Dutch spies helped GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

In retrospect I feel that most of the immediate South American countries did something to aid the UK in 1982 even if their true allegiances lay with our other enemies.

Brazil allowed the Vulcan to land (ok, we got it back eventually) and Uruguay landed the Argentine prisoners - two countries that I would never have expected to assist at the time - and Chile helped in a number of ways, certainly over and above the what the Thatcher / Pinochet relationship spawned. The other Latin American countries either were too far away or didn't have anything to give, such as Paraguay.

Yes, the Dutch supported in the best way they could although that could apply equally to other friendly European countries, not forgetting that the Iron Curtain was still in place.

As for France, they gave us considerable aid having supplied Argentina (and us) with weapons beforehand but, for me, our biggest Allie at the time was the US for many reasons, most of which have been aired on this thread already. Even though Haig was backwards and forwards and Reagan was continuing his special relationship with Thatcher, she wasn't having any of it.

My point is that we never really thought that the Argentine junta would even attempt to invade the Falkland Islands. When they did it took a massive amount of everything by the UK - from planning, sheer professionalism, resources, bravery, loyalty and courage for us to regain what was ours. I never was a big fan of Maggie generally and I can take or leave the US and its citizens but, without their efforts and the efforts of other nations, our success would have never happened.

I also believe that we did the Argentinian people a service by our actions which prompted the fall of their vicious Junta. The fact that they have trodden a very thin line since then is neither here nor there. Just my thoughts on a lovely evening, nothing more...
The rest of South America view Argentina as arrogant and bullying , and apart from Peru , did nothing to help them .
Chile had been the target of Argentine aggression for years over the Beagle Channel and ownership of some of the islands in it . There had been shoot outs on the islands , some claim up to battalion strength , but I'm not sure about that
In 1978 , they very nearly went to war . There were bombers in the air and blackouts in both countries , a last minute intervention by the Pope prevented that one kicking off , so Chile were happy to be on our side .
Uruguay has no truck with Argentina . It was part of Argentina 'till 1833 when Britain and France supported it's independence in order to create a buffer state between Argentina and Brazil ( the only real regional superpower ) and Argentina have been sneering and contemptuous of them ever since , and vice versa .
Argentina stole over half of Paraguay's land mass in a war in the 1870's and that still rankles , so they weren't going to help.
Peru have had a border dispute with Chile for well over a century and hoped to gain something from an alliance with Argentina .They actually sent Mirage III's and pilots to Argentina , but the planes chosen were obviously the ropiest and only useful as a source of spares .
Brazil has a far more outward and pro western outlook than the rest of the continent and would never in a million years have got involved in helping Argentina .
 
As their aren’t actually that many dictatorships can you name those you have visited?

The word ‘countless’ seems quite a lot imho.
Your use of a dozen or so is simply backtracking.
As an example, my other half has visited a few countries, but wouldnt call them countless, but could easily run off twenty five to thirty without needing to think too much.
My goodness, another anally retentive poster fixating on the casual misuse of a word, I said "countless" when I should have said "off the top of my head I can't count how many", it's unimportant as it's utterly irrelevant to the wider point under discussion. Jeez, that's the issue you get obsessed about? Really?
 
Fair enough if we are referring only to Argentina in the 1970s, but the point being made was about life in general under dictatorships and the discussion ranged from Nazi Germany to Iraq under Saddam.

But even in Argentina it must be remembered that for the most part (I stress for the most part, there were many exceptions) the regime wasn't simply randomly killing thousands of people just for shits and giggles. The people who were targeted were for the most part (for the most part) specifically identified "enemies" of the regime. They were leftists, people involved in the media, trades unions, universities etc. Now before anyone accuses me of trying to justify the junta, I am not, it's was a horrific regime full of vile, murdering, fascist scumbags but for the vast and overwhelming majority of people in Argentina, those who weren't involved in leftist politics life went on as normal, they drank, socialised, flirted, went to the beach, had kids etc.

I find the same in Indonesia, Suharto ruled that country for 35 years with an iron fist, he killed tens of thousands of enemies of his regime, but if you look for someone in Indonesia today to ask about their fear and trepidation living under such a murderous regime you will be hard pressed to find anyone other than those in the minuscule minority who actively worked against his rule, everyone else has a perfectly rosey view of life back then.

