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Well after your post ... Sir Excalibur - 01/05/2004 09:59:43 AM

I agree on that part. But the only time I've seen Thatcher pressed on the sinking, she refused to answer and kept trying to side step the issue.

I listened to the House of Commons debate on the sinking of the Belgrano which was quite interesting. The particular issue of who gave the direct order did not come up, though Mrs T did, obviously, defend the sinking.

From what I remember elsewhere (and I have studied the Falklands a fair bit) it was the captain of HMS Conqueror that took the decision. He was under orders to fire on any ship that approached the Falklands, and couldn't break radio silence in case he gave their position away. He gave the order based on the fact that it had been heading for the Islands, despite all Argentine vessels being told to remain in port or face being sunk (the 200 mile exclusion zone was for all other shipping but is often misrepresented in the press because the UN was just told about the 200 miles). While true that the ship had turned around and was heading away the commander still felt that the ship presented a direct threat to British forces on the region as it could have turned around again at any point. There was also no evidence that they were heading directly back to port.

While not irrelevant the above isn't really important. Those that are anti-Thatcher will always think it is a war crime (like those that are anti-Bush with the same intensity will think Iraq was a war for Oil), and those that are symapthetic to Thatcher will think it wasn't a war crime.


Sir Excalibur

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This message last edited by Sir Excalibur on 5/1/2004 at 10:22:10 AM.




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