Swap UK with France during the Falklands War.

Archibald

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A question for @Archibald.

Would the Iles Malouines and its dependencies have been an overseas département or an overseas territory?

The overseas département with the smallest population in 1982 was Saint Pierre and Miquelon (1982 estimate 6,300).

From the same source (Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 1982) the Colony of the Falkland Islands and its Dependencies wasn't self-governing and had a about 30% of Saint Pierre and Miquelon's population (1980 estimate 1,800).

That's a very pertinent question ! I would say an overseas territory (ies), considering the minuscule population and the sheer remoteness. There is a strikingly similar, real world example: Kerguelen islands, obviously. Incidentally, I often thought the Kerguelens were France very own Falklands - except without a menacing, obnoxious and revengeful neighbourgh like Argentina. Just like Réunion island (my own little corner of paradise in that ugly world) the closest thing from a foe is enpoverished Madagascar... 2000 miles away.


If the Falklands had stayed with France, I think they would have been part of the following organization.

The islands, along with Adélie Land, the Crozet Islands, Amsterdam and Saint Paul islands, and France's Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, are part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and are administered as a separate district.
 

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Link to Post 321.
For what it's worth I think Saint Pierre and Miquelon is closest we have to an analogue in the "real world".

Canada did threaten to invade. I gave the details in an earlier post.

I think the Iles Malouines would have had a much larger population than the Falklands for the reasons that I gave in an earlier post.

The peak year for immigration would have been 1962. This is because the cynic in me thinks De Gaulle would have given the Harki the choice of remaining in Algeria or moving to the Malouines.
 

Archibald

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Link to Post 321.
For what it's worth I think Saint Pierre and Miquelon is closest we have to an analogue in the "real world".

Canada did threaten to invade. I gave the details in an earlier post.

I think the Iles Malouines would have had a much larger population than the Falklands for the reasons that I gave in an earlier post.

The peak year for immigration would have been 1962. This is because the cynic in me thinks De Gaulle would have given the Harki the choice of remaining in Algeria or moving to the Malouines.

I would have instead exiled the OAS sobs and the people backing them (Le Pen first !)

Little Algerian war lexicon
- FLN : algerian independance fighters (cut dead French soldiers testicles, then cut heads, put heads on pikes with the testicles in the mouth)
- Fellaghas: same as above, except a racist word used by the French Army to qualify the ennemy they tortured with electricity (as a revenge for the above: la gégène. And you thought Vietnam was a dirty war and a morass ?)
- Pieds-noirs (literally: black feet): French colonists in Algeria since 1830, so 5 generations. Can't figure moving out of Algeria after so much time.
- Harkis: Algerian people not for independance, because they have friends among pieds-noirs.
- OAS: terrorist organization to "keep Algeria within France" including by infiltrating the military to try and machine gun De Gaulle and many others.

Pieds noirs and harkis for obvious reasons ended the most screwed of the lot, imagine. Pieds-noirs were 2 millions and metropolitan France had to absorb the influx. For harkis it was even worse: traitors in the eyes of FLN's Algeria, unwelcome in France on top of Pieds-noirs.
 

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However, one of the LSDs isn't missing from the list. It's on the list in the Pacific with 4 LSTs. The main entry on the Ouragan class says that Orage was allocated to the Pacific Nuclear Experimental Centre. It doesn't say where Ouragan was.
That’s rather odd as the ship location tables show both LSDs Orage & Ouragan and LST Bidassoa in the Atlantic in May 82 for amphib exercise « Archipel »… well as it turns out the reason is simple: Orage transferred from the Pacific test center back to the Atlantic fleet in 1977.

Likewise LST Dives was in the Med, not in the Pacific… the disposition was 2 LSTs in the Pacific (Blavet, Trieux), 2 in the Med (Argens, Dives), and one in the Atlantic (Bidassoa).

As for the 2 LSMs, Champlain was in the Indian Ocean and Francis Garnier in the Caribbean. The 3rd hull (Dumont D’Urville) started sea trials in Sept. 82, so would have been too late for the Falklands.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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However, one of the LSDs isn't missing from the list. It's on the list in the Pacific with 4 LSTs. The main entry on the Ouragan class says that Orage was allocated to the Pacific Nuclear Experimental Centre. It doesn't say where Ouragan was.
That’s rather odd as the ship location tables show both LSDs Orage & Ouragan and LST Bidassoa in the Atlantic in May 82 for amphib exercise « Archipel »… well as it turns out the reason is simple: Orage transferred from the Pacific test center back to the Atlantic fleet in 1977.
According to their entries on netmarine.net both ships of the Ouragan class had globetrotting careers.

Although Orage was transferred tot he Atlantic Squadron in 1977 she visited the Indian Ocean in 1977 and 1978. The section on her activities in 1980 is called Return to the Pacific, 1981 is called Mission to the Indian Ocean and 1982 The Storm in Beirut.

