Craig Responds To Ecojon’s Comments on the Belgrano

Ecojon’s comments are indented, with Craig’s comments thereon beneath.

“There is nothing in any of these statements that I would wish to retract and I have no intention of going through Craig’s point by point defence of the sinking of the Belgrano as my Guest Post was aimed mainly at the effect Thatcher’s warped economic vision had inflicted on UK mining communities.”

I must say I’m disappointed that someone who has made many reasonable factual posts about Sevco over the past year is unwilling to consider the facts on this matter.

“I will, however, make some general comments in a broader context of the Falklands War although I am all too well aware of the skilled dissembling that the MOD is capable of in keeping its secrets and the myths that were hurriedly spun by them and senior politicians over the Belgrano which – and I clearly stated this – ‘presented no immediate dangers’ to British forces. No matter Craig’s defence of the UK myths that was the actual position at the time the almost 50 year old cruiser was sunk.”

Then you are clearly wrong. Any Argentine warship in the South Atlantic posed a serious threat to the British task force. In addition to her own capability, her very position restricted Woodward’s room for manoeuvre.

Your talk of “immediate” danger belies your lack of understanding of how operations like this are carried out. First of all, politicians in the UK do not give orders – they’re not in the Chain of Command (unlike Obama in the US for instance). They make only high-level decisions that are carried out by the MOD. In this case the War Cabinet was advised by the Chief of the Defence Staff that the naval assessment of the situation required a change in the Rules of Engagement. It then has to be communicated back to the frontline and the Commanding Officer has to exercise his best judgement as the commander on the scene.

This does not happen “immediately”. Woodward shortcircuited the process slightly but it took over 12 hours.

Woodward’s request – 0600
Passed up to the Chiefs of Staff by 0915
Taken to the War Cabinet at 1000
Northwood places the updated ROE on the Satellite at 1330

Submarines operate on a communications schedule so it was 1410 before Conqueror dropped back to check for signals. Unfortunately because of her communications difficulties, it took several attempts to download the message cleanly and it wasn’t decrypted until 1730. She then has to regain the Belgrano group and move into an attack position, which she does at 1822. The attack was carried out 1854.

Situations like these cannot and were not micro-managed. You cannot wait until there is an immediate danger and only then react. Rules of Engagement exist to guide commanders in the exercise of their qualified judgement.

Even the Argentine Navy agrees. Hector Bonzo, Captain of the Belgrano, made no bones about it:
“On April 30, we were authorised to open fire, and if the submarine had surfaced in front of me I would have opened fire with all our 15 guns until it sank.”

“Our mission in the south wasn’t just to cruise around on patrol but to attack. When they gave us the authorisation to use our weapons, if necessary, we knew we had to be prepared to attack, as well as be attacked. Our people were completely trained. I would even say we were anxious to pull the trigger.”

“Approx a year prior to the Argentinian invasion Thatcher sent a signal to the world that she didn’t intend to defend the Falklands by removing the ‘guard’ ship HMS Endurance. There was also the “John Nott’s Navy Cuts” of the early 80s which reinforced the feeling Britain wouldn’t or couldn’t defend the Falklands. That was an irresistible lure for a vicious dictator facing internal pressures and is as old as time – deflect from dissent at home with a successful foreign war/adventure. Indeed Mrs Thatcher also employed it in the Falklands.”

She reacted to the Falklands Invasion primarily because it was an affront to Britain’s world standing in the world and her personal dignity as the only female at the international top table. I truly believe that Thatcher didn’t give a fig about the Falkland Islanders and their wishes but they were handy backdrops for her jingoism and desperate need not to be seen to back down which would IMO spelt electoral disaster.

But we mustn’t forget that the official UK Franks Report into the Falklands published the year after the Argentinian invasion concluded that it “could not have been foreseen”. Well since it’s official it must be right! WRONG!

And how do we know it was WRONG – through previously secret documents released to the National Archives – in December 2011.

In May 1981 Admiral Leach – The First Sea Lord – sent the prime minister a forthright note regretting that she was too busy to see him and begging that she spend “two minutes” reading his letter.

His note was copied to the defence secretary, John Nott, who also received warnings from Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington about the risks of withdrawing the icebreaker HMS Endurance.

Carrington said the vessel “plays a vital role in both political and defence terms in the Falkland Islands, [its] dependencies and Antarctica … Any reductions would be interpreted by both the islanders and the Argentines as a reduction in our commitment to the islands and in our willingness to defend them.”

In the aftermath of the Argentinian invasion, both Nott and Carrington offered their resignations. Carrington’s was accepted. Nott stayed on but left office in 1983. So Thtacher had a good war but not so Nott and Carrington.

Part of the dispatch, marked “secret”, is still so sensitive that one paragraph is redacted “under a 40 years freedom of information exemption”. I wonder what myth that is still shielding? And I really do wonder Craig how many of the so-called myths you claim to have debunked are hot-air generated by the Government propaganda machine to feed cake to a hungry populace drunk on the power of being Great once again. Pity about all the Argentinian and British lives that were an essential part of the ingredients for the Thatcher jingoism and steely determination that she would have her war after personally actually creating the conditions for it.”

She reacted because that is what the First Sea Lord advised her to do. No naval officer sends men into battle because a poor politician’s personal dignity is affronted.

Nor could any British Prime Minister could back down in that situation – they would simply be replaced by another who in turn has no choice. Again, it was the First Sea Lord’s proposal to assemble a task force that prevented the entire Government falling that very weekend. You only have to read the Hansard of the emergency debates in Parliament to get a feel for just how committed both sides of the House were.

Where is the logic in “manufacturing” a war that at best you have a very good chance of losing and, at worst a war that nobody believes you stand a chance of winning? That is the single biggest flaw in your argument.

Because that was the situation in 1982. The simply truth is next to nobody thought we could defend the islands, and once they were lost there would be no hope of recovery. Not the Soviets, not the Americans, not even Woodward when he wrote a report on the very topic in 1972 .Before the First Sea Lord intervened, the considered advice of the MOD was nothing could be done. The mood of the room was gloomy and resigned to defeat – both in the South Atlantic and in Parliament.

Make no mistake, the First Sea Lord left nobody under the impression that it was going to be easy or that the outcome was certain. Only that it had to be attempted.

Nor did the Argentine Junta pursue the invasion for domestic political reasons. Indeed the use of the military was originally planned as nothing more than a back up to a renewed diplomatic initiative. The Junta were determined to recover the islands by January 1983 – the 150th anniversary – by any means necessary. Planning began in December 1981 for a ‘soft’ landing in September 1982 in time for the autumn UN General Assembly, if the new round of negotiations beginning in February 1982 failed. Previous talks had gone nowhere as the British Government restated the principle that the wishes of the islanders were paramount.

When Galtieri became of the Junta in December 1981, he needed the support of Admiral Anaya. Anaya quickly took the opportunity to step up planning for the Falklands. His focus was ensuring that his Navy received the glory of recovering the islands. Setting the agenda, he hardened attitudes within the Junta to the point that the outcome of the talks in February no longer mattered – it was to be down to his Navy.

At the same time, a separate plan to land military forces on South Georgia under the cover of scrap merchants was under consideration. When the Falklands planners found out, they demanded that plan be abandoned in case it tipped their hand. Unfortunately for them, Anaya lied when he assured them it was cancelled. Anaya used the cover of the scrap merchants to land a small party of Marines, led by a geniune criminal Alfredo Astiz.

The British Government responded by sending HMS Endurance with a small party of Royal Marines to remove the Argentine presence – they believed this appropriately demonstrated the gravity of situation. This wrong-footed the Junta completely. They were expecting a nuclear submarine to be dispatched and were planning accordingly. They estimated they had no more than 10 days before the assumed submarine would arrive. Ten days in which to immediately bring forward the preparations for invasion and attack before the seas became dangerous. What was supposed to be a ‘soft’, almost diplomatic, landing became a clear aggressive attack.

This is what makes a mockery of claims, especially that of David Owen, that the war could’ve been prevented: not even the Junta knew they were about to invade the Falklands until just days beforehand. They had to act in less time than it took for a submarine to sail to the Falklands (approximately 14 days). As the situation escalated during this 10 day period, two nuclear submarines were eventually dispatched but by then it too late. They could only arrive a week after the invasion.

Endurance played little part in the thoughts of the Junta – she was ignored. And who can blame them when one of the few courses of action available to Endurance’s captain was to serious consider using her ice-strengthened bow to suicidally ram an Argentine transport. Likewise the Defence Cuts – the Junta went ahead even though next to none of the cuts had happened. And they were under no doubt that they would have to prepared to defend the islands – the reaction to the assumed nuclear submarine demonstrates that clearly by itself.

“Craig states that there was no hope of a diplomatic solution and that can be the case where such a solution isn’t desired by the participants and that certainly applied IMO to Thatcher and probably to Galtieri as well.

But for perspective it is often useful to step outside our own navel-gazing and look to another external and if possible more independent view. In that regard it’s worth looking at the comments of US Secretary of State Alexander Haig who worked tirelessly to achieve a diplomatic settlement and stated: “The mixture of history, passion, miscalculation, national pride, and personal egotism that produced a ‘little’ war that everyone knew was senseless and avoidable also contains the ingredients for a much larger conflict.

Now Craig had a cheap shot at me when he questioned whether I was: ‘better qualified to judge than two professional submariners’. I would answer the point by stating that many professional submariners and other well-qualified combatants make absolutely shockingly bad decisions in combat situations for a variety of factors ranging from stress to the ‘fog of war’.

So to return the cheap shot I wonder if Craig thinks he is better qualified on the diplomatic front than Haig.”

Haig had a number of flaws. In that sentence he correctly identifies many of forces that brought the situation to a head. But he failed to appreciate that everybody only thought it was “senseless and avoidable” if only the other side had backed down. It ceased, if it ever had been in the first place, about individuals or even governments. Rods were made for national backs. Thatcher could have been replaced by any other prime minister and the outcome would’ve been much the same. Likewise Galtieri in the Junta. Haig’s view was coloured by his own less-than-independent desire for a diplomatic solution – for he substitutes that in place of Britain’s need to repel armed agression against its interests, and Argentina’s desire to have the Falklands.

Game theory demonstrates it is exceedingly difficult to back out of situations like this – largely because ‘backing out’ or compromising means much the same as losing entirely. Especially from the British point of view where it had to be demonstrated that Argentina achieved nothing by resulting to armed agressive. Yet despite this Thatcher did actually go as far as accepting compromise proposals on two occasions before they were both rejected by Argentina. It was a gamble that could have brought down her government if Argentina had accepted them.

The fact is Haig took it as far as he could but eventually had to concede defeat. It can’t be called a failure because the reality was what he was looking for did not exist.

Far from being a ‘cheap shot’, I would say I was entirely correct to question your qualifications. Your reply shows that you are not interested in the facts of the situation and instead prefer to rely on your impression of Thatcher, even where it is completely at odds with what actually happened.

It is one thing to state that SOMETIMES military commanders make the wrong decision. It is quite another to simply rely on that general assertion and ignore the facts of a given situation. This isn’t history – its just ignoring reality.

For in spite the fog of war and all the other difficulties, Woodward and his fellow officers correctly assessed the plan of the Argentine Navy. Their judgement is validated in hindsight by Argentine accounts of the threat to the British Task Force.

