"Heaven help us if theres a war!" Callaghan

#1
#3
hell if anyone wanted to attack the army just do it over christmas, everyone too pissed to do anything in response bar the Germany Guard Service lol
 
#4
Well thankfully I've not managed to invent the time machine as yet. What a worthless/pointless story.
 
#5
And in today's Guardian: PM panic over missle defence

The impression given here is that the UK's defences were denuded to provide its share for the collective NATO 'defence shield'. Points of interest emboldened:

Britain's ability to defend itself against an attack from the Soviet Union was so diminished in the late 1970s that the prime minister exclaimed: "Heaven help us if there is a war!"

James Callaghan's handwritten note came after he had reviewed top-secret briefings which showed that the country's surface-to-air missiles were equipped with merely a single reload, early warning aircraft were "obsolete" and RAF fighter squadrons hopelessly outnumbered by Soviet bombers.

The bleak assessment of national defence preparations emerged after Callaghan had ­questioned ­intelligence reports, according to Downing Street papers released to the National Archives today. He described the situation as a scandal, and called for those responsible to be sacked.

The prime minister's probing at the height of the cold war ignited a fierce debate in Whitehall about the British resources allocated to Nato rather than domestic defence.

The controversy, never made public, originated in October 1977 after the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) was presented with a detailed top secret report on "Soviet capability to attack targets in the UK base".


The prime minister was not satisfied, however. "I take it someone has worked out whether we can defend ourselves?" Callaghan inquired. His secretary for overseas affairs, Bryan Cartledge, wrote to the Ministry of Defence: "The prime minister has indicated that this assessment gives only one side of the picture.

"He assumes that a similar assessment has been made of our capacity to defend targets in the UK base; and we would be glad of an opportunity to see such an assessment."

The cabinet secretary had to admit there was no "mirror image of the JIC assessment in relation to our own capability because our policy is to base the defence of the UK firmly in the collective effort of the North Atlantic alliance".

Fred Mulley, the defence minister best remembered for dozing off beside the Queen during an official review of the RAF, was scrambled to prepare an explanatory paper. His report ­admitted that the picture painted by the chiefs of staff was "a sobering one".

"The most immediate Soviet conventional threat is from heavy and medium bombers and long-range tactical," the MoD report revealed. "Against a threat of more than 200 Soviet bombers we have a frontline strength of less than 100 fighters together with very limited area coverage of surface-to-air missiles.

"Although the [Phantom] fighters could acquit themselves well, they have sufficient missiles for only two to three days' operations." A shortage of Bloodhound surface-to-air missiles, which protected 15 key RAF and US airfields, meant they had only "a ­single reload". As for surveillance, there was a "single squadron of obsolete [Shackleton] airborne early warning aircraft".

The Warsaw Pact nuclear threat involved 150 land-based missiles ­targeted at the UK and 160 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Dismayed, Callaghan said: "I wish to talk to Mr Mulley about this."

The conversation at No 10 in February 1978 was grim. "The prime minister said the conclusion he drew from the paper was that one or two people should be sacked (he did not include Mr Mulley)," a note-taker recorded. "He would like to know the cost of remedying the situation and how far it could be met within the existing budget."

Denis Healey, the defence ­secretary, tried to recover the initiative by announcing he was to buy "66 secondhand [Bloodhound] missiles with spare parts from Sweden for £6m and [maybe] another 50 from Singapore".

The foreign secretary, David Owen, suggested adjusting "the Tornado programme so as to produce 50 more Air Defence Variants for use in the UK air defence region … and 50 less for long-range strike on the central front".

Sir John Hunt, the cabinet secretary, was alarmed. "Any move on our part to put distinctly more emphasis on the UK at the expense of our contribution to the central front would almost certainly be opposed by [Nato] as a whole and by the US in particular," he warned Callaghan.
 
#6
WhiteRabbit said:
And in today's Guardian: PM panic over missle defence

The impression given here is that the UK's defences were denuded to provide its share for the collective NATO 'defence shield'. Points of interest emboldened:

...[TRUNCATED BY BOOM]

Sir John Hunt, the cabinet secretary, was alarmed. "Any move on our part to put distinctly more emphasis on the UK at the expense of our contribution to the central front would almost certainly be opposed by [Nato] as a whole and by the US in particular," he warned Callaghan.
Reveals our continued status as a bit-part player and NATO-front-man for American policy. Even as late as the late-70s.
 
#7
Spent my formative years in BAOR mid 70s and then early to mid 80's back for second course.
Agree so much with much of what has been said, but we would have fought and put up a Good Show.
Think we where to buy 7-10 days and die in the process.
Wasn't Ivan vastly overrated as his adventure into Ganistan showed.
And it was Ivan along with his unsustainable system that went T ITS UP first, big time, now no more USSR.
As the Old Duke is reputed to have said
A close run thing !
john
 
#10
BSL - "1970s were darker than we thought."