This is what that source says about Orage's movements from 1st March to 8th July 1982.
He left on March 1, then did an internship at the CEF (Fleet Training Center) from March 9 to 19, before starting a series of exercises: Archipelago (April 13 to 16 and May 10 to 14), EMF end-of-course corvette (April 22 to May 7), Korrigan (May 24 to 27), Suroît (June 4 to 11), Naval School summer corvette (June 17 to July 8). It will make stopovers in Cherbourg, Le Havre, Flensbourg, Bergen, Trondheim.
The reason this section was called Storm in Beirut is.
On August 22, he left Toulon and arrived in Beirut on the 26th, to participate in the Olifant 82 mission to set up the international interposition force intended to facilitate the departure of Palestinians from Beirut.
However, there is some truth in Jane's 1982-83's claim about Orage being in the Pacific towards the end of 1982 because.
He leaves Brest on November 2, for a 7-month world tour, which begins with a transport mission to Polynesia.
And.
On November 22, a sailor was disembarked in emergency at Willemstadt (Curaçao) for acute appendicitis. Everything ended well, and he was subsequently repatriated directly to France. After passing through the Panama Canal ( Balboa - November 24 to 26), the TCD calls at Acapulco (December 1 to 5), Clipperton (December 7), Mururoa (December 15 to 17), and arrives in Papeete on December 19.

 
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Archibald

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French nuclear testing went underground in 1974 so Force Alfa (half of the fleet to Moruroa to guard the test range) wasn't needed anymore.
 

Archibald

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Exactly - it was a floating command post. The bridge had been vastly enlarged and the crew reduced and most of the armement neutralized. All this to get 560 civilians onboard to monitor and trigger atmospheric nuclear blasts from a "safe" distance (France at Moruroa did as bad as the Americans at Rongelap and elsewhere in the Pacific. It left lagoons and inhabitants glowing in the dark with fallout).
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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This is the addenda from Jane's 1982-83 that I uploaded into Post 319.

Jane's Fighting Ships 1982-83 Addenda - France.jpg
My thoughts on the above are:
  • There are enough Crusaders, Etendards and Super Etendards for two full-strength air groups, which would have a combined total of 20 Crusaders, 32 Super Etendards and 8 Etendard IVP.
  • The number of Alizés looks wrong to me.
    • John Jordan in An Illustrated Guide to Modern Naval Aviation and Aircraft Carriers published 1983 wrote that 75 Alizés ALMs were built for the Aéronavale and that 20 remained in service with 4F and 6F.
    • The 8 aircraft in the table may be the 8 Alizés ALM aircraft that according to @H_K in Post 15 equipped 6F in January 1982. His post is reproduced at the end of this post.
    • If that's correct 4F would have been equipped with the older version of the Alizé or converting to the ALM. @H_K are you able to confirm or deny that?
    • According to contemporary editions of Jane's a full-strength air group was 40 fixed-wing aircraft (10 Crusaders, 20 Etendards and 10 Alizés) and 4 helicopters (2 Super Frelons and 2 Alouette IIIs). Therefore, it looks like there weren't enough Alizés to maintain two full-strength flottilles, regarless of which source is correct.
  • The number of Super Frelons is miniscule in comparison to the scores of Sea King and Wessex helicopters in the FAA. The logistical part of the discussion has so far been about whether the French had enough tankers. Do they have enough large helicopters? If the Aéronavale hadn't there are two mitigating factors.
    • As far as I can remember the only discussion we've had about helicopters is that there weren't enough to provide an adequate ASW screen for the aircraft carriers. However, that was the Alizés job which, would allow the Super Frelons to be used solely as transport helicopters.
    • The Aeronavales helicopters would be supplemented by aircraft ALAT the Armée de Terre's air airm.

Post 15 by @H_K about the Alizés ALM.
The AEW issue would be very interesting. The one and only solution would be E-1B Tracers: just retired from USN in the late 1970's.
The French had AEW capability already, just not a lot of public info available. The brand new Iguane radar on modernized Alizés had a detection range of 50nm against sea skimming targets (officially… maybe more). The first modernized Alizés ALMs were delivered in mid-1981 and by Jan 1982 one squadron (6F) had been fully equipped with ~8 Alizés ALMs.

So a pair of Alizés on patrol should provide a decent detection bubble ahead of the fleet along the approach path of Argentine attack aircraft.
 
