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Author Topic: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet  (Read 6262 times)

Offline Tug1970

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Falklands War, Mt Longdon Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet

VGM Jorge ‘Beto’ Altieri, Battle of Mt. Longdon
VGM (Argentine Veteran from Malvinas War)


Although this is not a British helmet it is however British Paratroopers bring back souvenir helmet from the Battle of Mt Longdon.  There is no section for this so I thought I'd keep all the Falklands War helmets in this section if that pleases the management.

VGM Jorge ‘Beto’ Altieri received severe head injuries caused by shrapnel from British mortars during the Battle of Mt. Longdon.




This severely battle damaged helmet belonged to and was worn by Jorge (Beto) Altieri during the ferocious Battle of Mt. Longdon.  During the 1982 Falklands conflict Altieri served within B Company, 7th Infantry Regiment ‘Coronel Conde’ (Compañía B del Regimiento de Infantería 7 ‘RI 7’).



Altieri lived in Buenos Aires and served as a conscripted soldier prior to the Falklands conflict, however, on Friday 9th of April 1982 almost a year after ending his conscription the Police arrived at his home with a subpoena for him to report to the 7th Infantry Regiment.  The 7th Infantry Regiment is a unit of the Argentine Army (Ejército Argentino) based at Arana (La Plata), Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.





The 7th Infantry Regiment began to mobilize weapons, ammunition and marched nearly 10km before settling overnight, the following day they would continue towards their final destination Mt. Longdon.  Altieri marched along with his comrades struggling through the difficult terrain weighed down by their heavy equipment and often sinking in the soft peat as a result.

The mortar shrapnel caused tremendous damage to the helmet, the steel shell has been peeled open and the shrapnel continued through the liner.




When Altieri arrived at Mt. Longdon his Chief, Second Lieutenant Juan Baldini sent them to sleep in a tent with a sleeping bag, blanket and a waterproof poncho.  The next day they were informed this is where they would be stationed and instructed to start digging trenches, days went by until the British warships started to arrive and warplanes began to attack the positions.





Between May 20th and 25th the British began shelling the area specifically because there was a generator on the crest of Mt. Longdon where batteries were charged.  This generator produced electronic waves which were detected by the British radars and during a Naval bombardment Altieri along with others was ordered to turn off the generator, one soldier being severely wounded in the arm.





As the days went by the Argentinians were very cold and malnourished, then on June 11th around 2200 an explosion was heard.  This was the start of 3 Para’s assault on Mt. Longdon and the explosion was that of a mine triggered by Corporal Brian Milne which alerted the Argentine soldiers to the assault by the British and the fight had started. 

Altieri name written inside, also Beto can be read.


I wonder if the 'G' was added because of Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli, Argentine general and President of Argentina from 22 December 1981 to 18 June 1982


During the initial stages of the battle an Argentine MAG machine gun was silenced, Sub Lieutenant Juan Baldini jumped from his position to seize the machine gun but was killed by a British sniper.  Corporal Ríos tried to help the Sub Lieutenant but was also killed along with many other soldiers.





Amazingly there is still a shard of shrapnel lodged fast in the liner.











Altieri recalls “the Radar Chief, Corporal Carrizo left his position to surrender.  The British soldiers demanded his gun and once disarmed they made a gesture as they were going to cut his throat then they shot him and he fell down, the British thought he was dead.  A few hours passed but he was alive.  The Red Cross passed, lifted him and carried him to a British hospital.  He was treated and survived.  They broke the international treaties because when a soldier surrenders you must not kill him or force him to do any gun movements”.







Altieri went back and occupied his position with other Argentine soldiers waiting for the enemy, a Sergeant from the Scouting Squadron 10 Armoured Cavalry of HQ in La Tablada asked who were the ones who knew the location of Mount Longdon.  Fernández Rito and Altieri volunteered to show him. 