As you clearly wish to be ana-l about my use of the word "countless", I merely used it because I couldn't off hand think how many, it is probably around a dozen or so.
There was a full on civil war going on in Argentina when the military took over in 1976 . A bomb was going off in Buenos Aires on average every hour , gun battles were regular ocurrences and the Montoneros and ERP still hold the world record for kidnap ransoms received , as this list shows
Prisoners of the terrorists , especially military ones , were held in medieval conditions and tortured appallingly , including being left to starve to death .
There were psychopaths on both sides .
They were also launching company sized attacks on barracks to steal weapons , or simply to kill policemen , they also pulled off a spectacular jail break combined with a plane hijack , the plane being flown to Allende's Chile .

The repression following the military coup rapidly got out of hand firstly because there was very little , if any , centralised command and control .

Every branch of the armed forces ran their own intelligence and kidnap units , so that's the Army , the Navy , the Air Force , the Gendarmerie ( border guards ) , the Coast Guard , the Federal Police , Provincial Police and even certain government ministries .
There were geographical boundaries , or TAO's but blue on blues were quite common , because every branch simply did their own thing without necessarily checking with the rest . Normally , they would advise the police , so they could look the other way , and get the power company to pull the switch on the neighbourhood being targeted.

The second reason is that there was very little accountability .
Habeas Corpus was still in existence , but no lawyer would present one out of fear
A lieutenant and three corporals would be sent out to round up certain individuals , if they weren't at the address , they'd take anyone who was and lie in wait for the target . Those taken were horribly tortured back at base and would confess and denounce everyone and anyone in order to make the pain stop , so then more innocent would get dragged in .
These poor people couldn't be released because the military knew they would flee abroad and go screaming to the first human rights organization they could find , so they would kill them , whether they were innocent or not , as there was no due process , and no accountability .
A Lt Colonel or above decided whether you lived or died in captivity , but a corporal could off you " in a gun battle "and there would be no invetigation
Bodies were dumped at sea or buried in No Name graves .
The press were threatened as well , and a lot of journalists asking too many questions died as well .

You then get into the third phase … Said corporals realise there is no penalty at all for killing " subversives " so they would kill people because of personal disputes or for personal enrichment .When they disappeared people , they would get them to sign their houses over and sell everything their victims owned . The proceeds were pooled and divided up with the whole " Task Force " so senior officers got a share too , so there was an element of shits and giggles

The Montoneros and ERP were soundly defeated , but a lot of innocent people did get caught up and disappeared .

Why on earth the Foreign Office wanted to hand over British subjects to those animals is quite beyond me .
 
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."
There's a bit of confusion there, the FAA Mirages/Daggers and Skyhawks were dropping their UK 1,000 lbr's too low without retarded tails. Lobbing or toss bombing as it's known wasn't used by them though I do believe the GR3s tried it with LGBs at the end. They should have been coming in v low with a last minute pop up to drop, very hard to do.

The first attacks on Ardent were FAA, the last one by COAN/CANA, using their Skyhawks and US mk 82's with Snakeye tails - retarded that is. Which gives enough delay for the fuze to arm and the aircraft to get clear.

COAN did do a crash naval attack lesson for FAA pilots but it takes a lot of training to be able to attack shipping successfully.

A good read here: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a475901.pdf
 
There's a bit of confusion there, the FAA Mirages/Daggers and Skyhawks were dropping their UK 1,000 lbr's too low without retarded tails. Lobbing or toss bombing as it's known wasn't used by them though I do believe the GR3s tried it with LGBs at the end. They should have been coming in v low with a last minute pop up to drop, very hard to do.

The first attacks on Ardent were FAA, the last one by COAN/CANA, using their Skyhawks and US mk 82's with Snakeye tails - retarded that is. Which gives enough delay for the fuze to arm and the aircraft to get clear.

COAN did do a crash naval attack lesson for FAA pilots but it takes a lot of training to be able to attack shipping successfully.

A good read here: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a475901.pdf
As an Argentine pilot was quoted as saying , they flew to San Carlos on a compass bearing , with a stopwatch .
They had to pile into the Sound and be confronted with a load of targets and loads of AA fire , with about 0.4 seconds to decide which one to go for .
You couldn't go round for a second look because you'd either get shot down or run out of fuel on the way back.
What a way to earn a living....
 
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Dwarf

LE
There's a bit of confusion there, the FAA Mirages/Daggers and Skyhawks were dropping their UK 1,000 lbr's too low without retarded tails. Lobbing or toss bombing as it's known wasn't used by them though I do believe the GR3s tried it with LGBs at the end. They should have been coming in v low with a last minute pop up to drop, very hard to do.

