Tuesday, March 6th 2012 - 05:16 UTC

Argentina announces a museum for the ARA Belgrano marines killed during the Falklands conflict

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez says a new museum dedicated to the Falklands/Malvinas Islands will honour Argentine marines killed trying to reclaim them from Britain 30 years ago.

ARA Belgrano was a light cruiser, former USS Phoenix

Major Thorp with Falklands’ lawmaker Jan Cheek (Photo: Penguin News)

The Argentine president announced details of the 20 million dollars museum on Monday. She said it would honour the more than 300 marines killed in the sinking of the warship ARA Belgrano on 2 May 1982.

Cristina Fernandez confirmed the museum would be in the former Navy Mechanics School that served as a detention and torture centre during Argentina's 1976 to 1983 military dictatorship. She said its inauguration was set for August 2013

The former Navy barracks already host a museum dedicated to the thousands of disappeared and human rights abuses victims during the last military Junta.

The ARA General Belgrano was a light cruiser, formerly USS Phoenix, and was sunk by the nuclear powered submarine HMS Conqueror with the loss of 323 lives, almost half of Argentine deaths in the Falklands’ conflict. She was escorted at the time by two destroyers, ARA Piedra Buena and ARA Bouchard, as Task Group 79.3.

The vessel was the second to have been named after the Argentine founding father Manuel Belgrano (1770–1820). The first vessel was a 7.069-ton armoured cruiser completed in 1899.

The order to sink the Belgrano triggered a controversy that persists since according to reports of the time she was leaving the exclusion zone imposed by the British surrounding the Falkland Islands when she was torpedoed.

However Admiral Enrique Molina Pico, head of the Argentine Navy in the 1990s, wrote in a letter to La Nación, published in the 2 May 2005 edition, that the Belgrano was part of an operation that posed a real threat to the British task force, that it was holding off for tactical reasons, and that being outside of the exclusion zone was unimportant as it was a warship on tactical mission. This is the official position of the Argentine Navy, he said.

Likewise in late 2011, David Thorp, a former military intelligence officer who led the signals intercept team aboard the HMS Intrepid, released the book ‘The Silent Listener’ detailing the role of intelligence in the Falklands War.

The book revealed that despite the fact that the ARA Belgrano was observed by HMS Conqueror sailing away from the Falklands at the time of the attack, it had actually been ordered to proceed to a rendezvous point within the Exclusion Zone, to engage in a pincer attack.

A report prepared by Thorp for PM Thatcher several months after the incident stated the destination of the vessel was not to her home port as the Argentine Junta stated, but was not released because the Prime Minister did not want to compromise British signals intelligence capabilities.

David Thorp recently visited the Falkland Islands on a cruise.


46 comments Feed

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1 brit abroad (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 06:00 am Report abuse
Oh my God! She intends to add-on to, a museum dedicated to those who fell at the hands of the Junta, with a museum dedicated to those who served under the Junta!

Is that not a little unsettling for Argentinians?
2 Britninja (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 06:48 am Report abuse
She should hang onto that $20 million for when the bailiffs come knocking at Casa Rosada.
3 Xect (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 07:09 am Report abuse
'In the former Navy Mechanics School that served as a detention and torture centre'

Lol! You really couldn't make it up....

In all seriousness though that money could be used to help the many in need in Argentina as opposed to that latest ridiculous political statement.
4 Martin Woodhead (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 07:21 am Report abuse
It was on a tactical mission.
Yes sending a ww2 battle cruiser with a conscript crew against modern professional crewed warships.
on paper it was a threat.
5 Lord Ton (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 07:41 am Report abuse
If you want to start a shooting war, then you have to take what you get.

The conscripts were on the Islands, not the Belgrano.

Still $20 million - nothing better to put the money to ?
6 A.J.Rimmer (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 07:47 am Report abuse
@4 Idiot, the Belgrano was sunk with a WW2 Torpedo. The servicemen onboard that ship were not conscripts, but train Sailors and Marines.

Still making excuses, pitiful.
7 Ozgood (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 08:30 am Report abuse
This is just cheap publicity and CFK will follw her pal Chavez into political oblivion soon. She should rather fix up things at home first - keep the home fires burning and the wolf from the door.
8 Ragemar (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 08:45 am Report abuse
She'd be better spending the money on completing her sex change.
9 The Cestrian (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 08:50 am Report abuse
Comical....you literally couldnt make this up. Maybe in the UK we should start commemorating all the wars we lost - ha, ha.

