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Posted: 9/17/2004 8:37:18 PM EST
I just finished reading an interesting book about the Falklands War of 1983. Its called The Fight For The Malvinas, by Martin Middlebrook; and as the title implies, it tells the story of the war from the Argentinian side, which has not generally been available before.

This book is not an apologia for the Argentinian failure, but it does counter some of the claims made by the British about their successses. For instance, the Royal Marines claimed to have knocked out an Argentinian Marine LVPT-7 with machine gun and rocket fire; the author proves this is false, as he had the opportunity to examine the APC himself, which indeed had about a hundred scars from the MG fire, but these were just that- superficial dents, and the armor was in no way compromised. The recoiless rifle hit that supposedly finished the amphib off missed altogether; the smoke the RMs saw was a smokescreen laid down to aid the disembarking troops.

There is more stuff like that in the book, and it is believable, because the writer is a British repoter who went to Argentina in 1987 to get information to more fully document the conflict. The British are a proud people, and their wartime self promotion, while understandable, clouded the record and needs to be cleared up; this book goes a long way to telling the story in a more even handed fashion.

Some of the Argentinian forces come off in a good light, particularly the Regular and Special Forces soldiers, and especially the pilots who put the hurt on the Royal Navy. Even the conscripts, who bore the brunt of the fighting, come off as generally able troops; the major failing of the Argentine Military was a badly deficient officer corps, which was riddled with classism and politics.

Definitly a recommended read for war buffs.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:41:27 PM EST
Just think how the history books would read if the Axis had won WWII.

The victors write history.

I'm sure that there were examples of bullshit and heroism from both sides. There always is.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:42:06 PM EST
As Argentine pilots use recycled parachutes as jock-straps, he might have something there.

I'll check it out when I have the chance.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:03:10 PM EST
I read a book by a British author from a British perspective who agreed that the big part of the Argies problem was the poor officers in the Army.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:10:09 PM EST
The Battle for the Falklnds

max hastings and Simon Jenkins

circa 1983

Good book one ot the first that I have bought
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:14:47 PM EST
Read that one too.

My, how the world has changed since those simple times. No Argentinian suicide bombers, head chopper offers or child killers...
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:16:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
Read that one too.

My, how the world has changed since those simple times. No Argentinian suicide bombers, head chopper offers or child killers...



Hmmmm, maybe they had honor.

And decency.

And were civilized.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:19:40 PM EST
I had the pleasure of spending three months with the crew of an Argentinian frigate during the Haiti fiasco, er, operation.

Great bunch of guys, but they take the Falklands War SERIOUSLY. I got a whole other side of that, and let's just say that the whole story isn't told by the Brits.

That said, they blame their former government for even having gotten into that mess in the first place. Some of these guys (the senior officers) had friends on the Belgrano. Very sobering conversations.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:21:52 PM EST
So... What did they say?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:30:29 PM EST
I love to get the story from both sides at the soldier level. Makes for great reading.

During Vietnam, a North Vietnamese porter was given a bag of mortar shells to carry down the Ho Chi Mihn trail. He carried them on foot for two months, finally arriving at his destination in South Vietnam just in time to hand off the rounds to a mortar crew that was running low on ammo.

He wearily handed his bag to the mortar crew, who took the three rounds out of the bag and dropped them in the tube. Out of ammo, the crew rested. The mortar crew chief looked at the porter and said, "Well? Go get somemore!"

I don't know if it's a true story, but I hope it is.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:33:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hatchet36:
So... What did they say?



For one thing, the Belgrano was nowhere near the supposed "exclusion zone" when it was torpedoed...
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:34:29 PM EST


I love to get the story from both sides at the soldier level. Makes for great reading


+1 for that!

In fact, one of the Argentinian Army conscripts the author interviwed was the son of British immigrints. Talk about divided loyalties!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:40:08 PM EST
The Argentinians have had excellent pilots in their Air Force for decades. The former General of Fighters for the Luftwaffe, Adolf Galland was invited by Peron after WWII to lead and train the Argentine Air Force along with some excellent former Luftwaffe pilots, he did this for about a decade after WWII. Gen. Galland was among the best leaders and Aces of all time (104 victories). Gen Galland was highly respected by the USAF and RAF.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:50:59 PM EST
The Falklands War was in 1982.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:57:55 PM EST


The Falklands War was in 1982


Right. 2 April to 14 June.