“I trust Craig and others will excuse me for not basing my response on the planning and plotting going on in the control room of the Conqueror or Norwood – these were irrelevant IMO because Thatcher had spoken, knew what she wanted and that was war. I truly wonder what other ‘secrets’ will surface over the years which might give us a much fuller picture of what this squalid and sordid adventure was all about.

For those who want to look at the myths from an Argentinian and others viewpoint I would recommend: http://belgranoinquiry.com/article-archive/seven-lies

I give the health warning that it is from another perspective as was the minority House of Commons report and should be viewed in that light. But white hair has taught me that very few things in life are all wrong or all write. They are usually a mixture and the nearer they are to the centre of power and Government then the harder it is to separate truth and myth.”

There is not much secret left about the War. Plenty has come out and has been subject to academic research, both here and in Argentina. It has been clear for a long time, on both sides, that the conflict arose because of ‘cock-up’, not conspiracy.

I’ve gone into this all detail to demonstrate why your “no immediate danger” assessment is wrong. I also refute entirely your claim that “these were irrelevant IMO because Thatcher had spoken, knew what she wanted and that was war. ” It was the Navy that spoke and they knew what they needed to protect their task force and achieve success. It shows that you fail to understand just how risky and uncertain it was. You’re unwillingness to deal in facts on this subject simply elevates Thatcher to mythology, which does nobody any favours.

I would advise other readers that the health warning for the ‘Belgrano Inquiry’ site should be along lines of the health warning for Vanguard Bears! There are far better independent sources documenting the conflict, in both English and Spanish, than a website that makes some very serious errors in order to make the ‘evidence’ fit their predetermined outcome. Unfortunately the people behind it (Ponting, Dalyell et al) have little interest in truth.

As Woodward said in his autobiography: “By necessity, the military commander under the threat of missile attack is required to be more crisp than someone thinking the matter over some weeks later in front of the fire in a country house the south of Scotland”.

Posted by Craig

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156 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, History, Politics

156 responses to “Craig Responds To Ecojon’s Comments on the Belgrano

  1. JohnBhoy

    Your honour, he had his back to me and was walking away, and had been doing so for fully two hours, so I sneaked up on him and stabbed him in the back because he might turn around at any hour and present an imminent threat lol.

    British government ministers themselves believed that they had flaunted international law when they cowardly sank the Belgrano – that is why, for years, they lied about the facts and kept the details under lock and key, even to the extent of prosecuting a whistleblower.

    The guest poster may someday learn how to present a cogent academic argument but, alas, that day has not yet arrived.

    • Chas W

      That was one the most pathetic and crass responses to what was an extremely well written and informative post. Just because someone puts together an entirely dispassionate, reasoned article that doesn’t fit to your perception (or total ignorance) of events, you respond the kind of verbage we commonly see between the old firm posts.

      • JohnBhoy

        You are stupid.

        • Chas W

          Probably am when compared to the writing skills and subject knowledge of the most of the main contributors. However in your case, the jury’s still out, as with quite a few of your ilk, most if not all your comments are from where you finished your education (gcse grade d?) You should have paid more attention at school.

          • JohnBhoy

            @Chas W

            You clearly fail to understand my summative assessment of your intellectual ability. QED.

            • Chas W

              Read and digest the first two words. Incidentally any resemblance to the first part of your initial post to the belgrano enquiry 7 lies? Where did you cut and paste QED from? Very original.

            • JohnBhoy

              IQ confirmed lol

            • maes

              “Your honour, he had his back to me and was walking away, and had been doing so for fully two hours, so I sneaked up on him and stabbed him in the back because he might turn around at any hour and present an imminent threat lol. ”

              tThis analogy does not fit, he broke into my house with a ak47 (loaded) and was in the act of leaving when i shot him – is closer…..

              An exclusion zone was announced, they were in it , any ship in that area was fair game…. all ships knew this and fled, except this one, which loitered with intent… to kill…

              hardly innocent walking away stab in back !!!!

            • maes

              g’night johnbhoy,

              you live in a world where terroists can take leave of absense and go on holiday… ? Maggie at conference, not in No. 10 and they tried to kill her in her bed with a bomb, Major in No.10 and mortors landed in garden…

          • @Chas W

            “as with quite a few of your ilk,” Care to elaborate?

    • HoudiniBhoy

      Johnbhoy, you’re just not getting it. Belgrano wasn’t on a set of one way train tracks. Belgrano was not heading back to port. When you know there is a submarine threat you will carry out something called zig-zagging where you and your fleet will manoeuvre, altering several degrees off a base course and you can be heading away from your intended course for the duration and still arrive at your intended destination.

      Let’s put into perspective for you. Your next door neighbour carries a gun and is a threat to your children, what do you do? You act accordingly to ensure the safety of those you are responsible for.

      Had you had a member of your family in the Falklands Task Group and the Belgrano used it’s considerably younger than 50 years old weapons systems to sink, destroy ships and kill your loved ones, would you say well at least we were good enough not to sink the Belgrano because at the time it was sunk it was heading in certain direction?

      The Argentinian task group posed a clear and present danger to the lives of British servicemen. The sinking of the Argentinian naval command platform saved the lives of many British and I dare say Argentinians as the juntas navy retreated for the safety of the River Plate. I have sailed with many Falkland’s veterens and none of them revel in the deaths of the ‘enemy’ but they certainly know that it was either them or the Argentinians and make no bones about it they would have struck. Hermes was on her last legs, the Argentinians knew it and they would have struck eventually and that would have cost the lives of a lot of more than the 350 or so who perished on the Belgrano. There is no joy in saying that but you are clearly clouded by your disdain for the British government of it’s time and perhaps those who would represent it?

      • JohnBhoy

        You are stupid too.

      • ecojon

        @HoudiniBhoy

        Sadly you have fallen into the trap of debating the ins and outs of the war and not whether it could have been prevented. While we get caught up in what-ifs then the memory of the Blessed St Margaret is preserved.

        • HoudiniBhoy

          Jon, Galtieri needed a boost in the opinion polls more than Thatcher. I do not seek to preserve her memory, nor wish her canonised or beatified. Just because you are Margaret Thatcher it does not automatically make you wrong. Avoidance would have been ignoring the invasion or simply giving the islands away to a nation who have no rightful claim other than it’s a bit closer to it than the UK. Had it been given away then that would have had every British Overseas Territory vunerable to nations who would lay claim to them, Gibraltar being the most obvious. The rights and wrongs of that are a moot point here, it would have been unthinkable for the first woman Prime Minister to give bits of her country away, politically it would have been suicide. I am not condoning it, I’m not supporting it but it’s more than likely the reasoning behind it all.

          Finally, Martin Luther King said “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” That old lady stopped being a threat when she was deposed by her government, that was the time for celebration and it was back then. It saddens my soul to see people revel in it for, all being well, she’ll have to answer to someone or something far better than you or I and most especially JohnBhoy 😉

      • Next door neighbour?
        It’s South America ffs!

        • HoudiniBhoy

          It was an analogy of the Falklands and Argentina being the comparative neighbours, otherwise Galtieri’s junta would have been steaming up the south west approaches.

    • Paul

      Typical Johnbhoy no-thought response to a well argued post.

      • JohnBhoy

        Tosser ladyboy.

        • Paul

          Dear Johnboy, it appears that you make a pretence of intellect, yet are not open to a well reasoned debate, without resorting to insults.

          I would direct you to our fearless leader’s recent posts with regards to behaving ourselves, as you would seem to have missed them.

          As far as I can see you, Carson and Monti might as well be the same person writing bull excrement as a windup from different viewpoints (ay least I hope the nonsense the three of you write are wind ups).

  2. Budweiser

    i didn’t know much about the ‘ Belgrano Affair’ – but I’m learning now.

    • Sir Reginald Loudpants

      to me, theres seems to be a clear differentiation between those who watched it on the telly at the time and the younger internet folks brought up reading idiotic conspiracy sites.

      what had to be done in the falklands was done.

      if michael foot was PM at the time : i reckon he’d have done exactly the same as thatcher.

      • Budweiser

        Sir Reg.
        What’s done was done.

        Well of course it was! So what are you saying? We should sack and ignore all historians,or denigrate people who may have a different view from the ‘ establishment ‘ line? If you don’t agree with the Daily Mail, then your opinions are negated? We can never learn from past mistakes or better yet, avoid them completely? We can’t discuss past events, because they ‘are done’. ? If you have nothing to contribute – fine – why contribute?

        • Sir Reginald Loudpants

          sorry – i’ve no idea what the daily mail etc has to do with my post. i did not say or mean any of those things you think i suggested. learning from history?

          1. the belgrano : an enemy warship (remember the most salient point : they were the enemy!) could have been heading for antartica for all i care. if i was in charge of protecting my armed forces : i’d have sunk it. no question. if you’re talking historically – maybe we shouldn’t have sunk the bismarck. it was heading towards america!

          2. the falklands : UK territory was invaded by a hostile force without warning. fully justifies the military response that took place. perhaps france should have been left to its fate. i’m sure everything would have turned out rather peachy if we had surrendered.

          3. thatcher : who was prime minister at the time doesn’t make a lick of difference. going to war with germany didn’t do chamberlain many favours if you want to take a historical view on past mistakes!

          how old were you in 1982?

          • Budweiser

            sorry – i’ve no idea what the daily mail etc has to do with my post. i did not say or mean any of those things you think i suggested. learning from history?

            1. the belgrano : an enemy warship (remember the most salient point : they were the enemy!) could have been heading for antartica for all i care. if i was in charge of protecting my armed forces : i’d have sunk it. no question. if you’re talking historically – maybe we shouldn’t have sunk the bismarck. it was heading towards america!

            2. the falklands : UK territory was invaded by a hostile force without warning. fully justifies the military response that took place. perhaps france should have been left to its fate. i’m sure everything would have turned out rather peachy if we had surrendered.

            3. thatcher : who was prime minister at the time doesn’t make a lick of difference. going to war with germany didn’t do chamberlain many favours if you want to take a historical view on past mistakes!

            how old were you in 1982?.
            Sir Reg.

            Sorry it’s taken so long to reply – it’s been a busy day and I’m running behind.
            Saying ‘what had to be done was done’ and your further statement about ‘ idiot conspiracy theories’ suggested to me that you accepted the Govt line and were unprepared to look at any other suggestions or out looks. However if you say this isn’t so then I apologise.
            JohnBhoy gives one such of these views much more succinctly than myself in a related comment.
            To answer your present comments. Your comparison to ww2 is at best disingenuous and at worst fatuous.
            This CONFLICT was not Total War like ww2. We didn’t attack and destroy ‘enemy’ shipping going to and fro to Argentine ports , supplying the ‘enemy’. We didn’t attack the airfields where the bombers/ fighters were based. We didn’t attack the ‘enemy’ ports where their fleets were based. We didn’t even attempt a blockade.
            No, the Uk Govt imposed a ‘ Total Excusion Zone’ , precisely because it wanted this to be a ‘ limited war’. ie ‘ come in here and the gloves are off. civilian shipping/aircraft/ anybody – be warned! The Belgrano was sailing home! It wasn’t at ‘action stations, it’s watertight doors were not even closed. It was not in the TEZ it was not zig zagging they wre happy cos they were going home! That is the whole point. they were not a threat, yet the Govt line was they WERE a threat.
            Your comparison with the Bismark is ludicrous. [ btw she was not heading for America, she was heading for her home port in le havre ]
            She had just sunk the Hood, the pride of the British navy and severely damaged her escorts. She was a fearsome threat to our Alantic convoys . The Belgrano and her two ww2 destroyer escorts were completely obsolete and outclassed . The aircraft carrier group, on the other hand, were a real threat, and the British did try to find them, without success, which is why , some postulate, that the Belgrano was attacked. [Scupper the peace negotiatons etc]
            As YOU brought in ww2 comparisons ;ie ‘ when uk territory was invaded by a hostile force without warning’ – Why, when the Channel Islands were invaded were invaded by a ‘ hostile force without warning’ in ww2 , didn’t Britain immediately send a task force to re-occupy the islands? After all. they were only a few miles [ not 8000 ] off the uk mainland. Britain had a MUCH larger fleet and airforce then.
            Finally. What has my age in 1982 got to do with anything?

