No 1982 Falklands War

uk 75

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This month's 40th anniversary of the Falklands/Malvinas war does not happen because for some reason or another Argentina does not invade.
The most noticable change would have been in the Royal Navy.
HMS Invincible would have been sold, becoming HMAS Australia. HMS Hermes would have followed in short order to India.
Illustrious and Ark Royal are retained, but only one is in service at any time.
NATO hard argued and secured the retention of Fearless and Intrepid and the five Sir class of the Amphibious Warfare squadron. But the arrival of the new ASW carriers coincided with manpower shortages, so further cuts were likely.
Two T42 and two T21 were not lost. Three batch 2 T22 were not built. The T22 batch 3 and the new T23 would have had no or only 76mm guns (like the Kortnaer/F122 class).
Phalanx CIWS systems probably not ordered.
The Harrier and Sea Harrier would not have seen combat until after the Cold War ended
Vulcan would have left the RAF in 1982 without firing a shot in anger.
The British Armed Forces would not have received the boost in public esteem that 1982 brought.
 

Archibald

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Thatcher wouldn't be reelected, for a start.

British humor as its finest

"winning that war was, on the long term, a pyrrhic victory. You see, Argentina got ride of its dictatorship the next year, because defeat; while we british had to endure an emboldened Thatcher nearly another decade, until late 1990"

I know, politics. But I had little affection for the Iron lady. More generally, I hate *arrogance* - and she surely had a lot of it.

(And Thatcher wasn't a dictator, God forbid.)
 
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RLBH

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Very probably, an agreement is reached with Argentina for the transfer of the Falklands and their lease back, similar to Hong Kong, within a few years.

Without the need to operate in the South Atlantic, the RAF doesn't fit air-to-air refuelling on the Nimrod and Hercules. Without AAR, the circumstances leading to the loss of XV230 are unlikely to arise, so there's probably no Haddon-Cave Inquiry. That hugely impacts the way the British defence industry approaches product safety.
 

alertken

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If there is any logic in RN deploying in 2021 its largest-ever/dearest-ever ship it is the never-can-tell issue, endorsing mobile sovereign bases. See France denying USAFE F-111E overflight to Libya, see Turkey and recent troubles on its borders. See FI lost without the Fleet and its decks. So, no FI: probably no CVF, so RAF-only F-35A.
 

RLBH

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If there is any logic in RN deploying in 2021 its largest-ever/dearest-ever ship it is the never-can-tell issue, endorsing mobile sovereign bases. See France denying USAFE F-111E overflight to Libya, see Turkey and recent troubles on its borders. See FI lost without the Fleet and its decks. So, no FI: probably no CVF, so RAF-only F-35A.
That, I think, is certain: the Falklands did a lot to reinvigorate the non-NATO role of the British armed forces. Without that, the end of the Cold War probably sees them considered less useful, as well as having lower morale and a worse public image. The peace dividend will hit harder.

Without the FI to instigate rallying behind the flag, it's possible that there's less nationalistic fervour in the UK. In which case - expect less Euroscepticism, and in the defence sphere more acceptance of joint projects and straight imports. Also less British exceptionalism.

Probably similar effects in Argentina, though I'm not sure exactly what that would look like.
 

Archibald

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Very probably, an agreement is reached with Argentina for the transfer of the Falklands and their lease back, similar to Hong Kong, within a few years.

Without the need to operate in the South Atlantic, the RAF doesn't fit air-to-air refuelling on the Nimrod and Hercules. Without AAR, the circumstances leading to the loss of XV230 are unlikely to arise, so there's probably no Haddon-Cave Inquiry. That hugely impacts the way the British defence industry approaches product safety.

Browsed XV230 and... that's ugly.
 

zen

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If there is any logic in RN deploying in 2021 its largest-ever/dearest-ever ship it is the never-can-tell issue, endorsing mobile sovereign bases. See France denying USAFE F-111E overflight to Libya, see Turkey and recent troubles on its borders. See FI lost without the Fleet and its decks. So, no FI: probably no CVF, so RAF-only F-35A.
No probably RAF wins the argument on FOAS....
Or the next generation of SSN after the T-Class is funded.
 

zen

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That, I think, is certain: the Falklands did a lot to reinvigorate the non-NATO role of the British armed forces. Without that, the end of the Cold War probably sees them considered less useful, as well as having lower morale and a worse public image. The peace dividend will hit harder.

Without the FI to instigate rallying behind the flag, it's possible that there's less nationalistic fervour in the UK. In which case - expect less Euroscepticism, and in the defence sphere more acceptance of joint projects and straight imports. Also less British exceptionalism.

Probably similar effects in Argentina, though I'm not sure exactly what that would look like.
Skirts a fine line that one, the sense of relief at being able to push back and stand up for the country was palpable. The then 'managed decline' and oikophibic syndrome were already at very high levels. Toxic in fact and dangerous.

No Thatcher, after yet another humiliation carried considetable domestic risk.

