Originally published 08/08/2013
Adm. John Woodward, who became Britain’s most acclaimed naval officer since World War II when he commanded the Royal Navy battle group sent to retake the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic after they were seized by Argentina in 1982, died on Sunday in Bosham, West Sussex, on England’s south coast. He was 81.His death was announced by Britain’s Ministry of Defense.The Falklands, a British territory comprising a group of windswept islands 250 miles off Argentina’s southeast coast, had been a source of dispute between Britain and Argentina for 150 years when an Argentine military dictatorship staged an invasion in April 1982. The landings on the islands — which the Argentines call the Malvinas but were named by the British in 1690 for Viscount Falkland, treasurer of the British Navy — brought a major military response by the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in support of nearly 2,000 settlers, most of British descent....
Originally published 08/03/2013
Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 visit to the Falklands was akin to a military operation in its own right and followed six months of meticulous planning.The prime minister visited the islands for four days in January to mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of a permanent British settlement.The trip, less than eight months after the end of the conflict, had to be kept secret because of the “significant” threat from Argentina, confidential government files show.The documents, released today by the National Archives under the new 20-year rule, include extensive briefings from the Ministry of Defence marked “Secret UK Eyes A” about travel arrangements....
Originally published 05/19/2013
Credit: Wiki Commons.Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are commonly portrayed in the media as close political and ideological allies. Both were conservatives who reinvigorated their parties and transformed politics in their respective countries, both took on the entrenched welfare state (Thatcher moreso than Reagan, but then the British welfare state was larger and more politically popular), and both were firm anti-communists.The "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain never seemed more special when Reagan and Thatcher were in office. But it's worth remembering that Thatcher, who became prime minister in May 1979, nearly two years before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the fortieth president.
Originally published 03/26/2013
Some of Margaret Thatcher's closest policy advisers voiced strong concerns that the Falklands Islands were not worth the fight, from the earliest days of the campaign, according to the latest release of files from the former Conservative prime minister's personal papers.The papers show that, contrary to the jingoistic spirit at the time, the divisions over the Falklands went to the very heart of Downing Street with both Thatcher's senior economic adviser, Sir Alan Walters, and her chief of staff, David Wolfson, proposing schemes offering to buy-out the 1,800 islanders rather than send a taskforce to the South Atlantic. The scepticism extended to the head of the Downing Street policy unit, Sir John Hoskyns, who voiced the fear of making "almighty fools of ourselves" and worried that an essentially minor issue could precipitate the downfall of the Thatcher government.
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