  3. Ed Paisley

    Like @Budweiser, I haven’t delved deeply into the Falklands war.
    However, I read quite often that the outcome of the war was in balance at one stage. In fact, if the Argentinian pilots in their Super Entertards had set their bombs properly, then they could well have sunk more British ships and severly damaged our ability to continue to prosecute the war.
    However, my main point is, how could a nuclear power like Britain fail to retake the islands. I read that Britain had moved Conqueror and three other nuclear powered submarines down to the S Atlantic. Surely blockading Argentinian ports would have starved the occupiers to submission (along with the interdiction of resupply flights).
    Finally, given your impressive knowledge of the Falklands War, is their any evidence to support the Argentinian claim that British Parachute troops summarily executed disarmed Argentinian prisoners? I am hoping there is no foundation to this claim, of course.
    Thank you.

    • david

      Interdict by air with what?
      The carriers could not stay on station indefinitely, and the small fleet of Harriers could not on their own have contained the entire Argentinian airforce.
      Actually there were rumours at the time that American mercenaries fighting for Argentina were captured and summarily shot. I have no further knowledge or evidence to support this.
      I do we repatriated all the Argentinian prisoners promptly ( over 10000 of them ) . Their officers had abused some of their own men and because of this were allowed to keep their sidearms.
      Some Argentinian troops had messed their hosts homes, but no action was taken by us.
      A vast haul of military hardware was captured.

      A masterly piece of work from Craig.

      RIP Gdsmn David Malcolmson 2nd Batt. Scots Guards killed on Mount Tumbledown 14th June 1982.

      • ecojon

        @david

        I wonder why I’m not surprised at you having no evidence to back up a claim made by you.

        More deflection – lets all discuss the war and move away from the horror that the Thatcher years inflicted on Britain.

        You say: ‘A vast haul of military hardware was captured’. So I suppose that makes all the British deaths acceptable does it? What was the scrap metal price for the ‘hardware’ which seemed to amount to rifles, tin hats and some artillery?

        And I really do think it would be more fitting to acknowledge all the British dead even though you presumably have a connection with the only one you acknowledge.

        I wouldn’t expect someone with your views to acknowledge the Argentinian dead but you should remember that the vast majority of the soldiers were poorly trained young conscripts and not volunteers like our own soldiers.

        As to the Belgrano crew the vessel had a large number of young cadets on board and although I don’t have the actual number I believe many were killed or drowned.

        Perhaps we should send some of the ‘scrap metal’ bonus to their mothers – do you think it might relieve their pain and anguish at their loss?

        • david

          What a poor response.
          I acknowledged in previous posts the deaths on all sides, the responsibility for which lies fairly and squarely with the Junta. And especially the deaths of 3 Falkland Islanders.
          I lost a friend. It is personal to me.
          The loss on the Belgrano was around 240 depending on sources.
          The comment re the captured equipment was only that, a comment.
          It in no way adds to the discussion on losses.
          I dont know how many times I have expressed my distaste for Thatchers domestic policies.
          But in this instance, she was right.
          I will get your other information but for what its worth, I couldnt care less if Rangers banned all their fans.
          Boorishness is clouding your judgement.
          Let me ask you 3 questions.
          1. Was Argentina the aggressor?
          2. Was the conflict justified?
          3. Did the right side win?

        • Sir Reginald Loudpants

          “the Argentinian dead but you should remember that the vast majority of the soldiers were poorly trained young conscripts and not volunteers like our own soldiers.”

          As to the Belgrano crew the vessel had a large number of young cadets on board”

          quite simply : so what?

          don’t blame the UK forces for that : blame the argentinian military dictatorship.

      • JohnBhoy

        @david

        “A masterly piece of work by Craig”. You have very low standards. How are those stats coming along on Rangers’ banning of sectarian fans?

        • david

          It is a very well constructed piece rich in detail and argued dispassionately.
          I have high standards that is why I appreciate it.

          • Monti

            no you don’t you have one tooth,tell lies & are a bigot…..how long does it take to brush one tooth?

          • ecojon

            @david

            High standards – well that’s a laugh.

            make contentious statements and when asked to provide the source of the stats on numerous occasions fails to do so.

            But calls others liars – takes one to know one IMO

            • david

              I will tell you this once.
              I am not a liar, and do not, ever, under any circumstances, suggest that I am.
              I come to the blog and berate both sides of our pathetic division.

            • JohnBhoy

              Eco, @david will “tell you this once” every bloody night lol. He’s a middle class thicko. Thinks he can “berate both sides” lol.

            • Monti

              David is a liar & a Rangers (IL) fan.

      • No but 9 teenage Argentinian conscripts were summarily executed by the best Army in the world.
        The real issue is not the military etiquette or technicalities, but why did Britain think it was entitled to maintain a colony off the coast of SOUTH AMERICA;
        The bollocks about protecting democracy is an insult to the intelligence of anyone paying attention.
        Britain wasn’t too fussed about handing back Hong Kong to that bastion of democracy & human rights China. It WAS all about saving political face when the eyes of the world were watching what the once global school yard bully would do when confronted by the admittedly obnoxious regime in Argentina.
        So lets not get misty eyed about “doing the right thing”
        Protectig democracy ! don’t make me fekin laugh.

        • david

          Mac Tomas, please be sure of your facts before you post.
          Hong Kong was on a 99-year lease.

          To answer your question, the Islands were uninhabited when colonised and belonged to no-one.
          By your analogy, St Pierre / Miquelon should be given to Canada, the Channel Islands to France etc etc

          Answer this; should we have rolled over and let Argentina keep the Islands?

          • Ed Paisley

            I haven’t heard the French demand the return of Jersey.
            Britain had every right to eject the junta soldiers from the Falklands.
            Britain’s current claim to the Islands is highly suspect under international law.

            • JohnBhoy

              Ed, @david is not strong on evidence. Confuses arrogance with considered opinion. Not the brightest.

            • HoudiniBhoy

              Can you tell me why it is highly suspect now Ed? The only reason I ask is that when the islands were populated by Britain and other European countries Argentina did not exist as a nation, it was simply a Spanish territory and did not get it’s independence until the 1830’s by which time it had long been settled many nationalities in the early part of the 17th century. De facto The Netherlands, France and even St Helenians have a stronger claim to The Falkland Islands that Argentina does. Perhaps if we give back Las Malvinas then Argentina can give back the huges parts of Patagonia back to Chile, which they stole by killing and murdering the indigenous people.

              To use another analogy I am from the West Coast of Scotland, I live in the north west of England. I have built up my life there, put down roots and have bought a house. I have history there, 20 years of friends, family by marriage, a son. So this guy knocks on my door and tells me that because he’s born and bred in the north west of England and historically I am from Scotland so I have no claim to my home whatsoever. It’s okay for me to stay there but it has to be under his rules and my history and allegiences are no longer valid. Now imagine you are me, what do you tell this person making ludicrous demands? That is Argentina, The Falkland Islands and Britain in a nutshell.

              Make no mistake historically the Argentina is the England of South America but then again much of them are descendents of the Spanish conquistadors and you know how well the English loved a good conquest.

          • Yes ! absolutely. They should have offered to bring the pining Falklanders back to their motherland if they’d wished, or negotiated a protection of their rights with the Argentinians if they wanted to stay. However under Argentinian jurisdiction they should be. The British manged to do that with the Communist Chinese in Hong Kong without worrying they were dealing with a dictatorship. As far as facts go the settlement was with the old imperial pre Communist. China. Neither of them were nice regimes, but both had a legitimate historical claim. The British didn’t just stumble over the Chinese island while they wee out for a walk.
            If France or Canada want to make a claim on the islands you mention that is a matter for them. The Fact remains Argentina have a justifiable claim on the Falklands.
            Again, fighting for democracy! total Bollocks!

            • HoudiniBhoy

              Can you tell me what brings you to the belief that the Falklands should be under Argentinian jurisdiction, where do you get the justifiable claim from, honestly? Comparing the Falklands with Hong Kong is risible.

          • david

            Lads, I may be middle-class by strict definition nowadays, but I wasnt born that way. My father was a miner all his days.
            Resorting to cheap puerile abuse does you no credit, and your support of proven liars and bigots whilst ignoring credible evidence because it does not fit in with your imaginary narrative is shameful.

        • Budweiser

          MAC ;
          Not arguing against your other points, but Britain had a 99 yr lease on Hong Kong and territories. The Chinese refused to renew or extend the lease, so ipso facto , they were ‘returned’ to the owners.

          • Agree Bud, But initially it was a European colony changing hands a few times. The old imperial pre Communists saw a nice little earner with the Europeans, ultimately the Brits.. The point I’m making is Britain has no problem negotiating with Dictatorships when it’s expedient. The argument it was standing against a fascist regime is utter nonsense. Ask the democratically elected socialist government of Chile, toppled in a nasty fascist coup by that bitch Thatchers mate, Augusto Pinochet.
            The very same guy the Spanish wanted to indict & guess who exerted pressure to manouvre him away from the Hague courts.

            • BTW david, continually referencing your friend who “most unfortunately” died on Tumbledown does not give your argument greater weight than other contributors.
              I would have thought it more fitting that you quietly remember him than drag his memory into this debate. Is it that you suspect that his sacrifice amounted to less than many would like us to brlieve?

            • Houdini the fact that you request I explain this to you is risible. I’ve stated it many times.

            • Budweiser

              Mac.

              The old Imperial China had no choice in the matter. If they disagreed then a few gun boats soon quelled them. They had no answer to the gunboat diplomacy of the western powers. Their answer was the ‘ Boxer Rebellion ‘.
              You remember the old Charlton Heston film? Britain traded Opium to China in exchange for tea. Not a bad deal eh! A bit simplistic maybe, but you get the general idea? China didn’t like her citizens being opiate addicts [ war against drugs anyone?] – and not getting their Imperial cut.
              Cutty Sark and other schooners played their part.The tea/ opium trade made many fortunes not least in Hong Kong and in Scotland/UK.
              Hong Kong was built on opium – good old capitalist opium.

            • Bud I’m aware of the Boxer rebellion & the opium wars. I agree with you it was a capitalist carve up, “nice little earner”. I think some people are deliberately ignoring the point that Britain has historically colluded with unpleasant regimes when it suits. They had to renegotiate with the Chinese Communist govt after Mao se dungs communists defeated Chang ki Sheks Conservative forces. ( please excuse spelling on Chinese names)
              They were prepared to smile & deal with a nasty communist dictatorship who, imprisoned, tortured & disappeared dissidents, while British Capitalists were doing very nicely in Hong Kong.