The first attacks on Ardent were FAA, the last one by COAN/CANA, using their Skyhawks and US mk 82's with Snakeye tails - retarded that is. Which gives enough delay for the fuze to arm and the aircraft to get clear.

COAN did do a crash naval attack lesson for FAA pilots but it takes a lot of training to be able to attack shipping successfully.

A good read here: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a475901.pdf
As an Argentine pilot was quoted as saying , they flew to San Carlos on a compass bearing , with a stopwatch .
They had pile into the Sound and be confronted with a load of targets and loads of AA fire , with about 0.4 seconds to decide which one to go for .
You couldn't go round for a second look because you'd either get shot down or run out of fuel on the way back.
What a way to earn a living....
As far as I recall the Argentine NAVY were aware of the tactic but the information didn't get passed on until the conflict had progressed past the point where it might have made a much bigger difference.
The Air Force were presented with a task that they hadn't expected and hadn't really trained or prepared for, that they did as well as they did is a positive reflection on their pilots ability. But they were briefed to go as low as possible to stay under radar and often planes had to have their wings rinsed down to get rid of the salt on their return. The final approach was over land and by coming in low as to present a short target opportunity for the defences they had to be low. Result bombs not properly fused. As the conflict went on they did address the problem once it had been identified, a matter in which our press had a part to play.

As a point of interest a US pilot attached to the AAF was grounded but allowed to go into the office where in his words he was able to help them sort out a few problems.

And as to the loiter time, in, shoot, out as fast as possible which gave little time for looking back. One of the biggest controversies is that many Argies are convinced that they sunk, or at least badly damaged Invincible and it's almost impossible to persuade them otherwise.
This is because a pilot who led the attack on the ships fired his missiles which were diverted onto Atlantic Conveyor, at the time with containers all along her decks so she looked big and flat, and in the very few seconds between his firing and death sent off a message that he had hit the carrier. It happens so fast that in between controlling the aircraft in the attack and then trying to escape the observation time as noted is minimal and easy to make mistakes.

The Argentine pilots deserve our respect for their skills and valour, their leaders far less so.
 
I have no idea what her use of her husband's surname has to do with her political views and even is she had been born Kirkpatrick the Scots generally support the UK.

Ambassador Kirkpatrick was very strongly anti-Communist and regarded right wing Latino dictators as a bulwark against Communism in the Americas. If you are suggesting some sympathy for the IRA, a group to the left of center, due to family ties etc it won't fly. Plus she and her husband were lifelong Presbyterians, a group not generally supportive of Irish nationalism . ( I will admit there are exceptions )

At the same time Alexander Haig was US Secretary of State. He had previously served as SACEUR and was always pro NATO and pro British
Fair enough, I’ve obviously made a wrong call there. Perhaps my own prejudices seeping out. I’ll delete it.
 

Dwarf

LE
Fair enough, I’ve obviously made a wrong call there. Perhaps my own prejudices seeping out. I’ll delete it.
I wouldn't delete. Maybe others will also learn from this. The Falklands is now quite a long time ago, those of us who were contempory with the conflict are in our sixties now or approaching. Many people have misconceptions about it and things like this also help correct. One of arrse's benefits.
 

Glue_Sniffer

Old-Salt
I wouldn't delete. Maybe others will also learn from this. The Falklands is now quite a long time ago, those of us who were contempory with the conflict are in our sixties now or approaching. Many people have misconceptions about it and things like this also help correct. One of arrse's benefits.
It was also a small scale conflict that is often now overshadowed by Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years. With the UK declining and South America increasing economically important. Why would the Argentinean government even care about a few small islands? Apart from gesture politics, I suspect the real value is in the Antarctic.

Back in 1982, the UK had major military commitments in Germany and Northern Ireland. Neither of which were particularly profitable enterprises. In fact, I suspect they just drained money with little benefit.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Why would the Argentinean government even care about a few small islands?
I seem to recall (and I may very well be wrong on many of the following counts).

The international carve-up of Antarctica awarded zones to the nations due North of the continent. The UK would not, by this measure, have any claim because Spain, France and Africa all lie South of the UK.

However, since the Falklands and attached continental shelf do lie due North of Antarctica, and they've been a British Crown Dependency since before the nation of Argentina existed, this does.

Because Chile curves round underneath Argentina, that portion of Antarctica South of Argentina belongs to Chile.

But (as I said) I could be wrong.
 
