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Thread: Falklands/Malvinas slagging match

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    Default Falklands/Malvinas slagging match

    Serious discussion on the Falklands/Malvinas conflict should be restricted to all other threads in this forum. These will continue to be moderated very tightly.

    This thread will be lightly moderated (as per the rest of the forum) as there seems to be demand for such a thread. Swearing, etc. will not be tolerated, nor will failure to produce evidence to support any claims made.

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    Lance-Corporal Vincent Bramley is one of the few soldiers from the ranks to write of his experiences in battle in the war Islands. In this book, Bramley described witnessing the shooting of an Argentine POWs, after his surrender.


    Last edited by pdf27; 02-03-2009 at 06:00 PM.

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    Some aditional info:

    In August 1992, a Public Enquiry was launched by the MOD and Malcolm Rifkind, headed by the Serious Crime Squad, into war crimes allegedly committed by one of the members of 2 Para Regiment during the Falklands War. To counter-balance the findings of the enquiry, the author wrote this book to help civilians understand the reality of being a common soldier in the heat of war - the time when the rule book and common morality are most likely to be abandoned. Perhaps the most shocking truth of all to emerge from these first-person accounts concerns the appalling treatment that the Argentinian conscripts recieved at the hands of their own officers. The book is based on interviews with eight Argentinian soldiers and five British paratroopers.

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    I don't think that anyone was charged with the actual deliberate shooting of a conscript. Although there are a fair few anecdotes to this story.

    Many Gurkhas were accused of this sort of thing by anecdote, but that was probably the British Pre War PR machine at its greatest. The Argentines believed they were going to be eaten by the Gurkhas if captured.

    However, in the book Green Eyed boys (about the macho culture of one of the Para Battalions) at least one member of the Parachute Regiment started cutting off the ears of dead Argentines, and stored them in his webbing. They were found by the Padre, who was going through his webbing for ammo and grenades, after he died, at the Regimental Aid Post/Dressing Station.

    Again anecdotatl evidience popped up, about people seeing live Argentines with no ears, but no actual soldier has ever been presented with no ear, claiming it was cut off.

    That the conscripts of the invasion were treated badly remains all too true. Food never got to them, there was however tons of it in Port Stanley. And they were beaten by their officers and NCOs. Anecdotal evidence from horrified Islanders include a grenade being thrown in to a coal bunker by one officer, when a conscript wouldn't come out.

    It is fact also, that officers wouldn't hand over their side arms when they were being processed at the end of the war. They needed them for defence, whilst inside the compounds.

    Their Padres were a bit ropey too, a little bit too much propaganda of the Junta and not enough pastoral care. British Padres filled that gap.

    These sort of stories are going to come out, unfortunetly, they are bred by fear. And the vast majority of Argentines, though they still fought bravely, were terrerfied on those islands.

    A lot of young lads, many barely trained (the conscripts were only 3 months in to their year, and many did not know how to use the heavier support weapons or some of the more advanced tactics), faced a profesional war machine.

    PR was played (the Gurkhas being one) with pictures of knives being sharpened and bayonets being honed. The exercise at Ascension was broadcast around the world.

    One side was heavily blooded, it men and population, galvanised to action but also innoculated to the horrors of war. NI had been raging for some 12 years, The British Army had seen combat almost continously since 1939.

    The other side, though galvanised to their goal, hadn't thrown a tea party in anger since their own civil war. Those taht were hardened, had been hardened fighting their own people and weaker opposition.

    I think it also fair to say that the Argentine grasp on modern warfare was slightly off. They wanted Queensbury rules, the British were more like maulers. Examples - Belgrano being sunk = war crime?, bayonets being used in Infantry attack = war crime?

    On the otherhand made up Napalm was found at Goose Green. Though it is never recorded that it was used by the Argentines, it's presence lends some light on the claims of "War Crime" by the Argentine government.
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    Another anecdote ref British War crimes is the story of a medic who shot a wounded POW.

    A group of argentines wree emptying a shed of mortar rounds, so they could be housed in it. The mortars rounds were Argentine. Anyway, one case was dropped and went off. The medic on looking at the remains of the conscript simply shot him. The story normally goes along that the other Argies sort of approved inthat there was nothing you could do for him. Again never saw any proof of this.