    • Sir Reginald Loudpants

      from memory – blockading was never an option and wasn’t considered. we went there to retake the falklands : not attack the argentine mainland or shipping.

  4. gortnamona

    It was cold blooded murder on a massive scale to achieve political ends.

    • Monti

      Absolutely, nothing more & nothing less.

      • Rich753

        And there’s nothing that anybody could say, no evidence that could be produced that would sway you from that opinion?

        • david

          In Montis head if the Argentinians had landed at the Broomielaw it would still have been Britains fault.

          • ecojon

            @david

            Have you found the source of the banning figures re Celtic and Rangers – my repeated requests appear to have been ignored but perhaps I have missed your response. Or don’t they actually exist other than in your head?

            • ecojon

              A TD because I have lost count of the number of times I have requested info as to the source of the figures which allowed what I consider to be a very contentious statement to be made.

              If the statement has no basis in fact then all it takes is to acknowledge that fact. If it is based in fact then provide the source – what could be simpler?

          • Monti

            Britain IS at fault for many,many things David. Including collusion with Loyalist terrorists, murdering unarmed people in Gibraltar & blowing up an Argentine submarine outside an exclusion Zone, they have also committed murder in Ireland on many occasions while assisting loyalist gunmen to flee the scene after killing Catholics? Are you claiming they have not done this?? Carson you need medical help, children,pregnant women? Let me tell you something here, HOW MANY WIVES LOST THEIR HUSBANDS OR BOYFRIENDS MURDERED BY BRITS WHEN THE BELGRANO WAS BLOWN UP? HOW MANY KIDS LOST THEIR DADS? HOW MANY CARSON? HOW MANY?

            • david

              Monti, are you seriously comparing the death of servicemen ( in this case the aggressors ) in a conflict to the murder of innocent women and children in the Troubles?
              You claim to be a Volunteer- do you support the actions of your heroes at Omagh, yes or no? Or La Mon, yes or no? ( where the brave IRA attacked their oppressors, a dog club )
              You have done in previous posts.
              And before you rely, the actions of the other side were horrendous too.

            • David do you support the summary execution of 9 teenage conscripts after tumbledown?
              you’re a sanctimonious prick btw!. You are not the paradigm of objectivity you piously like to project.
              The British record when it comes to war crimes leaves the provos in the shade. Simply by virtue of the fact they never seem be not in a war!
              Funny that eh!!!!’

        • gortnamona

          Rich753
          And what about you? Would any evidence sway your opinion?

          “If you want to know what the affair was really about, and if you want that in one paragraph, then here is Ian Mikado at our Belgrano Enquiry:

          … But the basic deception, the basic deception from which all the rest flows, the basic deception which we did manage to uncover in spite of deliberate ministerial obstruction, was that a week before the critical Belgrano weekend, the Government decided to make a radical change in their announced Falklands policy. They decided at the same time to deceive the House and the country by not announcing the change and by pretending that they were continuing the original stated policy. That original stated policy was to use the minimum force necessary to secure a diplomatic solution to the conflict. During the weekend of 23rd/24th April the War Cabinet decided to abandon that policy and they decided instead to carry out an act of aggression sufficiently large and dramatic to precipitate and to escalate military action to the level that they could impose a solution by force. The large and dramatic act which they chose was to sink the aircraft carrier Veinticinco de Mayo which they could reasonably claim was a potential source of danger to our forces. So they searched the seas for the aircraft carrier but even with all the American satellites and GCHQ and all the rest of it, they failed to find the aircraft carrier. But they had to have some target, so instead they sank the Belgrano which they knew perfectly well was not a potential source of danger to our forces. …We sank the Belgrano because we wouldn’t find the Veinticinco de Mayo.

          He further added:

          The visit of Francis Pym to Washington and New York over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd May was part of the pretence that the Government was still seeking a diplomatic solution. Mind you, he himself, Francis himself was not a party to the deception, indeed he was one of the victims of it. He was sent off, an innocent abroad, to talk peace with Al Haig and Perez de Cuellar without being told that any such talk would be scuppered while he was engaged in it, by the decision to sink one of the Argentine capital ships. 139.

          ‘A sustained deception of Parliament by Ministers seriously undermines the accountability of the Executive to the House of Commons which is one of the essentials of our parliamentary democracy. We deplore the deception of parliament, the failure of HMG to correct false statements at the earliest opportunity, and the subsequent reiteration of untrue or misleading statements by Government Ministers’ – that was the conclusion of the ‘Minority Report’ of the FAC. And further, ‘most of it’s [HMG] suppression of information and facts from our Committee, from Parliament and from the public are in no way justified on grounds of national security.’

          http://belgranoinquiry.com/article-archive/seven-lies

          • Rich753

            I’ve got a pretty open mind on this mainly because I have seen very little concrete evidence on which to come to a conclusion, so yes evidence would definitely sway my opinion.

            As would reasoned argument that matches what I think I know about human nature.

          • Ed Paisley

            @gortnamona
            Thank you very much for your post. That is tremendously enlightening.
            I was alluding to the same thing in my simplistic way. Britain had the nuclear powered submarines. Britain had the codes to track the exocets. Britain had access to the US spy networks and sat imaging.
            There was no need for the rush to war. No need for the 255 British, 649 Arg and 3 islanders to be killed, and the countless young men mentally scarred.
            Thatcher gambled on a quick win over the Argentinian conscript army in order to sweep her through the election on a tide of jingoism. Who can forget the embarassing victory parade with the maimed hidden from view lest it disturb the Daily Mail readers.
            I have no doubt whatsoever that electoral advantage was a major factor in the decision to send the task force.

            • david

              Wrong.
              There was a huge sense of shame at the invasion that we had been caught on the hop, and a determination that aggression should not pay.
              Remember the Islanders, the most important factor, were suffering under an illegal occupation by fascists. They needed to be liberated.
              British and US intelligence really were caught out.
              Satellite imaging? Check the date.
              Once the Exocets were launched, it was difficult to avoid them. This was before Seawolf and close-range defences such as Phalanx.
              We had no nuclear subs anywhere near the place. If you mean ballistic nuclear submarines these could never have been used or even threatened.
              The whole enterprise was a risk of mammoth proportions; if we could get our troops ashore and supplied the outcome was never going to be in doubt ( despite our troops being outnumbered and having to assault entrenched positions ) but the fleet was very vulnerable due to lack of air cover. Great credit to the Fleet Air Arm Harriers who managed to defeat an airforce within its own range outnumbered 10 to 1.
              Nobody in Goverment could be sure of victory and therefore no political advantage could be forecast. This point should be blindingly obvious.
              There were men in the cabinet who knew what war was all about ( unlike Blairs cabinet ) and knew the implications, i.e. people would die.

          • Budweiser

            gortna.;- I thought I would put in these quotes from Capt Bonzo as Craig only supplied one. The quote from the sailor on Conqueror is also interesting.

            Quotes from Hector Bonzo

            Here are some quotes from the captain of the Belgrano – not given in Freedman’s book, which show what the ship was doing:

            1.Legitimacy: The sinking of the Belgrano had been “politically criminal”[9].

            2. Heading home: He confirmed that his ship had indeed been ‘heading home’ due West, when hit (Ibid).

            3. Was the Belgrano a ‘threat’ to the Task Force? “Absolute nonsense. The nearest British surface ship must have been 250 miles off. I’d have needed 14 hours to catch it at my top cruising speed of 18 knots, provided it stopped dead in its tracks. 3.6.83,(Gavshon & Rice, FAC Report 1985)

            4. Outside the Exclusion Zone “One thing puzzles me. You Anglo-Saxons are supposed to be so logical. As a mere Latin, I thought that a Total Exclusion Zone must mean that if you were in it, then you get shot at. If you were not in it, you did not get shot at. But if you are going to be shot at in any case, why have a Total Exclusion Zone at all?” Captain Bonzo, of the Belgrano (Gavshon & Rice, The Sinking of the Belgrano, p.112).

            5. A pincer movement? ‘It would have been an odd pincer movement, Bonzo said, with the prongs some 350 miles apart’ (Gavshon & Rice, p.111) If anything, the ‘carrier battle group’ with the Vincente de Mayo was more like 400 miles due North of the Belgrano. Freedman’s account keeps harping on this ‘pincer movement’ alleged threat, as being the ‘military necessity’ for it being sunk.

            6 A Zig-Zag path? The British government and navy averred that the Belgrano was pursuing a zig-zag path to avoid pursuers – and the Wiki site still does. “When torpedoed, we were pointing straight at the Argentine coast on a bearing we had been following for hours.” 4.4.83. If that ship had expected to be struck, as the Wiki site argues, then one would have expected such a course to be pursued: but, it didn’t.

            To try and dispel the hallucinatory miasma cast by Friedman’s account, let’s quote from the diary of Narenda Sethia, on board the Conqueror, as published in The Observer. The Observer published this on 24 November 1984, then some further comments about this diary, and the trouble the Observer experienced upon publishing it, appeared in the Washington Post a month later, 23-24 December. Government agents were soon confiscating any copies of this diary they could find. The Post was not allowed to quote from the diary:

            30th April, 1982: continuing passage to an area where the threats are from the Cruiser Belgrano – an ancient ex-US 2nd World War ship with no sonar or ASW capability, two Allen Summer Class destroyers – equally decrepit – and an oiler.’

            Let’s now quote the original Gavshon and Rice position, from their 1984 book “The Sinking of the Belgrano’ which was generally endorsed by our Belgrano Enquiry, but dismissed in Freedman’s account:

            By dawn about all surface units of Argentina’s high seas fleet were homeward bound, the Belgrano included, according to British as well as Argentine information. Exchanges between Lima and Buenos Aires and lima and Washington went on continuously. By the middle of the day Galtieri’s acceptance in principle of the Belaunde-Haig proposals was confirmed: the ratification by the junta was expected that night because a meeting had been set for 1900 (2200 GMT)

            After the brief attempt to attack, when the wind didn’t blow, the fleet sailed homeward. Freedman’s account marginalizes the Peruvian negotiations and endorsed the government’s claim, that Northwood (the Navy’s control centre) and Checquers (the government’s decision-centre) only came to know of them three hours after the sinking. Therefore, let us quote from Cecil Parkinson, who was close to the Prime minister and on her ‘war cabinet’[10], on a Panorama TV program (19.4.84)

            Cecil Parkinson MP: We knew that all sorts of people … wanted to see a peaceful solution … which the prime example was Presidente Belaunde
            Panorama Presenter Emery: You knew that on Sunday 2 May?

            Parkinson: We knew all the time that there were continuing processes

            Then if we go back to the afternoon of 2nd of May, three hours before the Belgrano was sunk, President Belaunde on the phone to Costa Mendez in Argentina said this about their nearly-finished peace plan:

            Belaunde: With the sole exception of this word ‘wishes’ which the UK has just insisted on, the rest is acceptable?

            Costa Mendez: Correct’ (conversation 1200 Argentine time, that is 11 hours Falklands time,(p37, FAC Report)
            ‘The wishes of the islanders’ was a key phrase in their negotiations that everyone was struggling over.

