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Thread: The chilean question.

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    Default The chilean question.

    All about the help to UK provide by Chile, and his consecuenses in the development of the war.

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    Part 1:

    the Chilean connection



    Since the end of theWar in 1982 there has been considerable speculation about the support and facilities provided by Chile to the UK. The recent publication of ‘The Official History of the Falklands Campaign’ by Sir Lawrence Freedman has at last shed fresh light of what actually happened.

    When the War broke out, Chile still had a long-standing dispute with Argentina over access to the Beagle Channel, making the chance of military co-operation between Britain and Chile a distinct possibility.

    However, considerable misgivings about any such co-operation existed on both sides – Chile was wary of being seen to support an ‘old-world’ power in a dispute against its neighbour and Britain viewed the many human rights abuses in Chile with evident distaste. Nevertheless, despite the problems identified by both sides, needs must -as is so often the case in times of crisis.

    The exact details of what co-operation was agreed between the two countries remains unclear, but it was always to be covert.


    Chilean bases offered UK forces the only realistic chances they had of decent facilities within reasonable reach of both Argentina and the Falklands Islands. Chilean good intentions were clear when the offered to delay the handover of HMS Norfolk which had been sold to the Chilean Navy on 6 Apr 82. The age and equipment on board this old warship was of little real benefit to the Task Force, however, they also offered to delay the handover of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Tanker, HMS Tidepool, which was of far more use. This vessel refuelled at Curacao and on 14 Apr 82 sailed to join the Task Force before playing a vital role in the re-capture of South Georgia.


    Recognising how little direct support the Royal Air Force could give to the Task Force, UK MOD were very keen to base Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) in southern Chile where they could be used to locate and identify Argentinean warships. Its unclear from the official history whether the UK MOD also intended to also deploy a Nimrod R1 ELINT aircraft to southern Chile as part of this arrangement, but the similarity of the two aircraft would help disguise the presence of the R1, whilst enabling the aircraft to eavesdrop on Argentinean communications, as well as identifying the location of radars and other electronic transmissions.


    To encourage Chilean co-operation, Britain was prepared to offer to sell to Chile a number of Hunter aircraft that they have previously expressed an interest in acquiring. The Chilean authorities, were slowly warming to the idea of Nimrod aircraft operating from one of their air bases, however, to ensure the operation remained covert, they preferred that the aircraft operate from the island of San Felix, some 1,900 miles from the likely area of operations, rather than directly from an airbase in southern Chile. Nevertheless, doubts still remained and the British Ambassador in Chile warned that if RAF aircraft flew into Argentinean airspace from Chile ‘short term military benefits will be outweighed by long-term political consequences’.

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    part 2

    As well as the Hunter fighter aircraft, Chile had also previously expressed an interest in purchasing a number of Canberra PR9 reconnaissance aircraft, although they had already rejected three refurbished Canberra PR9s for being too expensive.

    Even before the Falklands War broke out, the RAF had offered to lend the Chilean Air Force, the Fuerza Aerea De Chile (FACH), some of their own Canberra PR9s to conduct a land survey over Chile. As this offer still stood, a proposal was made to the Chilean authorities that two Canberra PR9s would be sold to Chile, at probably half the previously quoted price, and delivered by RAF crews. In Chile the RAF crews would train the FACH crews to fly the Canberra PR9, whilst carrying out ‘training’ photographic reconnaissance sorties from an air base in southern Chile. Exactly where these ‘photographic reconnaissance sorties’ would take place is not specified, but it is believed that they would have targeted the Falklands Islands, to provide information on the disposition of Argentinean forces, in advance of a landing. This proposal got as far as the Canberra crews being selected and put on standby to move, before it was cancelled by Chile because they believed the aircraft would be identified and probably shot down.



    Nevertheless, the Chilean authorities were still keen to acquire the two Canberra PR9s and after further negotiations it was agreed on 16 Apr 82 that they would be sent to Chile on loan, trial or for purchase, accompanied by two supporting C-130 Hercules, all in Chilean markings. Although the Chilean authorities had no intention of purchasing any Nimrod aircraft, they also agreed that Nimrod’s would be permitted to fly anywhere in Chilean airspace on transit and would even be permitted to land in an emergency. Chile also agreed to supply the UK with details of any Argentinean surface movements they acquired. It was recommended that the two Canberra’s and two C-130’s depart for Belize as a matter of urgency, to pre-position for the journey to Chile. The four aircraft soon arrived in Belize and on 26 Apr 82 the two C-130s, disguised in Chilean markings applied in Belize, arrived in Santiago – the Canberra’s were expected to arrive just after dawn on 30 Apr 82.