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Archibald

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Ah the Super Frelon (SUF) , just like the Vautour - once again the israelis were 10 times smarter than we french.
From memory the SUF was essentially a mostly aborted atempt at a heavy lift chopper for the French Army - where the cheaper Puma with british money properly wiped it out.
The Aeronavale took it over but for ASW rather than heavy lift... where the Lynx screwed it.
It ended doing SAR for 40 years and little else.
The Army would and could gladly provide loads of Pumas, Alouettes and Gazelles - the latters with antitank missiles, either SS11 or HOT ( perhaps too early for HOT).

Number of S.E procured was 71 (from an earlier 100) while the older Etendard had build 91 airframes - no idea how many were left by 1982 between crashes and scrapped and in storage.
And yes a large percentage of the original 42 Crouzes had already been lost so 29 left is not surprising.
 
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Another question for @Archibald.

What land forces were available?

The closest source I have is World Armies, 1st Edition, 1979, edited by John Keegan.
Forces d'Intervention

The army component (Forces Terrestres d'Intervention) consists principally of (a) the 11th (Parachute) Division, located at Pay, Basses-Pyrenes, with two airborne brigades (20th and 25th); the 9th (Amphibious) Brigade, located at St-Malo and the 27th Alpine Division stationed in the Alps, consisting of the 17th and 27th Brigades formed from the famous Chasseurs Alpins. The Alpine Division, is, however, allocated to the D.O.T. while the parachute and amphibious brigades, which train frequently overseas, are designed for rapid deployment abroad. The French navy's marines, Groupement Commando de Fusiliers Marins, stationed at Brest, also act as part of the intervention force.
That's a total of 2 airborne brigades, 2 alpine brigades, one amphibious brigade and the Fusiliers Marins.

According to the same source:
The Parachute Brigade contains:​
three infantry battalions; one support regiment; one services battalion.​
The Alpine Brigade contains:​
three to four infantry battalions; one armoured car regiment; one artillery regiment.​
The Amphibious Brigade contains:​
three infantry battalions; one mechanised regiment; one artillery regiment; one services battalion.​

As far as I know the 11th (Parachute) Division and 9th (Amphibious) Bridge were all-professional units.

On paper this force of 3 marine and 6 parachute battalions plus supporting units looks much better than the equivalent British force which was the 3rd Commando Brigade which according to Jane's 1982-83 consisted of:

1 Brigade HQ,​
4 RM Commandos​
1 Commando Regiment RA​
1 Commando Squadron RE​
1 Brigade Air Squadron RM (light helicopters)​
1 Commando Logistic Regiment​
1 Special Boat Squadron​
1 Raiding Squadron​
plus 1 Commando Squadron RE (Volunteer) and 1 Raiding Squadron RMR.​

Abbreviations:
RM = Royal Marines​
RMR = Royal Marines Reserve​
RA = Royal Regiment of Artillery (British Army)​
RE = Corps of Royal Engineers (British Army) and Volunteer denotes a Territorial Army unit.​

Nomenclature:
A commando is equivalent to an infantry battalion.​
A regiment of artillery in the British Army is equivalent to an artillery regiment.​
A squadron of engineers in the British Army is equivalent to a company of engineers.​
However, there were only 3 regular RM Commandos in 1982 because the fourth was disbanded as part of the Mason Defence Review of 1974-75. I thought that the RMR had a Commando but that may be a case of false memory syndrome because so far I haven't found a reference to it.

For the Falklands 3rd Commando Brigade had to be augmented by Parachute battalions from the British Army and supplemented by the 5th Infantry Brigade with battalions of Guards and Gurkhas. (Which isn't 100% correct because I haven't checked my notes.)
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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Ah the Super Frelon (SUF) , just like the Vautour - once again the Israelis were 10 times smarter than we French.
From memory the SUF was essentially a mostly aborted attempt at a heavy lift chopper for the French Army - where the cheaper Puma with British money properly wiped it out.
The Aeronavale took it over but for ASW rather than heavy lift... where the Lynx screwed it.
It ended doing SAR for 40 years and little else.
According to Jordan a total of 24 SA.321G Super Frelons were built for the Aéronavale. 10 served with 32F in the ASW role and the remainder served as transport helicopters with 27F and 33F.
A number of Super Frelon SA 321Gs of 32F have operated from one or other of the carriers of the Clemenceau class in recent years, and 32F is also responsible for anti-submarine operations in support of France's ballistic-missile submarines. The SA 321 Gs generally operate in groups of up to four helicopters, with one employing its Sylphe panoramic dunking sonar for listening while the others make their attacks.
However, according to the aeronavale.org website Flottille 27F disbanded on 1st October 1964 and has never been reformed. According to that source the two Super Frelon squadrons were 32F and 33F.
The Army would and could gladly provide loads of Pumas, Alouettes and Gazelles - the latters with antitank missiles, either SS11 or HOT ( perhaps too early for HOT).
ALAT was organised into a number of regiments. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that some regiments were assigned to the Intervention Force and had operated from MN ships in exercises.
Number of S.E procured was 71 (from an earlier 100) while the older Etendard had build 91 airframes - no idea how many were left by 1982 between crashes and scrapped and in storage.
According to the table it was 56 Super Etendard and 14 Etendard NP.

