Dutch spies helped GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

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.
Minor detail but range has been surpassed by the spams, they did this: Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to Afghanistan - Inside the Longest Bombing Run Ever

They have a guy talking about a 33 hour mission here.
 
Minor detail but range has been surpassed by the spams, they did this: Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to Afghanistan - Inside the Longest Bombing Run Ever

They have a guy talking about a 33 hour mission here.
Fair play.

Whilst they clocked more air miles after a long held record, I'd venture to suggest that their navigation, refuelling and SAR challenges were a tad easier than BLACK BUCK.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Had they come at us in Fairy Swordfish they might have made a better job of identification and possibly had a more successful attack.
For those who didn't know, from Wikipedia:

The low speed of the attacking aircraft may have acted in their favour, as they were too slow for the fire-control predictors of the German gunners, whose shells exploded so far in front of the aircraft that the threat of shrapnel damage was greatly diminished. At least some of the Swordfish flew so low that most of Bismarck's flak weapons could not depress enough to hit them.[31]
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Operation Black Buck was and still is the furthest bombing mission(s) ever undertaken
I suspect that B2 ops out of CONUS on Afghanistan have since taken that crown, but happy to be proved wrong.

Edit. As already pointed out.
 
I suspect that B2 ops out of CONUS on Afghanistan have since taken that crown, but happy to be proved wrong.
BLACK BUCK lost the long range crown, but by my reckoning retains the most fraught Op crown.

4000 miles to target in an obsolete bomber, using a bodged in flight refuelling system, across a South Atlantic at the cusp of winter, without sat nav, and zero prospect of recovery if the cab goes tits.

Hitting a target protected by sophisticated AA defence systems, before returning across 4000 miles of the worst weather on the planet, isn't the best day at the office anyone can have.
 
BLACK BUCK lost the long range crown, but by my reckoning retains the most fraught Op crown.

4000 miles to target in an obsolete bomber, using a bodged in flight refuelling system, across a South Atlantic at the cusp of winter, without sat nav, and zero prospect of recovery if the cab goes tits.

Hitting a target protected by sophisticated AA defence systems, before returning across 4000 miles of the worst weather on the planet, isn't the best day at the office anyone can have.
I imagine the Argentinians shit their pants when a stick of 21 1000lbers came raining down, obviously not from Harriers.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
BLACK BUCK lost the long range crown, but by my reckoning retains the most fraught Op crown.

4000 miles to target in an obsolete bomber, using a bodged in flight refuelling system, across a South Atlantic at the cusp of winter, without sat nav, and zero prospect of recovery if the cab goes tits.

Hitting a target protected by sophisticated AA defence systems, before returning across 4000 miles of the worst weather on the planet, isn't the best day at the office anyone can have.
You missed:

Nearly failed because a 10p rubber cockpit seal failed on the designated bomber right after take-off, and the designated back-up had to step up.

Read Vulcan 607. The preface includes a shortened version of this, which played out its vinegar strokes over my head in school in Seaham.

I feel sorry for Jim Vinale, Nav Plotter on XM610 and popped out over Northumberland, then designated bomber Nav Plotter on Black Buck 1, aborted.

I bet his friends called him Jonah.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I imagine the Argentinians shit their pants when a stick of 21 1000lbers came raining down, obviously not from Harriers.
Ey, Jorge, if thees eez the size of their bomber, how beeg ees the carrier?
 
You missed:

Nearly failed because a 10p rubber cockpit seal failed on the designated bomber right after take-off, and the designated back-up had to step up.

Read Vulcan 607. The preface includes a shortened version of this, which played out its vinegar strokes over my head in school in Seaham.

I feel sorry for Jim Vinale, Nav Plotter on XM610 and popped out over Northumberland, then designated bomber Nav Plotter on Black Buck 1, aborted.

I bet his friends called him Jonah.
I've 'missed' or omitted many of the fine detail I read of the accounts, as brevity demands.

The point i was trying to make is that although the Falklands scrap was of short duration, lacking in scale and intensity it certainly was not.
 
again from Middlebrook, the raid that sank Coventry was really something:

  • Grumman Tracker MPA recce
  • ELINT team in the back of a C-130
  • Covert observers on West Falkland
all of these on send.

  • Two strike packages on different routes with the same time-over-target
  • Another strike going to San Carlos just before as deception
these on emcon black.

  • Tanker support in and out so they can do the mission at low level all the way
taking a risk there as the KC130s needed to broadcast to home the jets.

all in all a proper Complex Air Operation demonstrating serious chops in planning, intelligence, execution, and logistics. not that shocking that it worked.
 
Fair play.

Whilst they clocked more air miles after a long held record, I'd venture to suggest that their navigation, refuelling and SAR challenges were a tad easier than BLACK BUCK.
Indeed, the spams tend to not do stuff with sticky backed plastic and old squeezy bottles, or crewroom ashtrays.
 

Dwarf

LE
For those who didn't know, from Wikipedia:

The low speed of the attacking aircraft may have acted in their favour, as they were too slow for the fire-control predictors of the German gunners, whose shells exploded so far in front of the aircraft that the threat of shrapnel damage was greatly diminished. At least some of the Swordfish flew so low that most of Bismarck's flak weapons could not depress enough to hit them.[31]
Exactly that. It's a curious thought that a couple of old biplanes might have been able to take out a multi-million modern warship because it lacked the ability to knock them down. Yet some of the transports which just had a few gimpies strapped to their rails would have been in far less danger.

