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New Falklands War Brewing

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New Falklands War Brewing

Old 4th Feb 2012, 20:40
  #401 (permalink)  
 
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How? No amphibious assets, a cash strapped military, a military that is not popular with the Govt and has not significantly re armed since 1982, a Govt that has also repeatedly said that it will only pursue peaceful means.
The problem with the weak is that they rarely see just how weak they are until they commit to something they shouldn't have...
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 06:48
  #402 (permalink)  
 
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The problem with the weak is that they rarely see just how weak they are until they commit to something they shouldn't have...
Not that I disagree with the sentiment, but to which side of this dispute do you apply it?
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 10:41
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I'm reading some posts that suggest we might torpedo any Argentine ships that entered the territorial waters belonging to the Falklands and all I can say is.. 'Would we?'

Do we honestly believe that the commanding officer of one of Her Majesty's warships would fire upon a foreign flagged vessel without authorisation from on high?

I have NO idea what any ROE may or may not instruct but to fire a torpedo at an unarmed ship without any declaration of war is possibly a step too far. Would those rules be so black and white that the commanding officer has a clear duty to fire, or would they be wishy washy and leave the final act down to the discretion of that poor soul? Would the ship definitely be carrying an invading force or could it be a group of school children studying sea-life, fishing and the history of those islands??

Are we back to the 12 mile territorial waters? From experience it gets embarrassing when a ship refuses to stop or turn away from their port of destination and getting authorisation to act is not going to happen straight away and that 12 miles is going to be covered way before the decision goes all the way up the chain of command.

My thoughts are if you want to see how indecisive our politicians are then just put two types of toilet paper in their private ablutions.... 'Soft or smooth?'... 'Smooth or soft?'

By the time any decision is made that ship will have entered port, unloaded its cargo and no doubt returned from whence it came.

We are all good kids sat in front of our computers saying how we should do one thing or the other but I am not so convinced the World is so black and white.

Air cover
If we are being honest and I suggest we should not be, so being totally dishonest.... On a really bad day when aircraft are being serviced and those due to fly suddenly develop problems how many typhoons could we expect to put up to defend the islands? Aircraft breakdown, aircraft need servicing and perish the thought we also get bad weather.

I am in the corner that believes there will be no conflict this week, this month and maybe not for the next six months, but it is a fool that really believes there will be no conflict within our lifetime!!

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Old 5th Feb 2012, 12:02
  #404 (permalink)  
 
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If the Argentines invade they'll have to use commandeered civilian ferries. Assuming 600 men / ship then I guess they would need at least ten for an attacking force? Is one submarine really going to be able to stop ten ships? Especially civilian ones whose purpose may not be clear until too late?
If the Argentines were to use the 40-knot Seacat type vessels that cruise the River Plate (they may have to borrow some from Uruguay) they could run to Stanley from Buenos Aires in less than 30 hours. From somewhere closer like Ria Gallegos it would be around 6-7 hours.
Assuming they could keep the mobilisation of men and ferries secret, then theres not much time for one submarine to get in the way of a fleet of 40 knot vessels

And if anyone believes using catamarans is unrealistic, then think of the examples of Jervis Bay and Joint Venture. And also remember that Catlink 5 managed the eastbound Atlantic crossing at an average of 41.2 knots

Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 5th Feb 2012 at 12:24.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 12:19
  #405 (permalink)  
 
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As per Mr. Punch:- "Thats the way to do it"!
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 12:48
  #406 (permalink)  
 
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"If the Argentines were to use the 40-knot Seacat type vessels that cruise the River Plate (they may have to borrow some from Uruguay) they could run to Stanley from Buenos Aires in less than 30 hours."

Where would they unload them?

Do the islands even have the facility to unload RO-RO vessels?
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 13:06
  #407 (permalink)  
 
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Especially civilian ones whose purpose may not be clear until too late?
Might I suggest that even a Navy officer might, when confronted by ten ferries in open water rather than their usual coastal haunts skimming along at 40 kts towards the Falkland Islands from the general direction of South America, come to the conclusion that something is amiss. But then, maybe, my confidence in Naval officers is misplaced.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 13:09
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its possible to unload via pontoons attached to the ramp, , or through a roll-on platform angled diagonally from the rear ramp platform to the quay. Small vehicles only, but heavier stuff could follow on later - same as last time
Joint Venture was fitted with a folding diagonal ramp which allowed unloading anywhere - but there wouldn't be time to engineer that, so something makeshift would have to do.


