Saturday, December 31st 2011 - 03:18 UTC

Thatcher was warned about risks of Navy cuts a year before the Falklands conflict

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was warned about the risks in slashing Britain's navy, a year before the 1982 Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, secret files released Friday showed.

First Sea Lord Admiral Henry Leach was later decisive in convincing Thatcher to send the Task Force to recover the Falklands

Her foreign secretary Lord Peter Carrington also warned defense secretary John Nott that axing Britain's Antarctic patrol ship would send all the wrong signals about London's willingness to defend the Falklands.

Documents released after 30 years locked away in Britain's National Archives showed that the head of the Royal Navy was fuming in 1981 about planned defense cuts.

First sea lord Admiral Henry Leach, who later told Thatcher that Britain could and should send a naval task force to retake the Falklands following the April 1982 invasion, was furious with her a year earlier over her “unbalanced devastation” of the armed forces.

“I note with regret but understanding that the tightness of your program precludes your seeing me personally as requested,” he wrote in a stinging note to the premier.

“I am confident however that you will at least spare two minutes to read this note from the professional head of the navy before you and your Cabinet colleagues consider a proposition substantially to dismantle that navy.”

Leach concluded: “We are on the brink of a historic decision. War seldom takes the expected form and a strong maritime capability provides flexibility for the unforeseen. If you erode it to the extent envisaged I believe you will foreclose your future options and prejudice our national security.”

The files also include a letter from Carrington to Nott, urging him against axing the Antarctic patrol ship HMS Endurance, warning it would send the wrong signal to Buenos Aires at a time of tension over the Falklands.

“Unless and until the dispute is settled, it will be important to maintain our normal presence in the area at the current level,” he wrote.

“Any reduction 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.”

His appeal was, however, rejected and HMS Endurance was less than a month from being withdrawn from service when the first Argentines landed on Britain's South Georgia overseas territory in March 1982.

39 comments Feed

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1 ChrisR (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 11:02 am Report abuse
Yes and regrettably it's all happening again. Do politicians never learn?

This time if Argentina invades the Falklands (there are no Malvinas) or does something equally as stupid which requires an armed response all we will have available are Astute Class Attack Submarines.

These will need to devastate the Argentina Mainland with conventially tipped cruise missiles to bring the Peronistas to their knees. We no longer have the armed invasion, aircraft carrier overhead aircover provision needed for a conventional rebuttal.

More Argentinos will die than in 1982 if ever another Peronista attack is made on the Falklands.
2 Papamoa (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 12:54 pm Report abuse
Britain has a sufficient Force on the Falklands to deter any act of aggression from a colonial wanabe like argentina!!!
This will enable the Falklanders to live there life in peace and security for as long as they want it!!

Long Live the Falklands.
3 J.A. Roberts (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 01:38 pm Report abuse
No Chris, it's not happening again. In spite of the cuts. The Falklands are very well defended. The same mistake won't be made again. Argentina does not have the wherewithal to invade anyway.
4 Sir Rodderick Bodkin (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 03:20 pm Report abuse
More Argentinos will die than in 1982 if ever another Peronista attack is made on the Falklands.

Says who, a keyboard warrior?
Don't make me laugh.
5 Conqueror (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 03:39 pm Report abuse
@ 1 Regrettably, there is only one (1) Astute-class submarine in service. Fortunately, there are six (6) Trafalgar-class boats with the same weapons. Possible action = Seven (7) times 25 cruise missiles targeted on Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. 175 missiles. Each with a one thousand pound warhead. 175,000 lbs of bang. Just an opening salvo. Before the Vanguard-class submarines get within range. The range is 7,000 nautical miles. How nice to know that Trident D5 nuclear missiles can hit Buenos Aires from a point off-shore from Gibraltar.

I put this question to the world. Is there any reason for this anal, belligerent, colonialist, criminal, despicable, homosexual, imperialist, insolvent, larcenous, mendacious, paedophiliac, perverted, psychotic cesspit be allowed to continue to exist?

Fortunately, we now know that the screams of “war-crime” in respect of the ARA General Belgrano from Argentine fanatics and their, unfortunately British, anally-retentive, brain-dead, self-abusing, bend over and take it supporters has no connection with reality.

