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O U R S T O R Y
This section of the book was written by the Ship's Company, and is a sequel to the earlier "big picture" history of Operation Corporate. It gives some idea of what it was like working onboard during this busy period of the ship's history and to some small extent shares an experience which greatly strengthened each man's faith in the Ship and her people.
This first piece sets the scene. It was written by an eye witness from the Bridge
Even before the loss of HMS SHEFFIELD it was clear that the ship was likely to engage the enemy in action. On Thursday, 29 April a service as an Act of Dedication Before Action was conducted in the Junior Rates Dining Hall by the Rev Jake Watson.
The only people onboard who could actually see the enemy were those clustered in and around the Bridge and Gun Direction Platform (GDP) and those on the Flight Deck. This item was written by one of our two "Gun Battery" members.
And now to that other exposed position, The Flight Deck, which infact took the brunt of all attacks on BROADSWORD and sadly was the area where we sustained most casualties. This account is by one of the flight deck team.
And now we move between decks, firstly to the Operations Room from where, in semi-darkness the command operates the ship's sensors and the primary weapon systems. It is a 'star wars' sort of place, computerized and luminous. This is how we prepared for war.
Still in the Operations Room, but now in the opposite corner, our next piece comes from the 'hush hush' Electronic Warefare console. This is the blackest of naval arts but it is a war winning area.
'Float, move, fight' are the priorities for a man o' war and so far we have only been concerned with the last, which whilst the most glamorous is arguably only third most important! Move down two decks from the Ops Room to 2 Deck we reach the main Damage Control deck, and our next pieces come from HQ1 and the For'ad and After Section Bases.
That postscript takes us on to the supporting services: the Galley which appeared to run a special line in porridge, and the First Aiders in their crusader like red cross surcoats.
The Ops Room, where we were earlier is of course only the tip of the iceberg! The concealed 90% is the WE Department which ensures that the operators actually have the wherewithal to fight. Missiles, torpedos, radars, radios and guns all work, only because of their efforts. Read on:
Seawolf is what BROADSWORD was really all about down there. The ship has two launchers and the next piece is from the after Seawolf System's Loading Crew........
And lastly a group of men who never really stopped fighting their war. In two watches from Gibraltar to San Carlos and back, we were never sure if their real enemy wasn't the Secure Voice system!
And in the MCO
A memorial service was held on the 20 June 1982 as an expression of thanks and rememberance. The following is an extract from the Order of Service
A lighter note to end on.