PS - I think my earlier post may have misrepresented the situation. . On checking the current whereabouts of the Incat boats there aren't so many down south- certainly not ten. So maybe just two or three - followed by a conventional ferry fleet.

Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 5th Feb 2012 at 13:20.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 14:34
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Incat ferries are quite large and especially wide so would they make easy meat for strike aircraft. Could the Typhoon handle this at it's present level of capability?
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 14:47
  #410 (permalink)  
 
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I think many are missing the point about the 4 Typhoons down there; they are, as I understand things, a deterrent only.

Tranche 1 aircraft were declared as multi-role in Jul 2008, gaining the designation FGR4 (T3 2-seat variant), fielding the Litening [email protected] Designator Pod and Paveway 2, Enhanced Paveway 2 and 1000lb freefall class of weapons. Only a handful of F2/T1 aircraft remain, these will be upgraded to FGR4/T3 by the end of 2012. Tranche 2 aircraft deliveries commenced under the 4-nation contract in 2008, in the air-to-air role only. These aircraft were deployed to the Falkland Islands to take-over duties from the Tornado F3 in Sep 09. Currently, upgrades to Tranche 2 continue as part of the main contract, with air-to-ground capability expected in 2012.
The above was taken from here and indicates to me that the FI aircraft are AD only.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 17:08
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Might I suggest that even a Navy officer might, when confronted by ten ferries in open water rather than their usual coastal haunts skimming along at 40 kts towards the Falkland Islands from the general direction of South America, come to the conclusion that something is amiss. But then, maybe, my confidence in Naval officers is misplaced.
I did not want to get involved in this debate as I feel it is getting into the realms of fantasy...

Firstly how many times are we going to read about so called friendly fire incidents where a church or mosque is bombed and then we discover the occupants of those places were innocent men women and children attending a perfectly innocent wedding... I'm sorry but to me that is not an accident...

To assume merchant ships, flying a civilian flag and possibly registered in a state\country of convenience are carrying solely armed soldiers from a country intent on attacking British sovereign soil might be acceptable to some BUT IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to the Royal Navy. Would we be operating under the terms and conditions of a United Nations Resolution or would we be operating solely on our own and using our own rules of engagement?

The MINIMUM either of these authorities (UN resolution or ROE) will possibly demand is that the British warship contacts the ship via VHF and demand they divert or stand to and be boarded.

Not a task for a submarine..

If these merchant vessels refuse to comply then the next stage will be to possibly contact the country of registration, so take your pick from any country of convenience but this is what will most definitely be required to establish what is being carried by that merchant or civilian vessel.

No matter the time of day the most stringent methods MUST be used to contact the owners of that ship and all the time these vessels are steaming toward their destination.

If after the most exhaustive methods have failed to locate the owners then the warship MIGHT get permission to fire shots across the bows.... How close are we now to the shores of Port Stanley?

Again this will rule out our submarines and getting close enough to use 'small arms' is a ridiculous non starter.

If these vessels have failed to answer their radio, and we have failed to contact the owners of the ship, and they have also failed to stop after having shots fired across the bows then the stakes are raised. The wires between the warship ship and MOD will be red hot... The wires between the MoD, Foreign Office and possibly the Prime Minister will now be glowing and who is going to make the next decision?

Send a boarding party!!!

Again that rules out the submarine..

Sending a boarding party to a fast moving, high sided merchant ship that is being uncooperative is not for the faint hearted and once more..

This rules out the submarine.

If those merchant ships have not reached their destination we are now looking toward our politicians that usually can never make an important decision without first asking just about everyone and their dog for advice

'How will this look on the front pages?

Will this win me votes?

What coloured suit should I wear?

Once all these and other less significant questions are answered like possible loss of innocent lives, then and only then might the warship get permission to possibly put live round or rounds into the bridge!!!

Why am I suggesting such caution?

You tell me there are NO CHILDREN on that ship...

You tell me with ONE HUNDRED PER CENT certainty what the intentions of those ships are!..

It is a high possibility that someone could load these ships with young children, the old, the infirm, ordinary families all being offered cheap holidays just to see the 'Malvinas'.

Their government had NO intention of any invasion they just want to exercise their right of free passage and of course to get World publicity to highlight their cause. They could also be 'cheating' and have all these passengers PLUS thousands of soldiers stowed away below decks. Woe betide any GUNG HO idiot that thinks its clever to kill first and ask questions later.

Apologies if this post is too long

Apologies if I am wittering, but make no mistake..