10 toooldtodieyoung (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 09:27 am Report abuse
9 The Cestrian (#)

No.....it's not funny. Remember that these young marines did not ask for this war, they were sacrificed by a despot to win support for a corrupt Government.

Yes, I know war is a b*tch but I hope that in enterance to this museum there is a BIG banner saying “Sorry” to each and every one of the families of those sailors.
11 Teaboy2 (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 09:28 am Report abuse
Personally i have nothing against them wanting to dedicate a museum in the memory of those that lost their lifes, but as no doubt you the rest of you will agree, it is ironic for them to have the museum in the same place where argentines were tortured and killed by the junta.
12 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 09:59 am Report abuse
KFC: “Here in Argentina we are going to celebrate the worst and most predictable example of naval strategy in that humanity has ever seen.”
Normal Human: “Unnecessary museum is unnecessary”
13 Idlehands (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 09:59 am Report abuse
A museum to remember the dead is fine - but using the dead for political purposes today is very crass.
14 lsolde (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 10:19 am Report abuse
Surely she could find a better use for $20million.
lt would buy an awful lot of clothing, shoes & food for deserving poor.
15 Furry-Fat-Feck (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 10:20 am Report abuse
It depends on the culture I think. In the UK, politicians will always try to find ways to politicise something but their ideas do not usually get past 'first ideas' because it simply doesn't work here. We can 'usually' see bulshit for what it is, only the very best and most subtle attempts ever come close.

But as KFC has repeatedly shown over the last few weeks, she is a rank amateur at politics and thanks to the indoctrination of children in school and the skewing of facts at policy level, the ordinary folk in Argentina know less about what is going on in their country than the world beyond their borders.

How can anybody with a right mind and a balanced viewpoint think that the sinking of a protagonist warship, in a war zone in a time of war by the opposing forces was an unconsionable war crime?

After 30 years you'd think they could grow up and move on but the government there won't let them. Argentina is economically and politically retarded and they think they are in a Golden Age.

Astonishing. Truly astonishing.
16 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 10:39 am Report abuse
Martin Woodhead, like the Argentine airforce the crew of the Belgrano were not conscripts.

They were professional sailors, only the Army and any ground based infantry roles such as the marines and Air force soldiers were conscripts.
17 Idlehands (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 10:52 am Report abuse
Does it really matter? - the Belgrano had big guns with a range greater than anything in the task force.
18 malen (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 12:00 pm Report abuse
The musuem is of MALVINAS,read well we honour all of Malvinas
and whats the problem with that, you make silly movies and silly books and silly visits of princess, who cares about your oppinnion?????
19 Idlehands (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 12:16 pm Report abuse
It's a shame the veterans weren't venerated as heroes when the UK dropped them off back home after their little excursion. They were shunned and hidden from view as an embarrassment for years until it became expedient to worship them.
20 Teaboy2 (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 12:17 pm Report abuse
@18 obviously you do care what we say along with your Argentine government - Otherwise you would not have bothered responding in the first place! Are you getting upset with us for expressing our opinions under freedom of speach, which is something thats becoming a limited allowance in argentina? Next you will have to buy freedom of speech online tokens, to put in your computers before your allowed to post anything online. But then that will only work if you have enough electricity tokens for the electric lol.

In fact thats a point malen. How do you feel knowing that 20 Millions Dollars is being spend on a muesuem when it could be used to subsidise electricity companies and prevent the 500% rise in electiricy prices? Lol

I think CFK can ill afford to spend money so unwisely just for political gain and to distract argentinians from the coming economic meltdown. Jesus your country never learns does it, you never saw it coming in 2001 and your ignorant to it, despite our warnings this time round.