I am fixated on 1983 because thats when I graduated high school. And joined the Marines two days later...
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 10:06:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By operatorerror:

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
Read that one too.

My, how the world has changed since those simple times. No Argentinian suicide bombers, head chopper offers or child killers...



Hmmmm, maybe they had honor.

And decency.

And were civilized.



Of course, the Peruvians & Colombians more than make up for that...

See 'Shining Path' and 'FARC'
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 10:11:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Argentinians have had excellent pilots in their Air Force for decades. The former General of Fighters for the Luftwaffe, Adolf Galland was invited by Peron after WWII to lead and train the Argentine Air Force along with some excellent former Luftwaffe pilots, he did this for about a decade after WWII. Gen. Galland was among the best leaders and Aces of all time (104 victories). Gen Galland was highly respected by the USAF and RAF.



No shit? I've always been a fan of Galland, from what I've read he was one of the few who actually had the balls to stand up to Hitler & tell him the truth about the war. Is it true that he had an ashtray installed in his BF109 for his cigars?
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:53:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Originally Posted By Hatchet36:
So... What did they say?



For one thing, the Belgrano was nowhere near the supposed "exclusion zone" when it was torpedoed...



Oops darn. Maybe if they knew how to set watertight integrity and keep it, progressive flooding wouldn't have sunk it. That should be "supposed" exclusion zone.

The Argie Officers were high on spirit and low on smarts. The conscripts were low on spirit and higher on smarts, most surrendered when they realized they were very outclassed. Fighting and dying when it might make a difference is one thing, fighting and dying when you are out numbered, out supplied, out everythinged doesn't make sense.

The Brits were damn lucky not to have lost several more ships, if the Argies had successfully fused their bombs, those ships wouldn't have had the same size exit would as entry wound.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:24:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 9:29:51 AM EST by vito113]
They LOST! we won!

So we lost some ships… the Royal Navy had decided it was quite prepared to lose 33% of it's ships and a carrier to win.

And as for the Belgrano…… so she was not near the 'exclusion zone' …she was outside the Argentine 12 mile limit with hostile intent… so she dies, it's called War. We were playing for keeps, they thought we were not, they were wrong.

Watertight integrety would have done nothing for that ship… she was doomed the moment a modern Nuclear Hunter-Killer submarine started hunting her. The technology gap was so large it was like a Velociraptor attacking a herd of Sheep, there was only going to be one outcome that day……

I don't know why the Argies bleat so much about the loss of the Belgrano anyway… The Skipper of HMS Conqueror deliberately chose not to sink the two escorting Destroyers as well so they could pick up survivors… instead they ran away at high speed. Many of the Argentines died of exposure waiting up to two days for rescue.

Also, they came damn close to losing their carrier as well. Another British SSN was shadowing her and if the combination of the wind dying and the news of the Belgrano getting sunk had not caused the 25 de Mayo to turn and run for port she was to be sunk as soon as she made preparations to launch aircraft.

The Argentine pilots were brave as hell, and Royal Navy people still have huge respect for their bravery… the same could not be said of the Argentine army. Did you know our troop captured a load of Argentine conscripts with bullet wounds in the foot? Their Officers shot them to make them stay and fight… lovely people.

And this is not just 'supposition' or 'stuff I read in a book'…… I've met the people and spoken first hand with the guys who pressed the buttons and pulled the triggers. It was 'my war'. Remember, book authors write a book as they see the 'facts', some of us were there and lost friends in that war.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 4:01:54 AM EST
If the Argentinian's would of had more anti-ship AM.39 Exocet missiles.....
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 4:50:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 9:31:25 AM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By KA3B:
If the Argentinian's would of had more anti-ship AM.39 Exocet missiles.....



