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Falklands SAS Officer Promoted to Top Army Post

Thursday, December 21st 2000 - 20:00 UTC
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An outstanding SAS officer who took part in the recovery of South Georgia during the 1982 Falklands War has been appointed to one of the Army's top posts - Deputy Commander-in-Chief of United Kingdom Land forces

Major General Cedric Delves, aged 53, is also to be promoted to Lieutenant General.

In the past 25 years Cedric Delves has master-minded some of the elite SAS's most daring missions in Oman, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and the former Yugoslavia. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for this Falklands Service but came in for strong criticism from Royal Navy and Royal Marines colleagues for misjudgement and ignoring their advice in under-estimating the terrain and harsh weather conditions in the recapture of South Georgia.

He was responsible for the plan to land an SAS Mountain Troop on Fortuna Glacier, led by Captain John Hamilton, a mission which he was forced by foul weather to abandon with the loss of two troop-carrying which crashed onto the glacier.

Captain Nick Barker of HMS Endurance called it "a monumental cock-up",and an intelligence expert with the Task Force said the mission had potentially compromised the recovery of South Georgia. That failure apart, Cedric Delves has had a distinguished and highly successful career as a courageous officer in SAS, of which he was for a while Director, and was awarded the OBE.

Despite his high profile in South Georgia, he is a publicity shy officer whose missions since have been shrouded in secrecy.

Harold Briley, London

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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