            The Real GCHQ Signals

            By way of contrast with the fictional ‘intelligence’ Freedman claims to have been privy to – mysteriously kept secret for over twenty years – we conclude with an excerpt from an account by British journalist David Leigh, ‘Belgrano codes Cracked,’ The Observer 6.1.85. I suggest that our Belgrano Enquiry totally endorsed what he here wrote:

            Four signals intercepted by Cheltenham CGHQ about the movement of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano,[11] support the view that it posed no threat to the British Task Force off the Falklands when the order was given to sink it.

            The four Argentine signals, intercepted by airborne monitors in the South Atlantic and relayed to Cheltenham for decoding, were: (1) An order to the Belgrano, late on 29 April 1982, to sail on patrol from the Argentine coast past the Falklands to a set point and then return. (2) An order on 1 May at 7.55 p.m. (London time) for two other elements of the Argentine fleet, the northern and central groups, to sail out and attack the British Task Force. (3) The countermanding of this order within four hours, at seven minutes past midnight. (4) An order confirming that the central and northern groups, were to be recalled to safe waters. This was in GCHQ’s hands soon after 5.19 a.m. on 2 May.

            These signals show that the Belgrano was not engaged in the Argentine ‘pincer movement’ about which Navy chiefs claimed to have received intelligence. They also show that even the ‘pincer movement,’ involving the two northern groups, had been called off by dawn on Sunday, 2 May, the day War Cabinet members met at Chequers and accepted the urgent recommendation of Admiral Lewin, Chief of Defence Staff, that the Belgrano be sunk.

            The GCHQ disclosures, reported last week and confirmed by The Observer, make clear for the first time why London’s order to sink the Belgrano was so puzzling that it had to be sent three times to the British submarine Conqueror.

            Here is Sir Lawrence Freedman’s map, which well shows how very far away due North was the Vincente de Mayo. Remember, that circle is four hundred miles wide. Is anyone really going to say this looks like a ‘pincer movement’?

            Conclusion

            Let us hope that the 30-year release of official secrets casts some light upon the hardly-credible ‘new’ intelligence, on which Sir Lawrence has based his magnum opus. Clearly, GCHQ needs to be asked, why it kept this startling bit of ‘intelligence’ to itself for twenty years. If it can’t answer, Lawrence Freedman should be stripped of his knighthood. One could make a similar comment upon the new book ‘The Silent Witness’ by Major David Thorpe, 2011, which likewise claims to have startling hitherto-unheard of instructions about a Belgrano order to move inside the TEZ and attack the Task Force (yawn). No, in case you are wondering, the Thorpe newly-revealed intel is not compatible with the Freedman intel, they have different co-ordinates inside the TEZ. By way of trying to discourage any further amazing-but-fictional intel revelations, as the 30th anniversary draws nigh, let’s just say that any such intercepted GCHQ messages would have to have been put into the ‘Crown Jewels’ document, the dossier of state-secrets about the Belgrano, which were scrutinized by both Ian Mikado and Clive Ponting[12]. Both of these were present at our Belgrano Enquiry, (See here and here ) to guide it in reaching the just conclusions which it did. Let the truth emerge, not fictionally-fabricated MOD-source retrospective constructs.

            This whole story reinforces the journalist’s motto, ‘Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied’. In particular, Journalists need to refrain from believing a government yarn just because it’s prefaced by, ‘secret report reveals…’

            ——————————————————————————–

            [1] ‘Freedman was knighted for services to Blairism after drafting the Chicago speech of April 1999 that launched the doctrine of illegal interventionism on the world’: Richard Gott, New Statesman-web

            [2] Freedman has the Argentine fleet ordered by General Allara to turn back just after midnight ‘back to their former positions’ (p.290). That is four hours later than Gavshon & Rice have the carrier and escorts turn to return home, at 8 pm local time. We used the latter in our Timeline.

            [3] This could be clarified by examining the row which broke out between the Argentine junta which ordered the fleet home that morning, and the Air Force which contested the order. Quoting Dalyell: ‘We now know what the orders from Argentina to its ships were, not least because Admiral Inaya – the navy member of the junta – has been bitterly and publicly rebuked by the pilots of the Aviacon Naval, the Argentine equivalent of the Fleet Air arm, who showed courage and skill in the conflict, for his treachery in issuing orders. They were that the Belgrano, the Piedra Buena and the Hippolito Bouchard should return to their home port of Uschia, and that is precisely what they were doing, on a 280 degree course west-north-west towards the entrance of the straits of Magellan, when the Conqueror struck some 50 miles outside the exclusion zone. House of Commons 24.3.83, Thatcher’s Torpedo p41. NB Gavshon & Rice say it was 36 miles outside the TEZ when struck, p.111.

            [4] Al Haig, Caveat Realism, Reagan and Foreign Policy, 1984

            [5] After the Belgrano had sunk, which caused the real, killing war to start, America then provided the RAF with heat-seeking, supersonic, air-to-air sidewinder missiles – enabling the British victory.

            [6] New Statesman: 18.7.05 ‘A new history of the Falklands war defends nearly every aspect of the Tory government’s handling of the crisis, including the decision to sink the Belgrano.’

            [7] British link to the Lima peace-plan: Arias Stella was ‘in constant phone contact with …British [ambassador in Lima] Charles Wallace, whom I knew very well ..advising [him] of every step in our peace plan negotiations. Wallace, a conscientious man, gave me the clear impression that he was referring back to London all the time (Phone interview with Desmond Rice, Han ’84, FAC p38) Wallace’s phone calls were being received by Lord Hugh Thomas in London, who chaired Thatcher’s Policy Studies Group.

            [8] On 30th April, the so-called Mandarins Committee had made a change in the Rules of Engagement, which allowed British forces to attack the Vincente de Mayo aircraft carrier, based upon the range of its weapons i.e. its aircraft. The Foreign Secretary Pym wrote a letter to Thatcher criticising this change in the ROE, being uneasy that it might scupper the ongoing peace negotiations, for which he had been sent to Washington.

            [9] Interview with Narendra Sethia in Buenos Aires, September 2000, these being Bonzo’s opening words upon meeting Sethia who had been in the Conqueror submarine which torpedoed his ship: Guardian, ‘Hit by Two Torpedoes’ 18.10.00. See also Gavshon & Rice, ‘Hector Bonzo has rejected the British claim that the attack was legitimate’ p111.

            [10] FAC Report 1985 p.38, (does not give date of Panorama program)/

            [11] Tam Dalyell, House of Commons 24.3.83: ‘I believe that Britain had cracked the not very sophisticated codes by which admirals in Argentina communicated with ships at sea, and on May 1 and 2, knew precisely what were the orders to the Belgrano and her escorts, the Piedra Buena and the Hippolito Bouchard’. Also, ‘I am told that for hours there had been no imposition of radio silence between the Belgrano and her escorts before the sinking as they imagined they were going home and peace was breaking out.’ (Thatcher’s Torpedo 1983 p37, 39)

            [12] Clive Ponting said he was not allowed to view official telegrams in the ‘Crown Jewels’ dossier sent to and from America ‘if they exist’ before the Belgrano was sunk, but only after.

            Leave a Reply

            Twenty-four years ago (1986), a group of us organised the two-day ‘Belgrano Inquiry’ at Hampstead Town Hall, London. This was the nearest there has ever been to a proper independent inquiry into the sinking of the Belgrano, and was supported by a number of important witnesses. The entire proceedings were recorded. Key extracts are available at the Sound Archive on this site, plus other back ground information and in-depth analysis.

            Archives
            ■30-year Data Release
            ■Thirty years on: an Argentine view
            ■INTRODUCTION
            ■THE WITNESSES
            ■SOUND ARCHIVE ■Clive Ponting: ‘The Crown Jewels’
            ■Clive Ponting: ‘The Government Cover-up’
            ■Diana Gould: ‘Grief Has No Nationality’
            ■Ian Mikado MP ‘Foiled Attempts to find the Truth’
            ■Ken Coates: Use of Nuclear Weapons?
            ■Tam Dalyell: ‘Lured on to the Punch’.
            ■Tam Dalyell: Sabotage
            ■Dr G Makin: The Peruvian Peace Plan
            ■Paul Rogers: US Connection to Falklands & Strategic Value

            ■TIMELINE
            ■ANALYSIS ■A Fabricated ‘Official History’ by Freedman
            ■Thorpe ‘The silent Listener’ – book review
            ■HOW IT BEGAN
            ■PROVOKING WAR
            ■WHAT WAS THE BELGRANO DOING?
            ■SEVEN LIES
            ■DIANA GOULD v THE IRON LADY
            ■SIDELINING THE UN
            ■THE CLAIM TO SOVEREIGNTY
            ■THE PERUVIAN PEACE PLAN
            ■THE ‘CROWN JEWELS’
            ■CIVIL – MILITARY DIALOGUE
            ■AMNESIAC PYM
            ■‘THATCHER’S TORPEDO’
            ■GCHQ & US SUPPORT
            ■BRITISH USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
            ■SOURCE DOCUMENTS■PEACE TORPEDOED

            ■Narenda Sethia’s Diary
            ■BOOKS
            ■FILMS
            ■CONTACT

            Search

            • david

              BONZO was an appropriate name.
              I wonder what the response would have been if the Argentinian carrier had been bumped as well.
              The sinking meant the rapid withdrawal of the Argentine navy which probably , and thankfully, saved lives and allowed the liberation to proceed.

            • Budweiser

              david.

              I’m not arguing that the sinking of the Belgrano effectively kept the Argentine navy in port for the rest of the conflict. Your ridiculing of the Captain’s name ,is a clear indication of ‘ going for the man and not the ball’.
              Are you saying that the Capt. was a coward or an incompetent? If so, can you supply the sources for this? This man and his crew,were [ in a british observer’s view] in ‘ ancient and decrepit ww2 light cruiser’. It’s main armament [ 15x 6inch] was, at full range, 7 miles than the task forces’ exocets. It’s anti-aircraft weaponry consisted of sea-cat missiles. These were practically useless, as the task force was to find out, as they also had them. The two destroyer escorts were also old ww2 US Navy rejects There sonar was old and useless and was to be replaced [ they hadn’t a clue that conqueror was there.] Imo these were VERY brave men and don’t deserve disparagement. Three hundred and twenty eight men and cadets died.
              What I WAS trying to indicate, was that it is easy to accept ‘ official sources’ to the exclusion of any contradictory evidence and was giving some instances of this. Your ‘ off the cuff’ and dismissive attitude does you no credit.

    • War is cold blooded murder. When the shooting starts terrible things happen. Every serviceman knows that.

    • Sir Reginald Loudpants

      what was?

      the argentine invading the islands or our response?

  5. Rich753

    Ecojon seems to be arguing that the Falklands war was all part of a cunning plan by Thatcher to enhance her own electability.

    By his account she suckered the Argentinians into invading the falklands by sending ” a signal to the world that she didn’t intend to defend the Falklands by removing the ‘guard’ ship HMS Endurance”, and when they fell into her cunning trap she forced the unwilling Armed Forces to recapture the Islands and hey presto she wins a landslide election.

    To be charitable this is somewhat fanciful, to be less charitable it’s barking, and frankly makes me more sceptical than I want to be of his previous reporting.

    • ecojon

      @Rich753

      Seems there’s so much sh*te in your own mouth that you have little spare to try and put it in mine. Anyone, like you, who takes someones words and twists them into lies obviously has an agenda.