We fixed that one shortly after HMS Sheffield was lost… we reverse engineered the homer on an Exocet to build an effective jammer. We did ask the French to give us the information BEFORE the Sheffield was hit… they refused. It's one of the main reasons I hate the Bastards so much… some of my friends died because of that French refusal.

However, Sheffield was an anomaly, she was not at action stations and her Air Search radar was offline as she was using her satellite uplink, HMS Glasgow nearby DID however spot the launch and track the missiles. The only other RN ship targeted by an air launched Exocet was HMS Avenger which shot it down with her 4.5" main gun using a 'splash barrage'.

After HMS Sheffield no RN ship operating away from coastal radar clutter was hit by Exocet, HMS Glamorgan was operating close inshore when she was hit but the tactics worked to spoof the missile and deflect the hit and she survived.

The other ship lost to Exocet was the Atlantic Conveyer, a merchant ship, operating with the main task force. The missle failed to get a lock on any of the warships due to jamming and spoofing, Atlantic Conveyor however had no countermeasures and took the hit. To this day the Argentine still calim to haveghit our carrier HMS invincible with an Exocet… I can catagorically state that is bullshit… she had no holes in her when I saw her coming home, and none of my friends in the crew recall being hit!

Andy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:24:14 AM EST
That was a nice little war for the Brits and Argentines. I was just a kid, but remember seeing it on the news every night.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:41:02 AM EST
Yeah its still really a touchy subject. While in Uruguay for two years lots of people would talk about the Falklands. I even had the chance to read some of the propaganda mags put out by the argentines. They were showning off their knife fighters to counter the publicity the British were getting by bringing in the Gurkhas.
Many of the people I talked to were still quite upset about the Falklands and felt the British took advantage of them, being more advanced and all. One thing that hasn't been touched on here is the problems with materiale. I believe that the argentines were without alot of the gear they needed. I remember reading that they only had like 5 or 10 rounds a piece.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 5:49:41 AM EST
When I was in 1st Marines, we had an Argentine Marine exchange officer. He was captured in the Falklands and later served as a UN observer on the front lines during the Iran-Iraq War.

Interesting guy.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:04:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By ajm1911:
Yeah its still really a touchy subject. While in Uruguay for two years lots of people would talk about the Falklands. I even had the chance to read some of the propaganda mags put out by the argentines. They were showning off their knife fighters to counter the publicity the British were getting by bringing in the Gurkhas.
Many of the people I talked to were still quite upset about the Falklands and felt the British took advantage of them, being more advanced and all. One thing that hasn't been touched on here is the problems with materiale. I believe that the argentines were without alot of the gear they needed. I remember reading that they only had like 5 or 10 rounds a piece.



We (the British) were actually outgunned in a lot of things.

Aircraft; Their Mirage and IAI Dagger aircraft were supersonic and they had loads of them and plenty of A4 Skyhawks. They also had close air support aircraft based on the Falklands

Artillery; Ditto, the British had 6 105 guns and a handful of Scorpion light tanks (30mm & 76mm guns). The Argies had a load of Panhards with 76,mmguns plus plenty of 105mm & 155mm Artillery

Infantry Weapons; They generally had more heavy support weapons. They had .50 BMG's which proved very deadly, so much so the the British Army promptly adopted MA Duce after the war. Night Vision gear; Argies had a good stock of starlight scopes. Ammunition… they were awash in the stuff, the British troops were amazed how much stuff they were capturing, good job too, they used FAL's and 7.62 like us… very thoughtful. Likewise personal gear, their parkas were much better then ours.

Overall we were outnumbered by between 2-3:1 in boots on the ground and they had more fire support. However, Britains professional troops won through by sheer guts and determination.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 7:39:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By ajm1911:
Yeah its still really a touchy subject. While in Uruguay for two years lots of people would talk about the Falklands. I even had the chance to read some of the propaganda mags put out by the argentines. They were showning off their knife fighters to counter the publicity the British were getting by bringing in the Gurkhas.
Many of the people I talked to were still quite upset about the Falklands and felt the British took advantage of them, being more advanced and all. One thing that hasn't been touched on here is the problems with materiale. I believe that the argentines were without alot of the gear they needed. I remember reading that they only had like 5 or 10 rounds a piece.



