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Falklands and the thirty year rule


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I've not seen much mentioned about it so I'm being pessimistic, but does the thirty year rule apply for the calendar year, or does it take effect at the end of the calendar year? In other words are all (all?) the Falklands documents from 1982 being released January 2012 or January 2013?

 

NTM

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/8965405/Belgrano-was-heading-to-the-Falklands-secret-papers-reveal.html

 

Belgrano was heading to the Falklands, secret papers reveal

Top secret papers are set to prove that the warship Belgrano was heading into the Falkland's exclusion zone when it was sunk, and not heading back to port as the Argentinians claimed.

 

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent

 

8:00AM GMT 26 Dec 2011

 

For decades debate and recrimination has raged over where the ship was heading when it was torpedoed by a Royal Navy submarine.

 

Britain received international criticism after the sinking after the Argentine Junta announced that the warship had been returning to its home port and was outside the 200 mile exclusion zone imposed by Whitehall.

 

But Major David Thorp, who spent 34 years working as a signals expert in military intelligence, has disclosed for the first time that he was asked to carry out a trawl of all the intelligence on the sinking at the direct request of Margaret Thatcher a few months after the end of the war.

 

He was ordered to compile a report for the Prime Minister called “The Sinking of the Belgrano” that has never been published.

 

From his own signals intercepts and those from other Government agencies, he proved that the Argentine cruiser was heading into the exclusion zone.

 

Major Thorp was in charge of a top secret signals interception section hidden on the amphibious warship Intrepid as it steamed with the Task Force.

 

Around Ascension Island, 4,000 miles from the Falklands, his team began picking up naval communications sent to the Argentine fleet which they were easily able to decipher.

 

The report states that in late April 1982, they intercepted a message sent from naval headquarters ordering the Belgrano and its escorts to a grid reference within the exclusion zone and not back to base as the Argentines later claimed.

 

The Belgrano was sunk by two torpedoes fired by the hunter-killer submarine Conqueror on May 2 with the loss of 323 lives a number of miles outside the exclusion zone.

 

“For some reason they decided on a rendezvous point still within the exclusion zone,” Major Thorp said. “Whether they were trying to raise a thumb at us I don’t know. At the time I thought it was strange thinking why didn’t they go straight into port?”

 

In his new book, The Silent Listener, Major Thorp wrote: “The findings of my final report stated the destination of the vessel was not to her home port as the Argentine Junta stated but the objective of the ship was to relocate to a prearranged RV within the exclusion zone.”

 

Despite the report being read by Mrs Thatcher she never disclosed the information either in Parliament or elsewhere possibly because she did not want to reveal Britain’s eavesdropping capabilities.

 

But during her infamous BBC exchange with the schoolteacher Diana Gould who confronted her on the sinking Mrs Thatcher made an intriguing reference to the report saying: "One day, all of the facts, in about 30 years time, will be published." Mrs Gould died earlier this month.

 

In recent years the Argentine navy has accepted that the sinking of the Belgrano was a legitimate act of war.

 

In his book, that was cleared by the security services, Major Thorp also discloses for the first time how the British code-cracking operation gave the force a significant advantage.

 

Shortly before the Battle of Goose Green, Lt Col “H” Jones, the commander of 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment, boarded Intrepid after hearing about the eavesdroppers through SAS colleagues.

 

“That morning we had picked up 10 grid references on intercepts and H looked at the map and realised that they were his own troops’ locations. He said “bloody hell we are sharing the same hill as the enemy.’”

 

“He wanted to know the strengths and weaknesses of the Argentines, then we looked at calibre of people on ground and he came to the conclusion that perhaps 600 Paras were worth 1,500 Argentines.”

 

The intelligence gave the commanding officer the “peace of mind” to start the battle that would lead in his own death, a posthumous Victoria Cross award and ultimately victory in the campaign.

 

Required photo for any discussion of the Belgrano:

 

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Its easily resolved, all they have to do is dive on the wreck and find which direction the bow was pointing in....

 

:)

 

Not necessarily conclusive as she was powerless before sinking and would have rolled to the sea. Nat Geo tried to find the wreck but failed apparently:

 

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/03/0314_030314_belgrano2.html

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The Argentinians consider the sinking legitimate, so I don't undertand all the heartburn.

UK domestic politics mate. The rights & wrongs aren't important, what's important is that it provides the assorted Lefties and other Haters of Thatcher a stick with which to beat their political opponents.

 

Interestingly I saw the Belgrano business crop up in a discussion on another forum, and an RN bod (IIRC) said that it didn't make any difference which way the Belgrano was heading because the Exclusion Zone only applied to neutral merchant ships; Argentine military vessels were legally fair game anywhere including Argentine ports, and the RN were only prevented from so doing in an attempt to keep the lid on things. Dunno if it was actually the case but I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

 

BillB

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Hmm, I thought when she took the torp in the bow it came straight off, but of course you are right, even severed structures can float for a while.

 

Interesting they had a job finding her, I was under the impression reading from the incident that Conqueror had a job to engage because the water was quite shallow, and were worried the Destroyers would pick them up.

