Dutch spies helped GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

When Comms and Sy was having a clear out (1995?) I was going through old docs for secure destruction.

Found some hardback A4 pads, mud stained and dog eared, with free text Spanish and 5 block code and cyco.

Turns out it was raw take from Las Malvinas, some specop or (in those days) EWOP on the Combat Biro.

Discussed it with the Muppet major, agreed it needed kept, bundled up with some other interesting stuff for the Army Museum archive.


Don't know if the Cloggies were looking at tactical comms or something further up the food chain, if the former, those A4 pads were exactly what the link is about!
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Did the Junta get secrets about the U.K. from other countries?
No secrets but the Soviets were reporting to the Argentines as a result of their satellites, high altitude aircraft and their spy trawlers. Maybe from their submarines and Navy as well.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
No secrets but the Soviets were reporting to the Argentines as a result of their satellites, high altitude aircraft and their spy trawlers. Maybe from their submarines and Navy as well.
And the BBC*, who stopped telling us how many Harrier missions had been flown.

"I can't tell you how many Harriers took part, but I counted them out and I counted them all back."

* Might have been ITV who were famous for it. Was it Michael Nicholson or the other one? Can't be arrsed to Google it.

Edit. FFS. Stupid fúcking cúnting twátting speelchucker changed Harriers to Barriers. Caught that one, missed it changing Harrier to Harriet.
 
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goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
And the BBC*, who stopped telling us how many Harriet missions had been flown.

"I can't tell you how many Harriers took part, but I counted them out and I counted them all back."

* Might have been ITV who were famous for it. Was it Michael Nicholson or the other one? Can't be arrsed to Google it.
Yes, that's true - how could I forget the contribution of dear old auntie!
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
And the BBC*, who stopped telling us how many Harrier missions had been flown.

"I can't tell you how many Harriers took part, but I counted them out and I counted them all back."

* Might have been ITV who were famous for it. Was it Michael Nicholson or the other one? Can't be arrsed to Google it.

Edit. FFS. Stupid fúcking cúnting twátting speelchucker changed Harriers to Barriers. Caught that one, missed it changing Harrier to Harriet.
Heh heh!

You'll probably also remember the BBC telling the World about the attack by the Parachute Regiment (and a few Booties) on Darwin - Goose Green when they were only just getting their assault started...
 
And the BBC*, who stopped telling us how many Harrier missions had been flown.

"I can't tell you how many Harriers took part, but I counted them out and I counted them all back."

* Might have been ITV who were famous for it. Was it Michael Nicholson or the other one? Can't be arrsed to Google it.

Edit. FFS. Stupid fúcking cúnting twátting speelchucker changed Harriers to Barriers. Caught that one, missed it changing Harrier to Harriet.
No, it wasn’t Mike Nicholson, that was Brian Hanrahan of the Beeb.
 

TheAssassin

War Hero
And the BBC*, who stopped telling us how many Harrier missions had been flown.

"I can't tell you how many Harriers took part, but I counted them out and I counted them all back."

* Might have been ITV who were famous for it. Was it Michael Nicholson or the other one? Can't be arrsed to Google it.

Edit. FFS. Stupid fúcking cúnting twátting speelchucker changed Harriers to Barriers. Caught that one, missed it changing Harrier to Harriet.
Didn't a newspaper report that Argie torpedos/missiles weren't detonating on impact and the reason why, only for the Argies to read the article and alter the devices so that next time they would detonate on impact?
 

ShortLock

Swinger
Didn't a newspaper report that Argie torpedos/missiles weren't detonating on impact and the reason why, only for the Argies to read the article and alter the devices so that next time they would detonate on impact?
Mortar bombs not fused correctly for soft ground I believe. Can't remember the source though so take with a pinch of salt.
 
I like the Dutch, most of them anyway, lived among them for 5 years, we should beworking very hard to get them onside post bre**t. They are in bed with the Germans and Belgium's at the moment but they have far more in common with us especially as most Dutch hate Germans.

I walked through Isleworth the other day and noticed a sign saying that it was twinned with some place in Pakistan and some other place in Palestine. Why not twin our towns with places that we actually like rather than places that hate us?

Anyway,nice to know that we could count on the Dutchies when more or less, nobody else was interested, particularly NATO and the US (yes i know about the new sidewinder code that made them actually work properly)
 

philc

LE
From the article, with friends like this, bloody Labour, politics before nation was the order of the day and still seems like that.