Altieri recalls “We started to move. I threw my 10 grenades and emptied 3 magazines. The British spotted by radio our position and then we started receiving mortars fire and one of the shells fell on the mentioned Sergeant. Twenty years later, I found out that he was the Assistant C Jorge Alberto Ron, who had a command instruction.....the bomb killed him on the spot.



I grabbed my head….I lost brain tissue from the left part of my head which contains the driving circuits of arm, leg and speech. I also lost my left eye.  I have a prothesis now, Fernández Rito was wounded in his legs.”





Several comrades picked up Altieri and other wounded, they made it down the mountain side and found a truck coming along the road.  They stopped it but the officer in charge told them he couldn't take them as he had to take another route.  A conscript told the officer he couldn't leave the casualties that way, luckily the officer disobeyed his orders and took them to the Hospital. This happened at 0500 on the 12th of June.



Altieri recalls "I remember certain moments when I was in the Hospital but other details I know only because I've been told.  They say I insulted everyone, yelling them that they were cowards because they would not fight, asking them to go and help our fellow men. They were soldiers who were serving in the hospital, not combatants...I remained in the island till June 14th- I was transported in the last Hercules plane which left Malvinas for mainland".

Jorge Altieri with 3 Para soldier and author Vince Bramley.




"I had the opportunity of meeting British soldier Vincent Bramley who fought against us, and he asked me when did I surrendered.  I told him : "Neither did I surrender nor was I taken prisoner. My war continues because I was taken from the islands before the surrendering. So I keep on fighting".

A very touching tribute left by ex-3 Para veteran of the battle Jimmy O'Connell to the soldiers who died during the conflict specifically on Mt Longdon. 



Jimmy, also the author of 'Three days in June' was also severely wounded during the battle.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/nostalgia/falklands-war-veteran-jimmy-oconnell-4863112





Jimmy is a lovely bloke, he self published him book which I bought and he added a very nice personal forward and signed it for me.  A very detailed account of the battle from a very humble and modest man.  Below is a link to his book which he currently sells on ebay, a huge book and well worth it.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Parachute-Regiment-Mount-Longdon-Falklands-Three-Days-in-June-Airborne-helmet-/231913615005?

The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.

(SAMA82), which represents and helps Falklands veterans, believes that some 264 veterans had taken their own lives by 2002, a number exceeding the 255 who died in active service, although no estimate is available for the expected number of suicides that would have occurred anyway.
A comprehensive statistical study of the deaths of personnel deployed to the Falklands since the end of the conflict was published by Defence Analytical Services and Advice(DASA) on Tuesday 14 May 2013. The study found that:

25,948                    UK Armed Forces personnel served in the Falklands Campaign
237                         Personnel died during the campaign
1,335                      Falklands veterans have died since 1982
95                           Of these deaths (veterans and in-service) were attributable to suicide and open verdict deaths

The statistics show that 7% of the deaths of Falklands veterans since the campaign were attributed to suicide, significantly less than the number of deaths during the campaign, and that, for Falklands veterans.
For deaths due to intentional self harm and events of undetermined intent (suicide and open verdict deaths) there was a 35% significant decreased risk of dying compared to the UK general population.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Brgds,
Tug
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline ScottG

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 11:15:12 AM »
 A great piece of history there Tug! The research and detail you provide with your items is fantastic! Keep it coming and I will be sure to check your Facebook group, thanks.  Scott.
Always looking for 32nd Division items and 13th Armored Division items. Please keep me in mind if you have any.

Offline Tug1970

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 11:46:03 AM »
Thanks Scott.  Yes please join you'll find it very interesting, the Argentine fellas are really doing a grand job helping to identify otherwise unknown and forgotten soldiers from markings in some of the bring back items.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/149593498756741/

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

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Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2016, 11:56:23 AM »
Tug,

All I can say is stunning. I remember watching this conflict on the TV and seeing the Harrier jets for the first time as well as hearing about the missiles that struck your ships...

This is an incredible story and is well documented and it fits appropriately here on the forum..