We (the British) were actually outgunned in a lot of things.

Aircraft; Their Mirage and IAI Dagger aircraft were supersonic and they had loads of them and plenty of A4 Skyhawks. They also had close air support aircraft based on the Falklands

Artillery; Ditto, the British had 6 105 guns and a handful of Scorpion light tanks (30mm & 76mm guns). The Argies had a load of Panhards with 76,mmguns plus plenty of 105mm & 155mm Artillery

Infantry Weapons; They generally had more heavy support weapons. They had .50 BMG's which proved very deadly, so much so the the British Army promptly adopted MA Duce after the war. Night Vision gear; Argies had a good stock of starlight scopes. Ammunition… they were awash in the stuff, the British troops were amazed how much stuff they were capturing, good job too, they used FAL's and 7.62 like us… very thoughtful. Likewise personal gear, their parkas were much better then ours.

Overall we were outnumbered by between 2-3:1 in boots on the ground and they had more fire support. However, Britains professional troops won through by sheer guts and determination.

Andy



Yes,

If the Argentine had used their resources to best advantage,

If the Argentine soldiers had actually been better trained, properly supported, and had cared to fight about the Falklands,

If the Argentine command would not have been idiots,

They would have beaten the British.

The British won a war they should not have with shear determination and new American state-of the-art Sidewinder missiles.

If the Argentines had studied British history a little they might have know the British often win wars the should not.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 7:46:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
If the Argentines had studied British history a little they might have know the British often win wars the should not.



Yup...it was true in 1940, and it's just as true today!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 7:49:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 7:50:16 AM EST by vito113]
Yes to your points… however the Argentines were going to lose from day one…

Having 4 British SSN's circling around you means your cut off from home… ok you grabbed the Islands that are defended by just 40 troops and your 'King of the Hill', but the Indians are circling the wagons… and the cavalry are not coming to the rescue.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:00:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:
Yes to your points… however the Argentines were going to lose from day one…

Having 4 British SSN's circling around you means your cut off from home… ok you grabbed the Islands that are defended by just 40 troops and your 'King of the Hill', but the Indians are circling the wagons… and the cavalry are not coming to the rescue.

Andy



I disagree if the Argentines had made proper concentrated use of their Air Forces the British would not have been able to sustain a surface naval force in the area.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:32:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sumo2000:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
The Argentinians have had excellent pilots in their Air Force for decades. The former General of Fighters for the Luftwaffe, Adolf Galland was invited by Peron after WWII to lead and train the Argentine Air Force along with some excellent former Luftwaffe pilots, he did this for about a decade after WWII. Gen. Galland was among the best leaders and Aces of all time (104 victories). Gen Galland was highly respected by the USAF and RAF.



No shit? I've always been a fan of Galland, from what I've read he was one of the few who actually had the balls to stand up to Hitler & tell him the truth about the war. Is it true that he had an ashtray installed in his BF109 for his cigars?



Galland did stand up to Hitler and especially Goering, for example Goering wanted Luftwaffe pilots to shoot down parachuting pilots for which Galland told Goering to shove that order up his ass.

Yes, he did have a cigar lighter installed in his Bf-109, he also invented the Galland Hood for the Bf-109 which improved visibility incredibly for his pilots. Galland ALWAYS looked out for the welfare of his fighter pilots and wouldn't have them do something that he wouldn't do himself, much like a Jimmy Doolittle. Galland also looked out for the welfare of downed pilots that where captured in his area of operations, he would often give them a good dinner with drink and make sure they got proper medical attention if needed, one reason Adolf Galland was never considered a War Criminal.

If you add his fighter pilot skills, intelligence, charisma, leadership, and tactical skills on the Strategic level, Adolf Galland is the greatest fighter pilot of them - hands down.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:28:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 9:36:53 AM EST by StormSurge]
Virtually all the Argentinian jets were shot down by AIM-9L Sidewinders, which the US supplied.

The Argentine troops were very poorly supported; this was well covered in the book. Equipment maintenance was particularly bad. Many of the small arms systems were only partially functional, like the 120mm mortar at the Goose Green battle that was welded to its baseplate and as such could only be fired at a fixed range. One soldier found that his FAL had no firing pin.