    On South Georgia, the Royal Marines dismantled their own booby traps after the Island was taken (which incidently Argentina has no claim over historically, unlike the Falklands where there is some angle to see such claim). This would be technically breaching the Geneva Convention.
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

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    Missing the point as you do many times.

    I dont give a damn if someone was actually charged, if the crimes actually occurs, that is the really important.

    The Gurkhas did not kill a fly in the islands, that is confirmed so I think we can move on about those guys.


    I have an extract of the Bramley book, not in english you better search for a translator.

    Relatos de crímenes en Malvinas
    Testimonios de soldados argentinos:

    "Al llegar a la cima nos encontramos con el Cabo Pedemonte que estaba herido. No pudimos auxiliarlo, nos escondimos detrás de unas rocas, y desde allí vimos que los ingleses lo golpearon y le ordenaron que se quitara el casco, tambien le sacaron sus armas y su campera. De pronto, uno saca una ametralladora y le tiran cinco balazos en la cabeza. Nos miramos y pensamos: está muerto."
    "Resulté herido cuando me replegaba desde Tumble Down hacia el cerro Dos Hermanas. De pronto vimos venir un helicóptero y pensamos que era un aparato de rescate. Dos de mis comapñeros hicieron señas y ví como les disparaban a pesar de estar con los brazos en alto. ¿Ellos no habían recibido la información del cese de las hostilidades?, pensé. Yo pude esconderme detrás de una gran piedra. Desde allí observé que ese helicóptero estaba ultimando sistemáticamente a los heridos. Lo hacía con verdadera saña."
    "Fui combatiente en Darwin, como mimbro del grupo de Artillería Aerotransportada 4. Cuando caímos prisioneros nos alojaron en un galpón. Los ingleses seleccionaron a un grupo de nosotros para que recogiéramos municiones, artefactos explosivos y cuerpos que habían quedado en el campo de batalla. Ese mismo día se produjo una gran explosión y las esquirlas perforaron las chapas. A través de esos orificios vimos con horror a cinco soldados argentinos que habían sido mutilados por la onda expansiva.
    Gritaban fuerte, muy fuerte... Inmediatamente fueron ejecutados por los ingleses."


    "Encontré otro día a un muchacho de otro Regimiento. Caminaba con la mirada perdida, semienloquecido. Había tenido un encuentro con el Primer Batallón de Fusileros Gurkas del Duque de Edimburgo. Él había conseguido sobrevivir a la feroz matanza que hicieron.

    "Como habían pasado varias horas y nosotros seguíamos resitiendo, los ingleses nos intimidaron para rendirnos o bombardearían Puerto Darwin con fuego naval, inclusive con los kelpers que manteníamos prisioneros."
    "Al final tuve que firmar un acuerdo por el cual jamás me levantaría en armas contra el gobierno inglés, o de otra forma me fusilarían."
    "Yo estaba en Puerto Darwin, prisionero con otros 1.050 argentinos. Fuimos obligados por soldados ingleses a trasladar municiones. Delante mismo de nuestros ojos vimos cuando explotó un proyectil y algunos soldados quedaron despedazados."
    TESTIMONIOS DE Vincent Bramley
    Paracaidista inglés, Veterano de Malvinas
    "...y encontramos a un grupo de cinco o seis efectivos que estaban golpeando a unos "argies"(argentinos) que gritaban. A uno le dieron con la culata en plena cara... A pocos metros otro tipo le clavaba la bayoneta a un "argie". Descargó todo el peso del cuerpo sobre el fusil para que la bayoneta se metiera bien adentro."
    "Todos volvimos al claro que acabábamos de cruzar. Nos separamos y esperamos el siguiente desplazamiento. A unos diez metros a la derecha venía un argentino. Le habían tirado al pecho y gritaba sosteniéndose la herida. Un tipo de la Compañia B atravesó el claro y le clavó la bayoneta. A los gritos del argentino, trató de quitársela entes de morir. Nuestro soldado le decía: ¡No grites más hijo de p...!
    El enemigo murió en el mismo instante en el que le clavaron la bayoneta. Nuestro soldado volvió a su lugar como si nada hubiera pasado.
    A mi derecha tres argentinos lloraban agarrándose la cabeza. ¿Serían amigos del que acababa de morir?"