I am British, I am proud to be British, I am proud of the way we protected the rights of those that have voted to live the way they want. I am proud of our military for their professionalism, the manner in which they removed those that wanted to force a different lifestyle on those that live in the Falklands and I will be the first to vote for a second conflict if it is deemed necessary, but we have to exercise caution and not engage trigger before engaging brain...

You do not blow up merchant ships that may well be flying the Panamanian or any other South American flag of convenience just because you think they might be carrying soldiers... It would not matter if those civilian ships were flying the flag of Argentina, as long as they are civilian registered then due diligence has to be carried out. The cargo has to be checked, the occupants have to be checked and if not then we must stick to any mandates or rules of engagement

If they were seconded to the military and they flew the correct military flag then that might well be a different scenario!

Military flag


Civilian Flag


Subtle differences, but differences of significance. Military ships that enter the territorial waters of another nation without permission are being 'very naughty' and there may well be consequences for that act of aggression!
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 17:33
  #412 (permalink)  
 
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"Sending a boarding party to a fast moving, high sided merchant ship that is being uncooperative is not for the faint hearted and once more.."
Then use a Helicopter as well to drop a boarding party on board.

Interesting post anyway.


Couldn't you mine the harbour and approaches and then cover them with other fire to stop any Argie mine hunters ?

Last edited by 500N; 5th Feb 2012 at 18:01.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 17:52
  #413 (permalink)  
 
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Glojo:

Interesting and informed post but surely what you are saying is that as long as they do not respond they will be allowed to simply drive right up to the Falklands and disgorge 6000 troops.

Logically, after all the measures taken including popping shots in front of them, it is quite reasonable to assume that there are few, if any, women and children aboard and when they cross the 12 mile limit it is not at all an unreasonable act to open fire on them. It's a decision I would not hesitate to make because I owe it to the serving men and women on the islands to not allow a superior force to attack them. My duty would not be and my loyalty is not to civilians of another country but to the serving men and women of the British Armed Forces and the civilians they are there to protect. Argentina would be entirely responsible for sending their civilians into harms way to make a political or public relations point and I have zero sympathy whatsoever for those that sent them or those that were sent.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 18:07
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Yes, but just look at all the fuss that was made when we sank an Argentinian cruiser during the '82 war just because it may have been pointing in one direction rather than another.... In my opinion we were at war & the Belgrano was an enemy ship and therefore a legitimate target but popular opinion did not agree so the reaction to our sinking a civilian registered vessel might not be very positive.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 18:24
  #415 (permalink)  
 
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Heaven help us from bloodthirsty armchair warriors.

Originally Posted by Airborne Aircrew
...it is not at all an unreasonable act to open fire on them. It's a decision I would not hesitate to make because I owe it to the serving men and women on the islands to not allow a superior force to attack them. My duty would not be and my loyalty is not to civilians of another country but to the serving men and women of the British Armed Forces and the civilians they are there to protect. Argentina would be entirely responsible for sending their civilians into harms way to make a political or public relations point and I have zero sympathy whatsoever for those that sent them or those that were sent.
What position are you holding when you make this decision that contravenes the Hague Convention and leaves you open to indictment for war crimes? The Prime Minister, the C-in-C, the CO of the ship or the sailor with his finger on the trigger who is "just obeying orders"?

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
During the First World War, as Germany waged submarine warfare against Britain, the ship was identified and torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 on 7 May 1915 and sank in eighteen minutes. The vessel went down eleven miles (18 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1,198 of the 1,959 people aboard, leaving 764 survivors. The sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany, contributed to the American entry into World War I and became an iconic symbol in military recruiting campaigns of why the war was being fought.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Athenia, under Captain James Cook, departed Glasgow for Montreal on 1 September 1939, via Liverpool and Belfast, carrying 1,103 passengers, including more than 300 Americans, and 315 crew. She left Liverpool at 13:00 on 2 September, and on the evening of 3 September was 60 mi (97 km) south of Rockall (250 miles/400 km northwest of Inishtrahull, Ireland), when she was sighted by the German submarine U-30 (1936) commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp around 16:30. Lemp later claimed that the fact that she was a darkened ship steering a zigzag course which seemed to be well off the normal shipping routes made him believe she was either a troopship or a Q-ship or an armed merchant cruiser. U-30 tracked the Athenia for three hours until eventually, at 19:40, when both vessels were between Rockall and Tory Island, Lemp ordered two torpedoes to be fired. The first struck home and exploded, while the second misfired. Athenia began to settle by the stern...

