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  • Falklands scenario

    What if the Argentines had in their possession say 40 + Exocet rather than a half dozen and had more aircraft that could launch them?

    I'd postulate that in this situation the RN couldn't have operated against the islands without obtaining an actual aircraft carrier capable of using conventional aircraft and some AEW aircraft that could support their operation. A handful of Harriers wouldn't have been enough to protect their fleet from aircraft attacking regularly with Exocet.

  • #2
    Where would they get a conventional AC ? Maybe French assistance ? Which against the exocets will be rather bizarre

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nastle View Post
      Where would they get a conventional AC ? Maybe French assistance ? Which against the exocets will be rather bizarre
      Well, they already had some French aircraft and some were Israeli made. Either was capable of selling them something that could use an Exocet.

      As for the British getting conventional aircraft, they had two squadrons of F-4 (FG 1) Phantom aircraft that were carrier capable, what they lacked was the aircraft carrier. At the time there were rumors that the US might "lease" them a carrier of one sort or another for use in the Falklands. How true that would have been is anybody's guess.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        Well, they already had some French aircraft and some were Israeli made. Either was capable of selling them something that could use an Exocet.

        The Argies were also using US made aircraft (A4-B) and Mk.82 bombs. Looking at the sinkings/damages, almost 2/3rds were by US made aircraft and bombs. Many of these ordinances failed to explode, possible because the pilots flew extremely low thus preventing the fuses from arming before striking their targets. There were also post-conflict reports of particularly poor maintenance and storage of these weapons.

        Had all of these weapons exploded as intended, they could have inflicted enough damage to UK forces to make them withdraw, either to rethink strategy or cut their losses.

        It seems historically, both sides made serious errors in judgement....UK thinking the Argies wouldn't use Exocets, and the Argies acting on a CIA report which stated that the British couldn't have the logistical means to retake the islands.

        In a purely logistical and strategic viewpoint, much was in favor towards the Argies, but they seriously botched it, both politically and militarily. My conclusion is that the Argies had much, much deeper problems than simply their weapons failing to explode.......very fundamental flaw at many levels, so I'm not so certain the addition of more Exocets would have made the difference. It's also worth noting that Argentina had managed to alienate some of her neighbors like Peru and Chile, these two countries passing some intel to the British on Argentinian capabilities.
        You'll live, only the best get killed.

        -General Charles de Gaulle

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        • #5
          What might have happened might have been a naval blockade by RN submarines of Argentina, particularly the River Plate Estuary, and possibly SAS raids on the Argentine air bases:- all of which would have been a significant raising of the ante.
          "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
          Samuel Johnson.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
            What might have happened might have been a naval blockade by RN submarines of Argentina, particularly the River Plate Estuary, and possibly SAS raids on the Argentine air bases:- all of which would have been a significant raising of the ante.
            Bringing the war ashore to Argentina itself might well have widened it. Peru, Guatemala, Venezuela were all backing Argentina. It's very possible that they could have jumped in actively. That might bring Chile in on Britain's side. It certainly would have made things interesting...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
              What might have happened might have been a naval blockade by RN submarines of Argentina, particularly the River Plate Estuary, and possibly SAS raids on the Argentine air bases:- all of which would have been a significant raising of the ante.

              Poland ball should address this issue. (One of my favorite threads btw.)
              Credo quia absurdum.


              Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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              • #8
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                Well, they already had some French aircraft and some were Israeli made. Either was capable of selling them something that could use an Exocet.

                As for the British getting conventional aircraft, they had two squadrons of F-4 (FG 1) Phantom aircraft that were carrier capable, what they lacked was the aircraft carrier. At the time there were rumors that the US might "lease" them a carrier of one sort or another for use in the Falklands. How true that would have been is anybody's guess.
                The Exocet that hit HMS Glamorgan was launched from land. It was adapted so that it could be used as such, but there were other versions of the Exocet that were capable of being fired from land.
                "Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it"
                G.B Shaw

                "They promised us homes fit for heroes, they give us heroes fit for homes."
                Grandad, Only Fools and Horses

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sergio View Post
                  The Exocet that hit HMS Glamorgan was launched from land. It was adapted so that it could be used as such, but there were other versions of the Exocet that were capable of being fired from land.
                  That would just make things even harder for the British. Losing a few more ships than they did would have put their whole operation in jeopardy. Having one of the two small carriers present hit and disabled would have too. Just the loss of the Atlantic Conveyor and all but one Chinook helicopter was a major blow.

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                  • #10
                    Argentina didn't really expect war and thus didn't think through how to fight one. Despite having time to do so they didn't get serious about basing fighters on the Falklands or at least setting up facilities to refuel them. Had they been able to keep fighters in the air over the Falklands to cover aircraft dropping bombs the whole conflict might have been different, extra exocets or not.

