact with Second Lieutenant Baldini, the 1st Platoon Commander and responsible for the western sector. It was 2200 hours. At that very moment an anti-personnel mine exploded to the northwest of the position and that in practice, marked the beginning of the action which would last until the following day.
When this latest event happened, Second Lieutenant Baldini told me that fighting was going on in his area of responsability, and furthermore, because fighting was also going on in his position, he informed me that he would call me later to transmit more details of what was happening there. Moments later he called me, telling me, that infiltration had occurred, and that it was very difficult to appreciate the real magnitude ... and at that point communication was broken off as a consequence of the impact of an enemy shell on the telephone wire.
On an alternative line belonging to the Marines, who came under my subsector, I re-established communication with Second Lieutenant Baldini who informed that the situation was grave, that the enemy was in great strength and that, in some sectors, hand-to-hand fighting was going on; that he intended to push them back to regain command of the situation. This was the last conversation I held with Second Lieutenant Baldini, as, when trying to carry out what he had told me, he fell mortally wounded. Through a later account when I was in the continent, I learned that the brave officer was killed when he was trying to take over a machinegun whose aimer had been put out of action. This weapon was important to the defence of the position. [Baldini was stripped off his boots by the Paras] Corporal Rios had the same luck when he tried to realise what the second lieutenant intended doing.Thus in a demonstration of fearlessness and courage, both offered up their lives to their country in the execution of their duty. (Brigadier-General Hew Pike, The Other Side of the Hill, pp. 142-143, Pegasus: The Journal of the [British] Parachute Regiment, April 1988 Issue)
Carrizo-Salvadores could hear shots where 1st Platoon was fighting but around his command bunker it was quiet. But as dawn arrived his command platoon was firing like mad. The Argentinian engineers were all the time shooting at any one that moved. Lance-Corporal James Murdoch was mortally wounded, and Private Stewart Laing went forward to drag him into safety, he in turn also being mortally wounded by the engineers using head-mounted nightsights. Under increasing pressure from Quiroga, the British in the southern sector pulled back.
A heavy bombardment now fell on 1st Platoon, and shortly before 0130 on 12 June 4 and 5 Platoons had forced their way between Second Lieutenant Baldini's men and the Marine Corps personnel present.
As Major Mike Argue's 4 and 5 Platoons moved over the top of 'Fly Half' on to more open ground sloping away to 'Full Back', however, they were counterattacked by First Lieutenant Raul Fernando Castaneda's 1st Platoon of 'C' Company, 7th Regiment, which had just arrived to reinforce the positions there. Back in the main 3 Commando Brigade Headquarters, Brigadier Julian Thompson, could see it was going to be a very long night. Meanwhile, 'A' Company commanded by Major David Collett, was on Wing Forward, the subsidiary hill north of 'Fly Half', and came under accurate rifle and automatic fire as it advanced along a series of peat banks. One member of the company, Private Timothy Jenkins was killed and Corporal Stephen Hope was seriously wounded, and would die many hours later. It later transpired that Castaneda's platoon had had head-mounted night sights issued when ordered to move up Mount Longdon. Castaneda - later promoted to colonel in the 1990s - found Private Leonardo Rondi a most inspiring soldier. Private Leonardo Rondi seeing the radio operator die in the course of his duties, jumped into the middle of the fray and began organizing the defences of the platoon, running to the sections, dodging enemy groups, to report to the section commanders on the fighting. Rondi seemed to be everywhere, using his rifle and phosphorus grenades at close quarters and caring for the wounded. For his bravery he was awarded a Gallantry in Combat Medal.
The reservists in Castaneda's platoon all knew each other well. Having been conscripted from Lanus and Bandfield, Buenos Aires, many of the conscripts indulged a taste for Hollywood movies and American swearing. This 46-man platoon, came in at the critical moment and showed themeselves to be willing to fight at close quarters.The platoon fought bitterly on the northern sector of Mount Longdon and not altogether without success. Castaneda's men made attacks on the advancing British Paratroopers, compelling them to eventually withdraw after 2 hours of brutal boulder-to-boulder fighting. The relevant extract follows:
Under covering fire, Numbers 4 and 5 Platoons, withdrew, but another man was killed and others wounded in the process. (Peter Harclerode, Para!: Fifty Years of the Parachute Regiment, p. 354, Arms & Armour Press, 1992)
Somewhat to their chagrin their presence in the hardest fighting and their remarkable achievement went unreported in Two Sides of Hell. It was almost 0530 local time before the fighting resumed. Major Argue now dispatched the remnants of 4 and 5 Platoons commanded by Lieutenant Mark Cox, to carry out a flanking attack from the north, but this proved unsuccessful as First Lieutenant Castaneda and his platoon had the approach well covered. As soon as Private Horacio Caneque saw the remnants of 4 and 5 Platoons advancing towards Major Carrizo-Salvadores' command bunker he was out in a flash firing like mad and started to shout insults to the Paras in English. The Argentine fire was very accurate and Private John Crow was killed.