Then there was the international side. Proving the West and the UK would fight came at a crucial moment after the Iranian Revolution and the invasion of Afghanistan.
 

lordroel

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This month's 40th anniversary of the Falklands/Malvinas war does not happen because for some reason or another Argentina does not invade.
The most noticable change would have been in the Royal Navy.
HMS Invincible would have been sold, becoming HMAS Australia. HMS Hermes would have followed in short order to India.
Illustrious and Ark Royal are retained, but only one is in service at any time.
NATO hard argued and secured the retention of Fearless and Intrepid and the five Sir class of the Amphibious Warfare squadron. But the arrival of the new ASW carriers coincided with manpower shortages, so further cuts were likely.
Two T42 and two T21 were not lost. Three batch 2 T22 were not built. The T22 batch 3 and the new T23 would have had no or only 76mm guns (like the Kortnaer/F122 class).
Phalanx CIWS systems probably not ordered.
The Harrier and Sea Harrier would not have seen combat until after the Cold War ended
Vulcan would have left the RAF in 1982 without firing a shot in anger.
The British Armed Forces would not have received the boost in public esteem that 1982 brought.

What about the Argentine regime, they would have shifted their attention away to Chile, this would force the British to reinforce the Falklands, ore am i wrong.
 

Archibald

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Do not want to drag that into politics but - as much as I don't like Thatcher very much, the 1983 labour alternative wasn't particularly smart and bright no ? they were quite "radicals" ? Not sure the British military would gain a lot in the political shift... although Nott going away cannot be a bad thing for the RN.

"be careful what you wish for" - as usual.
 

zen

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Oikos = home
Xenos = Alien/foreign
Phobos = fear/hatred

Hence Scruton's coining (koin?) the term oikophobia to compliment the term xenophobia.

Though the use of oik as a derogatory is much older.
 

GTX

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ARA General Belgrano probably sitting at a dockside rusting away as a museum.
 

RLBH

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Browsed XV230 and... that's ugly.
Very. My father was deployed with the Nimrod force at the time, though in a non-flying role, and a close friend of the family died in the crash.
Do not want to drag that into politics but - as much as I don't like Thatcher very much, the 1983 labour alternative wasn't particularly smart and bright no ? they were quite "radicals" ?
Not for nothing is the 1983 Labour manifesto known as 'the longest suicide note in history'. It included - amongst other things - unilateral nuclear disarmament, renationalisation of industry, and withdrawal from the European Economic Community.

The Labour party appears to have decided that their loss in 1979 was because they weren't socialist enough; it didn't go down well with the country. I don't doubt that success in the Falklands boosted Thatcher's popularity, but the size of the Conservative majority in 1983, the division of the left, and Foot's relatively extreme policies would make a Conservative victory a real possibility. As, apparently, was a Liberal/Social Democratic coalition, at one point. If the Conservatives think they're weak, they could delay the election until May 1984.
 

Hood

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I think the effects on the Navy would have been quite profound if Nott's cuts hadn't been reversed.

It is possible that the Type 23 might have remained closer to its original Towed Array Ship origins and much like the glorified OPVs that we ended up with in the 2000s (Rivers).
That would perhaps have meant a new Broadsword replacement sometime in the late 90s in small numbers, maybe 8 or so ships.

Amphibious warfare had to be renewed in the 90s anyway so that capability could have been brought back (Bays and Albion/Bulwark and Ocean). Though it is possible that Ocean might have been recast as a third V/STOL carrier/LHA to boost numbers. Whether CVF would come about is open to question.

I would hate to predict the political implications, I can't see Labour winning given it's manifesto. The effects could have been marked if they had won or on the other hand it might have been the usual waffle. Labour usually actually quite likes buying military equipment, especially if it's boosting home jobs. Same with commercial aviation (Tony Benn on Concorde "Waste of money, capitalist playtoy! Kill it! Kill it!" "But Tony it's being built in your constituency..." "Oh, I meant best British invention ever! Money spinner! Buy it! Buy it!")
 

Michel Van

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No Falklands war
Mean no Maggie Thatcher re-election in 1983 !
She was very unpopular, rising tax by 15%, High unemployment rate, Try to crush the Unions etc.

But Michael Foot as Prime Minister would disastrous for Britain !
The Labor Party manifesto The New Hope for Britain aka "The longest suicide note in history"
a 39 page plan were Labor wanted:

- A British unilateral nuclear disarmament - Cancel the Trident programme, refuse to deploy Pershing and Cruise missiles
- The re-nationalisation of recently privatised industries such as British Aerospace and the British Shipbuilders Corporation.
- Withdrawal from the European Economic Community (early BREXIT)
- Ban arms sales to repressive regimes.

And all this in middle of Cold War, that was freezing over !
i wonder how Ronald Reagan deal with Britain run by leftist Michael Foot ?
 

zen

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No war and the Tories would remove her, as was actually building inside the party at the time.
 