Well done and thank you again for your incredible contributions

Smitty
"Pain is only weakness leaving the body"

"What you do in Life, echos in Eternity"

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USA (ret) 1984-2005

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Offline Tug1970

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2016, 12:18:38 PM »
Thank-you for the kind comments Smitty, very much appreciated and I'm glad people find the threads interesting.  Like you I remember following the Falklands War on television and in the papers as a 12 year old lad, so now to have to opportunity to collect and own some of these amazing artefacts and identify soldiers, regiments, units, positions is truly fantastic.  I don't think many realise just how brutal the campaign was, bayonet charges, hand to hand fighting, executions etc. not to mention the harsh conditions. 

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline Air Ministry

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 12:21:11 PM »
Brilliant post Tug, great pictures and fantastic research.👍
I don`t care to belong to the sort of club that accepts people like me as members.

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2016, 01:25:36 PM »
Remarkable. Well done that man!
"He who dares, wins!"

Offline M1Ashooter

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2016, 06:54:28 PM »
Thanks for the posts.  Like most wars it should never happened.  I followed the war both on our TV and while ICBM alert.  My site had a HF radio and I could listen to the BBC while on alert.

Offline Kohima

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2016, 07:38:21 PM »
Great post, well done. Thank you !


K
On the edge of a tennis court far, far from home, the Sgt. shouted: Son, pass me a grenade !  The Battle of Kohima. Naga Hills, 1944.

Valhalla I am coming !........Led Zeppelin

Offline David

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2016, 08:19:35 PM »
Brilliant post Tug, great pictures and fantastic research.👍

Have to agree entirely. Great post Tug :)
"Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your ****, playing cricket is not" Keith Ross Miller R.A.A.F., AM MBE

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 11:19:12 PM »
For the benefit of the helmet geeks out there (of which I'm one!) the Argies used a licence-built copy of the standard US 60s /70s pattern M1. It was very similar and differed only in a few relatively minor details and at a glance can be easily mistaken for the US original. See below...

http://brendonshelmets.weebly.com/argentina-m1.html
"He who dares, wins!"

Offline Tug1970

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2016, 02:18:39 PM »
In the 1950's many US M1 helmets came from the US battleships purchased by the Argentine government after WWII and the Korea War, in the 1960’s there was a new arrival of US M1 helmets as part of a military assistance to Latin American countries.

You’ll find a lot of these helmets have been repaired at arsenal and unit level, rivets replaced, webbing suspension and chinstraps repaired numerous times.  Liners and steel pots also repainted, the Argentinian helmets are more often than not in a poor state of repair.  These Falklands War bring back helmets are all very much a like, generally they have quite a distinctive look about them......usually weathered, rusted and sometimes rotted and very well used.

Generally speaking, most of these helmets purchased from the US found service within the Armada Argentina (Argentine Navy or ARA) and often found worn during the Falklands War by the Infantería de Marina (Marines). 

It is also true that the Argentinians nationally produced an M1 clone, officially known as ‘Casco FM Modelo NATO’ manufactured by FM (Fabricaciones Militares) of Buenos Aires.  There are various models all slightly different and as pointed out in the previous comments from ‘Tom E Gun’ at a glance very similar to the US M1.





Tug  ;)
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Offline captainofthe7th

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2016, 06:04:55 PM »
Thanks for posting, Tug.  I really enjoyed the read.

Rob
-- My Online Collection --

Interested in buying Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals, patches, ribbons and more.

Offline Tug1970

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2016, 10:26:36 PM »
Thanks for posting, Tug.  I really enjoyed the read.  Rob
I'm glad.  Many thanks for reading Rob.

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline SteveD

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Re: Falklands War. Mt Longdon, Battle Damaged Argentinian Helmet
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2016, 02:33:29 PM »
Tug,

I am a former Infantry Colonel and have just come back from visiting Ushuaia in southern Argentina.  Jorge Beto Altiers whose helmet you describe is desperately keen to possess it again given that it saved his life.  Do you have any idea who bought it?

I can be called on 07880 382638 (Steve Davies).

Thanks

 

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