At that point Lieutenant-Colonel Pike, on learning of the situation ordered 'A' Company to take 'Full Back'. Major David Collett soon encountered strong opposition from the Argentines, particularly at the command post of Major Carrizo-Salvadores where the second in command of the 7th Regiment was asking for reinforcements.
The battle was now approaching its closing stages. Major Carrizo-Salvadores told Brigadier-General Jofre that he wished to arrange a truce with the British for the evacuation of all the wounded, but despite this the conscripts vowed to Carrizo-Salvadores that they would rather shoot it out to the bitter end.
By now Lieutenant-Colonel Hew Pike had brought Sergeant Graham Colbeck, the man in charge of the Anti-Tank Platoon to the western summit of Longdon. It was here at the Argentinian command post that Private Horacio Caneque had a lucky escape. Suddenly there was a blast that sent him tumbling spreadeagled into the ground. "Best guess was that it was a Milan," said Caneque, remembering. Private Fernando Magno could see through his night sight the 3rd Parachute Battalion Machinegun Platoon in position. He began spotting targets and relaying the position to Private Ricardo Rosas and Corporal Oscar Mussi and they grabbed a machinegun and opened up.
On the summit was Lance-Corporal Vincent Bramley, firing. The Paras' Milan teams on Fly Half were bringing down fire on the Argentine command postm and First Lieutenant Castaneda called up Corporal Manuel Adan Medina to deal with the Milan platoon. Medina of Castaneda's platoon, who was later awarded the Gallantry in Combat Medal, personally hunted down an Argentinian Czekalski 105 millimetre anti-tank gun and he knocked out one Milan team with a direct hit at approximately 0600 local time.
At the time another 7th Regiment platoon on 'Rough Diamond' hill was on standby in reserve. There was no evidence of hesistancy or lack of aggression when they were called into the fight. But Brigadier-General Oscar Luis Jofre, in a decision that has been argued ever since, cancelled the move. This fresh 7th Regiment platoon could have made such a difference, and even turned the battle.
In the first glimmer of dawn Major Collett's company resumed its advance. The Paras got very close to the Argentine command post and the second in command of the 7th Regiment was ordered to conduct a fighting withdrawal, but despite this Major Carrizo-Salvadores refused to give in, and it was not until 0632 that morning that he abandoned his command post and the surviving defenders escaped under cover of mist.
When the fighting on Mount Longdon subsided, the 3rd Parachute Battalion had suffered 17 killed and 40 wounded. Argentinian sources gave the losses of the Argentinians on Mount Longdon as 31 killed.
The failure to secure 'Rough Diamond' hill, was not considered too serious. Brigadier Julian Thompson has written that:
Several Paras unwilling to believe that the Argentinian conscripts could be capable of fighting like lions thought the Argentinians might have been using American mercenaries on loan!A feature north-east of Longdon thought to be held by 3 Para seemed to be occupied by the enemy. A short altercation took place between 2 and 3 Para about who did hold the feature and was settled by 2 Para having it comprehensively shelled without complaint from 3 Para. (Julian Thompson, Ready for Anything: The Parachute Regiment at War, p. 452, George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Limited, 1989)
In a fine soldier's tribute to the men he commanded in the Malvinas, Major Carlos Eduardo Carrizo-Salvadores wrote:
I can say that I have seen young men of 20 carry out their duty beyond the call of duty, exposing their lives regardless of the cold, the rain or the gunfire. And that was general among those who occupied the frontlines, just as it was among the stretcher bearers, medics and medical orderlies who ran into the middle of the explosions in order to save the life of a wounded comrade, and among the soldiers of the Command Platoon [Private Horacio Caneque, Private Carlos Connell, Private Fernando Magno, Private Luis Cunningham, Private Gabriel Crespo, Private Daniel Cesar Maltagliatti and Private Ricardo Rosas] who in the middle of the bombardment, went out to repair the telephone lines so that my Command Post could keep in touch with the frontline troops whenever an artillery shell cut those wires. (Hew Pike, The Other Side of the Hill, p. 141, Pegasus: Journal of the [British] Parachute Regiment, April 1988 Issue)