Yet Argentina figured out that their comms were being eavesdropped upon, which Prof Jacobs attributed to a statement in the House of Commons by then-Labour MP Ted Rowlands, who still sits in the House of Lords as Baron Rowlands to this day. While criticising Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on 3 April 1982 – the day after the invasion – Rowlands told the House:

Last night the Secretary of State for Defence asked "How can we read the mind of the enemy?" I shall make a disclosure. As well as trying to read the mind of the enemy, we have been reading its telegrams for many years. I am sure that many sources are available to the Government, and I do not understand how they failed to anticipate some of the dangers that suddenly loomed on the horizon.

At the time no MPs appeared to notice the significance of Rowlands' "disclosure", as the Hansard record shows. Historian Hugh Bicheno, in his 2006 book Razor's Edge: The Unofficial History of the Falklands War, excoriated Rowlands, writing that "this was the precise equivalent of publicly announcing, during World War II, that the Allies had broken the Enigma system used by the Nazis."
 
Did the Junta get secrets about the U.K. from other countries?
They asked a fe,w but none understood the question due to LACK of a lisp...
 
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AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
They asked a fe,w but none understood the question due to the lisp...
Colonial Spanish does not, unlike Castilian Spanish, utilise a lisp.
 
(snip)

Anyway,nice to know that we could count on the Dutchies when more or less, nobody else was interested, particularly NATO and the US (yes i know about the new sidewinder code that made them actually work properly)
Really? I wonder why John Nott called France "Britain's greatest ally" in the Falklands war? Yes, I know they had a team in Argentina completing the contract for Exocet but this went against Mitterand's embargo and he was fairly livid the team didn't leave. The did provide UK with all the technical assistance they could.

And the US? That country that offered to lend us an aircraft carrier? That changed the orbit of its satellites to provide UK with intelligence? You mentioned the Sidewinder but there was also Stinger.
Reagan might have said the US was going to remain neutral but he gave UK all the assistance it could without being too obvious.
Same with when many of the task force arrived at Ascencion to find underground fuel tanks almost empty.
Which country do you reckon diverted a supertanker to refuel the British ships?
Rather a lot of quiet US assistance given, even down to manpower in Cheltenham.

Still lots of things not talked about but I think you'll find UK got rather a lot of assistance from France and the US even with many in both governments being against it. Jean Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to the UN, being very pro Argy plus some of Mitterand's (a socialist, remember) government.
 

TheAssassin

War Hero
Turns out the Chileans helped out a bit too


Common knowledge, Thatcher and Pinochet were always allies.
From wiki
Relationship with the United Kingdom
Chile was officially neutral during the Falklands War, but Chile's Westinghouse long-range radar that was deployed in the south of the country gave the British task force early warning of Argentinian air attacks. This allowed British ships and troops in the war zone to take defensive action.[100] Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister at the time of the war, said that the day the radar was taken out of service for overdue maintenance was the day Argentinian fighter-bombers bombed the troopships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, leaving 53 dead and many injured. According to Chilean Junta member and former Air Force commander, General Fernando Matthei, Chilean support included military intelligence gathering, radar surveillance, allowing British aircraft to operate with Chilean colours, and facilitating the safe return of British special forces, among other forms of assistance.[101]

In April and May 1982, a squadron of mothballed British Hawker Hunter fighter-bombers departed for Chile, arriving on 22 May and allowing the Chilean Air Force to reform the No. 9 "Las Panteras Negras" Squadron. A further consignment of three frontier surveillance and shipping reconnaissance Canberras left for Chile in October. Some authors have speculated that Argentina might have won the war had the military felt able to employ the elite VIth and VIIIth Mountain Brigades, which remained sitting in the Andes guarding against possible Chilean incursions.[102] Pinochet subsequently visited the UK on more than one occasion.[103] Pinochet's controversial relationship with Thatcher led Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair to mock Thatcher's Conservatives as "the party of Pinochet" in 1999.
 

Dwarf

LE
Didn't a newspaper report that Argie torpedos/missiles weren't detonating on impact and the reason why, only for the Argies to read the article and alter the devices so that next time they would detonate on impact?
Mortar bombs not fused correctly for soft ground I believe. Can't remember the source though so take with a pinch of salt.
Nope, it was their bombs used against ships. Because they came in low the bombs didn't have enough time to fuse correctly and so didn't always explode as designed. The Argie navy curiously did know about this and had the technique of lobbing their bombs to allow sufficient fuse time but because of inter-service rivalry/lack of communication this didn't get passed on to the Air Force.



Also Ardent which suffered constant attacks.
"Still in full control of her engines and steering, but virtually defenceless, Ardent was told to head north, toward Port San Carlos. But at 18:00 Z five Skyhawks approached the frigate and dropped numerous free-fall and retard bombs. A pattern of two to four bombs exploded in the port quarter (aft), while an undetermined number of others which failed to explode penetrated into the ship. Some of the remaining bombs exploded in the water nearby, battering the ship and causing minor flooding in the forward auxiliary machine room."
 

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