'Critical deficiencies' on HMS Sheffield finally revealed 35 years after Falklands War sinking
The HMS Sheffield was 'not fully prepared' for the deadly attack during the Falklands War, a damning report which was covered up for years has revealed.
An Exocet missile hit the destroyer during the 1982 conflict with Argentina, killing 20 people and injuring many more, and the ship later sank.
The full results of an inquiry into the ship's loss have finally emerged, after documents were declassified.
The Guardian - which has obtained a copy of the report - says it details the 'catalogue of errors and failings' leading up to the sinking.
The board of inquiry found two officers were guilty of negligence but faced no disciplinary action, apparently in order to avoid negative publicity, according to the paper.
The report details how the ship was 'not fully prepared' for an attack, the Guardian states, with some crew members 'bored and a little frustrated by inactivity' at the time.
It also describes 'critical deficiencies' in the onboard firefighting equipment, explains how the radar failed to detect the incoming missiles because it was blanked out by a transmission being made, and says when officers on the bridge saw them they were too 'mesmerised' to broadcast a warning.
The Star has contacted the Ministry of Defence for a comment but has yet to receive a response.
The National Archives said the document, which according to the Guardian is marked 'Secret – UK Eyes Bravo', was only available to view in person at its headquarters in Kew, London.
The Falklands warship was the second of three Royal Navy vessels to be named HMS Sheffield after the city.
The first was a light cruiser which played a major role in the Second World War, and the third was a frigate which served from 1988 to 2002 before being sold to Chile.
The first of the ships was affectionately dubbed the 'Shiny Sheff' due to the amount of stainless steel on its exterior, and the nickname stuck.
There is a pub in Lodgemoor named The Shiny Sheff in its honour, and a beer with the same named was created by Stancill Brewery.
Veterans from the second HMS Sheffield gather each May at Sheffield Cathedral to remember those killed when it was hit during the Falklands War.