Err....not for those around and involved in the 70s :wink: .

"Reveals our continued status as a bit-part player and NATO-front-man for American policy. Even as late as the late-70s."

'Late-70s'? And 80s, 90s etc. Uncle Jim's and staff quotes refers to "our" capability. However, it's not pointing out at the time we were up to our arrse in Septic planes, missiles and personnel who effective lorded it around the country with CD immunity 8O .

jonwilly - "Think we where to buy 7-10 days and die in the process.
Wasn't Ivan vastly overrated as his adventure into Ganistan showed."


Yes and yes, and it wasn't exactly hush-hush was it? I remember the media getting off on at least one 'shock-horror' storey that if the Sovies rolled over the East German border, we, including the Septics, couldn't stop them - but this has been thrashed out in previous threads.

And, since when were we supposed to have been able to take on the Sovies by ourselves, and since when was it thought the whole of Sovie resources would be deployed against little 'ole us? The nasties we had on Pomme de Terre could not have been used without Septic permission anyway :D

And, of course we continued to be mortgaged up to the hairline to Uncle Sam, who 'protect their interests' - that's business. :wink:

No.9
 
#12
"The idea of Scargill being looked upon favourably by the Soviets tickles me. I suspect he'd be one of the first to 'disappear'."

What a nice idea.
Detestable person, my Dad was a miner, except for his Army service.
He was retired when the miners went on strike in 84 ? ill health, but he never gave a penny to the 'Workers' for he said it was a Political Strike that would only hasten the end of Coal Minning.
john
 
#13
#14
BoomShackerLacker said:
dundrillin said:
The idea of Scargill being looked upon favourably by the Soviets tickles me. I suspect he'd be one of the first to 'disappear'.
What a sorry figure Scargill cuts. Now the hysteria has long drifted away I can't help thinking he was a victim of the Left and the Right's power-plays.
You have got to be kidding. Scargill was nobody's victim. He was out to destroy an elected government that failed to bow down to him and his left wing criminal scum.

He should have been arrested and charged with conspiracy and made personally liable for the damage caused by the rabble he led to violence. He was no different to any of the other terrorists who rejected democracy and decided that those who failed to tow his line and follow his orders were to be punished be they miners, the management of the NCB, the government, or the public at large. Thank God we had a PM who was willing to take him and his followers on and defeat them.

So I will never feel sorry for that man. He personally brought a lot of pain and suffering to a lot of people, particularly miners and their families whom he misled and of course to those who were brave enough to stand up against his bullies.

Is he still alive? I hope he lived long enough to watch how his beloved Soviet Union was brought to its knees as soon as the people were able to have any say in it.

He deserves to be sh!t on in life and his grave sh1t on after his death.
 
#15
TIGER-MONKEY said:
BoomShackerLacker said:
dundrillin said:
The idea of Scargill being looked upon favourably by the Soviets tickles me. I suspect he'd be one of the first to 'disappear'.
What a sorry figure Scargill cuts. Now the hysteria has long drifted away I can't help thinking he was a victim of the Left and the Right's power-plays.
You have got to be kidding. Scargill was nobody's victim. He was out to destroy an elected government that failed to bow down to him and his left wing criminal scum.

He should have been arrested and charged with conspiracy and made personally liable for the damage caused by the rabble he led to violence. He was no different to any of the other terrorists who rejected democracy and decided that those who failed to tow his line and follow his orders were to be punished be they miners, the management of the NCB, the government, or the public at large. Thank God we had a PM who was willing to take him and his followers on and defeat them.

So I will never feel sorry for that man. He personally brought a lot of pain and suffering to a lot of people, particularly miners and their families whom he misled and of course to those who were brave enough to stand up against his bullies.

Is he still alive? I hope he lived long enough to watch how his beloved Soviet Union was brought to its knees as soon as the people were able to have any say in it.

He deserves to be sh!t on in life and his grave sh1t on after his death.
Well, possibly. But, possibly not. The idealogical-visionary is open to manipulation by those more complex Machiavellians who spot a vehicle for their grand-schemes. Scargill wasn't the brightest lump of political coal in the bunker and he fulfilled the archetypal class-warrior for those below the parapet, and who no doubt enjoyed his assault on The Milk Snatcher. They stoked his bunker I suggest. The apologists for the Soviet Union were all around willing him on I remember well.
 
#16
I still find it impossible find any sympathy for him. Even if he was being manipulated by others more smart than him, he was still a peice of sh1t more than willing to go along with it all. By the way does anyone know if he is still alive, or is he trying to picket the pearly gates these days?
 
#17
TIGER-MONKEY said:
I still find it impossible find any sympathy for him. Even if he was being manipulated by others more smart than him, he was still a peice of sh1t more than willing to go along with it all. By the way does anyone know if he is still alive, or is he trying to picket the pearly gates these days?
... or a brazier in purgatory supporting a flying picket! :whew:
 
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