    "Miramos al suelo, era un "argie" herido. Me miraba fijo, tal vez suplicando, preso de dolor.
    -¡Apártese!- gritó el sargento Pettinger.
    El sargento le apuntó y le pegó dos tiros en la cabeza.
    Lo patié como si fuera una pelota de futbol..."

    "De pronto se oyó un grito desgarrador. Después de un disparo vimos a un argentino cayendo barranca abajo. El oficial al mando se levantó de un salto cuando oyó más gritos y vio como un soldado moría de un tiro en la cabeza. Un grupo se acercó al lugar. Abajo, nuestros compañeros enterraban a unos argentinos "muertos en combate"(asesinados impunemente), a los que se los había llevado allí con ese fin."
    "Los terminábamos de matar hundiéndoles la bayoneta en el ojo, porque sus chalecos eran demasiado gruesos".


    http://www.malvinense.com.ar/Relato.htm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    Missing the point as you do many times.

    I dont give a damn if someone was actually charged, if the crimes actually occurs, that is the really important.

    The Gurkhas did not kill a fly in the islands, that is confirmed so I think we can move on about those guys.


    I have an extract of the Bramley book, not in english you better search for a translator.



    http://www.malvinense.com.ar/Relato.htm

    I read the book when it was first published. It was published in England as 'Excursion to Hell'. He has written another since, from the Argentine perspective, or at least including the Argentine perspective?

    On the strength of what was described in the first book, Scotland Yard sent a team of detectives to the Falklands to investigate. They carried out an extensive investigation, which included digging for corpses in the battle areas, as described by the author as being the locations of burials. I believe that at one point they even had the author flown out there to have him assist in identifying the areas, so there could be no mistakes.

    As well as the investigation in the Falklands, the detectives interviewed many serving and former Paras to see if they could corroborate his story.

    Nothing was forthcoming. No evidence came to light that indicated that what he had written was true, and the case was closed.

    This was a very sensitive subject for the Conservative Government, particularly as they had been accused of collusion. They did what they could to get to the truth. There was no cover up (the press were with the Scotland Yard team throughout), as there was no evidence. Had there been evidence there would have been prosecutions.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    He has written another since, from the Argentine perspective, or at least including the Argentine perspective?
    Published in the UK as "Two sides of Hell". The Argentine interviews are rather more interesting than the UK interviews, and constitute about the only redeeming feature. Generally a reasonable if somewhat mediocre book.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Not sure how it happens in your country panzerknacker, but if no one is charged then the crime didn't happen.

    As I said, the reports of POWs being killed were looked into. This included interviews with all those who could have possibly witnessed the killings. This was the vast majority of the two Battalions of Parachute Regiment, deployed to the Falklands (the 2nd and 3rd).

    Many Argentine soldiers were also interviewed by British Police. The bodies of Argentine dead were exhumed and examined by forensic specialists.

    Whilst anecdotal evidence abounded, including stories from inside British units, no scientific evidence or actual eyewitnesses were found of ANY wrong doing.

    My reference to other "war crimes" were to show the difference between war crimes and other events that actually happened or were accused of (Belgrano, Bayonet charges, Napalm, conscript maltreatment and the POWs of South Georgia difusin gtheir own booby traps) with the, in some cases, outrageous anecdotes relating to POWs.

    One Para, possibly in the book you refer to, was referred to as "line 'em up Louis" for cold bloodedly shooting several POWs. The Argentines who were supposed to have witnessed this cold blooded murder were never found, and no one could supply information as to why a person who deliberatly murdered several POWs wouldn't go the extra mile and remove the witnesses, who were also certainly "expendable".

    Practically all anecdotes, from Argentine sides, relating to the killing of POWs refer to pistol shots to the head, usually the back. It is interesting ot note that 9mm pistols are in short supply in many British regiments, compared to practically all officers and many NCOs carrying them in Argentine units. Many officers who could carry either/or chose to carry rifles. Lt Col "H" Jones being one.

    NO bodies have been found with "back of the head" shots, with 9mm at close range.