An interesting note is that one Argentine Army unit (Co.C, 25 Infantry Regiment) had National Match M-14 rifles fitted with AN/PVS-2 night vision scopes. These were described as "very effective".
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 11:56:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By vito113:
Yes to your points… however the Argentines were going to lose from day one…

Having 4 British SSN's circling around you means your cut off from home… ok you grabbed the Islands that are defended by just 40 troops and your 'King of the Hill', but the Indians are circling the wagons… and the cavalry are not coming to the rescue.

Andy



I disagree if the Argentines had made proper concentrated use of their Air Forces the British would not have been able to sustain a surface naval force in the area.



Disagree away! The reaity is the British could have mounted an indefinate blockade of the Islands using the SSN's. Argentina had no ability to attack the SSN's and trying to sustain a 12,000 man garrison with a handful of C130's alone was a hiding to nothing.

Likewise the Argentine Air Force was allowed a lot of operational leeway that would have been closed to them if we stated losing. One of the main reasons the RAF sent the two Vulcan bombers south was to remind the Argentine Junta that we had the ability to mount long range strategic attacks. Plans were afoot to carry out night time raids against the mainland airbases if the situation needed it.

The Argentine Air Force was only a danger to the Task Force once it closed the Islands to land troops. If the Navy had chosen to it could have stayed 2-300 miles to the east of the Falklands outside Argentine aircrafts reach and maintained a blockade of the Airfield at Port Stanley. The garrison would have been effectively prisoners. Work on building HMS Illustious had been turned into a 'crash program' and she was finished a year ahead of schedule. This would have given the Royal Navy 3 aircraft carriers on station by the end of summer. Also a retrofit of Phalanx CIWS was in hand, Illustrious went south with Phalanx fitted… and that would have been the end of the Exocet threat to her.

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:14:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:14:44 PM EST

Disagree away! The reaity is the British could have mounted an indefinate blockade of the Islands using the SSN's. Argentina had no ability to attack the SSN's and trying to sustain a 12,000 man garrison with a handful of C130's alone was a hiding to nothing.


You need to explain how without a surface force you can blockade anything?

You don’t need to maintain a 12,000 man garrison once the surface fleet is gone; you fly most of them off.

With a concerted use of Argentine use of air power many more British ships would have been lost. The British had enough trouble sustaining operations will the carriers on hand. The British lose ONE carrier and it is over, the surface force then goes away.

Without a surface force on station the British lose.

The British were ONE BAD DAY and a handful of advanced Sidewinder missiles away from losing the war at any time, that is a fact like it or not.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:22:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 9:36:18 AM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
Virtually all the Argentinian jets were shot down by AIM-9L Sidewinders, which the US supplied.




Yes they were, and the Argentines keep trotting out the 9L as some 'wonder weapon' that single handedly allowed the RN pilots to win and have used it as an excuse for losing ever since… BS on that!

The Royal Navy had been using Sidewinders since the mid 60's and they had the previous 9H model in service already. The conditions in the Souith Atlantic were ideal for Heat Seeking missiles, clear, cold air… the 9H would have been very effective too… however what is not spelled out by the book based historians is that all Royal Navy Pilots went to Top Gun at Miramar… they were top of the tree pilots.

Likewise Argentinas aircraft were actually on paper better. the IAI Dagger had shown itself in Israeli hands to be a very capable fighter as had the Mirage. Missiles… Argentina lso fielded very good missiles too, but they tend to play that fact down. They had the Matra Magic 530 and 550 and the Israeli Shafrir, all three of which were very good missiles. The Argentine pilots however were hopelessly outclassed in Air to Air Tactics by the Royal Navy Pilots.

