Falkland’s Most Daring Raid brings alive a fast-paced, funny story of true grit and classic British derring-do to create a thrilling and uncharacteristically upbeat account from the Falklands War.
This gripping film tells the humorous yet heroic account of how a crumbling, Cold-War era Vulcan flew the then longest range bombing mission in history and how a WW2 vintage bomb changed the outcome of the Falklands War.
Astonishingly, this story of one of the RAF’s greatest modern feats has been downplayed into near obscurity by history.
On 30th April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission; to bomb Port Stanley’s runway, putting it out of action for invading Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Naval Task Force, steaming towards the islands, depended on its success.
But the RAF could only get a single Vulcan bomber 8,000 miles south to the Falklands and back again and even that was going to take a 16 hour continuous flight from Ascension Island and an aerial refuelling fleet of thirteen Handley Page Victor tankers.
At the heart of the RAF’s plan was the iconic but ageing Avro Vulcan bomber. But as Britain’s original Cold War nuclear deterrent, the ‘Tin Triangles’ were in the process of being scrapped. Now, just months from being decommissioned, three of the surviving nuclear bombers – one to fly the mission and two as reserve – had to be kitted out for war and retro-fitted to carry 21 x 1,000lb WW2 iron bombs. Crucial spare parts had to be scavenged from museums around the world and whilst others were found in scrap yards – one vital piece was discovered being used as an ashtray in the Officer’s Mess.
In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, something the Vulcan hadn’t done for 20 years – and described by one pilot as like ‘trying to stick wet spaghetti up a cat’s backside’ –and conventional bombing, which they hadn’t done for ten. The RAF scoured the country to find just enough WW2 bombs and refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5.00 pocket calculator.
With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF’s hopes riding ultimately on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge; fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and empty fuel tanks. Of the Vulcan’s 21 WW2 bombs, only one found the target. But that was enough to change the outcome of the war…
Based on Rowland White’s best-selling book, Vulcan 607, the documentary uses strong first-hand testimonies from the original Vulcan and Victor crews and stylised drama filmed in and around a surviving Vulcan Bomber.
It is the Dambusters for the 1980s generation.