I'm guessing that it was 56 delivered out of 71 Super Etendards ordered and not 71 delivered minus 15 crashed equals 56 left in January 1982. The Argentines ordered 14 Super Etendards and 5 were delivered by April 1982. What was the status of the other 9 on 2nd April 1982? Could the French have used them?

I think Etendard NP is a typo for Etendard IVP. According to Jordan 69 IVM and 21 IVP were built for the Aéronavale which would mean that 14 out of 21 IVP were left in January 1982. (Edit: 46 out of 69 Etendard IVM would have been left in January 1982 if its attrition rate was the same as the Etendard IVM.)

According to Jordan the Etendards were operated in mixed squadrons of 10 aircraft, each comprising 8 IVM and 2 IVP.
And yes a large percentage of the original 42 Crouzes had already been lost so 29 left is not surprising.
For what it's worth that's about the same as the number of Sea Harriers that were available in April 1982. There's a post with the exact numbers and how they were used somewhere on alternatehistory.com.

According to Jordan the two aircraft had about the same combat radius in the fighter role, but the Crusader had double the number guns (four 20mm v two 30mm) as well as carrying double the number of AAMs (4 v 2).

Edit: 29 out of 42 left in January 1982 is about two-thirds of the original force which is the same attrition rate as the Etendard IVP which adds more weight to my idea that two-thirds of the Etendard IVMs would have beeen left in January 1982. That is, provided none of the survivors had been scrapped.
 
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Archibald

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P.S the land forces - I know next to nothing about them. It is not my "field", I'm an aviation & space nerd with a secondary fascination for large warships (large = +10 000 tons). But ground forces ? nada, zilch, zippo, my knowledge. All I can say is that AMX-30s would be of no use in Falklands, but AMX-13s were plentiful and cheap... so much, even the Argies had some of them AFAIK. Beware of friendly fire incidents...!
 

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(and yes France had Neptunes just like ARA)
This was Flottille 25F which operated the Lockheed P2V-7 (P-2H) Neptune from July 1958 until it disbanded on 29th June 1983. The other flottilles that operated the Neptune converted to the Atlantique 1966-72.
 

Archibald

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ALAT was organised into a number of regiments. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that some regiments were assigned to the Intervention Force and had operated from MN ships in exercises.
In Gulf war one the carriers were so old, and so were the Crusaders - and the S.E not yet modernized for ground strike - so Clemenceau sailed as PA2, that is: a 35 000 tons giant LPH packed full with ALAT helicopters. And that was it.
In a sense ALAT Gazelles were found to be more useful against ground targets and tanks, than unmodernized S.E with Crusaders unable to provide decent air cover.

but the Crusader had double the number guns (four 20mm v two 30mm) as well as carrying double the number of AAMs (4 v 2).

I do know
- the US Crusaders carried 4*AIM-9
- so did the french ones
- or 2*R530 (could not handle 4)
- but when the old AIM- went away, 2*Magic 1 (and Magic 2 afterwards) were carried - not 4

So, bottom line: French crusaders probably rarely flew with 4 missiles.
 
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Archibald

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AFAIK the S.E was created first and foremost around the Exocet that is in the antiship role with a guided missile. The true ground attack capabilities - incuding LGBs - had to wait the 1990's. Hence the S.E was probably a bit too specialized for Gulf War 1 (the irony of course being that Saddam had been loaned 5*S.E in 1984, before the F1-EQ5 and EQ6 entered service - ironically, with a S.E radar and exocets !)
 

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but the Crusader had double the number guns (four 20mm v two 30mm) as well as carrying double the number of AAMs (4 v 2).

I do know
- the US Crusaders carried 4*AIM-9
- so did the French ones
- or 2*R530 (could not handle 4)
- but when the old AIM- went away, 2*Magic 1 (and Magic 2 afterwards) were carried - not 4

So, bottom line: French crusaders probably rarely flew with 4 missiles.
I think it was established earlier in the thread that the Crusader and the Etendard could carry four AAMs while the Sea Harriers that fought in the Falklands could only carry two.

I've got my copy of Jordan out. He confirms what you have written, i.e. the F-8E(FN) could carry 4 AIM-9 or 2 R.530.
 

Archibald

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4*R530 was possible and was tried but I think it was very draggy or worse - the pylons and their fuselage mounts couldn't handle the loads. I think it was the latter - pylons and fuselage couldn't handle the bigger SARH AAMs.


Now don't ask me why they didn't reverted to four AAMs when the smaller Magic 1 & 2 became available. But it seems Crusaders only carried 2, not 4.
 