As Athenia was an unarmed passenger ship, the attack was in violation of the Hague conventions and the London Naval Treaty of 1930 which allowed all warships including submarines to stop and search merchant vessels, but forbade capture as prize or sinking unless the ship was carrying contraband or engaged in military activity. Even if this was the case, and if it was decided to sink their ship, it was required that that passengers and crew must be transferred to a "place of safety" as a priority.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 18:26
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Ken

It was a good media beat up as usual, would the media have done such a beat up if one of the carriers had been hit. They didn't seem to for any of the other ships.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 19:07
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FFS, I am glad that most of you posting are not in the military, 'cos frankly your ideas about preventing the loss of the islands with the current UK military capability are total [email protected]&t.

500N
Then use a Helicopter as well to drop a boarding party on board.
totally risible, not many helicopters carried by HM submarines, and as for AA I'm afraid the days of 'crossing the line' or 'reading the riot act' are long gone, whether you like it or not.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 19:38
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Thanks folks for taking my post in the spirit it was meant.

First to answer 500N

Regarding the use of the helicopter, we MUST obviously use all our resources to prevent any invasion. BUT......We also have to be careful we are NOT putting 'hostages' aboard these ships. What I mean by that is if the ship is carrying hundreds of soldiers along with the school children then those few soldiers we put onto the deck of the Merchant ship are possibly up the Khyber without a paddle!!

Hopefully my post MUST is looked at as asking questions as opposed to giving answers. I am NOT saying we cannot do this or we must do that. I am suggesting what may not be possible and what may be considered murder or at least a war crime..

Attacking unarmed merchant ships that are sailing the high seas, and going about their lawful business is not something I for one would want to be associated with, so before getting down and dirty, we must be whiter than white in making sure these vessels are part of an invasion.

Airborne
We are talking about civilian flagged merchant vessels and sadly there will be a very real possibility of these ships sailing unopposed into Port Stanley.

Don't forget I am only talking about civilian flagged ships, I am NOT talking about those vessels flying military flags and in the service of the Argentine government. Once that civilian ship enters the 12 mile limit then I quite like the idea of putting a huge net or rope in the water right across the bows of the ship and let the thing wrap around the propeller.

These issues MUST be sorted out PRIOR to challenging civilian flagged ships and to me the MAJOR problem is when they are flying what we call a 'flag of convenience' You will find a HUGE number of merchant ships being registered in places like the Bahamas which I believe is ranked about the sixth biggest fleet worldwide.

I am playing Devil's Advocate and no doubt folks FAR more clever than myself are giving this issue serious thought but in the meantime we have to accept that things are never black and white. The submarine is an amazing deterrent certain types of target but might not be of much use against others.

I have NO ISSUES with the sinking of the Belgrano, or of course the British losses.
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 19:42
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Harley

glojo was saying why a submarine wasn't any use in the scenarios he was posting about.

I was thinking laterally. We have helicopters on the Falklands, one on HMS Dauntless and probably others on other warships, all with a range well past the 12 mile exclusion zone or wait until inside the 12 mile exclusion zone.

The RM who are more than capable of conducting a boarding party from the air or sea.



glojo
We both posted at the same time. Yes, I realise you are asking questions as well as providing answers, have no problem with that.


Re boarding civilian merchant ships, we had a situation here where a North Korean ship was "up to no good", the police from 2 states and customs tried to get it to stop and tried to board it but they couldn't / didn't have the expertise to do it so the Federal Gov't called in the Defence forces (Navy, SAS and Commandos) and the ship was boarded in very rough seas from the air and sea and controlled in a very short while. The North Koreans were armed.

If the Gov't thinks a ship is up to no good, they have a right to board and stop it.

(Australia has a (bad) habit of boarding Civilian registered merchant ships and doing things they shouldn't with them but the storm normally blows over after a few days or weeks. Taking over one Civilian registered merchant ship helped one Gov't get re elected !!!)
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 20:23
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FODPlod:

What position are you holding when you make this decision that contravenes the Hague Convention and leaves you open to indictment for war crimes? The Prime Minister, the C-in-C, the CO of the ship or the sailor with his finger on the trigger who is "just obeying orders"?
Clearly I would have to be the PM...

I take it you are all for using civilians as shields for the military then. Because, by allowing these hypothetical, (because, after all, this is what they are in this conversation), ten passenger ferries who are traveling with civilians aboard as a group at high speed towards sovereign territory refusing to acknowledge even when fired upon that is exactly what you are doing.

Why do you believe it to be anyone but the foreign government's responsibility if their civilians die when they are used as shields for their military?
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