      • Rich753

        I’m simply playing back to you my perception of your position, based on your own words and my attempt to make a coherent narrative out of them. I don’t believe that I’ve misrepresented your views, but linked them together to extrapolate to a conclusion

        I find it interesting that you choose to become abusive rather than explain how my conclusions are inaccurate..

        • ecojon

          @Rich753

          You thought that was abuse?

          You obviously don’t get out into the real world very much 🙂

          • Rich753

            Mmm, another insult. Another failure to engage with the argument.

            • ecojon

              @Rich753

              You betray your agenda – I’m not here to argue and most certainly not to be drawn into deflection over military strategy of either side.

              I am here quite simply to keep reminding people who might not have been old enough to experience Thatcher in the flesh what an absolute zealot she was in terms of her determination to destroy organised labour in general and the miners in particular,

              And I thank you for providing me with platforms which enable me to do so 🙂

  6. idaho

    Didn’t Thatcher through her slavish support for Reagan and his hawkish predecessors in the White house actually encourage these CIA sponsored militias who over threw their respective and much loved, democratically elected socialist government s in the region – there is no honour smong thieves.

    • ecojon

      @Idaho

      Another reason I hated Thatcher was her slavish involvement with the murderer Pinochet which had a lot to do with supporting his destruction of those pesky workers, including highly organised miners, who believed they were good enough to run their country. But Democracy didn’t suit America who helped Pinochet destroy Democracy and society to the obvious satisfaction of Thatcher just in case we got ideas above our station in Britain.

  7. Monti

    ….In the Argentine he lies
    . father Fahey by his side
    . 57 was the year his country mourned him
    . to the natives dead or living
    . No human rights were given
    LAS ISLAS MALVINAS ARGENTINA!!

    • JohnBhoy

      Monti, COLD BLOODED MURDER, nothing less.

    • david

      Who are you talking about Monti?
      One of the Nazis who found Argentina as a new home?

      • ecojon

        @david

        Or indeed brought their missile technology to us and the Americans 🙂

        Have you got the source of the Rangers and Celtic banning figures yet?

        Or was that just a figment of your imagination?

        • david

          No it wasnt.
          As I said Rangers could ban all their fans, or even shut down, I couldnt care less.
          Care to answer the 3 questions above?

      • Monti

        I have no interest or motivation in conversing with liars & bigots like you, go away & do not refer to my name in future posts.. If you apologize for the things you have called me, I may reconsider my opinion of you….

        • david

          I am not a liar, neither am I a bigot- I dispense blame and contempt on both sides.
          You however, have been caught telling at least 5 giant porkies- why did you do it? If you are not a liar, why do you lie habitually?
          And some of your posts are drenched with bigotry as well as juvenile and pathetic abuse.

          • JohnBhoy

            @david

            You are a liar. You deliberately misled everyone over your daft statement about your team banning hundreds of bigots lol. Show us the numbers ya liar.

          • Monti

            You lied about your team banning fans & haven’t provided evidence to back your claim, whilst it must be embarrassing being a Rangers (IL) fan, just admit it! You are a liar and bigot.

  8. Monti

    ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA….THE HAND OF GOD!

  9. JohnBhoy

    The Belgrano was sunk on Sunday 2nd May 1982. The whole Argentinian navy was sailing away from the Falklands heading back to Argentina and had been doing so since dawn. The reason for that was because a Peru peace initiative had been proposed and all but agreed over the weekend (the difference was one word). The US, Peru, Argentina and Britain were heavily involved in the discussions. As part of the peace initiative Argentina agreed to show good faith by withdrawing its navy, which it duly honoured.

    Thatcher disingenuously said that she had not “caught sight of” the plan until the next day (seeng is different from hearing) but Cecil Parkinson later confirmed that the Cabinet knew about the proposals: “Yes, we knew all about peace proposals, that Sunday morning, primarily those of President Belaunde”. In fact, they more than knew – they were involved in shaping the agreement, prior to the sinking of The Belgrano. President Balaunde of Peru confirmed that telephone conversations had taken place at the highest level with Britain on 1-2 May. To their shame the British Labour Party refused a request from Peru to release the transcripts, proving that Britain had full knowledge of the initiative, and scuppering the Government’s plea of ignorance about any peace initiative.

    TIMELINE:

    – 1 am SAT (5 am BST): Confirmation from Beunos Aires Naval Command of return of Argentine fleet; intercepted and relayed back to GCHQ in Cheltenham.

    – 1.30 am SAT, (23.30 Lima time, 5.30 am BST): Belaunde phones Galtieri, telling him he requires a decision re peace plan by 8 am (10 am Washington time). Prior to that, Belaunde had called Haig with the germ of a peace plan using Haig’s seven points slightly modified. British ambassador Wallace relays info to UK (G&R96).

    – 4 am SAT (8 am BST): Sandy Woodward head of Task Force sends instruction to Conqueror to sink Belgrano.

    – 4.30 am SAT (8.30 am BST): Belgrano reverses course, going home.

    – 5 am SAT (9 am BST): Lewin calls at Navy Battle Headquarters Northwood and is told of Belgrano’s sighting the previous day.

    – 6.15 am SAT (10.15 am BST): Northwoods instructs Conqueror not to attack Belgrano.
    ‘By dawn about all surface units of Argentina’s high seas were homeward bound, the Belgrano included, according to British as well as Argentine information.’

    – 9.15 am SAT (1.15 pm BST): Permission to sink anything given by ‘War Cabinet’ at Chequers to Lord Lewin – kept a secret for two years, until MOD documents were leaked to Dalyell.

    – 9.30 am SAT (1.30 pm BST): ‘Northwood signaled the whole of the Task force that they could now sink Argentine ships anywhere on the high seas.’

    – 10 am SAT, (2pm BST, 8 am Lima): Belaunde rings Galtieri and is put over to Costa Mendez to discuss peace plan.

    – 10am SAT (1400 GMT): Conqueror reports reversal of Belgrano’s course to Northwood.
    c.12 noon SAT: By the middle of the day Galtieri’s acceptance in principle of the Belaunde-Haig proposals was confirmed; the ratification by the junta was expected that night because a meeting had been set for 19h. FAC35.

    – 11-12 am SAT (9-10 am Washington time): Pym in Washington is informed of the new carte blanche ‘sink anything’ policy, by phone from London.

    – 12am-2pm SAT (10-12 am Washington time, 4-6 pm BST) Pym has breakfast with Haig; Peru’s Prime Minster Ulloa phones and begs Haig for a 24 hour truce.

    – 1 pm SAT: Argentina Costa Mendez tells reporters, ‘We’re on the brink of an agreement. The difference is about a single word.’ (G&R 95)

    – 2 pm SAT (6 pm BST): Conqueror receives orders to sink the Belgrano.

    – 3.57 pm SAT (8 pm BST): BELGRANO SUNK

    – 6.30 SAT (4.30 pm Lima Peru): Belaunde holds televised press conference announcing that peace was imminent and would be ratified that evening by the military committee at Buenos Aires (10.50pm BST).

    – 6.30 pm Lima (12.30 pm BST): Ambassadors of UK and Argentina arrive in Lima, presumably to sign peace treaty, are told the news and go home.

    – 7.15pm SAT (11.15 pm BST): Britain claims first notice of Peruvian peace plan is received, 3 hours after sinking of Belgrano.

    Tam Dalyell, ”The brutal truth is that on or near her waking hour that Sunday morning, 2 May, the Prime minister was confronted by messages of serious peace proposals emanating from the United States and Peru, based on what was happening in Argentina. Over a period of at least five hours she deliberately and knowingly elected to create an incident of predictably dreadful proportions.’ (House of Commons 21.12.82, TT p.23).

    • arb urns

      This is all fascinating stuff. have i misread in the above post, “the belgrano was sunk sunday 2nd may”…. but in the timeline it appears to suggest it was sunk 3.57pm SAT (8pm BST)…. confused.com

    • Ed Paisley

      @JohnBhoy
      Impressive counter to Craig and Thatcher’s apologists.

  10. ecojon

    I will once more try to make my position clear on this matter so there is absolutely no confusion about it.

    My original post about Thatcher was not put forward as a guest post by me but was my response to posts by other posters on an existing thread. Paul, as is his right, decided to make it a Guest Post. I stand by everything I stated in the post but it is highly likely that if I had initially intended it to be a guest post it would have been in more depth but it wasn’t so we deal with it as is.

    The main thrust of my post was Thatcher’s willful destruction of the miners and their communities and that is still my main problem with her as well as her using Scotland as a test-pad for the Poll Tax and all the rest of the usual Tory attacks on the working classes and disadvantaged in society. I had a personal involvement with the miners’ struggle and have very strong views on the matter which will never change and have indeed hardened as more information has surfaced over the years.

    Despite that, Craig seized on a mention I made of the Falklands to provide a blow by blow defence and justification for the sinking of the Belgrano. In my response I made it clear that I had no intention of becoming immersed in that ultimately futile exercise and returned to my point which was that the war came about because of a failure in diplomacy which was not unwelcome to Mrs T and probably not to Galtieri either.

    Craig is almost Adam-like in that he seems to believe that because he has gone into great detail to ‘prove’ his position that I should accept it. Well that ain’t going to happen because I don’t accept his position.

    I will again state that Craig’s approach is a deflection to the actual crime that was committed by Thatcher and that was facilitating the needless outbreak of a war which claimed hundreds of British and Argentinian lives.

    Terrible things happen in most wars that are totally unforeseen and slaughter often ensues through mistakes, misunderstandings and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many people also later regret some of the things they have done in the heat of warfare. That is what happens when diplomacy breaks down and war follows and that is why it is so necessary to ensure that diplomacy prevails because therein lies the only real Victory.

    Your ludicrous claim that I am elevating Thatcher to mythology demonstrates deep ignorance. I was there mate on the picket lines and I know the brutal reality entailed by opposing Thatcher and her police state. .

    It seems very important to Craig that people accept his position. I am happy, as always, for people to make their own minds up. And Craig if you have better alternative sources than the site I posted please supply them although tbf if you think they are balanced it’s probable I won’t.

    The reason I picked a site which takes an pro-Argentinian line – and gave it a health warning – is because I think it is as partisan as the MoD codswollop you have ingested and are now attempting but failing to justify.

    And your superfluous mention of Vanguard Bears is a bit childish and totally out of place in a discussion which touches on the deaths of so many in extremely violent circumstances.

    PS: The headline reads: Craig Responds To Ecojon’s Comments on the Belgrano.

    It would be more accurate to state that: Craig Responds To Ecojon’s Comments on Craig’s Belgrano comments which was a response to Ecojon’s comments on a bloodthirsty Mrs T who destroyed the UK mining industry and the way of life of the miners and their families.

    PPS: No one should forget that sadly Mrs T’s colonial gunboat escapade was only a sideshow in her attempt to dismantle society and destroy the organised working class.

  11. Jamie

    Where’s Carson I need a laugh

    • JohnBhoy

      Jamie, even zombies need to rest.

    • Laugh ? You got to be joking , pardon the pun ! I’ve nearly split my sides open with that clown MONTIT talking about cold blooded murder ! This from a clown who thinks it’s ok to blow up innocent kids and pregnant women ! His hypocrisy knows no bounds , but then again the welfare of children was never high on his kinds agenda.

