Mudcat Café message #3010743 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132804   Message #3010743
Posted By: John MacKenzie
19-Oct-10 - 12:04 PM
Thread Name: BS: Margaret Thatcher's Birthday-13 Oct 1925
Subject: RE: BS: Margaret Thatcher's Birthday.
"The sinking of the Belgrano became a cause célèbre for anti-war campaigners in Britain. This was for a variety of reasons, including because the ship was outside the 200 mile (320 kilometre) Total Exclusion Zone that the British had declared around the Falkland Islands, because the ship was on a westerly heading at the time it was attacked, and because a Peruvian peace proposal was still on the table at the time of the attack.

However, the sinking of the Belgrano was justified under international law, as the heading of a belligerent naval vessel has no bearing on its status. Furthermore, the Hector Bonzo, the captain of the Belgrano, has himself testified that the attack was legitimate for this reason. The fact that the ship was outside the British declared Total Exclusion Zone does not affect this analysis, especially since the British had informed Argentina on April 23rd, that Argentine ships and aircraft outside the Exclusion Zone could be attacked if they posed a threat to the British task force, and senior figures in the Argentine Navy have made clear that they understood this message; for example, Argentine Rear-Admiral Allara who commanded the Belgrano's task group said "After that message of 23 April, the entire South Atlantic was an operational theatre for both sides. We, as professionals, said it was just too bad that we lost the Belgrano.". Finally, in 1994, the Argentine government conceded that the sinking of the Belgrano was a "legal act of war." "

The USS Phoenix, later to become the Belrano had 4 screws, it is possible to put your starboard engines in reverse, while keep the port ones Full Ahead, put your helm hard to starboard, and this will bring her about pretty smartly.