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4*R530 was possible and was tried but I think it was very draggy or worse - the pylons and their fuselage mounts couldn't handle the loads. I think it was the latter - pylons and fuselage couldn't handle the bigger SARH AAMs.


Now don't ask me why they didn't reverted to four AAMs when the smaller Magic 1 & 2 became available. But it seems Crusaders only carried 2, not 4.
Having seen how large they were... I'm not surprised!

Was the R.530 in the same range class as the Sparrow and Skyflash? If it was that would be another advantage that the Crusader and Super Etendard had over the Sea Harrier.
 

Hood

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but AMX-13s were plentiful and cheap... so much, even the Argies had some of them AFAIK. Beware of friendly fire incidents

This is paraphrased from Wiki sources so be careful but;

In the 1960s the Argentine Army tried replacing its ex-British Sherman V Fireflys and ex-American M3A1 half-tracks with 50 M41 Walker Bulldogs and 250 M113s. They got the M113s but the US blocked delivery of the M41s and refused any further requests for tanks. So the Army went with Plan Europa to buy from Europe and licence-build to kickstart local production capability. Argentina procured 80 AMX-13 light tanks, 180 AMX-VCIs and 24 AMX-155 F3s, from France and licence-manufactured around 40 AMX-13s and 60 AMX-VCIs.
The AMX-30 and Leopard 1 were also examined as possible Sherman Firefly replacements but never brought.

Britain doesn't really have anything in the AMX-13 weight class during the 1960s.
Obviously for this AU the AMX-13 is out. Interestingly Argentina did also buy 112 SK-105 Kürassier from Austria which used an improved AMX-13 turret, so this option is open.
A potential like-for-like is 80 Scorpions (available in early 70s), 180 FV432 and 24 FV433 Abbot plus some local manufacture, maybe another 40 Scorpions and 60 Spartans?

For another MBT option there is the Vickers MBT (38 tons, 105mm gun, 80-30mm armour, 535hp Leyland L60 multifuel) which almost neatly matches the AMX-30 offering. Perhaps in this scenario without any extant M41 analogue, the Argentines have to buy 60-80 Vickers MBT or Leopards as a main tank and then buy a smaller top-up order of Scorpions?

Either way the Scorpion would be more mobile than the AMX-13 in the Falklands, carries a fair punch against French AMX-13s too. Should be a fairly even match I would say given the terrain.
 

Archibald

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4*R530 was possible and was tried but I think it was very draggy or worse - the pylons and their fuselage mounts couldn't handle the loads. I think it was the latter - pylons and fuselage couldn't handle the bigger SARH AAMs.


Now don't ask me why they didn't reverted to four AAMs when the smaller Magic 1 & 2 became available. But it seems Crusaders only carried 2, not 4.
Having seen how large they were... I'm not surprised!

Was the R.530 in the same range class as the Sparrow and Skyflash? If it was that would be another advantage that the Crusader and Super Etendard had over the Sea Harrier.

Yup. Strictly speaking... R530 is France very own (dysfunctional) Sparrow A to E (= Vietnam, Phantoms) variants.

Super 530F is kind of AIM-7F for F-15 (yeah, at least IT WORKS !!)
It's Mirage F1C-200 brand new weapon, not at 1973 IOC (R530 again) but in 1980. The F1 carried both missiles, and the pilots quickly saw the difference. Which was pretty huge.

The R530 was lucky a) to have been produced in large numbers and b) that both Crouzes and Mirage IIIs stuck until the end of Cold war. Otherwise the "Super" would have eaten it for lunch, they were vastly better. In fact the only things they had in common was the 530 moniker.

And Super 530D is the pulse-doppler, look-down / shoot-down variant for the Mirage 2000 and its RDI radar.

From the moment the "Super 530" entered service, the older R530 was considered a lost case. They would have been fired "en masse" by Mirage IIIC/E with the hope to score some hits. Yet only if Mirage F1 and 2000 had no cleared the skies beforehand. Then again, against the Soviets there are never too many interceptors, even old ones with obsolete missiles.

As I said upthread (or in another thread were I post, can't remember) the 1989 initial plan for the upgraded 18 Crusaders (F-8P) consisted of a Cyrano IV / Super 530F capability. In a few word: french Crusaders would have lept from early Mirage IIIE to late Mirage F1.
Unfortunately that proved too complex and expensive, and a more modest Magic 2 upgrade was prefered, for a simple reason: IR missiles don't care about the onboard radar, or very little. At least not like medium range SARH AAMs.
 
