14 August 2007

Geographer Marine

The partwork The Elite effectively became the official publishing house of Falklands' War British officers during 1985-6. One of the more obscure (at that time) who emerged at this time was Hugh McManners, a Royal Marine who’d written a book entitled Falklands Commando about his experience in the conflict. (The editorial staff on The Elite valued this book quite highly for conveying the experience of training and the Falklands weather and landscape.) McManners was from a more academic background than I would expect of British Marines, and he very kindly gave the editorial team three or four tickets to a lecture he was giving at the Royal Geographical Society one evening. (He read Geogaphy at Oxford.) In a good example for freelance writers of how everything is material, we sat through a description of the Falklands from a geographer's point of view - topography, flora, effects of human and animal activity on the natural habitat. It was a refreshing alternative to the tactical approach we'd been focusing on during the day.

McManners subsequently eluded obscurity, perhaps more than any other of the officer-writers, and became a defence correspondent for the Sunday Times, and wrote several other books, the latest of which is Forgotten Voices of the Falklands War.

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