Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Falklands Legacy

I dug out the ships and aircraft I bought from for my Falklands project last week and started to sort them out in readiness to base and paint them.

I did find myself experiencing a slightly bitter taste however, as we'd just endured a week of coverage of the events surrounding the death of one of the chief protagonists in that war,

My view is that the Argentine Junta that invaded the Falklands were a reprehensible lot, and whilst I think the war could have been avoided if Britain had more careful about what signals it sent to the Argentines prior to their invasion, sending a task force to was the right thing to do.

I'm unsure whether war could have been avoided before the opening shots were fired, but once they were there was little choice but to pursue the objective of ejecting the Argentines. I'm sorry the British didn't go further and wage a war to topple the regime in Argentina, who were, after all, Fascists.

I do profoundly regret one result of the British victory though: the Conservative Party election victory the following year.

And so I'll close this post with the words of one young commentator:

Thatcher will be buried as a war hero, just like Churchill was, even though the Falklands conflict was, in territorial and strategic terms, a mere blip on the radar of history. The war of which Thatcher was the hero was quite a different war, a war whose territory was hearts, minds and markets, a war waged against social democracy, labour rights and the idea of the commons. It is this war whose general is being buried today.

The full piece can be read here: I encourage you to read it



  1. Dear John,

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post. Before commenting, I took the trouble to read the article in full and spend a convivial evening with an old friend from the '80s, during which we discussed the "days of our youth".

    I cheered when the Belgrano sank. I was ashore at San Carlos at the time. My elation subsided when the Atlantic Conveyor sank. My squadron diving kit, Land Rover and driver's transistor radio went down with it too. Fortunately, none of my Sappers sank!

    Watching a graceful slow white spiral contrail in a crystal blue sky and realising afterwards that I had witnessed the death of a complete Canberra crew in slow motion brought home a more realistic view of war.

    The row of boots under a tarpaulin at Goose Green, The empty stretcher in the cemetary at San Carlos with a bloodstained bandage trailing, these are eyewitness memories that will die with time and their bearers. Perhaps someone took a photograph and perhaps , long afterwards, someone will make a 15mm diorama by way of hommage. I do this sort of thing for WWII, a war that ended 10 years before my birth, so no need for undue sollemnity or reverence needed here.

    As one of "Thatchers boys (The Sun's accolade, not mine)", I thought that her Government should have fallen for the Falklands cock-up. I thought that she displayed courage or desparation sending the Task Force, and I thought that it set back any meaningful negotiation for a generation. I have great hopes of my descendents and their Argentinian contemporaries, but I won't be surprised if they screw it up too.

    Kind regards, Chris.

  2. Wow...thanks Chris.

    Very humbling. I'll start basing those ships now.


  3. I tackle this issue in my new blog, where, amongst other things, I'm chronicling my 10mm Falklands project: http://doandrollthedie.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/by-way-of-introduction.html