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I seem to recall the USA would not supply us with sidewinders in sufficient numbers. Also most of the Argentine kit was made in USA. Even the Belgrano was a US warship. But then again, we also supplied Argetina before the war.

Kevin Sampson

Who built the Super-Etendard/Exocet?

Adrian Owens


I think you'll find it was Jeanne Kirkpatrick

Robert Simpson


The French built the Super-Etendard and the Exocet - however, they were very helpful during the war, loaning Britain some of their own equipment so the Armed Forces could train against them, halting all sales to the Argentians once the crisis began, and providing Britain with the codes necessary to render Exocets useless, assuming British personnel could physically get to them.

Ironically, the Argentinians' American combat training actually worked against them during the war to an extent. Like the Americans, they'd come to expect plentiful supplies of provisions and heavy weaponry. Since this was not forthcoming in the Falklands to either side, they weren't as prepared to deal with this as the British, we were all too familiar with inadequate provisions.

Kevin Sampson

"The French built the Super-Etendard and the Exocet"

Yeah, I knew that. It was a rhetorical question. The point was that while we did provide a World War 2 vintage heavy cruiser (the Belgrano, commissioned the USS Phoenix in 1938) to Argentina, you can't compare that to a modern/state-of-the-art weapons system like Super-Etendard/Exocet. Which, as you probably know, killed more of your troops than any other weapon in the Argentine inventory. So the "most of the Argentine kit was made in USA" sounds like BS to me.


Kevin - the kit meant boots, uniforms, webbing, helmets etc. So not BS at all. Though I think H Jones was possible shot with a Belgian gun.


By the way, my origianl point was about sidewinders - this did limit air operations and would have been a big problem if things had dragged on more than they did.

tired and emotional

Britain got support from Reagan and a huge amount from, above all others, Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger did indeed play somewhat fast and loose in terms of materiel and fuel etc provided, and thank God he did. Ultimately he was able to do so over the opposition of others like Kirkpatrick and the endless negotiations of Haig because of Reagan's immensely close relationship with Thatcher. Weinberger's opponents always knew that if push came to shove, and Maggie appealed (in that way she had) directly to Ronnie, probably she would get what she wanted...


I didn't know the US witheld supplies of AIM9s. was it a matter of policy or logistics?

Kevin Sampson

"Kevin - the kit meant boots, uniforms, webbing, helmets etc. So not BS at all. Though I think H Jones was possible shot with a Belgian gun."

The Belgian FN/FAL was the standard-issue infantry weapon of the Argentinians.

"By the way, my origianl point was about sidewinders - this did limit air operations and would have been a big problem if things had dragged on more than they did"

If I recall correctly, you wanted AIM-9M's, which were just starting to enter service with our own forces at the time, to replace your AIM-9L's, and there weren't enough to go around. You guys deployed 28 aircraft to a war that lasted three months. The air war only lasted nine days, from May 21 through May 30. If you couldn't keep them supplied, maybe you should think about increassing the size of your war reserve stocks?


Davod, it was a matter of policy - the USA did not want to be seen as taking sides. Kirkpatrik was running things while Ron was asleep and she would not help us out.

Kevin Sampson's attitude perhaps shows us how special the Special Relationship really is.



You sound like a dog who won't let go of his bone.

Nothing Kevin Sampson wrote indicates the US was not trying to give the Brits what was needed. From what he wrote it would seem the AIM9 issue was a logistics problem.


ballotboy, I've heard lots worse from Brits about the US than what Kevin Sampson wrote about UK military inventory levels basically, so what's w/ the "special relationship" snark?


The US Department of Defense under Caspar Weinberger provided all the assistance that the MOD requested. The US provided from its the then new all aspect AIM9L from its own war stocks, as well as fuel, weapons, communications equipment and intelligence assets including sattelite and electronic intelligence.

Much of the assistance was provided from the beginning of the conflict often without Kirkpatrick's or Haig's knowledge.

Caspar Weinberger even offered the Royal Navy the use of a US aircraft carrier on May 3.


