Battle for Two Sisters

Battle for Two Sisters

The Battle for Two Sisters, along with the Battle for Mount Harriet, took place on the night of June 11th and June 12th, 1982. Two Sisters gave its Argentine defenders a good height advantage and the position had to be attacked and taken if British troops did not want their route to Port Stanley made more dangerous by being attacked in the rear. Once Two Sisters had been captured, the march to Port Stanley was just miles to the east.

 

45 Commando, Royal Marines, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A Whitehead, carried out the attack on Two Sisters. The 8th Battery, 29 Commando, Royal Artillery, supported them. ‘HMS Glamorgan’ was offshore to give more fire support with her 4.5-inch gun.

 

Opposing 45 Commando on Two Sisters were men from the Argentine 4th Infantry Regiment.

 

45 Commando ‘yomped’ from San Carlos Bay, via Teal Inlet, to Mount Kent. They reached Mount Kent on June 4th and spent another week (June 4th to June 11th) collating their supplies and sending out patrols to reconnoitre their target. Their patrols and reconnaissance were helped by men from the Royal Marines Mountain and Artic Warfare Cadre. Such work was dangerous and a friendly-fire incident on June 10th led to the deaths of four Royal Marines based in a mortar group killed by other Royal Marines out on patrol.  

 

The attack on the Argentine positions was planned to start at 21.00 on June 11th. Whitehead had ordered a silent attack. Three companies made up the attack – X, Y and Z. In fact, because of the terrain, the attack started two hours late at 23.00 – the result of the difficulty in transporting heavy equipment over very difficult rocky ground.

 

Assisted by accurate artillery fire, 45 Commando made good ground. By 02.30 on June 12th, Z Company had reached its target – just three-and-a-half hours after the start of the attack. The whole of Two Sisters was taken before dawn. By any standards, the attack by 45 Commando had been a resounding success. The artillery fire of 29 Commando covered their advance up the slopes. ‘HMS Glamorgan’ also assisted in this – but paid the price for this later.

 

In all 45 Commando lost four men – three Royal Marines and a Royal Engineer Commando. Seventeen men were wounded. The 4th Infantry Regiment lost twenty killed and 54 men were taken prisoner.

 

For the bravery shown in the attack on Two Sisters, men from 45 Commando were awarded 1 DSO, 3 Military Crosses, 1 DCM and 4 Military Medals. A commando from 29 Commando received a Military Medal as did a man from the Mountain and Artic Warfare Cadre.

 

HMS Glamorgan stayed in her position offshore to support units from 45 Commando who were pinned down. HMS Glamorgan stayed where she was past the time she was meant to leave and was hit by a land based Exocet missile. Thirteen sailors were killed as a result of this attack.


MLA Citation/Reference

"Battle for Two Sisters". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2007. Web.






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