Wednesday, 2 May 2012

30th anniversary of the sinking of the Belgrano

30 years ago today the Royal Navy sank the Argentinian ship, the General Belgrano.

It was all part of the Falklands conflict that had begun a month earlier when the Argentinians had invaded and taken over both the Falklands Islands, which they call the Malvinas islands, and South Georgia.

As part of their campaign to recapture the islands, the British government had announced a 200-mile exclusion zone, but, when HMS Conqueror, a nuclear powered submarine, launched 3 torpedoes at the Belgrano it was outside of that exclusion zone, in international waters, and sailing away from the islands and the British Task Force that had been amassed in the South Atlantic over the previous weeks.

The General Belgrano posed absolutely no threat to Royal Navy ships and had every right to be where it was, and yet, on the orders of Margaret Thatcher, the UK Prime Minister, it was sunk, killing 368 men.

Today, in a tasteless events and a reunion, British veterans of the conflict celebrated this massacre and justified this dreadful attack.

Why, instead, were they not arrested for war crimes? And why has Margaret Thatcher never had her day in court at the Hague to account for the cold-blooded murder of so many men?

Thatcher did many things during her premiership that people find distasteful, for the sinking of the Belgrano she should have spent her later years in prison.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed. The men were sacrificed for Thatcher's need for a 'successful war' which detracted from the dire economic situation at home and allowed attacks on the NUM and her laissez-faire policies to poison the public sector life of Britain. The suspiciousness of the last minute redrawing of the the TEZ, the 'disappearing' log book, the twice refusal of the crew to obey commands, the crew's distress, the dummy crew placed on board back in Faslane.etc... a war crime. My husband was on HMS Conqueror.