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H_K

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The number of Super Frelons is miniscule in comparison to the scores of Sea King and Wessex helicopters in the FAA. The logistical part of the discussion has so far been about whether the French had enough tankers. Do they have enough large helicopters? If the Aéronavale hadn't there are two mitigating factors.
  • As far as I can remember the only discussion we've had about helicopters is that there weren't enough to provide an adequate ASW screen for the aircraft carriers. However, that was the Alizés job which, would allow the Super Frelons to be used solely as transport helicopters.
  • The Aeronavales helicopters would be supplemented by aircraft ALAT the Armée de Terre's air airm.

I have tabled on the following helicopter force:

10x Super Frelon (8x on Jeanne d’Arc + 2x on Jules Verne support ship)
8x Pumas (French army - 4x each on the 2 LPDs)
4x Gazelles HOT/canon (French army - 2x each on the 2 LPDs)

12x Lynx ASW (8x on 4 ASW frigates, 2x on Foch, 2x on Jeanne d’Arc)

+ 6-10 Alouettes aboard the other smaller ships for general duties

I would add that the job of lifting artillery might be a little easier for the French with their 120mm mortars vs. 105mm light howitzers.
 

Archibald

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At the end of the day, the big question is: what happens to Clemenceau if Foch (the younger and more capable of the two) gets a complete air group ?

There are three options

Option 1- Clemenceau manages to scrap and scrounge a complete air group
According to this post it seems feasible on paper

Option 2 - the Gulf War 1 scenario
Foch has the complete air group, Clemenceau becomes a giant LPH with thrice the capabilities of Jeanne d'Arc

Option 3
Clemenceau can't get out of its minor IPER in time, hence Foch has to do it alone.
Note that it might be more realistic than 1 or 2 because, really, some time before 1980, the two carriers could no longer sail together at 100% capacity. Not enough crews, pilots, mechanics, and aircraft.

I do know the French navy worked on a PA1 / PA2 rotating status for its carrier fleet, right from the late 1970's.

This, exactly. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q="clemenceau""foch""PA1""PA2"


And PA1 clearly meant "full strength air group, full crew, mechanics and pilots, full aircraft complement" while PA2 meant "well, scrap what you can for a limited mission".

As a matter of fact, I don't think that, even off Lebanon in the 1980's the two carriers ever operated at full strength and side by side. Clearly, they rotated between them every month or every six months in peacetime.

This was no Yankee Station with many carriers side by side at the same time.

(note: "Le fauteuil de Colbert" has some very interesting stuff not found elsewhere - but the author has... opinions, to say the least, and sometimes he fantasizes or... rants a little too much. Still a good blog nonetheless).
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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Part of Post 346
At the end of the day, the big question is: what happens to Clemenceau if Foch (the younger and more capable of the two) gets a complete air group ?
As far as I'm concerned it has been established beyond doubt that there were enough Crusaders and (Super) Etendards to form two flottilles of Crusaders and four flottilles of (Super) Etendards. Which was the basis of your Option 1.

One flottille of Crusaders and four flottilles of Etendards actually existed in the spring of 1982 so a second Crusader flottille would have to be formed. That shouldn't be so hard for the French because the British formed a third 800-series Sea Harrier squadron. They also mobilised their Sea King and Wessex training squadrons, which in practice meant that they exchanged their 700-series "numberplates" for 800-series "numberplates".

The "Lolo Ferrari" questions are:

1) Are both aircraft carriers available in April 1982?​
and​
2) Did France have enough tankers to get the task force there?​
Ra! Ra! Pido!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBHWuRlW260

Alles...
whatever! Antoine de Caunes always spoke too fast for me to understand what he was saying...

It was that or Chateuvallon, which was the other French TV programme on British TV at the time. For the benefit of @Archibald the only contemporary French TV programme currently on British TV is Spiral which has been on BBC4.
 
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alejandrogrossi

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but AMX-13s were plentiful and cheap... so much, even the Argies had some of them AFAIK. Beware of friendly fire incidents

This is paraphrased from Wiki sources so be careful but;

In the 1960s the Argentine Army tried replacing its ex-British Sherman V Fireflys and ex-American M3A1 half-tracks with 50 M41 Walker Bulldogs and 250 M113s. They got the M113s but the US blocked delivery of the M41s and refused any further requests for tanks. So the Army went with Plan Europa to buy from Europe and licence-build to kickstart local production capability. Argentina procured 80 AMX-13 light tanks, 180 AMX-VCIs and 24 AMX-155 F3s, from France and licence-manufactured around 40 AMX-13s and 60 AMX-VCIs.
The AMX-30 and Leopard 1 were also examined as possible Sherman Firefly replacements but never brought.

Britain doesn't really have anything in the AMX-13 weight class during the 1960s.
Obviously for this AU the AMX-13 is out. Interestingly Argentina did also buy 112 SK-105 Kürassier from Austria which used an improved AMX-13 turret, so this option is open.
A potential like-for-like is 80 Scorpions (available in early 70s), 180 FV432 and 24 FV433 Abbot plus some local manufacture, maybe another 40 Scorpions and 60 Spartans?

