It is a matter of great importance when any medals to a British Special Forces recipient are brought to the market, and the two Captain Legg (General Service Medal with clasp for Northern Ireland and South Atlantic Medal with Rosette - the latter awarded for service in the Falklands War) posseses together with his iconic S.A.S. beret, a rudimentary small-scale map of Tierra del Fuego, and other items, tell a gripping story which, until recently, has remained shrouded in mystery.
Captain Andy Legg with Royal Hampshires, Northern Ireland
Operation Mikado was the code name of the ill-conceived plot to infiltrate the S.A.S. into Argentina. Their mission was to find and destroy the Argentine aircraft that threatened the Falklands Taskforce with Exocet missiles.
Mikado was ultimately aborted, but not before the initial reconnaissance phase – codenamed Operation Plum Duff – had been put into action. Legg led seven men on a hair-raising journey that saw them parachuting into the freezing waters of the South Atlantic, before being taken to land in a Sea King helicopter whose intrepid crew were trained to fly using night vision goggles.
Map of Tierra del Fuego
Capt. Andy Legg's S.A.S. medals
Hampered by an almost total lack of intelligence, extreme cold, and with a supply of rations inadequate for an effective reconnaissance, Captain Legg was also determined that the lives of his men should not be expended needlessly.A series of twists and turns, not to mention foul weather, was to see them withdrawn by stages, without having made contact with the enemy.
It is now known that, had they done so, the patrol of eight men would have faced approximately 3,000 opponents equipped with state of the art weaponry and forewarned of a probable incursion. The verdict of many of the participants was that Operation Mikado might better have been called ‘Operation Certain Death’. In the absence of a meaningful military objective, Captain Legg’s officerly conduct spared the lives of seven men from that certainty.
The story will be told at length when we have the honour to present his medals for sale on the 3rd May 2018.
Estimate: £10,000 - 20,000
Ned Cowell | +44 (0)1722 341 469