What do you think in the "steel coffin". Falkland war
“At half-past seven, I was about to go to bed, when the acoustics of a submarine suddenly said what made the words harden in the language,” Lord, I have sonar contact. ”I started, assuming that the speakers were wrong.
Sometimes whales or krill produce "biological noise" and can confuse the most experienced acoustics. But the noise was approaching from the northeast and was confirmed within a few minutes. I was the head of the information service and had to wake the boat commander. "Wake everyone up and fighting posts" ordered the commander.
I got goose bumps. At that moment, he could only suspect what might happen next. But I could not know with certainty that this was the first battle in the south of the Atlantic, the English helicopter at sea level closest to us, followed by the ships of the Royal Navy, and twenty-three hours of fear, tension, chases and explosions are expected.
The submarine was bought in Germany in the seventies, came unarmed to Argentina and was assembled piecemeal in Buenos Aires.But during the Falkland War there were some problems: it could not reach a speed of more than 14 knots under water and 1 of 4 diesels designed to charge a battery under water through the RDP did not work.
Nevertheless, I was not so concerned about these restrictions and thought more about my wife who was supposed to give birth. In March 1982, the young father, who was barely 27 years old, was to go on a training trip. They carried out exercises with three corvettes when the radiogram arrived that he had a daughter.
In the middle of the month, an order came to stop the teachings and return to Mar del Plata. In bbaze he met an old friend. The commander of the submarine "Santa Fe" the next day, he whispered "I am in the Malvinas Islands" in a whisper.
It was ordered to go to sea on April 11 and open the envelope to the sea. When we opened the envelope, we swallowed the air and read with wide open eyes "Henrietta District, near Punta Deceado. Go to Cape Corrientes and dive by midnight."
Sumbarina "San Luis".
I opened the diagrams and read "Use weapons for defense. Allowed." We could not attack anyone, because the diplomatic negotiations were not exhausted.But it forced the liberation of the psyche, because it was a war, not a doctrine.
We spent several days submerged by ventilating through the RDP for half an hour a day to replenish energy and oxygen. These were moments of the ship’s greatest vulnerability. Then everyone was waiting and preparing for war. We had 10 German and 14 American torpedoes on board.
But the unexpected happened, a mistake in the fire control system. And without this computer, the only possibility was to launch them manually. We tried to repair this computer, but there were no necessary spare parts on board and on April 27 received another message “stand out and accept” district, Maria, “Every contact is an enemy”.
This meant that I should go to the area to the east of the Falklands and there were no Argentinean ships. Any "sonar contact" had to be necessarily an English ship and I had to shoot without hesitation.
May 1, the commander gathered the entire crew in the cockpit. They sat around a tiny table and I found that my legs were shaking and I could not raise my head. When I was able to raise my head, I saw that all the comrades were also sitting in that position.
We gathered and started the meeting as best we could.Then they listened to the acoustics headphones, the white one closest to them and the order to prepare torpedo tubes for firing and change the course to get to the best position for firing.
On the one hand heard the explosions of depth charges and the noise of the propellers of helicopters. We were approached by three helicopters with lowered sonar and randomly dropped depth charges. As soon as the analysis of the sounds showed that all the helicopters had flown by and now began the attack safely.
When the target was 9000 yards, I told the commander, "Sir, the data is entered." The commander shouted "Start". Torpedo wiped brought vibrations and noise. The torpedo carried the wire over which it was controlled, but after a few minutes the operator said that the wire had broken.
Torpedo began to work independently and rise to the surface. The whole trouble was that it was discovered. Five minutes later, the noise of absolutely all British ships and torpedoes disappeared from the acoustics.
Burning British frigate "Ardent".
For English helicopters it was not difficult to calculate the place of the “San Luis” and my mouth was dry. The British were approaching mining at high speed, while the Argentines slowly dodged.
The commander ordered the most complete move, and at the same moment the acoustics said "a torpedo splash into the water." We were shot, and I heard high-frequency sounds made by the approaching English torpedo. Kimandir ordered "Dive." And then ordered to set false goals.
We began to set false targets, big pills, which when entering with water gave a large number of bubbles and confused the torpedo. We called them Alka Seltzer. After the release of 2 LC acoustics reported that "torpedo near the stern." I thought, "We died, we explode." Here acoustics said "torpedo goes to the stern."
Ten seconds seemed a year, and the acoustics in their metallic voice said "Torpedo from the other side." A quiet joy and a sense of relief swept over the boat. The English torpedo passed by and disappeared into the sea. She walked an inch from us.
At that moment, the pursuit of the boat began. Arriving Sea King lowered the antenna and began to look for a boat. He has not yet figured out the exact position, and the “San Luis” went deeper and deeper. The helicopters dropped torpedoes and bombs 500 yards from my chin, but could not find the boat.
Fire aboard SS Atlantic Conveyor after hitting two Exocset missiles.