P.s. No such place as the Malvinas, only the FALKLANDS.
21 Martin Woodhead (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 12:25 pm Report abuse
been better off treating the returning vetrans with a modicum of respect.
the belgranos guns might have been bigger but unless the crews regualry fired them they were doomed seeing as they neither had sonar working or watertight compartments closed.
the professionalism has to be questioned.
tough if you go to go war iklike that.
22 malen (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 12:28 pm Report abuse
Its your problem what we do??....no I dont care about your oppinnion.........continue thinking more and more
how much cots the official visit and vacations of your princess with his helicopters, special troops to protect him from......er, and the arriving of militar ships etc??
23 yankeeboy (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 12:39 pm Report abuse
Probably like most of the announcements of planned construction, announced, money allocated, all stolen, never built but still talking about it 10 years later.
Ask them what happened to the train to Chile or the bullet train to Rosario or even better the South American World Trade Center which was to be the tallest building in SA built on reclaimed land in the Rio De La Plata. Time and again they make big announcements then nothing ever happens. I can't understand why they aren't embarrassed? It is a strange psyche they have there.
24 toooldtodieyoung (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 01:03 pm Report abuse
22 malen

I take it that you are referring to PRINCE William and his routine deployment to the Falkand Islands as part of his job ( as a Search and rescue pilot )

Look I don't care, you are entitled to have your own cry-baby whiny-bum opinion that is your right but please get your facts straight before you set aside more time to humiliate yourself in public again ok?

Lots of Love

from the U.K
25 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 01:27 pm Report abuse
It's going to be just like the Fantasia ride at Disneyland, because Fantasia and Malvinas only exist in people's imaginations. Except it'll all be on Kirchner's land and she'll make $12million out of the £20million

Meanwhile, in the real world, argentinian unmapped minefields are being cleared in the Falklands.
26 stick up your junta (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 01:42 pm Report abuse
If Turkey neck is nice to us, maybe we can let them have one back for their Museum

Captured Pucara's
Captured Pucaras on Port Stanley on the end of the war.
British army captured 11 Pucaras. Six were taken to England and are now in museums

27 MAP (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 01:48 pm Report abuse
Maggie Thatcher defined the exclusion zone, so that the task force wouldn't be attacked on the way to Malvinas by Argentina... and if it did so continental Argentina would become a target. She did not hesitate to break her own rules to make the headlines... the justice of men failed with Thatcher, but surely she won't be able to escape Divine justice.
28 Conqueror (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 01:55 pm Report abuse
Should we see this in context? From 1982 until 2011, argies said the Belgrano was outside the Exclusion Zone. But that wasn' true. It was inside. Might explain why they couldn't find it later. Argies said it was headed for its home port. It wasn't. It was headed for a rendezvous WITHIN the Exclusion Zone. Argies said those crew “lost” were “new, inexperienced conscripts”. Now they are marines. Don't know how argies crew their warships. But 300 marines on one vessel? Sounds like part of a landing force to me.

Is it possible that 20 million dollars might be better spent on improving the conditions of the occupants of the “villas miserias”? Water and electricity would be an idea. So would sanitation. That means no crapping in the street.

Can we assume that this new museum will be placed on the list of mandatory locations to be visited by official VIP visitors? They might never have to be told that your annual inflation rate has reached 25%.

@22 By the way, we don't care about your “oppinnions” either. The difference between us and you spending money is that we can afford it. Have you tried telling CFK that money should be spent on citizens first? Instead of being siphoned into her bank account?
29 malen (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 02:10 pm Report abuse
Im absolutely entitled to all of my own oppinnions and do take charge of them....if you get angry with them its your problem
30 Martin Woodhead (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 02:17 pm Report abuse
I may know where an argentine rifle is you can have for your display plus

the raf have a chinook and a puma helicopter they are still using.
pirates rock.
31 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 02:46 pm Report abuse
@27 Just be happy that she didn't nuke you and shut up.

@29 no one is stopping you from having an opinion, and no one is getting angry, other than argentinians who have some sovereignty issue with some islands that don't exist called 'malvinasland' or similar.

@28 you don't fill your boats up with conscripts. You put them on the ground to be cannon fodder. The belgrano was hanging around waiting to do a pincer movement on the british fleet, then it sank, and then the pincer failed and all the Argie ships fled. It wasn't going home, and it was unlikely to have been filled with anyone other than trained strategically deficient sailors and some marines.

@26 Maybe if they attack again, we should wage one of those old war re-creations and fight them with
32 PirateLove (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 04:35 pm Report abuse
What has become evident is Argentine Government supporters are infltrating the internet on mass in social media sites, News comments /Polls, Youtube etc..bla bla
yet they all have the same disturbing scripted rhetoric
”Take some Rewritten history mix in comical mis-information, and blatant lies, stir in a touch of blind denial and fascist ignorance, add a teaspoon of Uk related Hate and a knob of CAPS ON(optional), put on slow boil for few weeks, before topping off with a huge ass slice of good old fashioned CFK DICTATORSHIP”

recipe is also online at www.argentina.gob.ar/Foreign_Policy/Falklands
33 Conqueror (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 06:33 pm Report abuse
@32 Won't work. As they well know, we can wipe the turds off the face of the planet. I wish I could be around in 2100 to hear the words “There used to be a cuntry there called argentina. It was found necessary to 'remove' it”.
34 ChrisR (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 08:14 pm Report abuse
27 MAP

Usual lies and obfurscation by a whinging Argie.

