Sandy Woodward
Admiral (United Kingdom)
Admiral is a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-9, outranked only by the rank Admiral of the Fleet...

 Sir John Forster "Sandy" Woodward GBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (born 1 May 1932) is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Admiral who commanded the British Naval Force in the South Atlantic during the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...


Naval career

Educated at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth
Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College is the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, located on a hill overlooking Dartmouth, Devon, England. While Royal Naval officer training has taken place in the town since 1863, the buildings which are seen today were only finished in 1905, and...

, Woodward joined the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 in 1946. He became a submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

r in 1954. In 1960 he passed the Royal Navy's rigorous Submarine Command Course
Submarine Command Course
The Submarine Command Course , previously known as the Commanding Officers Qualifying Course , and informally known as the Perisher because of its low success rate, is a training course for naval officers preparing to take command of a submarine.Created by the Royal Navy during World War I, the...

 known as The Perisher, and received his first command, the T Class
British T class submarine
The Royal Navy's T class of diesel-electric submarines was designed in the 1930s to replace the O, P and R classes. Fifty-three members of the class were built just before and during the Second World War, where they played a major role in the Royal Navy's submarine operations...

 submarine HMS Tireless
HMS Tireless (P327)
HMS Tireless , a Taciturn- or T-class submarine, was the first ship of the Royal Navy to bear that name. She was authorized under the 1941 War Emergency Program and her keel was laid down on 30 October 1941 at Portsmouth Dockyard...

. He then commanded HMS Grampus
HMS Grampus (S04)
HMS Grampus was a Porpoise-class submarine. Her keel was laid down in 1955 by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead. She was commissioned in 1958....

 before becoming the second in command of the nuclear fleet submarine HMS Valiant
HMS Valiant (S102)
The sixth, and most recent HMS Valiant was the second of Britain's nuclear-powered submarines, and the first of the two-unit Valiant class...

. In 1967 he was promoted to Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

 and became the Instructor (known as "Teacher") of the The Perisher Course. He took command of HMS Warspite
HMS Warspite (S103)
The latest HMS Warspite was the third of Britain's nuclear-powered submarines, and the second of the Valiant class. She was launched on 25 September 1965 by Mary Wilson, the wife of the then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and entered service 18 April 1967.Warspite underwent a two year...

 in December 1969. He was promoted to the rank of Captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

 in 1972. In 1974 he became Captain of Submarine Training and in 1976 he took command of HMS Sheffield
HMS Sheffield (D80)
HMS Sheffield was the second Royal Navy ship to be named after the city of Sheffield in Yorkshire. She was a Type 42 Guided Missile Destroyer laid down by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering at Barrow-in-Furness on 15 January 1970, launched on 10 June 1971 and commissioned on 16 February 1975.An...


He became Head of Naval Plans in the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 in 1978. In July 1981 he was promoted to Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 and appointed as Flag Officer First Flotilla.

In 1982 he commanded the Hermes aircraft carrier group - Task Force 317.8, in the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 under the Commander-in-Chief Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse
John Fieldhouse, Baron Fieldhouse
Admiral of the Fleet John David Elliott Fieldhouse, Baron Fieldhouse GCB, GBE was a high ranking officer in the Royal Navy...

. (The task force containing the amphibious ships which launched the actual invasion TF 317.0 was commanded by Commodore Michael Clapp, with Task Force 317.1 being the landing force itself. There were early problems resulting from Woodward assuming he also exercised command over these other groups.) For his efforts during the war Woodward was knighted. His book One Hundred Days, co-authored by Patrick Robinson, describing his Falklands experiences, is a candid account of the pressures of high command in wartime and the impact on the individual commander.

In 1983 Woodward was appointed Flag Officer Submarines and NATO Commander Submarines Eastern Atlantic. In 1984 he was promoted to Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

, and in 1985 he was a Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff
Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom)
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the British Armed Forces, a senior official within the Ministry of Defence, and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister...

. Before retirement in 1989 he also served, from 1987, as Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
The Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth was a senior commander of the Royal Navy for hundreds of years. Portsmouth Command was a name given to the units, establishments, and staff operating under the post.-History:...

 and Flag Aide-de-Camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 to the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...



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