For another MBT option there is the Vickers MBT (38 tons, 105mm gun, 80-30mm armour, 535hp Leyland L60 multifuel) which almost neatly matches the AMX-30 offering. Perhaps in this scenario without any extant M41 analogue, the Argentines have to buy 60-80 Vickers MBT or Leopards as a main tank and then buy a smaller top-up order of Scorpions?

Either way the Scorpion would be more mobile than the AMX-13 in the Falklands, carries a fair punch against French AMX-13s too. Should be a fairly even match I would say given the terrain.
Hood
you forgot, that we rebuilt the M-4 with the 105 mm L44/57 FTR gun produced locally at the Fabrica Militar de Río Tercero in the province of Córdoba, which was a copy of the French CN-105-57 gun. The CN-105-57 was mounted on some of the AMX-13 tanks Argentina had bought from France in 1967.
1655482326940.png
of course in that case, no more M-4 Sherman repotenciado, or perhaps, with another gun.
I dont know if the 105mm L7, can fix in the turret of M-4

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar-argentina-sherman-repotenciado/
And not AML-90 on the war (IMARA)
1655482050030.png
For that, I think the Spartan or Scorpion, will be fine
 

NOMISYRRUC

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A question for @alejandrogrossi

I've avoided using the A-Word at all costs.

That's because as far as I'm concerned the War of 1982 was against General Galtieri & Co rather than the Argentine people.

Britain and Argentina have been friends for most of history and as far as I'm concerned the unpleasantness over Las Islas Malvinas is an aberration of that history. I've not met many Argentines, but the few that I have met were "decent chaps" to use a British expression.

I'm more upset about "The hand of God!" because to paraphrase a famous Scott "Football is more important than life and death!" and I'm not a football fan, I'm a Middlesbrough supporter.

As far as I'm concerned this is an academic discussion about ancient history.

However, some of the other people who have contributed to the thread have used the A-Word. Does it's use offend you?

I'm not going to use it whatever you think.
 
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alejandrogrossi

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A question for @alejandrogrossi

I've avoided using the A-Word at all costs.

That's because as far as I'm concerned it was a War of 1982 was against General Galtieri & Co rather than the Argentine people.

Britain and Argentina have been friends for most of history and as far as I'm concerned the unpleasantness over Las Islas Malvinas is an aberration of that history. I've not met many Argentines, but the few that I have met were "decent chaps" to use a British expression.

I'm more upset about "The hand of God!" because to paraphrase a famous Scott "Football is more important than life and death!" and I'm not a football fan, I'm a Middlesbrough supporter.

As far as I'm concerned this is an academic discussion about ancient history.

However, some of the other people who have contributed to the thread have used the A-Word. Does it's use offend you?

I'm not going to use it whatever you think.
NOMISYRRUC
Respect of UK and Argentina friendship, I agree with you. We have been frinds for most of the history.
Even argentines (british descendants), they fought in the RAF lines in WW2.
For Argentines, the Malvinas issue is a feeling. It is difficult to express or perhaps to understand for the rest. In my case, I try to be objective and not get carried away.
As I like to participate in forums on military issues, and almost certainly something about war will come up, I always try to be respectful and try to understand the other's point of view.
Here it is recognized that the war was a political adventure of the military government, to try to continue in power.
For many, Maradona was also a God from the soccer point of view, but I'm also not a big fan of soccer. Its not a big issues for me
the word with A you mean ARGIES?
 

NOMISYRRUC

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Another for what it's worth.

"Football is more important than life and death!" Is paraphrasing Bill Shankly who was manager of Liverpool AFC from 1959 to 1974 and once said...

"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."
 

NOMISYRRUC

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And while I'm at it (and drunk in charge of the internet) a fellow Tees-sider (Brian Clough) one said ...

"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one!"

Which makes me think...

"I'm not the best alternative historian on this website. But (on the subjects upon which I have a modicum of knowledge) I'm in the top one!"
 

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The number of Super Frelons is miniscule in comparison to the scores of Sea King and Wessex helicopters in the FAA. The logistical part of the discussion has so far been about whether the French had enough tankers. Do they have enough large helicopters? If the Aéronavale hadn't there are two mitigating factors.
  • As far as I can remember the only discussion we've had about helicopters is that there weren't enough to provide an adequate ASW screen for the aircraft carriers. However, that was the Alizés job which, would allow the Super Frelons to be used solely as transport helicopters.
  • The Aeronavales helicopters would be supplemented by aircraft ALAT the Armée de Terre's air airm.

