Dutch spies helped GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

Dwarf

LE
Well, with strong demographics and natural resources, I would disagree.
But then again , even stronger trades unions and politicians who cannot keep their thieving mitts out of the cookie jar , hence only the Chinese will invest in most of the region
 
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 .

Posts like that is why I bloody love this site. Apart from all the cracking comedy when appropriate, even better when inappropriate, so many of you do the serious stuff very well.


Excellent informative post. Thank you.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Plus the fact that Brazil, being Portuguese speaking is historically not to keen on the Spanish speaking nations.
When I left IBM, Brazil were petitioning for WebSphere MQ to have a Brazilian Portuguese language pack.

For perspective, WebSphere MQ for z/OS (my bold, to distinguish) at the time had always only ever shipped with four language packs, US English, Upper Case English, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.
 
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
An ex RN collegue of mine in the Met in the nineties went to Chile on a ships visit. He said it was one of the best run ashores that he ever went on. The Chileans were so pro British.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
A Scot more or less set up their navy. Cochrane I believe, they still name a ship after him. We have sold Chile many warships.
 
My goodness, another anally retentive poster fixating on the casual misuse of a word, I said "countless" when I should have said "a number of", it's unimportant as it's utterly irrelevant to the wider point under discussion. Jeez, that's the issue you get obsessed about? Really?
A suggestion.
 
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,
Not sure about this. According to Martin Middlebrook's book the supposed "Invincible raid" was on the 30th May, when two Super Etendards (but only one Exocet) and 4 Skyhawks engaged what they thought were the carriers but were in fact the radar picket screen of T42 destroyers, as they made a navigation error. The conops was that the two Etendards would search with radar, the one that had the last Exocet would attack, and the A4s would follow the missile in with their Mk82s. The Exocet was defeated by ECM and went god knows where, the A4s ran into a T21 frigate (Ambuscade?) coming back from a SF job on the islands, which got lucky and shot one of them down. The A4 crews saw both ends of a ship sticking out of a big cloud of mixed funnel smoke from steaming at full power, smoke from Seacat launches, and smoke from every other weapon in the ship, and concluded that the Exocet hit something and that must have been a carrier because that's what they were (meant to be) attacking.
 
A Scot more or less set up their navy. Cochrane I believe, they still name a ship after him. We have sold Chile many warships.
Bernardo O'Higgins founded the Chilean Navy, of Spanish and Irish ancestry. Cochrane, the Jock, was the first commander of that navy.

There's a Chilean football team called O'Higgins, countless (well. about 12) Avenidas de O'Higgins and a town and an airport named after Cochrane.

Quite a few Chilean navy ships have been called the Cochrane and several named O'Higgins.

Thatcher had a very close relationship with Pinochet although the man was a rather nasty dictator. She always said Britain owed a great debt for the assistance he gave in the FI spat.
 
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 Antarctica is the real potential but no government can ignore the emotional pull. (...)
Yes, the people who keep trying to explain the Falkland Islands War by saying "it's bout the oil", or "it's about the minerals in Antarctica" are missing the real point. It was about national pride, feelings of destiny, and righting what the Argentines perceived as old injustices. There was nothing in or near the Falklands worth going to war over for on its own.

Most, of not all, countries in South America have fought wars with one another over territory, usually small scraps of remote regions. For Argentina to lay claim to and go to war over the Falklands is not out of the ordinary for the region. Borders have changed multiple times, including in the 20th century, in South America as the result of war.
 

wheel

LE
That's why we sent a half squadron of Buccaneer aircraft down to Gib on 3 April 82...
We also had additional Milan systems sent to the resident infantry battalion. Additional OPs were set up overlooking the border and obstacles that would hinder helicopter landings were placed on Windmill Hill near to Lathbury barracks.
 

Dwarf

LE
Not sure about this. According to Martin Middlebrook's book the supposed "Invincible raid" was on the 30th May, when two Super Etendards (but only one Exocet) and 4 Skyhawks engaged what they thought were the carriers but were in fact the radar picket screen of T42 destroyers, as they made a navigation error. The conops was that the two Etendards would search with radar, the one that had the last Exocet would attack, and the A4s would follow the missile in with their Mk82s. The Exocet was defeated by ECM and went god knows where, the A4s ran into a T21 frigate (Ambuscade?) coming back from a SF job on the islands, which got lucky and shot one of them down. The A4 crews saw both ends of a ship sticking out of a big cloud of mixed funnel smoke from steaming at full power, smoke from Seacat launches, and smoke from every other weapon in the ship, and concluded that the Exocet hit something and that must have been a carrier because that's what they were (meant to be) attacking.
You may be right, I'm relying on memory, but I have read a few books on the subject and a couple of threads on here, and as pointed out there's always an arrser who knows the answer, so I'm trying to dredge it all up while sitting at my desk.
The plan certainly was to go for the carriers in order not to waste the exocet and they may well have made navigational errors. I read that all the countermeasures diverted the attack away from Invincible and poor old Atlantic Conveyor which didn't have the same counter measures took the hit instead.
I am happy to be corrected on the detail.
However the point I was making was that the pilot who took the shot had only brief seconds to make a positive identification before he was hit and his aircraft destroyed with him in it. The fact that he claimed he had hit the carrier and had no chance to make a confirmation or be debriefed meant that the Argentines received only that message. There was no confirmation from other sources and from online conversations there are many who take that as gospel. The attitude being on the lines of 'He was Argentine and therefore cannot be wrong, the perfidious pirates are covering up the fact that Invincible was lost, or at the least hit badly and a cover up took place so as not to lose face'
Pointing out that footage of Invincible arriving back intact with no signs of major damage are shrugged off as either us having a substitute carrier to take its place, or having a major bodge job done on the way back to cover it up. They refuse to see that if we had had three available they would have all gone south.
It's the mindset, Las Malvinas are Argentine and an Argentine pilot is to be believed before any number of Brits (and the physical evidence). There are a number of reasonable Argies that I have met and talked to, but there are still a rather large hardcore out there.