That would be the destroyers that legged it and left the Belgrano's crew to drown, yes? :huh:

 

BillB

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That would be the destroyers that legged it and left the Belgrano's crew to drown, yes?

 

BillB

 

Standard fare after 16th July 1914 when this Weddigen chap sank HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy when they stopped to pick up survivors of HMS Aboukir. IIRC deaths were mostly due to exposure.

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Standard fare after 16th July 1914 when this Weddigen chap sank HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy when they stopped to pick up survivors of HMS Aboukir. IIRC deaths were mostly due to exposure.

Indeed, but the in the same discussion somebody claimed that the Conqueror somehow let the escorts know it would not interfere with rescue. OTOH I can see why the Argentine commanders might have been a tad untrusting of Perfidious Albion's representatives in the circumstances tho. :)

 

BillB

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No fear. The Argies want a rerun.

I think "the Argies ruling class are doing their routine sabre rattling to distract their hoi polloi from the state of their economy but not much more" would be a bit more accurate given the state of the Argentine economy and armed forces. :)

 

BillB

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Well at least they have half a chance of winning this time. <_<

How so? There's been a detailed discussion on AARSE about this recently which strongly suggests that the opposite is true, the Daily Heil's recent hysterical shit stirring not withstanding.

 

BillB

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I think "the Argies ruling class are doing their routine sabre rattling to distract their hoi polloi from the state of their economy but not much more" would be a bit more accurate given the state of the Argentine economy and armed forces.

 

BillB

 

Don't forget they now live in fear of the US Cancer Machine too....

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How so? There's been a detailed discussion on AARSE about this recently which strongly suggests that the opposite is true, the Daily Heil's recent hysterical shit stirring not withstanding.

 

BillB

 

 

With Chinese help, they now have a carrier!

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I understand that SSNs of that era (and perhaps still do) have an underwater telephone, so they could communicate with other vessels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_telephone

 

OTOH, I somehow doubt Conqueror would have been using that in a combat zone....

I wondered about that too, but you did mention Whitehall micro management above, and I wouldn't put any idiocy past them. Like bragging about how the Argentines were setting their bomb fuses wrongly, for example. Or announcing major attacks hours before they went in... :rolleyes:

 

BillB

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Mind you, that is pretty much what they did last time and look what happened. I dont disagree about their armed forces, I just thing that perhaps we are not much better off either. This time round we wouldnt even have Nimrod, and half the tanker force is worn out.

Well we didn't have Nimrod last time round either mate. :) Fair one, but while I'm no expert AIUI they have radar (& SAMs) on the FI now, and the Typhoons are well equipped in that area too. Plus the BA and RAF at least have been on continuous live ops of one kind or another for the better part of 20 years now, which beats IS work in NI and playing at it in Germany hands down I should've thought. And a full infantry battalion+ on the ground rather than a platoon and some walrus and penguins. :)

 

BillB

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But assuming that the Argies seize the islands, just like 30 years ago, how exactly would Britain throw them out? Would it still be possible?

But why would you assume the Argentines would be capable of seizing the FI in the first place? AIUI the Argentine navy doesn't have the ships to carry out an amphib landing any more, and preventing such a development has been the whole point of maintaining a "proper" garrison down there for the last three decades. Prevention is better than cure and all that.

 

If it did happen then I suspect they'd find a way to muddle thru in the same way they did last time - it should't have been possible then, either. :) It's the British way don'cha know, and I believe the EU has officially recognised the Falklands as bona fide British territory so Johnny Gaucho would also be risking getting on the wrong side of Brussels...and a good war with a second rate opponent would do wonders for the European economy! :)

 

BillB

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But assuming that the Argies seize the islands, just like 30 years ago, how exactly would Britain throw them out? Would it still be possible?

 

Should they manage to take the islands, the Brits still retain most of the capabilities to evict them (landing ships, troops, subs), the only doubt would be a certain lack of air cover, but the RN is much better at AA today than in 1982, while the FAA/COAN is much weaker than it was then.

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Thats not what IVE heard. ;)

http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/793/

 

Malicious propaganda!

 

Finns were not vikings and share no linguistical community. We have been peace-loving people with no raiding, no sir! That was Norwegians, I swear!

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Malicious propaganda!

 

Finns were not vikings and share no linguistical community. We have been peace-loving people with no raiding, no sir! That was Norwegians, I swear!

That's right, you guys were heathens back then.... oh, wait... ^_^

 

/R

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OH, FOR FCUKS SAKE! Belgrano was a combatant vessel of a nation which had initiated hostilities with the UK government. Who gives a flying leap at a rolling donut WHERE she was, or where she was going? The Brits would have been within their rights to sink the damned thing at the docks. I cannot believe the whining, wailing, and gnashing of teeth over the sinking of the Belgrano.

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Rickard is right...one of the last countries in Europe to convert to christianity. My second name "Tapio" is still old "god of forests", personified in bear.

 

We peeved Swedes so much, that they decided to do something about it, in 1035 CE.

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