The question? To remove the whole of the territory called Argentina from the face of the planet? Or just remove the settlements of the genocidal Italian and Spanish invaders?

There should be no legal impediment. Those who call themselves argentines are, by definition, genocides, murderers and perverts deserve no mercy.

Nor will the British people ever accept argentine aspirations. Give it a go, a**holes. Next time the gloves will be off. Objective? Minimum of 2 million argie dead. Minimum of 6 million argie injured/wounded. Should we leave any alive or uninjured? Always a good idea to leave a few to remember that confronting Britain is NOT a good idea!
6 ChrisR (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 07:26 pm Report abuse
4 Sir Rodderick Bodkin
I think Conqueror has summed it nicely as to what could happen. And by then we will have another operational Astute in 2012.

Perhaps my genuine reading of the situation was misunderstood by you because you always suspect some untruth from everyone.

Not to labour the point BUT in 1982 we had the wherewithal to put a task force together to chuck your lot off the Falklands (there are no Malvinas). WE NO LONGER HAVE THAT CAPABILITY.

So if you were capable of ever invading the Islands we would probably not be able to evict you. Our only sensible course of action would to use the subs as I said in my original post. How many more Argentinos would die (compared to 1982)?

Do you understand now?
7 BJK (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 07:27 pm Report abuse
I think Argentina will recover the islands by means of an economic war, by a constant and growing regional economic blockade of the islands. Defense costs and infrastructure of the island exceeds the economic benefits that can produce 3000 kelpers for British economy embedded in a Europe in crisis. On the other side of booming Mercosur economies grew despite the global economic crisis. With the pressure at home, in Europe and American nations, in a short time I think the Foreign Office will be forced to discuss the terms or bankruptcy must still pay by the citizens of London with our taxes, without realizing it. On the other hand today, a second invasion is hard to believe but taken to a hypothetical case, Argentina would not fight alone this time but with diplomatic (or military) support from Russia, China and USA and a british force without the support of the ports of Chile, without a carrier that can provide defensive air support and also Argentina would joint forces of Brazil, which could be offered as a reward preferences for the exploitation of possible oil from the islands, and will serve to Brazil to consolidate its image as a world power for a permanent seat in Security Council. I hope it will not happen because it could be a slaughter for the poor British and would have consequences for the citizens of the Malvinas Islands. They must realize that soon Malvinas Islands will be administered by Argentina
One way or another the kelpers should start learning Spanish.
8 axel arg (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 07:42 pm Report abuse
There you have your so loved baroness thatcher, i understand that surely you feel that you must thank her a lot because she defended you from a despisable dictatorship, which destroyed argentina. But you can't forget that in 1980, nicholas readley was sent to stanley with the purpose of persuading the islanders, in order to achieve that they accept to find a negotiated solution for this conflict, you can't ignore that she used you, that war was the best solution to bost her miserable and unpopular government, the militars tried to do the same, they wanted to use a fair and sacred cause like this one, because they wanted to perpetuate in the power, but they lost, and now all those sons of a bitch are being judged and sentenced as the criminals that they are. Unfortunatelly gatieri died, i wish i saw him in prison also, unless he was judged in 1985. This news doesn't sorprise me, i hope that many others archieves of the war can be released, i know that thatcher wont go to jail, because actually she didn't commit any delit, but unless everybody will know, how she used that war to bost her government, per haps nobody cares about it, but it's important to know much more respecting this conflict, because the history is always submited to omitions.
9 marc (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 08:13 pm Report abuse
There are sufficient forces on the Falklands to hold back any invasion w the support of the Typhoons and a Frigate or Destroyer, we can also deploy a nuclear attack sub quickly so any invasion could be held while reinforcements came, the new T45 destroyer and Astute along w Ocean and troop reinforcements would be more than sufficient and no attack would be needed on the Argentine mainland although should another war erupt I think that there should be some attack on the mainland to deter any future war, we let the argentines off too lightly last time and now we are paying the price when our navy is at its weakest in many years
10 Monty69 (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 09:02 pm Report abuse