    However, for a variety of political reasons, Chile suddenly began to get cold feet and warned Britain that, if the Canberra PR9 operations were detected by Argentina or the Press, the Canberra detachment of 18 officers and 24 SNCOs who had arrived on one of the supporting C-130s would be required to leave Chile immediately.

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    "US support to UK in Falklands´ war was decisive"

    The Chilean military Junta support to Britain during the 1982 conflict "was important, but did no influence the outcome of the war; United States support to Britain was decisive", remarked former Argentine Army Commander General Martin Balza interviewed by the Chilean media.
    General Balza´s remarks follow the disclosure this week of Chilean involvement in the Falklands conflict by a former member of the Chilean Junta and former Air Force commander Fernando Matthei.

    According to General Matthei Chilean support included military intelligence gathering, radar surveillance, RAF aircrafts operating with Chilean colours and even safe return of British commandos who landed near Punta Arenas, among other things.

    "I did everything possible to make Argentina loose the Malvinas war",confessed General Matthei.

    General Balza who was then a Lieutenant Colonel and head of an artillery group fighting in the Falklands said the Argentines had hooked into the Chilean communications system and were well aware of the early warning system of the British, delivered by the Chileans, every time Argentine bombers took off for the Islands.
    "General Matthei´s revelations were pragmatic, sincere and realistic, but not surprising.

    In a book I wrote on the war I enumerate the support received by Britain during that absurd event, which was the South Atlantic conflict", said General Balza.

    Working on information from Chilean and British sources, General Balza in his book described the UK-Chile collaboration as a "secret pact".
    "But when I say Chile, I´m not referring to the Chilean people, but to the government of the time", he underlines.
    General Balza stresses his respect and love for the Chilean people, and the Chilean people´s friendship towards Argentina, "which was never affected by the decisions from the military government headed by Pinochet; on the contrary I believe General Matthei´s revelations consolidate the historical truth about the war, with great respect and sincerity".
    As to Chilean support to the British war effort, "it was important in several areas, early warning when Argentine bombers took off the British had been alerted by the Chileans, and the British vessels and land forces were ready. British Canberra bombers operated with Chilean colours and were donated to Chile after the conflict, but in my opinion, it did not influence the outcome of the war. The decisive support was from the United States to Britain".
    General Balza was then asked about General Fortunato Galtieri´s remarks, then head of the Argentine Junta, who said the Malvinas war was the "beginning of the recovery of Argentine territory", implicitly referring to areas under dispute with Chile.
    "I don´t like to speak about Galtieri who as member of the Junta led us into an absurd war and played with the Argentine people´s sentiments. Malvinas is a cohesive call for the Argentine people", replied the General.
    "Unfortunately the Argentine military dictatorship playing on that feeling used it for a bastard purpose which was, if successful, to consolidate the dictatorship. That´s why it was a just cause in bastard hands. Those of us who fought in Malvinas, fought not for Galtieri, but for a feeling. It was an absurd war for which we were not prepared".
    General Balza who together with 500 other Argentine officers was made prisoner of war by the British following the cease fire in June 1982 said that "as a war veteran, the war was very painful, regrettable and a vexation from the Argentine military Junta.
    Paradoxically the Chilean and Argentine dictatorships were linked by the unfortunate Plan Condor". (The combined repressive operation by military dictatorships of the Southern Cone which at the time pooled resources and information to pursue, capture, torture and kill opponents, dissenters, suspects as well as exchange prisoners)
    General Balza was then asked about some previous remarks arguing that in a conventional war scenario with Chile, Argentina would have been defeated.
    "As a professional military officer I can say Argentina was not prepared for any conventional conflict at the time. Argentina was facing an internal conflict and in a war situation she would be considered the aggressor and in no way could have won".
    "Nobody wins in a war. A war between neighbouring countries with a common future would have been an adventure, but that all belongs to the past. As a common citizen I can say that in the Malvinas cause we have the full support of the democratic government of Chile, of the Chilean people in our legitimate claim over the Islands which have to be pursued diplomatically".
    General Balza said he was grateful to God and the Pope´s intervention, and for the strong feelings of the Chilean and Argentine peoples, "who avoided an absurd confrontation in 1978".

    Finally General Balza underlined that any misunderstanding arising from recent revelations about the Falklands war have had no impact at all in bilateral relations.