      • Rich753

        To be even-handed I’ll say the same to you as to Ecojon “Mmm, another insult. Another failure to engage with the argument.”

        • ecojon

          @Rich 753

          How kind of you to put me on the same footing as arseon. I think most people without an agenda on here are well aware of the content and tone of all my posts as opposed to those of arseon’s.

          Most people are also well aware that I engage freely with most posters whether I agree with them or not. However when someone like you, with an obvious agenda. tries to deflect then I choose not to engage as I would rather spend time elsewhere being much more productive.

          • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            • Ed Paisley

              @carson
              Are you bored with ecojon because he won’t be baited or provoked?
              Do you support the brave peace campaigner Colin Parry (who lost his young son at the Warrington bombing in 1993) who has said “I feel grief and devastation but I don’t hate the IRA. There is no room in my life for hate”. How about you taking a leaf out of Mr Parry’s book?

            • Ed , paisley , ok your right but just like to see if eco takes the bait ! But on the point of hatred ? I think your lecturing the wrong person , try thick Mick and his partner montit.

            • ecojon

              @carson

              To entertain any hope that I might take your bait I would first recommend that you get a brain transplant and after University and a very successful professional career coupled with wide experience of the world beyond Scotland that you may be ready in approximately 50 years or so to actually reach a level providing some debating interest.

              But I have severe reservations that you could ever reach that level – But I’m an optimist and with so many advances in modern medicine you may make it. I will have moved on to a much higher plane by then of course 🙂

          • Rich753

            You keep referring to my ‘agenda’. If you mean my desire to follow through arguments to their logical conclusion then fine.

            But I suspect that’s not what you mean at all, I suspect it’s your way of avoiding facing up to the incoherence of the opinions you express.

            • ecojon

              @Rich753

              You really don’t get it do you? I am not here to argue and I have no interest in what you have to say as it’s mince – tbh I would rather debate with a dictionary because reading your posts it looks as though you have swallowed one and when you regurgitate your nonsense it all comes out scrambled.

              I mean does any normal person talk or write like you?

      • mick

        how many at the sash bash carson a here yous are bleeding 10mil every 6 month or 1.8 a month yous are doomed big style check phils texts on tsfm the Tesco campaign is going well and will soon be coming to a close sally is for the chop to lol what a great time to be a Tim is last night a world record low for a sash bash lol

        • Rich753

          Ecojon, yes I think I’m beginning to get it – let me tell you what I understand so far.

          When you say “I’m not here to argue” you really mean “I’ll give you my opinion and you will agree or I’ll insult you”, and
          “I’d rather debate with a dictionary” means “you are interrupting my self-appointed task of telling the world what an evil person Mrs Thatcher was”, and
          “when you regurgitate your nonsense it comes out scrambled” means “I’m not going to ask you to explain your reasoning becos’ I’ve got a horrible feeling you’ve spotted the inconsistencies underlying my rhetoric” and
          “does any normal person talk or write like you” tbh I’m struggling to see the subtext here, I think it’s just an insult ‘cos from previous posts you consider yourself an educated person so you can’t mean “words of two syllable bother me” which is what I first thought.

          Night night

  12. mick

    sevco are doomed its nearly 2mil a month and not 1 lol

    • According to the Seville calculator , on loan btw , 77, 436 and that was just in the Copland rd end .

      • Hey thick Mick , how are you and that fanny MONTIT on here all day every day ? Have you got a job ? Has montit ? Or are you a couple of giro cashing leeches that slag off our Great Britain but live off it’s benefits ? Just asking like .

        • not nearly dead but really dead

          You could replace those names mentioned with ‘Rangers fc’.
          Anyway how come you can’t get the premise that someone who pays tax/pays vat on goods ect. Is entitled to
          1 services as a result of tax in whatever form paid
          2 descenting opinion to the majority
          3 question role of the state

          OR do you consider them ‘Johnny foreigners’ and they should either shut up/doth cap or eff off?

          I wonder what Charles green/Craig whyte (Jekyll & Hyde) would say

        • mick

          sorry to disappoint you carson but a don’t qualify for benefits so there ya and as ave told you before no 1 slags people on the bru because you just don’t know whats round the corner

          • gortnamona

            Dear God
            Are those you create with very few brain cells, ready made Rangers’ supporters, or is it that they naturally gravitate towards Rangers? I realise that is the only type of support Rangers is liable to get, but do you not think you could to more to protect them from the predators to whom they seem alarmingly susceptible?

        • Monti

          Actually I have a good job & well paid to boot. I can spend time on here because I do a lot of travelling with my job.

          • david

            LIE LIST
            I live in the Falklands
            I voted no in the Falklands referendum
            I am admired for my views in the Falklands
            I live on the Falls Road
            I work
            I am Oglach Monti
            I travel in my job and have plenty of time to pst

            If you disagree with me ( Monti ) I will say you have one tooth and stink of urine.
            I ( Monti ) support terrorism and the death of innocents.

  13. timtim

    When you go to the extent of supporting the genocidal regime of Pol Pot
    then you really are in bed with the devil
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-thatcher-helped-pol-pot/5330873

    May ALL those who died in the Falklands war (and all wars) rest in peace
    the world would be a safer place without ANY politicians

  14. I’m of the opinion Mrs Thatcher’s sin came well before the Belgrano. Although I have to agree with Craig, in that a warship that you’re at war with is fair game, unless disabled or surrendering or you are needlessly harming civilians.
    No matter what you say Craig I think we are never going to the bottom of how much Thatcher knew before the invasion, I have reasons to believe the UK had contingency plans for an Argentinian invasion of any of it’s South Atlantic territories. Remember Callaghan had a small scale run in with them over some small island down there in the late Seventies . Callaghan was told that if he did not want to resort to force the best way to was to keep them sweet was by promises of some time in future the UK would consider a hand over. Then Thatcher came in. I believe Argentina were suckered into an invasion. You say the invasion took them by surprise, I say a number of Western Intelligence agencies knew what the score was and that the CIA (who worked closely with the Junta) had given certain reassurances to the Junta that a) the US would be reluctant to get involved if it was done quickly. b) That Britain could not muster a response.
    No matter your complaints about communication problems the UK sent down a task force and utilised other military resources, that it would have won by walk over. And forget what any of the big boys were saying about it being impossible, remember what Sun Szu’s Art of War says about deception. The big set back was losing one of the ships (forgive me, but I forget it’s name) which had all the helicopters and other transport. This is where a well trained volunteer army comes up against poorly equipped conscripts, having said that I would not want to face a poorly motivated conscript with a gun. I cannot take it away from the UK soldiers for their bravery and stamina, but it would have been a totally different engagement if the Brits had all their kit, it would have been over in two weeks once beach head made secure.
    I my opinion there was a point diplomacy and a couple threats of embargo or a lucrative contract or two would have quieted the situation, but if that had happened then the Tory government and therefore Thatcher’s career were out the door. I believe she, her supporters (not all British) and her advisors, saw she had nothing to lose, gambled and won. It is my sincerest belief her subsequent re-election, hurt, maimed and killed more UK citizens than all the casualties of the Falklands campaign. My condolences to all who were injured and killed in the war and I will not belittle their sacrifice, but let’s remember the generations she put out of work, the industry we lost and the social disruption to subsequent generations who suffered and too many dying, these were my comrades, my muckers, because of her self serving policies. She hurt the people of the UK badly, a lot worse than any mad mental Junta in Argentina did.

    • david

      Atlantic Conveyor

      • Ed Paisley

        Yes, Prime Ministers sometimes have to take extreme measures for the defence of the nation. We all recall Churchill’s decision to sink much of the French fleet at Mers-el-kebir in 1940, despite assurances from Admiral Darlan that he would never let the fleet fall into the hands of the Nazis. 1297 French sailors were killed and I don’t think the French have forgiven us even now. But Churchill had to do it or the Nazis could have obtained a fleet that would have tipped the balance of power on the high season towards Germany – disastrous for an island nation like Britain.
        Mrs Thatcher and Britain weren’t in a desperate position over the Falklands aggression. Ecojon is correct – electoral advantage and her showing she had the cojones for a fight, was all that mattered to the sainted Margaret.

        • david

          We were in a desperate position.
          A tinpot fascist Junta had successfully invaded a Dependency and were in control of British people against their will. Some were confined to halls such as at Goose Green.
          You are correct about Oran and Mers-el -Kebir. As it happens the French were prepared to go ahead and scuttle- but Churchill could not take the risk. A great shame because a magnificent French fleet could have been very handy in the Mediterranean if they had fought with the Royal Navy.
          Instead of diverting help to Greece the whole of North Africa could have been rolled up before the arrival of the Afrika Corps. 13,500 British and Australians had defeated an Italian army of 300000. A real blunder by Churchill.

          • JohnBhoy

            @david

            Listen to yourself : “We were in a desperate position… Some were confined to halls” lol Tory apologist who pretends even-handedness then regurgitates state propaganda. Got those stats on football banning orders? You did say in an earlier post that you are always sure of your facts. So let’s have them.

            • ecojon

              @JohnBhoy

              Do you ever get the feeling that the Mod Navy Press Desk has landed among us? Either that or it’s a collection of pensioned-off Admirals or possibly even some spotty wargamers whose special subject is navel warfare and btw I mean navel and not naval 🙂

      • Thank I thought it was something like that, but was not sure if it was the Sheffield or the Galahad.

        • Budweiser

          hawkeye.
          As I said at the start of this post, I am not an expert on the Falklands conflict. Because my old man was a gunner in the navy in ww2 [ oerlikon or bofurs – I don’t know the difference – he always called them pom poms ] I have an interest in naval doings [ sorry eco ]. But only what might be called ‘ a passing interest’.
          Hms Sheffield was on ‘picket’ duty [ Protecting the uk fleet on the perimeter] and was hit by an air launched exocet. She should have been protected by her radar weapons systems. Unfortunately she ,like everything in the navy at the time, was designed for ‘cold war’ scenarios. [ ie detecting soviet subs in north atlantic etc]. Her radar and sea dart missiles were ok if the ‘enemy’ flew at a reasonable height and launched their missiles from a ‘reasonable ‘ distance. The dastardly Argentinian pilot flew at wave top height, and fired at more or less, point blank range – thus avoiding both radar, and as the sea dart missiles relied on a radar fix – well, shooting fish in a barrel.
          It was the same in San Carlos bay. You must have seen the footage of ‘Argie’ jets swooping over the hills, missiles streaking all over the place,and not a plane being hit.
          Point is, the bofurs were phased out after ww2 in favour of the likes of sea cat missiles, which in this conflict, proofed to be useless. [ Imagine if you’re infantry and your rifle keeps jamming as the enemy is rushing at you].
          My dad watched it on tv and used to say ” they wouldn’t have f****ing done that if they were facing f***ing pom poms! Who knows. All I know,[ and please believe me, I’ m not glorifying warfare] is that the men, on both sides, like my father, are much braver men than me.

          • ecojon

            @Budweiser

            My dad was a Royal Navy gunner as well in the Channel during the phoney war on what they called mobile ack-ack. Then he was in the Atlantic on frigates mainly on convoys and sub hunting. A spell running to Murmansk on the Arctic Convoys and then the Med for the rest of his war.

            Sunk twice – once in the Med and once in the Atlantic and perhaps his horrendous times on a life raft afterwards makes me more aware of the suffering on both sides during the Falklands and a belief that there was a better way to resolve the conflict.

