Battle for the Falklands - The Skirmish at Top Malo House - 31 May 1982
Updated: May 31
The Skirmish at Top Malo House was fought on 31 May 1982 during the Falklands War, between 1st Assault Section Argentine Special Forces from 602 Commando Company and a patrol formed from staff and trainees of the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre.
Captain Rod Boswell of the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre and 18 of his men conducted the operation following a report on the 27 May by a four-man patrol sited in an observation post (OP) on Bull Hill.
This patrol had established their OP on 21 May as one of a number of Brigade forward reconnaissance teams and observed two Argentine UH-1 helicopters drop a patrol of about "sixteen" men in the vicinity of Top Malo House, a deserted shepherd's house 400 metres (440 yd) from their position.
As it was getting dark, a Harrier GR3 strike against the house was ruled out and as the location was out of artillery range, this option was also dismissed. Instead, the British planned an assault early on the morning of 31 May, with the designated force landing by helicopter in dead ground about 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) away from the objective.
"The fire group quickly destroyed the target house, but the Argentine's stormed out, firing back and very quickly two Marines, Sergeant Terry Doyle and Sergeant Rocky Stone in the assault group, had been shot and injured. Then Corporal Steve Groves from the fire group was shot in the chest.
The assault group had almost charged down on to Top Malo, blazing firepower from the hip and with Boswell leading."
Commando, David Reynolds, p. 146, Sutton, 2001
Image: David Pentland http://www.davidpentlandart.com/ "Never in a house..." Captain Rod Boswell RM
A correction 'The team that reported the Argentines entering Top Malo House did not go into the field until 29 May and were en route to their final OP location when they saw the Argentine patrol. Obviously the book explains all that. (Rod Boswell 2021)
Mountain Commandos at War in the Falklands: The Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre in Action During the 1982 Conflict by Rod Boswell (Amazon)
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