    This was all looked in to, with Argentine observation by the very highest of invetigatory bodies this country can put forward. A body that has nothing ot do with the British Military and has, over the years, realeased scathing reports about the way the Military does it's busines.

    The book you refer to actually sparked the investigations.

    Like I say, most of the war crimes are mere anecdotal stories, no evidence has actually been found. THis includes vast areas beingsearched for bodies and graves not recorded.

    ALL Argentine Army bodies were traced, only those bodies lost on the Belgrano and Aircraft crashes have not been traced.

    Over 12,000 POWs were taken, The Argentines lost 768 (?) men, of which half(ish) were lot on the Belgrano. These bodies have been traced and accounted for.

    Only the dead man who collected ears, has been considered guilty to my knowledge, and he was dead. Again, given the small amount of witnesses, Britain could easily have buried this, rather than investigate. Although he has never been formally given this charge, he was only given a lower level of bravery medal, than the one he perhaps should have been awarded.

    Even the anecdotal evidence fo the conscript who attempted to take home his dead brother on in a kit bag (on the QE 2 I think), only to have the body remvoed by British soldiers, has been looked in to.
    Last edited by 1000ydstare; 03-20-2007 at 02:53 PM.
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

    Here endth the lesson.




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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000ydstare View Post
    Not sure how it happens in your country panzerknacker, but if no one is charged then the crime didn't happen.
    Great! I should remember this one next time we talk about rapes of German women by RKKA soldiers in 1945!

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    Labelling the incident at Goose Green as a war crime is simply ridiculous.

    In that incident, when the ammunition exploded one man was killed instantly, the other was left burning to death. The flames kept rescuers at bay, if you've ever experienced ammunition burning the heat is beyond description. That one of the Paras shot the guy dead was an act of mercy, leaving him to burn would have been a war crime.

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    Ref Gurkhas and killing flies.

    fromhttp://www.britains-smallwars.com/Falklands/Mount-William.htm
    While the Scots Guards fought on Tumbledown and 2 Para on Wireless Ridge, the Gurkhas had to take Mount William and then pass the Welsh Guards through to take Sapper Hill. The Gurkhas had to wait until Tumbledown was taken, and the problems the Scots Guards ran into meant that the Gurkhas battle began late. The Gurkhas also faced another problem besides time- a minefield nearly a third of a mile square to the north of Tumbledown. The Gurkhas could either go around it to the north or feel their way through it at its southern end. They went through the southern end. The entire Battalion moved out in one long line and as they crossed the saddle separating them from their objective they came under artillery fire, but they never faltered. The Battalion's mortars had set up a firebase near Goat Ridge to give covering fire, while the Battalion's machine guns and Milans went with them. The Gurkhas also brought with them a selection of 0.5in Browning heavy machine guns.

    Lt.-Col. Morgan skirted the northern edge of Mount Tumbledown under covering fire of the Scots Guards. He missed the minefield before coming abreast of Tumbledown, having lost eight men to Argentine shelling. The Battalion climbed a small re-entrant to approach the summit and B Company swung off to the left to take the eastern end of the mountain, where they took some prisoners that were part of the reserve company that had been planning a counter-attack. Nearby the Scots Guards were relieved, as they had nearly run out of ammunition.

    The next phase was for A Company and all the support weapons to form a firebase on the summit of Tumbledown to support D Company's attack on Mount William, a mile away. The Argentine propaganda now backfired. Stories had been bandied about portraying Gurkhas as semi-human cannibals who never took prisoners and went into battle crazed with drugs. The Argentines on Mount William were already feeling insecure after the fall of Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge. When they realised they were about to be attacked by the Gurkhas, it became too much for them. Almost an entire battalion of Argentines fled Mount William as D Company advanced towards the Hill. Lt.-Col. Morgan's men took Mount William unopposed and his men were bitterly disappointed.
    My bold, with suppresive fire (although no records exist of casualties inflicted) the Gurkhas definitly entered battle. That they didn't have to fight as rifleman also , is probably a good thing for the Argentine Battalion. This would almost have entailed their use of their Kukris in hand to hand fighting, rather than the Bayonets of other Battalions.

    Argentine propaganda about the British, in the minds of frightened, poorly trained young boys wreaked havoc. This propaganda included British Soldiers as well as British Gurkha Soldiers.