Michel Van

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No war and the Tories would remove her, as was actually building inside the party at the time.
yes, would be most logical outcome, if you see alternative of "The longest suicide note in history"
The Tories would put new Candidate into 1983 Election,
Likely William Whitelaw or John Biffen
 

zen

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Only....wasn't Heseltine pro-EEC then just as he is pro-EU now?

Wasn't he the Defence Minister who favoured Eurofighter over alternatives?
 

RLBH

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No Falklands war
Mean no Maggie Thatcher re-election in 1983 !
She was very unpopular, rising tax by 15%, High unemployment rate, Try to crush the Unions etc.

But Michael Foot as Prime Minister would disastrous for Britain !
The Labor Party manifesto The New Hope for Britain aka "The longest suicide note in history"
As noted, this would be a choice between bad (Thatcher) and worse (Foot). The Conservatives replacing Thatcher as leader sounds very plausible. And the Liberal/Social Democrat Alliance - which later became the Liberal Democrats - looked at one point in the run-up to the 1983 election like it might form a minority government.

If the Conservatives are looking weak in 1983, they'll almost certainly hold off on the election until 1984 - they called an early election in OTL because they were looking strong, and the opposition looked weak.
 

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An early-80's loss of Thatcher and an ascendancy of the far left in Britain would potentially have led to the permanence of the Soviet Union. So... global thermonuclear war in 2005 when the USSR invades western Europe in part through the Peoples Democratic Soviet Socialist Republic of Britain, largely unopposed until they get to the borders of an *extremely* paranoid France, who nuke the bejeebers out of the Soviet forces, sparking a series of escalating responses.
 

Hood

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Only....wasn't Heseltine pro-EEC then just as he is pro-EU now?

Wasn't he the Defence Minister who favoured Eurofighter over alternatives?
Sorry, yes I got that the wrong way round!
So Merlin HC.3 it is and Tonal instead of Apache and maybe the NH90 as a Puma replacement if we waited another 30 years for it to actually materialise...

As much as we Brits love a good fisticuff, I don't really see the lack of Argie Bargie compensating for Michael Foot's donkey jacket fetish.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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An early-80's loss of Thatcher and an ascendancy of the far left in Britain would potentially have led to the permanence of the Soviet Union. So... global thermonuclear war in 2005 when the USSR invades western Europe in part through the Peoples Democratic Soviet Socialist Republic of Britain, largely unopposed until they get to the borders of an *extremely* paranoid France, who nuke the bejeebers out of the Soviet forces, sparking a series of escalating responses.
Was that inspired by the mid-1980s BBC2 sitcom Comrade Dad that starred George Cole?

His wife was played by Barbara Ewing who had been "Red Agnes" Fairchild in the superb ITV sitcom Brass which was a send up of "It's grim up north" costume dramas that were set between the world wars such as When the Boat Comes In, but was also a satire on the early years of the Thatcher Government.
 

uk 75

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In the opening episode of "Comrade Dad" on youtube it is mentioned that the Russian invasion was announced by Ian Macdonald, who had become famous for his delivery of MOD information during the Falklands crisis.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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Not for nothing is the 1983 Labour manifesto known as 'the longest suicide note in history'. It included - amongst other things - unilateral nuclear disarmament, renationalisation of industry, and withdrawal from the European Economic Community.

The Labour party appears to have decided that their loss in 1979 was because they weren't socialist enough; it didn't go down well with the country. I don't doubt that success in the Falklands boosted Thatcher's popularity, but the size of the Conservative majority in 1983, the division of the left, and Foot's relatively extreme policies would make a Conservative victory a real possibility. As, apparently, was a Liberal/Social Democratic coalition, at one point. If the Conservatives think they're weak, they could delay the election until May 1984.
A Liberal-SDP Alliance victory at the next general election looked rather likely in the 12 months that preceded the invasion of the Falkland Islands.

13 Labour MPs defected to the SDP on 2nd March 1981. Further defections, two by-election victories (and one defeat) increased the total to 28 by the end of March 1982. Furthermore, one Conservative MP joined the party later in March 1981.

The Alliance also took the lead in the opinion polls. In September 1981 David Steel the then leader of the Liberal Party felt confident enough to conclude his speech at their party conference with this sentence.

"I have the good fortune to be the first Liberal Leader for over half a century who is able to say to you at the end of our annual Assembly: go back to your constituencies and prepare for government."

I couldn't find his speech on YouTube.

However, I did find this Not The Nine O'clock News sketch, which was part of the fourth (and final) series which was originally broadcast between 1st February and 8th March 1982.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4VUQTLznwU


However, a combination of the "Falklands Factor", the Labour Party's split and the end of the 1980-81 recession lead to the Conservative's landslide victory in the general election of May 1983 in which their parliamentary majority was increased from 43 to 144.

My guess is that the Conservative Party would have won the next general election if there hadn't been a Falklands War. However, it would have been with a much smaller majority than the "real one" due to some of the people that voted Conservative in the "real world" voting for the Alliance in "this version of history".
 
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