Another big myth of the Falklands war was the Exocet… muchly exagerated capability, of the 6 launched at warships (5 airborne, 1 land launched) all were detected and only the Sheffield was lost to them, and that was a 'one off' situation. Of the others two were shot down and two spoofed…

The book is written from an Argentine perspective, and you must remember they have been systematically playing down their abilities while building up Britains 'advantages' to excuse their poor showing in the Falklands. The 'they had better gear' excuse has been trotted out by the Argentines since the end of the war to try and get around the fact they took on a war they were unable to win. They had lots of very good gear, but they took on one of the most professioanl armed forces in the World hoping they would not fight… a dumb move.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:26:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
You need to explain how without a surface force you can blockade anything?



We managed to kick the shit out of Japan's merchant marine in WWII with some SS's. I think four SSNs could effectively isolate the islands from any shipping, as long as the orders are clear: destroy anything that comes close to the islands. That and preemptive strikes on any ASW assets the Argies may have had.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:29:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Disagree away! The reaity is the British could have mounted an indefinate blockade of the Islands using the SSN's. Argentina had no ability to attack the SSN's and trying to sustain a 12,000 man garrison with a handful of C130's alone was a hiding to nothing.


The British were ONE BAD DAY and a handful of advanced Sidewinder missiles away from losing the war at any time, that is a fact like it or not.



You keep quoting your history books, and I'll keep talking from personal experience. I was in that war along with a bunch of my friends, you and Middlebrook were not.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:50:28 PM EST

We managed to kick the shit out of Japan's merchant marine in WWII with some SS's. I think four SSNs could effectively isolate the islands from any shipping, as long as the orders are clear: destroy anything that comes close to the islands. That and preemptive strikes on any ASW assets the Argies may have had.


That is a vastly historically WRONG statement.

1. We never blockaded Japan. We did cut off SOME vital supplies that had to come across from the outer Pacific we NEVER effected Japanese access to China/mainland Asia.

2. Vast numbers of Japanese merchant ships were sunk by US aircraft not just Submarines.

3. Either way we NEVER effectively blockaded Japan



You keep quoting your history books, and I'll keep talking from personal experience. I was in that war along with a bunch of my friends, you and Middlebrook were not.


History books? History books? I don't got no stinkin history books...

What I do got is facts you got emotion.

That all fine and good and has no bearing one way or the other… the British were ONE BAD DAY and a few missiles away for not being able to control the situation and NOT win. Fact like it or not.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 12:58:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

We managed to kick the shit out of Japan's merchant marine in WWII with some SS's. I think four SSNs could effectively isolate the islands from any shipping, as long as the orders are clear: destroy anything that comes close to the islands. That and preemptive strikes on any ASW assets the Argies may have had.


That is a vastly historically WRONG statement.

1. We never blockaded Japan. We did cut off SOME vital supplies that had to come across from the outer Pacific we NEVER effected Japanese access to China/mainland Asia.

2. Vast numbers of Japanese merchant ships were sunk by US aircraft not just Submarines.

3. Either way we NEVER effectively blockaded Japan



You keep quoting your history books, and I'll keep talking from personal experience. I was in that war along with a bunch of my friends, you and Middlebrook were not.


History books? History books? I don't got no stinkin history books...

What I do got is facts you got emotion.

That all fine and good and has no bearing one way or the other… the British were ONE BAD DAY and a few missiles away for not being able to control the situation and NOT win. Fact like it or not.



Ah! so you have 'facts' … well two of us posting here actually walked the walk… and you say were wrong…

I'm done arguing with the keyboard admirals…

Andy out
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:02:33 PM EST

Ah! so you have 'facts' … well two of us posting here actually walked the walk… and you say were wrong…

I'm done arguing with the keyboard admirals…

Andy out



Being there in no way gives you any monopoly on what is right and what is wrong and may just cloud your perspective a bit.

Either way I will head back to the bathtub to re-fight the action…
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:03:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 1:07:27 PM EST by dport]

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

We managed to kick the shit out of Japan's merchant marine in WWII with some SS's. I think four SSNs could effectively isolate the islands from any shipping, as long as the orders are clear: destroy anything that comes close to the islands. That and preemptive strikes on any ASW assets the Argies may have had.


That is a vastly historically WRONG statement.

