“It was a mistake. I regret that when the war was over we agreed to play it low key. We should have made more noise, to make sure people realised it was the Navy that had done the job, not the bloody Air Force or the Army. The Air Force dropped one bomb on target. There were more Commandos, who are naval soldiers, than there were Army.”
Admiral Sir John Forster “Sandy” Woodward
Admiral Sandy Woodward commanded the British Naval Task Force in the South Atlantic during the Falklands War in 1982.
Admiral Sir John Forster Woodward, believed that if he and other senior Royal Navy officers had made more of what they had achieved in the South Atlantic, the Royal Navy would not now be in its present state – which he described as “fairly dire” in March 2012. The Navy took itself for granted, and the country took the Navy for granted. Then we allowed it all to disappear after the Falklands.
Sandy Woodward graduated from the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, and joined the Royal Navy in 1946. He became a submariner in 1954, and was promoted to lieutenant that May. In 1960 he passed the Royal Navy’s rigorous Submarine Command Course known as The Perisher, and received his first command, the T Class submarine HMS TIRELESS. Promoted to lieutenant-commander in May 1962, he then commanded HMS GRAMPUS before becoming the second in command of the nuclear fleet submarine HMS VALIANT. In 1967, he was promoted to Commander and became the Instructor (known as Teacher) of The Perisher Course. He took command of HMS WARSPITE in December 1969. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1972. In 1974, he became Captain of Submarine Training and in 1976 he took command of HMS SHEFFIELD.
Sandy Woodward became Head of Naval Plans in the Ministry of Defence in 1978. In July 1981, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed as Flag Officer First Flotilla.
Photo: Admiral John Woodward during in the early 1980’s. Royal Navy Photo.
Complied by Thomas Joseph Simpson
Tuesday April 5, 2016