Whilst I take absolutely nothing away from British forces and their amazing undertaking to recapture the Falkland Islands. I still think it was nothing more than a gamble by Margaret Thatcher to secure another term as prime minister.
At the time she was one of the most unpopular prime ministers ever and was heading for a massive defeat there were four major things that happened.
- The British ignored things that the Argentinian's were saying in the UN or hints that they were making about military action.
- John Nott withdrew the Endeavor which was the support ship for the Falklands.
- The British government brought in the British nationality act of 1981 which replaced the full British citizenship of Falkland islanders with the more limited version.
- Intelligence had been received that the Argentinian's might attempt something and Thatcher was advised to dispatch a small military force, but refused to do so.
My only assumption of this, knowing that she was a very intelligent lady, was that she knew exactly what she was doing. She led Britain into a war to secure her Premiership, as we know she went from being the most unpopular p.m. to be in the most popular after the war.
In retrospect in 1976 James Callaghan had sent a small military Force to the South Atlantic when Argentina landed 50 men on an unoccupied southern thule which belong to the South sandwich Islands. Possibly heading off a previous invasion, who knows.
We also have to take into account that the government had tried on two separate occasions to negotiate the Falklands away but had been thwarted by the islanders.
I actually had a very small conversation with Sandy Woodward who was Rear Admiral of the task group, he was a member of the Sailing Club i was also member of. One of the few things he did say was that it was very close at times, could have been a different story.
The Falklands War - The Untold Story
The Falklands Movie
(Funny the similarities between thatchers predicament and Galtieri)
Someone with a similar opinion to mine https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/2nouud/why_did_margaret_thatcher_want_the_falklands_so/