                    A scenario where more RN vessels are hit & even sunk could have completely changed the outcome. While Britain could have used its navy to blockade Argentina and Vulcans & SAS to bring the war to Argentine soil, the failure of the expeditionary force to establish a viable beachhead may have made all that moot. Thatcher had not been especially popular before the war, and a spectacular failure could easily have turned public opinion.
                    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure that Argentina could afford the extra hardware, considereing that it's economy was going down the plug hole.

                      But, to actually take the Falklands the Argentinians needed to do very little.

                      If they had just waited say another 6 months:

                      1. The RAF Avro Vulcans would all have been retired, so no "Black Buck" operations and no chance of threatening the mainland with them;

                      2. The Royal Navy would have been minus one aircraft carrier.

                      [.....]
                      On 25 February 1982, after several months of negotiations, the Australian government announced that it had agreed to buy Invincible for 175 million as a replacement, under the name HMAS Australia, for the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Melbourne.[6] The sale was confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.[7]

                      On 2 April 1982, however, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Three days later, a naval task force headed by Invincible and Hermes left HMNB Portsmouth bound for the South Atlantic and, on 20 April, the British war cabinet ordered the repossession of the Islands.
                      [.....]

                      On 1 June, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser advised the British government that the sale of Invincible to Australia could be cancelled if desired. In July 1983, a year after the end of the Falklands conflict,[10] the Ministry of Defence announced that it had withdrawn its offer to sell Invincible so it could maintain a three-carrier force.[11]
                      [.....]
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Invincible_%28R05%29

                      THe cancellation of the sale stopped any chance that Harriers would have entered Australian service.

                      It's been a firm favourite of mine, especially since I got the chance to see one in action at Australia's 1988 Bicentenial Air Show and a week later at the Bankstown Airport Airshow where I was learning to fly at the time.

                      The sound of a Harrier in the hover and the transition to wing born flight from up close is just shattering.

                      If I was able to afford to purchase, maintain and fly just one jet aircraft my choice would be the Harrier.
                      Last edited by At ease; 17 Feb 16, 05:25.
                      "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                      "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                      "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                      Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                        Argentina didn't really expect war and thus didn't think through how to fight one.
                        This^. Argentina seemed to have a great plan for a quick one-week war.......then after that they appeared to improvise almost on the daily situation as it happened. Politically, I don't think they had a clue what to do after the first week.

                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        Bringing the war ashore to Argentina itself might well have widened it. Peru, Guatemala, Venezuela were all backing Argentina. It's very possible that they could have jumped in actively. That might bring Chile in on Britain's side. It certainly would have made things interesting...
                        What on Earth are those countries going to do....ban coffee exports? South America from the 1950s to 1980s was a series of tin-pot dictators, totalitarian governments, military led juntas and a bucket full of other messes. I don't think many of them...if any, would have done anything if it meant possibly losing the US/USSR teet they were eating from.

                        On the other hand, it raises a theoretical point...had Argentina managed to rally ALL of South America, with anti-US/USSR/EU speeches and emphasize a pan-South American unity, now this could have been interesting.
                        You'll live, only the best get killed.

                        -General Charles de Gaulle

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                        • #13
                          With respect to the not prepared angle

                          A version of the report was leaked decades ago, and its conclusions are not a surprise: the junta planned for an easy occupation, gambling the US would support them and Britain would simply let the islands fall into Argentine hands.

                          Then Argentina's ill-equipped army had to scramble into a war footing after Margaret Thatcher sent a task force 8,000 milesinto the South Atlantic to take the islands back.

                          The report confirms Argentine soldiers were sent from the subtropics into winter conditions without proper clothing, food or weapons, and were treated as cannon fodder by their own officers - pushed into battle without having had basic training in weaponry and combat.

                          "Troops weren't adapted or equipped to handle the weather or the living conditions," and yet they had to face "a highly equipped and trained enemy," the report concluded.
                          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...lands-War.html

                          The majority of their best troops were on the border with Chile and using the armed forces in the Dirty War no doubt hampered their military effectiveness.
                          "Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it"
                          G.B Shaw

                          "They promised us homes fit for heroes, they give us heroes fit for homes."
                          Grandad, Only Fools and Horses

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                          • #14
                            The minimum range of a Polaris/Trident is 200 miles.

                            In the event of a British debacle, would Maggie have got away with the RN's SSNs firing missiles without Chevalines on to Commodore Rivadavio and even Buenos Aires industrial zones?!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
                              The minimum range of a Polaris/Trident is 200 miles.

                              In the event of a British debacle, would Maggie have got away with the RN's SSNs firing missiles without Chevalines on to Commodore Rivadavio and even Buenos Aires industrial zones?!
                              No. Nuking anyone would be a major problem and cause an incredible escalation in the war. Using conventional warheads, if they were even available, would have been next to useless just as the V-2 was, or Saddam's Scud attacks were.
                              Ballistic missiles are a very expensive way to deliver high explosives. In a very real sense, they are worthless in that capacity.

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