Monday, December 14, 2015

Submarine - Cold War and The Falklands

The spring of 1982...

One of the more pressing issues for NATO during the Falkland’s War was how to replace the Royal Navy submarines that went south to the conflict.

Number Available
Number Sent South
Valiant Class
Churchill Class
Swiftsure Class
Porpoise Class
Oberon Class

In general for every boat on station two are needed for support. These other two boats are undergoing refit, training, transiting to their assigned areas or in port. Six may not appear be a big number but assets were already stretched in the early 1980s. NATO did not know how long the conflict was going to last or if it would cause a wider conflict.

Both the Porpoise and Oberon Classes could cover choke points in European waters and were probably doing just that. We will have to wait for the release of official secrets to find out more. It was replacing the five nuclear boats sent south that was a concern for the Royal Navy and NATO. These boats can work in areas not conducive to their diesel brethren, under the ice or in the Arctic Ocean.

So what does this mean for your naval wargamer? Just think of the possibilities outside of the South Atlantic. NATO is forced to use boats in locations and for missions they were not designed for. It may even give the Soviets a chance and wargamers will have a chance to use lesser known classes.

While not as sexy as the fast attack boats, the crews of these diesel boats were well trained. Any takers?


  1. Canadian Oberons were known for sneaking up on US carrier groups.

    1. That is true Pat, it was in Canada that I saw my first Oberons. I was impressed even though their weapon systems were a generation or two behind what I was using.