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leon21

The Falklands War

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Came across this Falklands War Medal for sale at a local Auction  the other day, first one I've seen, this medal

was awarded to a crew member of H.M.S. Intrepid and had a guide price of £500 to £800.

Here's a couple of photo's for anyone who hasn't seen one

364[1].jpg

Falklands Medal.jpg

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Intrepid was the second of her class of purpose built LPDs used by Royal Navy. She was built in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, at the John Brown & Company yard and was launched in 1964 before undergoing trials and commissioning in 1967. She was the last ship built by John Brown & Co for the Royal Navy. Intrepid became the first Royal Navy warship equipped with satellite communication equipment in 1969. As a result of defence cuts, Intrepid went into reserve in 1976, being brought back into active service in 1979 to allow Fearless to be refitted.

It was announced in 1981 that the two LPDs were to be deleted, with Intrepid undergoing decommissioning in 1982 at the outbreak of the Falklands War. After decommissioning, the Royal Navy was due to sell Intrepid to Argentina. However, Intrepid was brought back into commission, with her ship's company recalled by Commander Bryn Telfer the Executive Officer, and Malcolm MacLeod, the crew gladly returned to form part of the task group committed to Operation Corporate, the British effort to recapture the islands. Intrepid was commanded by Captain Peter Dingemans.

With elements of 3 Commando Brigade embarked, Intrepid took part in the amphibious landings at San Carlos Water. HMS Intrepid was under attack in San Carlos Water on 25 May 1982, with a few fatalities, mainly Royal Marines. Nordic Ferry was also under attack. She came under heavy air attack once again during the operation, and was the main participant in the landings at Bluff Cove on 6 June. Margaret Thatcher and Sandy Woodward commended the efforts of the ships involved in the San Carlos attacks. The Intrepid would be the last ship to arrive, the last piece in the jigsaw, and so all the timings depended on her. As well as being one of the warships used for imprisoning the Argentinian prisoners of war, the surrender ending the Falklands conflict was signed on Intrepid's deck.

 

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Probably less well known is:

 

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A clear case of where Argentina overestimated it's own grandeur, and underestimated it's oponent, sheer ignorance on the part of the Argentine military. They should have known not to challenge a traditional and unsurpassed old seapower with a long experience of land and maritime warfare. The initial capture of the islands was easy but they should have known in the end that it would not pay off.

The sinking of the "Eduardo Belgrano" by an English U-Boot.

image.png.6b42099907d14fb5cf866c1205d68a10.png

 

Smile please Gaucho 🙂

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Yes I agree Fritz, they also underestimated the British Prime Minister. 

   

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"Change of Rules",  claims she, would never admit being wrong.

 

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“It was absolutely not a war crime. It was an act of war, lamentably legal.”

The above was said by the Belgrano’s captain, Hector Bonzo, in an interview two years before his death in 2009.

Since that fateful afternoon on May 2, 1982, the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser Belgrano by the British nuclear-powered submarine Conqueror has been regarded as one of the most controversial events of the Falklands War. Many British critics of the action, which resulted in the deaths of 323 Argentinian sailors, see the sinking as a war crime. In their eyes, the action was a disgraceful act of provocation by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher designed to escalate the conflict. However, it doesn’t quite work that way. The Belgrano was sunk outside the 200-nautical-mile total exclusion zone around the Falklands. Exclusion zones are historically declared for the benefit of neutral vessels; during war, under international law, the heading and location of a belligerent naval vessel has no bearing on its status. In addition, the captain of the Belgrano, Héctor Bonzo, has testified that the attack was legitimate as did the Argentine government in 1994. Though the ship was outside the 200-mile exclusion zone, both sides understood that this was no longer the limit of British action.

On 23 April a message was passed via the Swiss Embassy in Buenos Aires to the Argentine government, it read:

“In announcing the establishment of a Maritime Exclusion Zone around the Falkland Islands, Her Majesty’s Government made it clear that this measure was without prejudice to the right of the United Kingdom to take whatever additional measures may be needed in the exercise of its right of self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. In this connection Her Majesty’s Government now wishes to make clear that any approach on the part of Argentine warships, including submarines, naval auxiliaries or military aircraft, which could amount to a threat to interfere with the mission of British Forces in the South Atlantic will encounter the appropriate response. All Argentine aircraft, including civil aircraft engaged in surveillance of these British forces, will be regarded as hostile and are liable to be dealt with accordingly.”

Interviews conducted by Martin Middlebrook for his book, The Fight For The Malvinas, indicated that Argentine Naval officers understood the intent of the message was to indicate that any ships operating near the exclusion zone could be attacked. Argentine Rear Admiral Allara, who was in charge of the task force that the Belgrano was part of, said “After that message of 23 April, the entire South Atlantic was an operational theatre for both sides. We, as professionals, said it was just too bad that we lost the Belgrano“. The modified rules of engagement permitted the engagement of Belgrano outside the exclusion zone before the sinking.

In his book, One Hundred Days, Admiral Woodward makes it clear that he regarded the Belgrano as part of the southern part of a pincer movement aimed at the task force, and had to be sunk quickly “The speed and direction of an enemy ship can be irrelevant, because both can change quickly. What counts is his position, his capability and what I believe to be his intention.”

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.

conqueror.jpg

HMS Conqueror returns home. It was commanded by 36-year-old Commander Christopher Wreford-Brown. Built in 1971, it carried a crew of more than 100

conquerer2.jpg

HMS CONQUEROR Churchill-class Nuclear Powered Fleet Submarine

 

hmsconqueror.jpg

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The "Belgrano" was said to be moving in the opposite direction when the attack came, away from the "Zone", which can be said to be an attempted withdrawal possibly due to an unfavourable situation. Apart from the ship's artillery, an old capital ship was much too vulnerable in a such a situation at that time and of little use, where opposing submarines, aircraft and armed helicopters were involved.

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Here's a very good documentary, well worth watching about the first Operation Black Buck.  Operations Black Buck 1 to Black Buck 7 were a series of seven extremely long-range ground attack missions by Royal Air Force.  Vulcan bombers of the RAF Waddington Wing, comprising aircraft from Nos 44, 50 and 101 Squadrons against Argentine positions in the Falkland Islands, of which five missions completed attacks. The objectives of all missions were to attack Port Stanley Airport and its associated defences. The raids, at almost 6,600 nautical miles and 16 hours for the return journey, were the longest ranged bombing raids in history at that time. 

 

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The Vulcan B.1 was first delivered to the RAF in 1956 deliveries of the improved Vulcan B.2 started in 1960. The B.2 featured more powerful engines, a larger wing, an improved electrical system and electronic countermeasures  many were modified to accept the Blue Steel missile. As a part of the V-force, the Vulcan was the backbone of the United Kingdom's airborne nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War. Although the Vulcan was typically armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina in 1982.

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Similar in silhouette to the Concorde!

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