The French company he still works for, Dassault, told us that after 30 years that it was unable to confirm whether or not it had authorised the work his team carried out in Argentina at this time. The politics of the Falklands War. Across an Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War is Lieutenant General Cedric Delves’s first-hand account of 22 Special Air Service (SAS) involvement in the 74-day war between Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands. Falklands War The British Army and the Falklands War. The second was Britain’s lack of military resources. But not all in the French government were in the dark about the technical team's presence in Argentina during the conflict. “The local Pan Am airline manager, Don Coffee, told us his president had told him that we had to make everything possible available to British forces. Tensions between Britain and Argentina over the disputed Falkland Islands (Malvinas) rose swiftly after Argentine scrap metal merchants and Argentina Marines raised the Argentine flag over South Georgia Island on 19 March 1982, and on 2 April, Argentine forces occupied the Falkland Islands. For much of the land and sea operations in April and May 1982, the Task Force had only 20 Harriers available at any one time. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}In his memoirs, former UK Defence Secretary Sir John Nott describes France as Britain's "greatest ally" during the Falklands War. President Reagan at first said the US would be impartial in the conflict between two of its allies. The intelligence telegrams show that the CIA knew from satellite surveillance that Argentinian army forces in Goose Green were between 400 and 600, whereas the British commander Lt-Col H Jones thought they would be far fewer when he gave orders for the battle. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. At the time, few suspected that the regime's longstanding claim on the Falklands would lead to war, and the sale went largely unnoticed. July 24, 1982 French technicians reportedly helped Argentina during Falklands war LONDON -- French technicians helped Argentina fit Exocet missiles -- … And as Lawson points out, the Falklands was a war in which the Brits, though helped by the U.S. and Chile, did the fighting and winning themselves. British efforts, he insists, were mainly focused on stopping the Argentinians getting hold of any more Exocets. But he is fiercely critical of the French team for the technical help it gave. © 2021 BBC. Spartan left Gibraltar on 1 April, and Splendid sailed from Faslaneth… WHEN the British task force set sail for the Falklands ... many of the factors that helped Britain to victory no longer exist. merican support for Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands campaign was much closer than Ronald Reagan dared admit, CIA documents reveal. But Mitterrand's policy of supporting Britain provoked dissent among some senior officials in the French foreign ministry. Pierre Lethier, former chief of staff of the DGSE - the French equivalent of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 and signal intelligence headquarters GCHQ - admits that his department did know about them. The files show Washington believed the Soviet Union was prepared to provide ships, weaponry and ammunition to the Argentinians,in return for cheap grain. At the start of the conflict, France's left-leaning president, Francois Mitterrand, had come to Britain's aid by declaring an embargo on French arms sales and assistance to Argentina. "It is now undeniable and... one should not belittle it. Paris also co-operated with extensive British efforts to stop Argentina acquiring any more Exocets on the world's arms market. "It's bordering on an act of treason, or disobedience to an embargo," he says. The Falklands War: Margaret Thatcher's great victory In 1982, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Argentine President General Leopoldo Galtieri had much in common. 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