Are you insane? The US isn't going to go to war with Britain over the Falklands, neither is Russia, China or Brazil.
No-one could care less about the Falklands apart from you and us, and once the oil starts to flow, and it will, you can kiss goodbye to your economic blockade. You must realise that you have no hope of getting what you want.
We already do learn Spanish, for our holidays in Chile. And that is all we will ever need it for.
11 BJK (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 09:19 pm Report abuse
The whole system of defense of the islands has a cost and all the time that the British are afraid of losing control of the islands, they are losing money that could be used to lower unemployment with (2.6 million people, 8.7 %, the highest since 17 years) or to develop the islands economically. Meanwhile all this works in favor for Argentina to sharpen the regional economic blockade the islands, our cost for doing is zero when you lose billions, on par with the European crisis continues to grow, so that economic losses are unsustainable. At the same time it discourages investment in the islands by political incest. All British history was driven by profit, they have no more ideals, they just want to make money. So that's what we're doing, they lose money when it hurts.
12 briton (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 10:18 pm Report abuse
Slightly of course their my friend,
First of, we have sufficient forces there, until reinforcements arrive, from the UK
The astute sub and the type 45 destroyers, may be few in numbers, but are 3 times the power.

Analysed seem to predict, that between now and say 2016/7 is the best time, for Argentina to attempt a re-take, [nothing is impossible]
But certain things would have to happen first, and we would be well informed in advanced,
Unless something really happens elsewhere in the world, that totally gets our attention-
Militarily and Argentina manages somehow to get the full military support from other S/A nations,
Then the outcome would be negligible.
But until then, Argentina is in fact, fast running out of time, and she knows it,
On the surface invasion is impossible, but with help, who knows,
So I conclude, that although its not impossible, but most unlikely,
But when the royal navy gets its projected power, then it will be impossible,
But who knows, anything can happen in 5/10 years.
For Some on here , its purely anti British that gets their goat,
Argentina may or may not overestimate themselves,
But they vastly underestimate the British, if they think we will just go home,
Others have thought Britain would fail or just give,
All have been wrong,
13 Sir Rodderick Bodkin (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 01:50 am Report abuse
You are still living in a dream world, none the less.
You, conqueror and all the bunch of morons warmongers who post in this forum.
Typical pathetic toothless prick. Just try and invade, we'll put a foot up your ass back to sea, just like the last time you tried.
14 Lord Ton (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 04:30 am Report abuse
I believe that the last invasion was by Argentine forces against British territory. 30th anniversary coming up in fact. Didn't go well for Argentina's military, but arguably better for the Argentine people, as it saw out the last dictatorship.

And are they grateful ? Nah!!

Economically, it is better for the British to defend the Islanders' rights. The Islands are financially self sufficient in everything except defence, and even there, if the oil flows, they have already indicated a willingness to contribute. At the same time the Islands offers training and live firing facilities that are no longer available in the UK.

And, of course, the Falklands should not be viewed in isolation. British troops are not just there to defend the Falklanders. They are also available to protect South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territories.

All of which may yet hold valuable resources, and all owned by the UK.

Remember the British are an Island race ... we can be found all around the world, and probably on an island near you!
15 stick up your junta (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 08:59 am Report abuse
The whole system of defense of the islands has a cost and all the time that the British are afraid of losing control of the islands, they are losing money that could be used to lower unemployment with (2.6 million people, 8.7 %,

No chance,whilst we have money to waste on this :-)

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16 ChrisR (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 11:10 am Report abuse
13 Sir Rodderick Bodkin

Your dimwitted personal attacks do nothing but let you down.

You still do not understand the concept of what I am saying do you. There would be no invasion! We no longer have an invasion force capable of 'landing'. The subs can stand off 1,000km from your coast and still blast BA and the rest of Argentina's infrastructure using HE tipped cruise missiles. How many more times do you need to have this explained to you?

You said:”You, conqueror and all the bunch of morons(sic) warmongers who post in this forum(sic). Typical pathetic toothless prick”

Given your propensity for not getting the point I think you admirably describe yourself by these remarks.

Please try harder, we have enough idiots on here with O gaga and the fabled Pratt-Junta without any more of them.

(sic) denotes incorrect spelling and/or poor use of grammar or missed word(s). P.S. do you have teeth in your penis then?
17 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 11:53 am Report abuse
Looks like it's that time of year for bidding within the budget round again.
It's surprising how quickly they come round again (at my age), but the 'usual suspects' are always wheeled out to offer the doom scenarios on behalf of the Defence budget allocation.