As an anecdote while walking in the Pyrenees a few years back I came across an ex bootie on a camp site. So over the inevitable few beers he told me he had been dicked to be a gimpy gunner on the ammo ship. His feelings when in San Carlos as the Argie air attacks came in and him on the biggest potential firework around needed little elaboration. But curiously while he said that the attacks were so fast you just had time to hose the general direction so that the tracer put them off, I'm sure he would have loved to have had something the speed of a Swordfish to be able to draw a bead on.
 
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
So to summarise the two (mis?)perceptions of Mrs Jeane Kirkpatrick.

She was from an ethnic group that, with some justification, led her to be wary of the British and their imperial pretensions. Unlike her Anglophile colleagues in the US cabinet she tended to raise a rather sceptical eyebrow when told the British were sending gunboats to settle a colonial dispute in the name of upholding self-determination and human rights, her cynicism based on Britain's less than stellar performance in upholding such virtues in their previous couple of centuries of imperialism and colonisation. Ya booh! Fenian b!tch, Plastic Paddy.

However, we learn this is not so. In fact the lady came from impeccable Anglo-Saxon stock and was married to a true-blue Scots Presbyterian. In fact her reluctance to support the British cause stemmed from her paranoia about people trying to reform the appalling, exploitative and frequently racist governments of Latin America. So opposed was she to these reformers that she labeled them Communists and she was prepared to support and succour some of the most vile, blood-soaked, homicidal, fascistic regimes on planet earth. She was appalled that if the British defeated the Argentines the psychopathic junta in Buenos Aires might fall and with them fall the other hideous regimes she wished to see propped up in the region. Oh, when you put it like that, she was a fine, decent lady, perfectly reasonable position to take all things considered.

Call me old-fashioned but the first position actually seems the more honourable.

OK, before the usual suspects bust a blood vessel and start blasting mong boxes at me like Pandys from a cannon's mouth, calm down lads, I'm only taking the piss (sort of ;)).
 
So to summarise the two (mis?)perceptions of Mrs Jeane Kirkpatrick.

She was from an ethnic group that, with some justification, led her to be wary of the British and their imperial pretensions. Unlike her Anglophile colleagues in the US cabinet she tended to raise a rather sceptical eyebrow when told the British were sending gunboats to settle a colonial dispute in the name of upholding self-determination and human rights, her cynicism based on Britain's less than stellar performance in upholding such virtues in their previous couple of centuries of imperialism and colonisation. Ya booh! Fenian b!tch, Plastic Paddy.

However, we learn this is not so. In fact the lady came from impeccable Anglo-Saxon stock and was married to a true-blue Scots Presbyterian. In fact her reluctance to support the British cause stemmed from her paranoia about people trying to reform the appalling, exploitative and frequently racist governments of Latin America. So opposed was she to these reformers that she labeled them Communists and she was prepared to support and succour some of the most vile, blood-soaked, homicidal, fascistic regimes on planet earth. She was appalled that if the British defeated the Argentines the psychopathic junta in Buenos Aires might fall and with them fall the other hideous regimes she wished to see propped up in the region. Oh, when you put it like that, she was a fine, decent lady, perfectly reasonable position to take all things considered.

Call me old-fashioned but the first position actually seems the more honourable.

OK, before the usual suspects bust a blood vessel and start blasting mong boxes at me like Pandys from a cannon's mouth, calm down lads, I'm only taking the piss (sort of ;)).
Mike, It was the height of the cold war. South and Central America are in the USA's back yard. They were worried about more Cuba's to the South of them.

The old expression; the only good communist is a dead communist. The other popular expression was 'he may be a b*stard, but he is our b*stard.

The Generals in South America may have been facist, but that meant they must be anti communist. Jeane was a anti Soviet cold war hawk. In 1981 when the Reagan administration took over it looked like the communist bloc was winning with the fall of Indo-China, Africa and elsewhere. Reagan was going to roll this back.

The biggest facist generals were in Argentina and JKP's idea was for them to be at the forefront of an American sponsored roll back of communist states in South America such as Nicaragua and El Salvador. The Juntas invasion of the Falklands upset all those plans.

Its called geo-politics Mike. Its why the English occupied Ireland. You really didn't think we really wanted to live in that rain soaked hell hole with nothing to eat but potatoes and the place full of rebellious peasants. No it was to make sure that the French didn't occupy it and try any sneaky attack on our rear flank. For added fun we imported a million dour Presbyterian Jocks to the North East corner just for fun and giggles.
 

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.
Just done a bit of geek rereading. The Hastings - Jenkins book which rhey rewrote from the 83 original and which gave them time to recheck facts is my first stop.
The Super Entendards carried 2 of the 3 remaining exocets.
Ambuscade on picket detected the attack.
The two exocets were fired one went somewhere into the ooloo.
The other was seen visually by eyes on Ambuscade heading in.
The warships fired chaff and they say a Lynx was operating an active decoy, but Atlantic Conveyor possessed no chaff and was only 2 miles distant. The exocet diverted to her. She had been scheduled to enter San Carlos that night to unload Chinooks and tentage among other things.

I think one of the problems of the conflict is that so many books were rushed out that there is an amount of, if not conflicting information, incomplete in details information. It's often difficult to know what is what. The above may also be not exact. Frustrating at times.

But if we have these minor informational problems the Argies have it worse.
 
Obviously, life in the Western world is more desirable.
I didn't say life in dictatorship was good, I said it wasn't as bad as the media portrays.
Remember, the media always has an agenda.
Bugsy walt.
 
Indeed, the spams tend to not do stuff with sticky backed plastic and old squeezy bottles, or crewroom ashtrays.
Except for apollo 13.

edit
Carbon dioxide scrubber wise.
 
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