The submarine lowered the speed of the dive and gently lay on the sandy bottom. Every twenty minutes the helicopters changed and dropped their depth charges and torpedoes into the water. And so replacing each other, they searched for the boat hour by hour.
For a submarine lying at a depth of 500 meters, torpedoes and depth bombs did not pose a danger, the lack of oxygen was dangerous. The boat could not float under the RDP and carbon dioxide increased and the danger increased.
The commander ordered the entire crew to leave the fighting posts, lie down in beds and join the regeneration in order to spend as little oxygen as possible. Everyone went to bed in the boat at the bottom of the sea. I thought, “The problem is not fear, but how to control it,” and fell asleep.
Twenty hours after the first acoustic contact was detected, the acoustics reported that the horizon was clear. “San Luis” surfaced to the periscope depth and raised the periscope, RDP and antenna, and received sad information that “Santa Fe” was sunk.
I thought about what happened to my friend and that I needed to be strong and keep working. "We had corns in our souls, and we were different," the commander said today, recalling that we were all baptized in battle.
The death of the destroyer URO "Sheffield".
After five days of patrolling, the acoustics detected "sonar noise". And said "perhaps an underwater goal." The commander ordered everyone to take combat positions and prepare for the attack. “San Luis” was approaching the goal which was moving with a strange and incomprehensible zigzag.
"Blanco Alpha is very close," said the acoustics. The distance was about 1500 meters. The anti-submarine torpedo came out and a strong explosion was heard, but the commander could not understand whether he had hit the target or not.
At dawn on May 11, when the San Luis returned to the patrol area, the acoustics detected a rocket frigate from the east and another from the north. All were at the fighting posts and hardly ate rice with tomatoes, as if the last meal before his death.
When they realized that the two frigates converged in the Strait of San Carlos, the commander ordered a change of course to the shore for a better attack. "Start!" shouted the commander again. The distance was 5200 meters. Three minutes later, the cable broke. But the entire crew accompanied the torpedo mentally. And suddenly everyone heard a metal strike on metal.
Three bombs hit the landing ship "Sir Halahed" (the first one exploded in the galley, the second - in the officers' cabin, the third - in the landing room). The resulting fire led to the detonation of prepared for unloading ammunition.The ship burned out almost completely, and later it had to be flooded. As a result of the raid, about fifty British servicemen died.
The torpedo hit the ship, but did not explode. The torpedo was faulty. These two British ships sank a little later the Argentine ship with weapons and ammunition which killed more than twenty people.
When the commander reported to the base about the torpedo failures and the breakdown of the torpedo computer, he received a clear order: "Go home." Returned to Puerto Belgrano at night, having failed to sink a single ship.
Only in 1983, with the help of German specialists, it was possible to establish the reasons for the failure of all torpedoes. The repair of the torpedo computer breakdown took forty days and the boat could not go on a military campaign any longer. "- the officer from the San Luis submarine, Frigate-Lieutenant Alejandro Maegli, recalls an officer.
"General Belgrano". The entire nose of the cruiser is cut off by an explosion - to the first tower of the Civil Code.
The San Luis (San Luis (S32)) is an Argentine type 209 submarine, the seventh ship of the Argentine Navy (Armada de la República Argentina, ARA), named after the province of San Luis. The only allegedly able to break through the British naval blockade during the 1982 Anglo-Argentine conflict.
On the night of May 10-11, according to the report of the commander of the frigaten-captain Sambarine Fernando Ascuet, he found two ships, allegedly a destroyer, that were in the area of his patrol. Using the data of hydroacoustics and manual guidance, he went on the attack and at 01:40 on May 11 he fired a single torpedo from a distance of 2.5 miles.
The result of the attack was again unclear. According to the report, "both ships left the area at full speed." But it should be noted that there was no counterattack of anti-submarine forces.
Although the commander of the Sambarina, Fernando Askuet, did not firmly declare that he had fallen into someone, this did not prevent the Argentine propaganda from declaring one or the other ship torpedoed or even sunk.
The explosion of the cellars of the ammunition frigate "Entiloup."
The British press, instead of approaching the messages critically, mostly followed this story. When Invincible returned to base, his sailors were surprised to hear that they turned out to be sunk.
The "great victory" of the British fleet can only be called an accident: a third of the ships of Her Majesty’s squadron were hit by Argentinian bombs! Fortunately for the British, Argentine pilots used rusty American ammunition -having lain for thirty years in a warehouse, for some reason they refused to explode.
Argentine torpedo bomber "Super Etandar."
Argentine submarine "San Luis" ARA San Luis (S-32)
The landing ship "Sir Lancelot" - on the approach to the Falkland Islands received a direct hit 1000-fn. aerial bomb Fortunately for the British, detonation did not happen - otherwise, the ship, loaded to the brim with marines and equipment, would turn into a hellish brazier.