Just remember, the Belgrano posting and this posting, and the Royal deployment to TFI, are all political responses to the rhetoric coming out of the Casa Rosada.
. . . . First, condition your national public through the media. Thus they are prepared when the nasties start to happen.
18 Rubino84 (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 04:12 pm Report abuse
@16: Are you really think that Britain is going to bomb Buenos Aires? Are you serius? If they didnt do it back in 82 what doing it now? That would be political suicide for England, even you may get invaded after that. @5: I tell you what you can do with those misiles, shove it up your a**hole, thats the best utillity you can give because you HAVENT GOT THE BALLS TO USE IT!!! Keyboard warrior...
19 BJK (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 04:37 pm Report abuse
Dear 15 stick up your junta (#)

How big is Britain's debt problem?

The UK had one of the worst budget deficit's in the EU in the last fiscal year, at more than 10% of GDP. It was second only to Ireland (-32.4%) and Greece (-10.5%). Basically that means the British government spent more than it earned - to the tune of £146bn, according to the OBR.

Read more:
20 ChrisR (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 06:37 pm Report abuse
18 Rubino84
”@16: Are(sic) you really think(sic) that Britain is going to bomb Buenos Aires? Are you serius(sic)? If they didnt do it back in 82 what(sic) doing it now? That would be political suicide for England, even you may get invaded after that.“

It would appear that you have not read my original post @1 OR, like ”Sir Rodderick Bodkin” you do not undestand.

Please try harder as I am fed up with Argies getting emotional instead of thinking. Using personal abuse against the poster seems to be a national weakness of Argentinos making it difficult, if not impossible, to get a logical point across.

Who may I ask would invade Britain? Certainly not Argentina because by that time you would not possess the military means to do so, and most certainly not the will. If you reside in BA and survived an Astute Class Sub attack you would likely be lying among a pile of burning rubble shaking to your boots.

Britain would never attack Argentina first, but the stupid rhetoric of your government and indeed posters like you may just spark an incident which would mean we would have to respond.

(sic) denotes incorrect spelling and/or poor use of grammar or missed word(s) making your post difficult to understand.
21 Alexx (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 06:50 pm Report abuse
Long Live Sean Hurtcluff

Long Live Scotland -- Long Live Republic
22 stick up your junta (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 09:28 pm Report abuse
How big is Britain's debt problem?

Argentina's long-term foreign currency credit rating by one notch on Monday due to strong growth and a lower debt load, but the rating remains deep in junk territory.

23 Alexx (#) Jan 01st, 2012 - 09:36 pm Report abuse
Bear Stearns AAA

Long Live Scotland -- Long Live Republic
24 BJK (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 12:50 am Report abuse
Argentina does not need any external qualification, we are one of the only countries in the world completely independent of the tyrant IMF, Latin American countries are experiencing profound economic changes so that their economies are better positioned against the decline of the global capitalist economy. We have all the resources for self-sufficiency, food, oil, raw materials for industrialization and a growing domestic consumption, regional export and global export. The big difference with Europe (and USA), is while Europeans focused their growth with a strong financial economy, we are doing through productive development that creates jobs and wealth distributed more evenly among the citizens, have a cheaper currency that is more competitive to compete against their industries. Produce a product in Argentina and Latin America costs much less to a company to do it in UK. We are aware that we are not immune but we are far better positioned than you.
25 Lord Ton (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 01:18 am Report abuse

Err - you are not in the IMF because you did not pay your debts. That is akin to theft. Nothing to be proud about!
26 BJK (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 02:45 am Report abuse
Dear lord Ton

Thanks for your comment.
I understand that the British were coming all the news from America distorted to make them believe that we are barbarians as those who steal and kill for oil in middle east, kill innocent people in Libya and as that steal islands in overseas territories, but it is so we are not pirates who the british are.
We are Argentina, a Latin American civilization in which we are very proud to belong.

do you speak spanish? i send you an article about we and the IMF

The IMF offered a series of economic measures, cuts like the ones suffering Greece, Spain and Italy today and in 2002 we refused to accept part, we are a democracy in which it first thing our citizens are not imposed upon us from the outside, as in the false European democracy, finally in 2005 after a series of measures taken by our country sovereignly, not imposed, we eliminate the debt early and did not fall more into their traps. Should note that IMF prescriptions have the effect of delaying the payment and lose jobs as in Europe.