Edit to add; The sheer speed of modern jets and air combat make visual sightings far more fleeting than ever before. Had they come at us in Fairy Swordfish they might have made a better job of identification and possibly had a more successful attack. ;)
 
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You over-estimate how much thought the average person in any country gives to the political regime they live under. We assume that everyone living in Iran or Myanmar or wherever is walking around all day cowed and in fear of being denounced to the secret police, it would shock you if you actually went to these countries (rather than relying on western reporting about them) to discover that no one really gives a fiddler's fart one way or t'other.

All their lives they have lived under their particular regime, it is as much part of their lives as rain is to Irish people or crap food is to Scottish people, it's just one of those things that you don't really give much thought to, until perhaps some foreigner brings it to your attention.

I have visited countless dictatorships in my life and I never saw people nervously looking over their shoulder as they walked down the street or running home to lock their doors in terror that the regime was sending its heavies out to round them up for the gulag. In fact I have had great crack in many countries that would be described in the BBC as vicious dictatorships, drinking and having a laugh with local people who were not remotely bothered by their government but rather just got on with their lives like pretty much everyone else in the world.
Does your ‘countless visits’ include Venezuela approx a dozen years ago ?
 
You may be right, I'm relying on memory, but I have read a few books on the subject and a couple of threads on here, and as pointed out there's always an arrser who knows the answer, so I'm trying to dredge it all up while sitting at my desk.
The plan certainly was to go for the carriers in order not to waste the exocet and they may well have made navigational errors. I read that all the countermeasures diverted the attack away from Invincible and poor old Atlantic Conveyor which didn't have the same counter measures took the hit instead.
I am happy to be corrected on the detail.
However the point I was making was that the pilot who took the shot had only brief seconds to make a positive identification before he was hit and his aircraft destroyed with him in it. The fact that he claimed he had hit the carrier and had no chance to make a confirmation or be debriefed meant that the Argentines received only that message. There was no confirmation from other sources and from online conversations there are many who take that as gospel. The attitude being on the lines of 'He was Argentine and therefore cannot be wrong, the perfidious pirates are covering up the fact that Invincible was lost, or at the least hit badly and a cover up took place so as not to lose face'
Pointing out that footage of Invincible arriving back intact with no signs of major damage are shrugged off as either us having a substitute carrier to take its place, or having a major bodge job done on the way back to cover it up. They refuse to see that if we had had three available they would have all gone south.
It's the mindset, Las Malvinas are Argentine and an Argentine pilot is to be believed before any number of Brits (and the physical evidence). There are a number of reasonable Argies that I have met and talked to, but there are still a rather large hardcore out there.


Edit to add; The sheer speed of modern jets and air combat make visual sightings far more fleeting than ever before. Had they come at us in Fairy Swordfish they might have made a better job of identification and possibly had a more successful attack. ;)
My mate, as a 19 year old merchant seaman out of Liverpool docks ward, was on the Atlantic Conveyor.
Asked him a few years ago about PTSD after getting very wet down there.
“Fook that”, he said, “we got pissed on the QE2 on the way back, and were fine by the time we got home“.
 

Dwarf

LE
My mate, as a 19 year old merchant seaman out of Liverpool docks ward, was on the Atlantic Conveyor.
Asked him a few years ago about PTSD after getting very wet down there.
“Fook that”, he said, “we got pissed on the QE2 on the way back, and were fine by the time we got home“.
Love that. If only life were that simple for everybody.
 
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
They couldn't even
get the markings on the Super Etendard right. The numbers on the nose, fuselage and tail refer to three different airframes.

I see the Argentinians have just taken delivery of 5 ex Marine Nationale Super Etendards.

The country is broke, and the last thing they need is another dust-up over the Falklands.
 
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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.
As I've posted previously, our guys said they were brave but tactically inept and they'd have done a better job were the positions reversed. They fired their aam at extreme ranges, all flew in as a flight together etc.
 
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.
Small scale is a subjective opinion.

Projecting force 8000 miles from home at very short notice is quite an achievement on anyone's scale.

Operation Black Buck was and still is the furthest bombing mission(s) ever undertaken, using dead reckoning and astro navigation, utilising the most complex in flight refuelling plan imaginable.

A series of coordinated Battalion attacks against numerically superior, well entrenched enemy forces with supporting artillery, mortars and snipers equipped with superior NVAs has still yet to be repeated by UK armed forces.

The RN has thankfully not experienced the losses of CORPORATE since 1982.

But all in all, you're right, the Falklands gig was small scale.
 

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