    In a topic about "war crimes in the malvinas" we could also bring up the mining of half the Islands with out proper recording of the locations and constituent mines. But that would be childish.

    Hard proof of war crimes is required to prove them and prosecute, not mere rumours from the camp fire.
    Last edited by 1000ydstare; 03-20-2007 at 02:46 PM.
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    PDF, I prefer to use the words...

    Dross.

    Dire.

    Drivel.

    Mediore.

    Sensationalist.

    No evidence, or very little has ever come to the fore to prove many of the points he made. Just like the other book of similar vein - Green Eyed Boys.
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

    Here endth the lesson.




    Have you seen any combat?

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    You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?



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    PDF, I prefer to use the words...

    Dross.

    Dire.

    Drivel.

    Mediore.

    Sensationalist.
    May I add interesting ?

    Forgive me for this comparison, but Mengele wasnt convicted fron his crimes, and that did not means he was not guilty.


    I had some bitter discutions with friends about the Belgrano issue, but my opinion remain the same, it was a creditable act of war by the British navy, period.

    My intention was to bring debate about , wich in my view is a forgotten chapter of this war, seems that I succedeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000ydstare View Post
    No evidence, or very little has ever come to the fore to prove many of the points he made. Just like the other book of similar vein - Green Eyed Boys.
    I was trying to be polite. Besides, "two sides of hell" is a whisker better if only because it is largely composed with interviews with other people - and he can't really sensationalise those all that far without getting rumbled.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Panzerknacker, I'll put it another way.

    Before you can say war crimes were committed then there has to be proof.

    No solid evidence has ever come out. Only conjecture and rumour. We know that Mengele was in and around some places, where we know crimes against humanity were carried out. And we know by his position taht he must have had a hand in them, or was criminally negligent of his post.

    A lot of time and effort has been expended looking for evidence of British Soldiers commiting war crimes, not just in the Falklands but in the current round of conflict in the Gulf.

    No solid, physical evidence has been located about the Falklands.

    Campfire stories do not count as evidence.

    There is no debate over whether or not they happened. There is no evidence, therefore you are just comeing up with various stories taht float around and putting them forward.

    If you wish to discuss these crimes, put forward some examples that you have heard about, but don't get sulky just because others on the site do not believe you or align their views with yours. You can't read a trashy book, which is historically dubious at best, and then expect people to debate over whether it is true or not, when a lot of it is speculation, repeats of rumours and possible repeats of outright lies.

    Remember as well as Napalm at Goose Green and the mines laid, Argentina lied to the world about how it wanted to take the islands peacably. Yet the assault on Moody Brook barracks included WP and machine gun stop groups to destroy survivors. Had the Marines been inside the barracks they would have probably been all killed.

    Whilst this aim, is not wrong, especially given the length of time it took to take the islands. It certainly smacks of double standards. The Argies lauded their own dead, making them out to be martyrs and doing everything possible to avert the death of their foes whilst claiming they only wanted a peaceful victory, they glossed of the reality.

    Also note, that when the Royal Marine defenders finally surrendered, one of the Argintine SF (a rad op I believe) was stopped by his supiorior from shooting the prisoners. He was, in his mind, responding to the fact that the British defending a house had shot a man. Several attempts to get to the man had failed and had resulted in a man being wounded (a medic).

    The Argentine soldier believed this to be a bit off, bordering on war crime maybe. The reality was, the defenders counldn't see what was going on, and the Argentines made no effort to inform them (white flag, etc).

    There may be hundreds of these similar sort of actions, after Goose Green, Tumbledown, etc. With British soldiers blowing off frustrations, that is not to say though that they were never stopped by collegues in the same way. Or perhaps never got worse than a bit of a shoeing.

    I don't want to bash your country, but it does have a habit of producing information that matches what it wants to do, if true info can't be found. These rumours are just one of them.

    PS. Belgrano was a warship of a country at war. Conqueror was a warship of the opposition. They met one went under. That simple. Regardless of where she was, which way she was pointing, etc. She was a target.
    Last edited by 1000ydstare; 03-21-2007 at 02:05 AM.
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

    Here endth the lesson.




    Have you seen any combat?

    Seen a little on TV.

    You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?



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