            My mum was in the WRAF and worked with fixed ack ack batteries mainly in the south of England defending some cities but mainly military targets and important industrial ones. Although termed fixed ack ack they did move around quite a bit as the enemy objectives changed. She was involved in providing the info to target the guns onto the enemy planes.

            She was engaged to a Welsh sgt navigator who dies on a raid over Germany and I have to say that until she died in her 80s she hated the Germans with a passion and nothing was ever capable of changing that and the passage of time didn’t bring any solace but a deeper bitterness.

            I think perhaps we need to think not just of those who have fallen but those who are left with their physical and/or psychological wounds. Their torment and suffering can last a lifetime until they too go to rejoin their old comrades.

            • Budweiser

              ecojon.

              Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. It has been rather frantic on here today [ yesterday!] as you can imagine!
              My dad served, from when he joined up firstly, on the Alantic convoys in corvettes and later on the Murmansk convoys. After VE day he served on a destroyer in the far east. None of the ships he sailed in were sunk – thank god. Your father was lucky to survive.[ as a kid, reading ‘ commando comics’ etc I remember being so disappointed that his ships hadn’t been sunk! ]
              Trying to get him to talk about his experiences, was like getting blood from a stone. In his later years he told me that he always thought himself a coward, because in the Alantic and Murmansk convoys he was perpetually terrified – not of being torpedoed per se, but because he couldn’t swim !
              Funnily enough he never hated Germans. Indeed, when one of my younger bros married a German girl, he met the girl’s father , who had served in u boats ! They got on like a house on fire [ he, the father inlaw spoke great english ] swopping stories and getting pissed together, to the exclusion of every body else ! I tried to listen in to their conversation, but was asked to leave because ‘ I couldn’t understand’.
              He had permanent hearing damage from ww2 until his death because of the guns – no ear protectors then.
              In his last years, for his birthday one year [ I still to this day,cringe at this ]
              I bought him a scale model [airfix type, where you glue all the tiny pieces together ] of one of the type of corvettes he sailed in during the war.
              He meticulously assembled all the pieces and glued the whole thing together.[ The whole thing was about 3 ft long! ]. As we were admiring it, he picked up a hammer and proceeded to smash the thing to smithereens !
              ” always hated them f***ing things ” , he said ! After the initial shock ,we were all rolling about, in tears of laughter.
              Like your dad, they were all such brave men. and I couldn’t even lick their boots. I still miss him terribly.

  15. Monti

    David has one tooth

    • david

      I can assure you 100% that is a LIE
      Added to many others from Monti ” I reside in the Falklands ” ” I voted no in the Falklands referendum ” ” I live on the Falls Road ” ” I have a job ”
      ” Oglach Monti ”
      What an inadequate.

    • Off to bed now troops , another 12 hour shift , having to keep the benefit cheats in tracksuits and hoodies , you enjoy posting tomorrow montit while those raised in the Presbyterian work ethic are putting a shift in .

    • JohnBhoy

      Monti, you are running rings round @david. He feigns intelligence, throws in imaginary stats, offers an empty-headed opinion and thinks that a full stop is the height of literacy. He is also a liar. I think he’s Chico lol.

      • ecojon

        @ John Bhoy

        You know you might be right 🙂

        • Paul

          Ecojohn we’ve all listened to you pontificate for months now, isn’t it time you learned to edit before posting, otherwise some people might think you are full of your own opinion and nowt else matters,

          When you start agreeing and smileying dimwits like jonboy then it casts grave doubt on your ability to reason. #smiley

          • ecojon

            @Paul

            What a pompous post.

            Of course I post my own opinions – who else’s opinions would I post? I am not a member of the troll cabal on here who so obviously work to a pre-prepared common agenda designed to deflect attention from Rangers’ fans being shafted.

            I truly hope that everyone is well aware that I am full of my own opinions most of which have been based on a long lifetime of education and experience. Sometimes I change my position and I am happy to debate with anyone and fully accept that, in the main, they are entitled to their views.

            If I annoy you so much why do you keep reading my posts that seems a strange form of masochism to me as I tend to ignore the trolls and those with a fixed agenda who are only here to interrupt the free-flow of debate on this blog.

            • Paul

              umm, how to say this politely without being offensive – you are the one who is being, and has been pompous!

              I have enjoyed your guest posts and comments on subjects I knew nothing about, until I read posts on things I actually knew something about, and thought to myself, – but that’s rubbish isn’t it?

              But I gave the great eco the benefit of the doubt and then he / she posted something which was somewhat smelly, but written very well, then another post and the unbidden thought arises – oh no! – the Emperor forgot to clothe himself today!

              Eco, I have zero problem with anything you comment except that much of it is of an extremely patronising attitude. Many of your responses to comments are basically put-downs of those who dare comment on your posts or comments.

              When you back up someone like jonboy, who, as far as I have read has given little input to the debate, but much insults to those who have, you diminish your own standing.

              As I intimated, your guest posts have been very interesting, but it has become apparent that you have blind spots when it comes to a few issues.

              This is a plea to someone whom I believe is able to self analyse – critique your comments, as you have become a guest poster, perhaps you need to become less biased in your comments, or more self-critical when you do comment.

              I do not expect a rant in response, but given your recent utterances, I would not be surprised… #smiley!

      • david

        Really?
        Being run rings round by a bigoted liar?
        You are in an imaginary world.
        Cannot believe you support such a cretin.

  16. Ed Paisley

    While we are honoring the victims of war:-

    Private Gordon Gentle from Pollok was killed in Iraq in 2004. He was traveling in a very lightly armed “snatch land rover” and a roadside IED exploded under the vehicle and killed him. Gordon was 19 years old and had just completed his 26 weeks basic training.

    Between 2003 and 2009, 37 British servicemen were killed in snatch landrovers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, in circumstances which could have been survivable if they had been traveling in a suitably armoured, raised axle vehicle.

    The MOD is currently being pursued in court for negligence by the families of the dead soldiers. The MOD is vigorously resisting the claims.

    Rest in peace Gordon – I hope you are watching from heaven when your beloved Celtic FC clinch the title.

    • david

      Very well put Ed.
      Poor laddie should never have been there in the first place, the war was illegal.
      RIP

      Blair=liar

    • ecojon

      @Ed Paisley

      Sadly Governments of every political colour send our young men and now also young women to war lacking sometimes even basic equipment let alone adequate equipment.

      But they are expendable in the eyes of the politicians and generals – just more cannon fodder to be fed into the mincer of war. No matter what my personal opinions are of any war I will always support our troops because many wouldn’t have taken the ‘shilling’ if they could have found a decent job. The cutting edge are young working-class soldiers and they are the ones who tend to be at most risk of being killed and maimed.

      The ‘snatch’ landrovers were totally unsuitable for therole they were tasked to in theatre but, as always, it was all about money and saving it and to hell with the troops.

  17. mick

    god rest there souls and all the other souls lost in needless conflicts

    • david

      Most are needless. Some are not.
      Like the Second World War against Hitler , Mussolini and the barbaric Japs. And the evil Argentine Junta who “disappeared ” 30000 of their own people.

  18. Alexander Doherty

    Simple question why was the english in that part of the world. Three weeks to get there defending there homeland .
    Get real empire gone cost young lives on both sides why o why .Maggi gone hope her war mongering has gone to.
    Peace and love to all mankind

    • JohnBhoy

      @Alexander

      Capitalist colonialism, in answer to your question. People on a wee island beside Argentina can have their independence but not the Irish, just across the water.

      • ecojon

        @JohnBhoy

        Also worth remembering that there was a native independent population before the colonisation of Ireland.

      • david

        Ireland is not independent?
        I thought it was.
        Or do you mean Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK by the democratically expressed will of the people there? If at some point they vote to join the Republic, fine, thats how democracy works.
        They are at peace ( except for some crazy evil dissidents ) and for that we should all be glad , the conflict was not worth life.

  19. Raymilland

    Viva La Revolution

  20. timtim

    latest from the Times

    Tom Farmery

    Published at 12:01AM, April 12 2013

    Craig Whyte, the former Rangers owner, last night shrugged off the threat of legal action after it emerged that police had raided one of his properties in connection with an investigation into the takeover of the club two years ago.

    Sources close to the Monaco-based businessman revealed that Mr Whyte “could not for the life of him think what he has done wrong” and said that he had no contact with police before they raided his home in the Highlands on Wednesday.

    The Times has reported that Mr Whyte, who acquired the Ibrox club in May 2011 for £1, could face action under company law after he admitted completing his takeover by using the £20 million proceeds from the Ticketus finance company for the advance sale of Rangers season tickets.

    Two senior legal authorities said that the purchase appeared to have been a breach of the Companies Act.

    The Act prohibits a public company and its directors from giving “financial assistance” in connection with the purchase of its own shares.

    “Financial assistance is a broad concept and is designed to catch instances where a company’s assets are used as collateral, security or other means to finance or facilitate the sale of the company,” a senior legal figure said.

    “The advance sale of Rangers’ season tickets to Ticketus could be regarded as financial assistance in connection with Mr Whyte’s purchase of shares in Rangers where the season ticket sales’ proceeds seem to have been used to repay Rangers’ Lloyds Bank debt of the overall deal.”

    According to a spokesperson for Mr Whyte, only one of his properties, Castle Grant in Moray, was searched under warrant. Police sources said that a number of properties were visited as part of the investigation into the purchase of Rangers in May 2011 from Sir David Murray.

    A police spokesperson said: “Police Scotland carried out a number of searches under warrant in Scotland and England in relation to the ongoing investigation regarding the acquisition of Rangers Football Club in 2011.

    “These searches related to both domestic and business premises. This remains an ongoing investigation and no further information can be provided at this stage.”

    The raid on Mr Whyte’s home came after the former Rangers owner was ordered to pay £17.7 million to Ticketus after losing a claim against the firm. The 42-year-old has until April 26 to challenge the High Court’s decision and intends to do so.

    The Scottish Football Association has written to Charles Green, the current chief executive of Rangers, seeking clarification about his business dealings with his predecessor at the club.

    “We have to seek the facts and that’s what we’ve done,” said Stewart Regan, SFA chief executive.

    The Times has learnt that Mr Whyte claims that he first met the former finance director of Rangers, Imran Ahmad, four years before the 2011 deal to buy the club was struck.

    A source close to Mr Whyte insists that he was was only introduced to Mr Green last May, just weeks before the old Rangers club was liquidated.

    The source said a relationship between the pair no longer exists.
    The former owner, who is taking out a £50 million legal action against Mr Green and Mr Ahmad, wants “the companies that were transferred, transferred back”, including properties such as the stadium and training ground that he allegedly lost, according to a source.

  21. coatbrigbhoy

    ***The Act prohibits a public company and its directors from giving “financial assistance” in connection with the purchase of its own shares.****

    Whyte needed NO financial assistance to buy SDM’s Shares, he paid the £1 in full in cash, it said so in the buy out document issued to the 26,000 small share holders in Rangers Football Club,
    As Murray’s MIH was the holding company, did the 26,000 fans know that they in fact did not own any shares in the Rangers football CLUB,

    • mick

      Good morning every1 a wonder what news we will get today on sevco yesterdays predictions on Sally the 1.8mil a month confirmed via phil means admin anytime lol

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