No Malvinas / Falkland War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Alexpira, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Alexpira Well-Known Member

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    Several threads already covered scenarios on which Argentina wins the Malvinas / Falkland War. However, not much was discussed about a "no war" scenario....

    Let's imagine that the Argentina Junta simply decides, by early 1982, to archive the war plans and nothing happens involving Malvinas / Falklands.....what would become of Thatcher? Would the Argentina Junta survive until mid / late-1980s?
     
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  2. Remitonov Yousoro~! :3

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    The Conservatives would very likely get thumped in the General Election, especially if the British economy didn't pick up like it did IOTL. The Junta, though, was already at breaking point, and would have collapsed sooner or later. Their shambolic invasion only hastened its downfall. Though, to be fair, they could have actually won the Falklands War with the resources and advantages they had, but the inter-service rivalry plaguing the Junta, fear of Chile holding back the more acclimatized Patagonian troops from the front, and general incompetence and hubris ultimately doomed the entire venture.
     
  3. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    It would have been far more desirable to imagine no junta at all.
     
  4. Riain Well-Known Member

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    No reversal of the 1981 defence cuts, the RAN gets the HMS Invincible and Australia buys the US AV8B.
     
  5. Lenwe Well-Known Member

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    Better yet NO juntas everywhere in Latin America
     
  6. John Farson The Good Man

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    If I recall, there was an invasion scare in 1977. However, the Callaghan government was able to let the junta know, in no uncertain terms, that any such attempt would be met with military force, so nothing came of it. The Thatcher government, OTOH, sent more mixed signals, which encouraged the junta to move in. Have her do more or less the same thing as Callaghan five years earlier - sending in a small naval task force including a nuclear-powered HK submarine - and the invasion in all likelihood is prevented.
     
  7. pjmidd Well-Known Member

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    Junta has a choice , a play at Chile to gain a bit of land in the far South or find a bolthole. OTL they went a lot earlier than they wanted for the Falklands due to immanent collapse if they did not distract the population.
     
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  8. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    It was the sending of 2 Hunter Killers as a result of the scrap merchant / flag raising incident on South Georgia and making the deployment known that triggered the Junta rushing the invasion in the first place!

    But yes maybe a more robust response by Thatcher might, might make them change their minds.

    As to the next general Election - I was old enough to remember this document
     
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  9. Alexpira Well-Known Member

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    Without the war, what's the odds for a longer military - civilian transition in Argentina? Or was the Junta already totally doomed by 1982?
     
  10. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    That means the CIA needs to be reigned in.
     
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  11. Jape Seacombe Mod

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    Prior to the Falklands War breaking out the Conservatives were lucky to hit 30% in national polls, they were trailing just behind Labour, while the Liberal-SDP Alliance were riding their momentum, peaking at 50% in the polls. Going into 1982 the average polling was roughly 30-30-40. If economic malaise rather than military victory is dominating the narrative, the Tories aren't blazing back into government. However the Alliance need to solidify their ground game (which tbf the Liberals have always been good at) to translate that lead into anything approaching a majority. Split votes could cause all sorts of oddities.

    If those polls hold, you could see a minority Alliance government take power. At this point they aren't likely to cut a deal with Foot so some deal with the Tories, who have chucked Thatcher and put in thoroughly wet successor. As the major partner and following probably quite a few threeway splits at constituency level, the Alliance might be able to force electoral reform through.
     
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  12. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    If the economy does not recover as it did recover OTL I can see the Alliance winning but if the economy follows OTL success then all I can see is the Alliance weakening Labour as OTL and labour losing many seats as a result to Thatchers conservatives.
     
  13. sendô Read between the lines.

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    The Junta needed a successful war to divert from their domestic situation. Similarly the Thatcher government was not doing well, and the electoral theme from the 1970's would likely have continued with a change of government in 83/84 elections.

    Anyway, for the RN it means Invincible sold to Australia, and the continued winding down of naval capability.

    BTW they're called the Falklands, not the Malvinas. ;)
     
  14. Roches Well-Known Member

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    What about the impact on naval technology? The Falklands was the only combat test of late Cold War weapons, and lessons were learned. HMS Conqueror used 1920s-vintage Mark VIII torpedoes because Tigerfish was unreliable. British AAW capabilities were found to be lacking, Sea Dart especially, when that missile failed to defend HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry. Exocet’s performance gave the first real clues about the performance of anti-ship missiles, with implications for Harpoon and the many Soviet ASMs.

    So, without the Falklands War, NATO navies might have gone on a different track. Interestingly, the US Navy seems to have had the Royal Navy’s weaknesses covered. They had an excellent torpedo in the Mk 48 and the Ticonderoga class would enter service in 1983 as an AAW cruiser capable of destroying handfuls of Exocets or A-4 Skyhawks. But other navies may not have made whatever adjustments the Falklands War caused them to make.
     
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  15. Riain Well-Known Member

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    In the particular case of SAMs the RN had some excellent systems that were just entering service, namely the Type 1022 radar for the Sea Dart ships and the Sea Wolf system. Even with the obsolescent Type 965 radar Type 42 destroyers were able to get 5(? Exeter with the 1022 got a kill or 2 of 6) kills. The war showed the need to not fart around and get things into service, and to have failsafe back-up guns.
     