1. We never blockaded Japan. We did cut off SOME vital supplies that had to come across from the outer Pacific we NEVER effected Japanese access to China/mainland Asia.
If you read my post, I never said we blockaded Japan just that we kicked the shit out of their merchant marine.
2. Vast numbers of Japanese merchant ships were sunk by US aircraft not just Submarines.
Subs were credited with 55%+ of the Japanese tonnage sunk in WWII.
3. Either way we NEVER effectively blockaded Japan
Again, If you read my post, I never said we blockaded Japan just that we kicked the shit out of their merchant marine.



Your response does not counter that IMPO (in my professional opinion) four SSNs could have provided a blockade of the Falklands.
You kill the ASW platforms, which weren't much IIRC. Some destroyers with depth charges?
You then announce that any ship trying to reach the Falklands will be sunk.
Then you execute the plan.
Could smaller ships run in and possibly try to resupply the Falklands? Possibly, but would it be worth the effort? Probably not.

Edited to correct a percentage.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:06:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

We managed to kick the shit out of Japan's merchant marine in WWII with some SS's. I think four SSNs could effectively isolate the islands from any shipping, as long as the orders are clear: destroy anything that comes close to the islands. That and preemptive strikes on any ASW assets the Argies may have had.


That is a vastly historically WRONG statement.

1. We never blockaded Japan. We did cut off SOME vital supplies that had to come across from the outer Pacific we NEVER effected Japanese access to China/mainland Asia.

2. Vast numbers of Japanese merchant ships were sunk by US aircraft not just Submarines.

3. Either way we NEVER effectively blockaded Japan




Really!!!! We DID blockade Japan, the Silent Service decimated Japan's merchant fleet especially the Oil Tankers.


The United States Submarine Service in WW II saw action in both the Atlantic, in a very limited way, and in the Pacific in a major way. The Submarine Service accounted for about 55% of all Japanese tonnage sunk in the war. This was done by a branch of the Navy that accounted for about 1.6% of the Navy's wartime complement.

The Japanese lost 1,178 Merchant Ships sunk for a tonnage total of 5,053,491 tons. The Naval losses were 214 ships and submarines totaling 577,626 tons. A staggering five million, six hundred thirty one thousand, one hundred seventeen tons, (5,631,117 tons), 1,392 ships.

Japan ended the war with a bare 12% of her merchant fleet intact but not fuel at hand to run more than a few of them.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:16:42 PM EST
My old SGT Major was a Falklands vet,Scots Guard,who fought on Tumbledown Mountain,and like CampyBob said,very hard core,He loved his bayonet!!
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:21:38 PM EST

Your response does not counter that IMPO (in my professional opinion) four SSNs could have provided a blockade of the Falklands.


Not without the surface fleet… no way in hell could have 4 SSN effectively blockaded the Islands. No control of the air equals no blockade you do not need a large land force on the Islands if the British surface fleet is ineffective.


Really!!!! We DID blockade Japan, the Silent Service decimated Japan's merchant fleet especially the Oil Tankers.


NO WE NEVER BLOCKADED JAPAN. And saying it is so will not make it so. Japan always had full access to mainland Asia, that negates ANY claim of blockade. We cut off SOME supplies but never had an blockade.


55% of all Japanese tonnage sunk in the war.


Last time I checked 55% was slightly less that half what sunk the rest… I think 45% of Japan shipping counts as vast quantities.

Either way it has nothing to do with the Falklands War.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:25:13 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:28:09 PM EST
Argentina had more than Galland on the payroll-- Kurt Tank was a primary designer for the Pulqui fighter. The aircraft looks very like the MiG 15, which is unsuprising since both were derived from the Ta183 of the mid 40s.

Also, Hans Rudel was a fairly close associate of Peron, as well as Otto Skorzeny. This leads me to conclude that Argentina was awash in Fanatic Freaks after the Germans collapsed. which makes my recent learning that there is a substantial number of Jewish people in Argentina all the more interesting.

BTW, I can't confirm it, but I seem to recall some figures of Japanese shipping at the beginning and end of WWII as insured by Lloyd's of London. Beginning of the war: over 4000. End of the war: about 60.

