Monday, 7 April 2014
Falklands invasion 'surprised' Thatcher
The 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina took Margaret Thatcher by surprise, newly released government papers have shown. The then-prime minister only saw it was likely after getting "raw intelligence" two days before the Argentines landed. Papers released under the 30-year rule show Mrs Thatcher was acutely worried about retaking the islands. One historian said the documents were among the "most powerful material" declassified in the last three decades. In October 1982, a few months after the war ended, Mrs Thatcher gave evidence behind closed doors to the Falkland Islands Review Committee, chaired by Lord Franks. The transcript of that dramatic testimony has now been published for the first time. "I never, never expected the Argentines to invade the Falklands head-on. It was such a stupid thing to do, as events happened, such a stupid thing even to contemplate doing", Mrs Thatcher told the Franks Committee. There had been some British contingency planning in the month before the Argentine invasion of the Falklands. On 26 March 1982, Ministry of Defence officials came back to Mrs Thatcher with a plan to deter a full-scale invasion. Read more HERE
We were also surprised why a second rate military would want to take on one the best professional armies in the world.