We are free and decide our future, Im very proud about!
27 Lord Ton (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 02:56 am Report abuse
You have not eliminated your debt, which is why you are struggling for funding from the World Bank. What you did was to renegotiaite with the majority of your creditors who were forced to lose money. Those that didn't accept this cr*ppy deal are still pursuing you through the courts.

And then there is the debt to the Paris Club, which you are trying again to renegotiate (cheat), but without much success.

You are in many ways free - but not free from your debts. As a result of Argentina's whelching on the deals, she has a cr*p reputation amongst the worlds money markets. Guaranteed to come back on you!
28 BJK (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 04:14 am Report abuse
Yes, of course, all countries have debt and we are still paying, but the IMF does not get more on our internal situation, the difference is that these debts do not interfere with anything in% of GDP we spend on education, health, previson social issues. These institutions are not strong enough to decide which policies take or not.
These debts were contracted by neoliberal policies in past years and are a lesson not to continue. Unfortunately for the world economy, Europe remains a neoliberal economy and that means that these years will sell fewer products to you because you do not have the pay.
When one is in charge of their policies must first decide on its internal situation, in your citizens that are the fundamental reason of any policy, so that once the economy takes strength to repay their debts and not fall again. And that the IMF does not understand, because it first to the creditors and not to countries that pay for it.

The numbers speak for themselves,

British GDP growth in 2011 is only 0.7% compared with 8% of Argentina. and external debt is greater than 80% of GDP in UK compared to 40% of Argentine GDP.

What system works best?

And after all, Is a shame for all the british that Sarkozy needs to pulling to the British ear, in the EU, to downgrade your debt.

a pleasure to talk to you
29 Lord Ton (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 05:24 am Report abuse
At least the British pay their debts !

And I wouldn't believe Indec if I were you :-)
30 stick up your junta (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 09:58 am Report abuse
We have all the resources for self-sufficiency, food,

Is that so
Dying from hunger in food-exporting Argentina
31 Sir Rodderick Bodkin (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 12:17 pm Report abuse
Personal attacks?. i was stating the obvious.
I rest my case.
32 Valle Ricardo (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 12:25 pm Report abuse
7 BJK (#) Dec 31st, 2011 - 07:27 pm Report abuse
I think Argentina will recover the islands by means of an economic war, by a constant and growing regional economic blockade of the islands.

this modal has been proven to work.....Cuba, North Korea to name just two. What an idiotic reply.
33 ChrisR (#) Jan 02nd, 2012 - 02:12 pm Report abuse
31 Sir Rodderick Bodkin

In that event (that you rest your case) I accept that you have no case, you failed miserably to understand the concept (and facts therein) of my post.
34 BJK (#) Jan 03rd, 2012 - 12:02 am Report abuse
There are more than 20% of the childrens in UK living in poverty, in north ireland there are more than 28%! and 1.4 million people will fall below the poverty line

but UK is the first world!, is the country of her majesty and his homosexual son. The Queen is drinking a cup of tea in a golden cup in her castle while thousands of children grow in the midst of poverty. and more than 2 million people are unemployed. That's a shame.
The worst thing is that the citizens pay taxes for it, ha ha. It is like the medieval era.
35 Tigre2000 (#) Jan 03rd, 2012 - 08:12 pm Report abuse
Its so funny seeing these so called Falkland people making comments
on thsi site when they are not even members of the Mercosur there
only purpose on this site is to whinge and bitch like a bunch of pansies lol.
I guess you Britts like living in cold rainy places make you feel at home right?
36 Frank (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 06:54 am Report abuse
@35(toothless)tigre.... what exactly has the Mercopress South Atlantic Newsagency got to do with Mercosur??????? and v/v?????
37 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 10:43 am Report abuse
Frank, don't rise to it, he/she's just trolling.
38 mendoc (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 07:01 pm Report abuse
34 BJK (#)
Poverty in Argentina is a falling down adobe house. 2 light bulbs and enough money to buya very small amount of food.
Poverty in the UK is not having an Iphone or Xbox.
The two are not comparable.
39 Valle Ricardo (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 07:14 pm Report abuse
38 mendoc (#)

----I think many argentines in poverty would become British as soon as they see what “poverty” is in the UK.

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