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Dwarf

LE
Why would the Argentinean government even care about a few small islands? Apart from gesture politics, I suspect the real value is in the Antarctic.

Back in 1982, the UK had major military commitments in Germany and Northern Ireland. Neither of which were particularly profitable enterprises. In fact, I suspect they just drained money with little benefit.
Firstly there is a massive emotional commitment to the Islands. They are Argentine, have always been, and the perfidious pirates took them from us and it is our birthright to regain them. Children are taught that in schools. It is part of the Argentine pysche, and like it or not will be so for a long time to come. A government that regains the Islands will be forgiven many things and will go down in their history books as icons.
Pragmatically they know there is bugger all on the Islands and that Antartica is the real potential but no government can ignore the emotional pull.

Little benefit? I don't know about that, Ivan didn't resort to a bout of aggressive tourism did he? He came remarkably close on a couple of occasions but finally didn't, thanks in large part to Maggie and Ronnie stiffening NATO at a vulnerable time - and me joining in 79. Not having to live under the shadow of Kremlin rule and having to keep your head down seems like a worthwhile benefit to me. It's certainly a large part of why I wore green at that time.
 
It was also a small scale conflict that is often now overshadowed by Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years. With the UK declining and South America increasing economically important. Why would the Argentinean government even care about a few small islands? Apart from gesture politics, I suspect the real value is in the Antarctic.

Back in 1982, the UK had major military commitments in Germany and Northern Ireland. Neither of which were particularly profitable enterprises. In fact, I suspect they just drained money with little benefit.
South America is not that economically important , and Argentina in particular has a GDP the size of Burundi's , thanks to being run by a cabal of Mafiosi who are simply out to rob the place blind ( think South American version of Robert Mugabe ).
Brazil is OK , the rest is not worth bothering with economically anymore
The reason Argentines harp on about the Falklands is because every school child has it hardwired into them from the age of 5 onwards , first with comic books , then tours of the local Malvinas museum and a chat from a veteran about the " injustice " of colonialism and theft of what's " theirs " and in the 90's then president Menem had the bright idea of making the " recuperation " of the archipelago enshrined by law , so every government going forwards is obliged to bore everyone to death in perpetuity .
In spanish , but this vile piece of propaganda is the sort of crap they brainwash 5 year olds with , even with no spanish , you'll get the picture
 
It was also a small scale conflict that is often now overshadowed by Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
It was one of the very few since 1945 where the winning side didn't have overwhelming air superiortiy, that involved combat simultaneously on land, sea, and air, where ships were sunk at sea by air attack, and one of only two instances since 1945 where submarines have sunk surface ships.
 

Glue_Sniffer

Old-Salt
South America is not that economically important , and Argentina in particular has a GDP the size of Burundi's , thanks to being run by a cabal of Mafiosi who are simply out to rob the place blind ( think South American version of Robert Mugabe ).
Brazil is OK , the rest is not worth bothering with economically anymore

The reason Argentines harp on about the Falklands is because every school child has it hardwired into them from the age of 5 onwards , first with comic books , then tours of the local Malvinas museum and a chat from a veteran about the " injustice " of colonialism and theft of what's " theirs " and in the 90's then president Menem had the bright idea of making the " recuperation " of the archipelago enshrined by law , so every government going forwards is obliged to bore everyone to death in perpetuity .
In spanish , but this vile piece of propaganda is the sort of crap they brainwash 5 year olds with , even with no spanish , you'll get the picture
Well, with strong demographics and natural resources, I would disagree.
 

Dwarf

LE
South America is not that economically important , and Argentina in particular has a GDP the size of Burundi's , thanks to being run by a cabal of Mafiosi who are simply out to rob the place blind ( think South American version of Robert Mugabe ).
Brazil is OK , the rest is not worth bothering with economically anymore
The reason Argentines harp on about the Falklands is because every school child has it hardwired into them from the age of 5 onwards , first with comic books , then tours of the local Malvinas museum and a chat from a veteran about the " injustice " of colonialism and theft of what's " theirs " and in the 90's then president Menem had the bright idea of making the " recuperation " of the archipelago enshrined by law , so every government going forwards is obliged to bore everyone to death in perpetuity .
In spanish , but this vile piece of propaganda is the sort of crap they brainwash 5 year olds with , even with no spanish , you'll get the picture
Those nasty Paras again. To make it worse they probably called them 'hats'. I have to admire their fluency in Spanish though. It makes a mockery of all those jibes about Paratroopers being thick.
 

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