Margret Thatcher and the Falkland Islands
Thatcher’s handling of the Falklands crisis can be considered to be successful as she triumphed over the Argentines, winning back the islands, and also she finished in a much stronger position politically, and internationally. Thatcher managed to secure international backing, as she secured the backing of NATO, and more importantly the USA. This was to play a huge part in the Falklands crisis as she obtained the loaning of the Ascension Islands which proved instrumental in ensuring victory for Britain by putting pressure on Argentina militarily. She took tough decisions that may have ultimately won the war. For example, she decided to controversially sink the Belgrano. This essentially made the Argentine navy weak, and also made them wary of the ability of the British navy. She also listened well to her military advisers, this is proven by the fact it only took 3 weeks to recapture the islands. Considering the islands were 8000 miles away and it would take 2 weeks to get there, this is an extraordinary feat. Despite being able to make the right decisions, Thatcher also made some fairly detrimental mistakes. One of which was her decision to cut navy spending, which included the withdrawal of the HMS Endurance from the South Atlantic. This was the only ship left in this area, and so left the Islands vulnerable to attack, which is exactly what happened. Not only did this leave the islands undefended, but it also demonstrated to the Argentines, and in particular Galtieri, that Britain were not interested in the islands. It could also be argued that the islands were a worthless prize, and that they did not present any benefits. They did not provide any economic benefits, but were a burden to the already weak economy. 255 British troops also lost their life due to the sinking of HMS Sheffield, which was also a failure from Thatcher’s part. However, the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands were British citizens, and wanted...
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