Margaret Thatcher said in her memoirs that without the Sidewinder "supplied to us by US Defence Minister Caspar Weinberger, we could never have got back the Falklands."


Kevin has a valid point though. Some countries are willing to sell anything to anyone. Certainly the Exocet is a good example of a technology that often finds its way into the wrong hands. Likewise the Germans and Russians selling nuclear tech to anyone with a checkbook. As an American, I often hear the one-worlders cite examples of US tech doing harm around the world (Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan, etc.) but there is quite a difference. The US (especially under Reagan and Cap) fights hard to keep the bad guys at a disadvantage. Now we have to worry about the EU selling out NATO tech to China if the French have their way.

Chris Collins

Does anyone have an audio copy of the programme I could listen to? I'd be so grateful. Quality not important. The BBC has taken it down, so the link now connects to the next show in the series. Famously it is very difficult to acquire back copies of BBC material.


I don't know why the British complain of US support during the Falklands War. It is well known that the US totally supported the British. This goes against the Monroe Doctrine and yet is more proof that the US does not care to work together with Latin America. The British government is not free of its imperial mind either.

Why do they claim a territory that is so far away from them (Falkland Islands)?

Why did they basically took away Belize from Guatemala?

Why have they refused to give independence to Ireland (all of it) and let the Irish settle it between themselves if they want to be one country or two?

I think they only left Hong Kong because they saw it as a good way of getting trade with China.

And like these there are many countries that the British colonized and then divided without any concerns for the conflicts that it left behind (Iraq, Kashmir, and so many others).

The British government should apologize and compensate those countries that it has really screwed; that would be the only honest thing to do.


In response to bcp.

We claim the Falkland Islands because it has an ENTIRELY British population, its a bit like someone invading Hawaii and claiming it for themselves, wouldn't you agree?

Secondly we left Hong Kong because it was leased to us a few hundred years before and in 1997 the lease expired, so we gave it up immediately.(note most of the Hong Kong Chinese would prefer to be under British rule)

Thirdly, problems in Iraq etc aren't really a direct result of British rule are they?

Finally, we've given up our empire entirely (which is a pretty big thing to do) apart from places like the Falklands which no country really has much of a claim on, and as I said before, there is an entirely British pop.

allan billingham

ASfor the yanks it's no suprise that no body in the world likes em


Allan, learn to spell: "surprise" with an "r" and "nobody" is one word ... and your type of primitive anti-Americanism is typical for the majority of the ignorant in this world. Read all of the above comments and you will learn that every country in the world - including yours - always has a myriad of motives for their foreign policy, most of them profit- and/or power-oriented. Moreover, every country (even totalitarian ones) has more than ONE political leaning. What you think yourself justified in criticizing about the US is also on the agenda of the Democrats. However, I assume you are more against McDonald's than any real issues.

allan billingham

I do not need a " Yank" to tell me how to spell. Note it's labour not labor for instance.

Darren Hockey

I'm English and I can tell you now, it was labor long before it was labour. You see US spelling is in many ways a snapshot of the English language before 1776...it was indeed us that changed many parts to avoid us being like "them". It did kinda go against the Monroe doctrine, but if you remember for most of the doctrine's exsistance it has been the British Navy that has provided the "muscle" to enforce it, thus protecting a fledgling America to grow (and besides, it was in Britain's interests).

I dont like their treatment dished out to Dickenson (co-author of the declaration of indedpence) and their use of the word "British" when infact I am "English" but otherwise, perhaps you should do some reading Allan before making generalised comments like that


you dumb fuck that said britian took belize from guetemala,i am a belizean and they did no such thinglearn our history before you speak shit head of a hore.


The Spaniards probably had Falklands & Belieze before England but both are European powers. English colonies are way more likely to be democracies & US allies than any former Spanish colonies. England is our greatest ally and we share a common language and history. America, without a doubt, should support Britain over any Latin American country, especially a brutal dictatorship.


Jeane Kirkpatrick might be an IRA sympathizer. You never know!

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