Call it what one likes, shipping attrition was such that Japanese shipping could not have supplied Honshu by the end of WWII.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:49:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Your response does not counter that IMPO (in my professional opinion) four SSNs could have provided a blockade of the Falklands.


Not without the surface fleet… no way in hell could have 4 SSN effectively blockaded the Islands. No control of the air equals no blockade you do not need a large land force on the Islands if the British surface fleet is ineffective.



OK, just how would Argie C-130s maintain their garrison and the islands' inhabitants? I highly doubt they were capable of a Berlin-type airlift. That and with spare parts being a bitch to find since the US wouldn't stab the UK in the back.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 1:56:56 PM EST
Gawd armchair Admirals along with armchair commandoes.

Lack of water tight integrity sank the Belgrano. This hit was not a fatal hit. Granted more hits or a "better" first hit would have done it too, but progressive flooding did her in.

4 SSNs could have blockaded the islands easily, one could have done a good enough job to starve the troops. THEY COULD HAVE FLOWN THEM OFF, well yeah, but that would have been a defeat too.

The Brits could have sat their ships right on the edge of the the range needed to cover the airfiels, shot down anything trying to use the airfield, spot any raids coming out and pull the ships back out of reachable range of the Argy Air Force. Could the ARgies have corrdinated supply flights with anti-ship missions, probably.

The major mistake was the Argies didn't think that the Brits would fight.

And yes Japan was pretty effectively blockaded, not completely but effectively. And it was tightening. She needed to import oil and almost all the tankers were gone. She was rapidly losing her ASW capability. The Air Force (Corps) was mining a lot of harbors. The noose was going to be pulled tight but it was going to take a few more months and then starvation would have been a matter of time.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 2:28:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 2:28:56 PM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Gawd armchair Admirals along with armchair commandoes.

Lack of water tight integrity sank the Belgrano. This hit was not a fatal hit. Granted more hits or a "better" first hit would have done it too, but progressive flooding did her in.

4 SSNs could have blockaded the islands easily, one could have done a good enough job to starve the troops. THEY COULD HAVE FLOWN THEM OFF, well yeah, but that would have been a defeat too.

The Brits could have sat their ships right on the edge of the the range needed to cover the airfiels, shot down anything trying to use the airfield, spot any raids coming out and pull the ships back out of reachable range of the Argy Air Force. Could the ARgies have corrdinated supply flights with anti-ship missions, probably.

The major mistake was the Argies didn't think that the Brits would fight.




Excellent assessment…

Were the two hits fatal to the Belgrano?… probably, although watertight integrety was crap she took two Mk 8's and they make big holes and she was out of the war for good, the Skipper was ready to fire more if he thought it was neccessary… and that's not supposition, I know the guy who 'pressed the button' on HMS Conqueror.

Your assesment of the tactics is spot on! If things had got bad, ie France had supplied more Exocets (and they nearly did), it was going to be a sit them out and starve them out game played out exactly as you describe.

The whole game would have changed in late Summer 82 when HMS Illustrious turned up. She was carrying AEW Sea King Helos. Once we had an AEW capability the Harrier's could have easily carried out an effective air blockade and neutralised the Etendards and their Exocets. The Argentines did try and run in supplies using C-130's and one was shot down by a Harrier with cannon fire.

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 2:35:04 PM EST
Here is what I found on the Belgrano's torpedo hits.


At around 1600 hrs on May 2, Conqueror fired three conventional "straight running" Mk 8 mod 4 torpedoes (each with a 800lb warhead), two of which hit the General Belgrano. One severed her bow, while the second struck abreast the boiler room. The third torpedo may have struck the destroyer Hipolto Bouchard, but failed to explode.The bow hit was very survivable, but the second torpedo hit in the worst possible place on the cruiser's hull: right between the two biggest compartments on the ship. General Belgrano lost all power instantly, and several fires flared up.


She sank in less than 45 minutes in Heavy Seas BTW.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 2:40:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 2:41:24 PM EST by vito113]


USS Pheonix, survived Pearl Harbor, later sold to Argentina to become General Belgrano.

Interesting aside. She was sunk by two WWII Mk 8 torpedoes made in 1944!

ANdy
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