I have tabled on the following helicopter force:

10x Super Frelon (8x on Jeanne d’Arc + 2x on Jules Verne support ship)
8x Pumas (French army - 4x each on the 2 LPDs)
4x Gazelles HOT/canon (French army - 2x each on the 2 LPDs)

12x Lynx ASW (8x on 4 ASW frigates, 2x on Foch, 2x on Jeanne d’Arc)

+ 6-10 Alouettes aboard the other smaller ships for general duties

I would add that the job of lifting artillery might be a little easier for the French with their 120mm mortars vs. 105mm light howitzers.
I've been thinkng about the Pumas all day. The one problem that I see is corrosion protection. Could they be maintained (engines and airframes) long enough in the salt laden atmosphere to complete the mission?

Scouts / Gazelles / Chinook BN seem to have survived OK. But they went south with a lot of wrapping. Note the RAF wrapped up but the SHARS not on Atlantic Conveyor.

1655491346846.png

1655491540321.png
 

Archibald

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Yups, I've been using "Argies" from times to times (although I had some doubts it might be a somewhat offending word...) I do hope I did not ruffled some people here and there...
I suppose it's like "gooks" for Vietnamese or fellaghas for Algerians. That is: derogatory term used to insult the ennemy in a dirty war...
 

alejandrogrossi

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Yups, I've been using "Argies" from times to times (although I had some doubts it might be a somewhat offending word...) I do hope I did not ruffled some people here and there...
I suppose it's like "gooks" for Vietnamese or fellaghas for Algerians. That is: derogatory term used to insult the ennemy in a dirty war...
I think is the same case, thta you mention Archibald
 

NOMISYRRUC

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Veinticinco de Mayo had a crew of 1,500 while Centaur and Hermes (as a strike carrier) had crews of 1,400 and 2,200 respectively. Except that I think the crew for Centaur is too small considering that they were half-sisters. Hermes had more advanced electronics and a larger air group, but I think that's not enough to account for the difference of 800 men. I think the 1960s editions of Jane's that the figures came from are quoting Centaur's crew when it completed in 1953 and that in Argentine service both would have crews of 2,200. That's a total of 4,400 which is an increase of over 3,000 and doesn't allow for the extra men that would be needed ashore to provide backing.
Hobbs’ British Aircraft Carriers has 1,390 for Centaur (with steam cats) and Hermes at 2,100, but as you write, there’s something off. Perhaps Centaur is without air group?
No it isn't Centaur without the air group.

For what it's worth I rounded the crew of Centaur (1,330 to 1,390 according to numerous editions of Jane's) up to the nearest hundred. The complement of 2,200 that I quoted for Hermes was actually the complement of Victorious according to early 1960s editions of Jane's instead of the 2,100 that numerous editions of Jane's quote. (Later editions of Jane's say that Victorious had a crew of 2,400.)

"My bad!" If that's the right expression. I broke my own rule about not checking my sources before posting or qualifying my statement with an "If I Remember Correctly" or "As Far As I Know" when I haven't checked my facts.

Jane's 1953-54 says Centaur's crew was "1,400 (war)" and the ten editions that I have been able to see in the range 1954-55 to 1969-70 inclusive say:
  • 1,028 "ship's company, including ship's air complement" or "including ship's air staff"
  • 1,330 to 1,390 "including attached air squadron personnel" or "with air squadrons"
Jane's 1953-54, 1954-55 and 1955-56 say Hermes' crew was 1,400 and provide no further details.

However, all three editions of Jane's in the range 1960-61 to 1962-63 say:
  • 1,834 "peace complement (190 officers and 1,644 men)"
  • 2,100 "with air squadrons embarked"
And Jane's 1967-68 to 1969-70 and 1972-73 to 1973-74 say:
  • 1,830 "190 officers, 1,640 men"
  • 2,100 "with air squadrons"
The last two editions were written when the ship's conversion to a commando carrier were in progress and the illustrations of Hermes were of the ship as a fixed wing aircraft carrier.

For the record the next three editions of Jane's that I have been able to see (1974-75, 1975-76 and 1976-77) say that she had a crew of 980 plus the RM Commando of 750. She was being converted to an ASW Carrier when Jane's 1976-77 was published and the next four editions of Jane's that I have been able to check (1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1982-83) say "Complement: 1,350 (143 officers and 1,207 ratings). In emergency a Commando can be embarked".

So when Hermes was a fixed wing aircraft carrier.
  • The total complement (with air squadrons) was 710 to 770 more than Centaur.
  • The ship's company (including the ship's air complement) was 802 to 806 more than Centaur.
  • The complement of her air squadrons was 36 to 92 less than Centaur's because the former's was 266 to 270 and the latter's was 302 to 362.
These ships had air groups of similar size in the period 1959-65 and had identical machinery. As I wrote before the larger air group carried by Hermes and her more advanced electronics aren't enough to account for these differences.
 
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