14 June 2012

30 Years since the Falklands

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Argentine surrender and the ending of the Falklands War. I'm going to put down some thoughts on the war and its consequences:

  • The Falklands conflict is probably the highest intensity war we have fought since 1945. In Afghanistan we lose one or two soldiers a week. In the Falklands, we had 255 killed in just over six weeks.
  • The failure of the UK to see this coming and take adequate measures to prevent it reflects very badly on the Thatcher government.
  • British forces were not properly equipped for the conflict - they used semi-automatic rifles and ships were inadequately able to defend themselves.
    • Further to this, the key ship in the campaign was Hermes with its large complement of Harriers; a ship that would have been unavailable a couple of years later. Invincible on its own could not have done the job.
  • American support was vital for the British victory in this war - without the AIM-9L Sidewinders and the use of Ascension Island, things would be a lot harder for the British.
  • Mobile land-based anti-shipping missiles are potent indeed.
  • International political opinion no longer accepts the resolution of territorial disputes by armed force.
  • Perception is nine-tenths of a war - the BLACK BUCK missions had a psychological effect far greater than their military one, as did the sinking of General Belgrano.
  • "Short victorious wars" usually turn out to be anything but - this is a case in point.
  • The Argentine military does not now have the capability to launch a successful invasion of the islands - there is also no political will for an actual war in Argentina over this matter.
  • Apart from the Falklands War, there are very few conflicts in British history that have actually started from a direct attack on our territory - we mostly come to the aid of allies.
I'll end this by saying that the casualties on both sides of a junta's attempt to boost its own popularity should not be forgotten. The Argentine generals have a lot of blood on their hands.

1 comment:

jams o donnell said...

Agreed all the blood is on the junta's hands