  16. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    I disagree

    Sea Dart was the principle reason why Argentine jets made very low attack runs and this resulted in many bombs not arming because they had been dropped from such a low altitude and also made it far more difficult for the Argentine aircraft to attack accurately - so it had an impact before a single weapon was launched. Argentina being the only other user of Sea Dart knew full well how accurate it was - above 30 feet.

    There were 36 attempted launches of Sea Dart during the war - 3 early attempts failed due to salt encrustation on the magazine doors and 33 successful launches resulting in 7 kills (including sadly one British Gazelle) - now while 7 hits from 33 launches is an okayish % one has to remember that the system fired 2 missiles at each target so that's 14 launches at 7 targets - then we have to take into account that there were a number of out of envelop launches that were never going to hit the target including a number of attempt to shoot down exocet missiles or launching at aircraft without a lock in an effort to 'put them off' (this was the principle use of the Sea Slug missile on the County class Destroyers - effectively being used like a unguided V2 rocket).

    So it did okay!



    Tigerfish was then a pure Anti Sub weapon - many issues in its development had resulted in the desired surface attack capability being removed before it was deployed and so it was MkVIII or harsh words when it came to sinking the Belgrano!

    It was eventually made to work reliably but by that time Spearfish arrived and in 1982 it was completely untrusted!


    I know that SM2 currently has the capability to engage sea skimmers but I believe that this was not the case when Ticonderoga was commissioned?

    Damage control lesson 'relearned' in 1982 were cascaded among Britain's allies.
     
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  17. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I've often wondered if this contributed to whatever arms race factors contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union.
     
  18. juanml82 Well-Known Member

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    By August 1982 the Latin American debt crisis is going to hit, well, Latin America, so the Junta is doomed... unless they manage to score some sort of deal regarding the Falklands like the one the UK proposed to Peron in 1974. Absent that, democracy is likely to be restored by 1984, 1985 at most. Whether peronists or radicals (as in OTL) win the elections is a bit of a toss up. In either case, Argentina remains stuck in the (first) lost decade. The Argentine Armed Forces don't get to realize how many issues they would have in wartime, but since Argentina isn't going to any serious war, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. A diplomatic deal of some sorts regarding the Falklands is achieved eventually (codominium, lease-back, migration agreement which allows Argentina to overwhelm the tiny local population, full sovereignty transfer, something else in exchange of something). Distrust of the military and regional integration means Argentine politicians still go for a policy of unilateral disarmament.
     
  19. Peelitebkearns Check Out The Alternate History Show!

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    I don't know all that much about the Argentina Junta, but my impression is that they invaded to try and invoke a rally-around the flag affect as the only way to stay in business. Therefore, even if Thatcher does issue an adequate warning to the Junta re the British government's intent to defend the Falklands should they be invaded, might the Junta just risk it anyway as a last throw of the dice to remain in power, perhaps hoping the Americans might attempt to moderate?

    In any case, minus the Falklands, I still see Thatcher winning an increased majority at the poles come 1983. I'm no fan of her politics, but I can't see why the other ingredients that produced OTL's landslide (recovering economy-at least in some areas, Labour in-fighting and Foot's unpopularity as a leader) wouldn't exist ITTL. I think this could be enough to produce a 1959 Macmillan-esc majority for the conservatives-not the same result as OTL by any means, but more than workable-and a clear rebuke for the Labour manifesto. Besides, if Mrs T thinks she's not assured of Victory in 1983, she's got enough of a majority in the commons to be able to hold out until 1984 if needs be.

    Assuming this result is the case, I wonder what this does to Labour post Foot's resignation, especially if the SDP hold onto enough of their boost to be able to directly take seats from Labour at the election instead of splitting the vote (something I believe is eminently feasible in this scenario). If Kinnock still emerges as leader (something I'm not too sure of here given the increased options open to Labour ITTL), could he have an easier time dealing with the militant left (given the presumably increased cohort of SDPers as a threat)? Or does he have a more difficult time of it, considering the Labour rebuke isn't as severe as OTL?

    In any case, despite her increased majority, I see Thatcher's position being weaker ITTL than after 1983 in reality. Not nearly enough to put her position in immediate jeopardy, but (like post 1959 Macmillan in some ways), she'd be far more vulnerable to leadership speculation (or an outright challenge) a few years into the parliament. Given an increased majority would still be seen by Thatcher and her closest allies as a positive endorsement of her government, I still see her pushing harder for some of her more... controversial policies-and running into opposition with members of her own party-her weaker position would also mean she'd be much less able to weather any crisis that comes her way. For that reason, I put odds of her surviving to fight the following election at around 50/50 at best in this scenario. Also, there's a chance of a Labour government prior to 1990 if they get their act together here, particularly if Thatcher outstays her more limited welcome. If not, they're almost assured of victory by 1992 in my view.
     
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  20. sendô Read between the lines.

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    It doesn't even need no war.

    A better scenario for Argentina is the Junta waiting a few months. Even a couple of months and the British wouldn't have been able to act immediately due to the southern hemisphere winter, and would have had to wait until November to send a task force, by which time momentum would have been lost, and it might well have been lost in the UN forever.

    Wait another year and the 1981 Defence white paper cuts would have taken effect, which might have meant a halved RM force with one of Fearless or Intrepid gone (or even both), Invincible sold to Australia, and Hermes having been decommissioned - so no aircraft carriers at all, and a scaled back amphibious force.