Get the facts right: the exclusion zone was for COMMERCIAL shipping who would otherwise have been in International Waters.

Once your cowardly attack took place we were at war. ANY Argentina capital ship, submarine or even a rowing boat was a legitimate target ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

Don't take my word for it, look at what the captain of the Belgrano said time and time again: it was what any combatant should have done. There was at least one honourable Argentinian around then.

You dishour the memory of the sailors who died in the service of their country. I have no doubt whatsover that cowards like you will run away if another conflict occurs between the UK and Argentina. Just try and keep up with Old Turkeyneck because she will be out in front.

Despicable comment.
35 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 08:30 pm Report abuse
@34 It was as simple as the Belgrano was quite rightly deemed to be an agressor and a threat, because of this the protagonists moved from underneath it, and sank it in order to remove the threat to the fleet.

The statements about inexperienced children being press-ganged into working on the Belgrano is highly unlikely, and simply propaganda. Modern ships require a professional crew.
36 lsolde (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 09:32 pm Report abuse
@28 Conqueror,
When they say “marines”, l think they mean sailors.
So it would be the crew that they are talking about.
37 Alexei (#) Mar 06th, 2012 - 09:42 pm Report abuse
Sick timing for political effect. Ghoul Fernandez is worse than Thatcher.
38 Stefan (#) Mar 07th, 2012 - 04:28 am Report abuse
Isn't this like Germany setting up a museum for the Hindenburg?
39 ChrisR (#) Mar 07th, 2012 - 09:36 am Report abuse
38 Stefan

Not really, German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg was not a combatant in a war. It set fire in 1937.
40 J.A. Roberts (#) Mar 07th, 2012 - 09:41 am Report abuse
MAP 27. Incorrect. The exclusion zone was for the benefit of neutral shipping. Argentine warships anywhere in the world going in any direction were fair game.
41 The Falklands are British (#) Mar 07th, 2012 - 08:46 pm Report abuse
34 and 40

That's quite correct. The UK and Argentina were at war. The UK could've bombed argentinian soil if they chose to. ..and Argentina could've bombed the UK if they were ABLE to. Chuckle chuckle :)
42 British_Kirchnerist (#) Mar 08th, 2012 - 12:16 pm Report abuse
There are many people in Britain, perhaps a majority, who oppose Thatcher's decision to sink the belgrano when steaming away from the area of battle, really just as a publicity stunt; in Parliament at the time Tam Dalyell MP called Thatcher a liar and a killer, and at the next election the Prime Minister was berated about it by a voter on television. Of course the Sun supported the crime all the way with its infamous “Gotcha” headline, but now we can say “Gotcha” right back to the Murdoch press now that the phone hacking scandal has sunk its creduibility =)
43 ChrisR (#) Mar 08th, 2012 - 03:47 pm Report abuse
42 British_Kirchnerist

And well you should know, because the stupid woman has just died, that she was discredited about her claim.

But that doesn't fit well with the Argie lies does it?
44 cLOHO (#) Mar 08th, 2012 - 04:51 pm Report abuse
The captain of the Belgrano has said that it was entirely legal for the RN to sink his ship. I think he may know a little bit about what the mission of his ship dont you???? your just guessing unless you were in the area at the time?
45 lsolde (#) Mar 08th, 2012 - 11:03 pm Report abuse
lt was war, what do you expect.
They tried to sabotage our ships in Gibraltar
A long, long way from any exclusion zone.
46 cLOHO (#) Mar 09th, 2012 - 07:13 pm Report abuse
Admiral Enrique Molina Pico, head of the Argentine Navy in the 1990s, wrote in a letter to La Nación, published in the 2 May 2005 edition,[26] that the Belgrano was part of an operation that posed a real threat to the British task force, that it was holding off for tactical reasons, and that being outside of the exclusion zone was unimportant as it was a warship on tactical mission. This is the official position of the Argentine Navy.[27]

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