    He remarked that "the Chilean and Argentine peoples are above any regrettable statements, and we must not forget that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998 defended him arguing Chile had granted very valuable assistance during the war". "Thatcher confessed that 255 British servicemen lives were lost in the Malvinas war, but without Chilean assistance they could have been far more, so this clearly is evidence of that support. But it was given by the Chilean dictatorship, not by the Chilean people?"

    http://www.falkland-malvinas.com/ver...1&formato=HTML

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    The dispute with Chile over the Beagle Channel. Was this the dispute where Chile and Argentina went to the International Court of Justice in Den Haag, where when Argentina lost it refused to accept the verdict?

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    True, the traced borded line didnt ( and doesnt) follow the trace of the province of Tierra del fuego and get "inside" the Argentine territory.

    The islas down south are desertic, but strategically important.





    The chilean navy fixed some bases there.

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    The Argientinians seem to have a lot of disputes over territory.

    The Chileans must have provided a lot of support to the British. I often wonder what carrot was dangled for that support.

    Does anyone actually live on fuego, apart from the bases?
    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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    And the Argentines usually seem to be on the losing side when the case goes to mediation by an independent mediator. The dispute with Chile went against them and they refused to accept it. Instead they relied on their superior military forces to hang on to territory that knew didn't belong to them. It does go some way to explaining why Chile supported Britain.

    Did you know by the way that Britain offered to go to the ICJ in 1945, 1948 and 1955? Argentina refused mediation on those occasions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    All about the help to UK provide by Chile, and his consecuenses in the development of the war.
    Text deleted. Baiting posts are frowned upon here.

    Cheers

    FF
    Last edited by Firefly; 07-23-2007 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Baiting...

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    There is no need for that sort of infantile name calling. Please grow up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
    There is no need for that sort of infantile name calling. Please grow up.
    You are right. I have deleted the offending text and re-iterate that this kind of baiting will only result in the whole section being viewed as more and more useless to what is essentially a ww2 site.

    If you cant be adult Mr Plumber then dont post in here.

    Cheers...

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    Hmmm, I wonder what wrote Gun plumber.

    I often wonder what carrot was dangled for that support.
    Military equipment and some kind of political support for Pinochet goverment.

    In here Mrs Tatcher explained well, what a nasty couple.

    http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=milMu-0tpW8

    Chile give instead precise ELINT info and other about the time of take off of the fighter-bomber of San Julian and other patagonic bases.


    Does anyone actually live on fuego, apart from the bases?
    Few people in the Chilean side, 200,000 people in the Argentine side.

    Just put "Ushuaia" in google images and it give you a lot of pictures of the capital city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    The islas down south are desertic, but strategically important.
    Why?

    Just against Chile, or other nations?

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    Against Chile and also a good naval-air bases for controling the Drake pass and the Magellan strait.

    Not to mention the usefulness against the British military in the Malvinas.

    By the way when I say "islands down south " I am refering to the south of the Beagle channel, not Tierra del Fuego itself, the province have severals woodlands, in the centre-north.

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    I note a little anger by certain members, and I don't understand it.

    The Argientinians seem to have a lot of disputes over territory.
    Absolutely not. Only with Chile (former disputes, in the past not today) and the United Kingdom.
    In the first case was because the difficulty of obtain an exact and just limit over 4.4 thousand kilometers, all over a high mountains chain, and the difficulties off raising at the same time, both nations, over a hughe non-corrupted territory as the Patagonia is. Really difficult to make an agree, but fortunately that was reached. Some territories were for Argentina, som territories were for Chile.
    And in the second case, for a simple imperialism and expansionism act, from a potency that stoled part of our territories. Nothing more to aid.
    Really good to a country with 7500km of borders with five different countries, to have only two territory conflicts. In the case of the United Kingdom, it hasn't got any border (only 250km in Ireland), and we will find a huge quantity of territory conflicts over the world, supported by its imperialism ideals


    And the Argentines usually seem to be on the losing side when the case goes to mediation by an independent mediator
    Humm, as I see you don't know a lot of history about Argentina or Chile... I comment you that if you go to Chile you'll here a lot of them claiming that Argentina stoled a lot of Chilean territories and mantains them, for instance the entire patagonia, the territories of desert lake, continental ices... Those territories (which was a mediator, as OEA) stayed at the Argentine side, although the Chileans claimed them strongly (at the point of it was a battle between Argentine and Chilean security forces in Desert Lake).
    So, after more than a century of disputes, is common that Argentines and Chileans would think that the other stoled some part of its own territory, after a century of comings and goings.
    But is easy to mistake, as you did champion, because the only case that was mentioned in the world was the Beagle islands topic, which was declared as the Chilean side. Please in your next post try to write with more information to support what you are defending.

    Regards.
    Last edited by Eagle; 07-23-2007 at 08:37 PM.
    Eagle_Giuli


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