Archive for the Royal Navy Category

Why Is Britain Outsourcing Contracts?

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Government Spending, News, Politics, Royal Navy, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 07/10/2016 by floroy1942

Is the UK government going mad or what? I have read over the last year of major manufacturing projects being outsourced to foreign companies by the dozen. Looking for the cheapest option is not always a good thing, and it is killing our own manufacturing industry. Our steel industry was sold off to Tata, an Indian company some years ago, but why? I guess it was so the original directors and owners could make a handsome profit.

Our own steel industry is in dire straits having lost thousands of jobs over the past two years, and yet there is no help from the government. This loss of jobs was due to the government buying the cheap, state-subsidised Chinese steel.

Take for example the Hinkley Point nuclear plant that is being built. Why outsource it to France? Are our engineers not capable of building a nuclear power station? Why are we buying steel from China when our own steel industry is collapsing? If the contracts had been awarded to our own companies it would have saved thousands of jobs, and perhaps our steel industry as a whole.

And now yet another idiotic decision has been made by allowing France to supply the steel used to build a major part of our next fleet of nuclear submarines! A contract has been signed with French group Industeel to supply the steel used to build the pressure hull of our new Trident replacement.

In years gone by we had the greatest manufacturing industry in Europe but this has been whittled away by successive governments. Even our trains and busses are manufactured in Germany among many other things, and for what?

British manufacturing is slowly being strangled by so many contracts being given to foreign country’s. It is time the government did something to try and save our manufacturing  companies, for otherwise the entire industry will collapse completely. I live in hope that things will change – soon.

Roy.

Argentina’s Dirty Trick To Secure The Falkland Islands

Posted in America, Britain, England, Government, News, Politics, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, United Nations with tags , , , , on 29/03/2016 by floroy1942
The Falklands

The Falklands

Argentina is once again trying to secure the Falkland Islands, this time with the help of the United Nations. After they were soundly beaten during the Falklands war of 1982 they have never ceased to try and gain control of the islands, especially since the rich oil and gas fields were discovered.

Until now they have not had much luck as Britain has held fast onto its ownership of the islands. But now, through manipulation, they have made some progress when the U.N. allowed them to increase their territorial waters from 200 miles to 350 miles, which will bring the islands under their control.

The history of the Falklands is very complicated, but in a nutshell, the islands were thought to have been discovered by various nationalities in the 16th century, but nothing concrete was done about them until 1690 when John Strong named the sound and eventually the entire island group after Viscount Falkland the then Admiralty Commissioner.

The British, having later set up a garrison on the islands vacated them due to the pressure of the American War of Independence in 1774 but left behind a plaque stating their sovereignty over the islands. The islands were taken over by sealers and whalers until the Spanish returned for a time before leaving in 1811. In 1816 Argentina claimed independence from Spain which was recognized by Britain in 1825.

Port Louis 1833

Port Louis 1833

In 1840 the British government agreed to colonize the islands and a permanent settlement was established. In 1850 Britain and Argentina signed a pact for the “Settlement of Differences and Reestablishing Friendship”. Several historians consider this has a negative impact on Argentina’s current sovereignty claim. In 1888 Argentina lodges a diplomatic protest with the UK but the matter is not raised again until 1945 when they claimed sovereignty at the newly formed United Nations.

President Galtieri

President Galtieri

Argentina has made several attempts to gain access to the islands, until in 1982 they invaded with a military force but were squashed by the British. It is well known that the only reason for the invasion was to distract the Argentinian people from the corruption and bad management of the country by the government of the time. It worked!

Ever since the first colony was set up on the islands the people of the Falklands have said they wish to remain British, and would never consider Argentinian nationality or being a part of that country. It would seem however that the wishes of the people are not considered worthy of thought so far as the U.N. is concerned.

Falkland Oil And Gas Fields

Falkland Oil And Gas Fields

In the last twenty years huge oil and gas deposits have been discovered surrounding the islands, and as a consequence, in  2009 Argentina began a new attack through the United Nations by laying claim to the continental shelf on which the Falklands sits. By extending their territorial waters from 200 miles to 350 miles the islands now fall within their jurisdiction, but only from a deserted island at the southern tip of the country. From the mainland itself the distance is well over the new 350 mile limit.

It was however enough for the idiots at the U.N. to grant their claim, and they must have known that such a decision would cause a giant diplomatic upheaval. They must also have known what the ulterior motive of Argentina must be to gain control of the oil and gas reserves. I just wonder how many Argentinians sat on the U. N. panel?

It will be interesting to see how the British government react to this new provocation.

Roy.

The Destruction Of A Nation From The Inside

Posted in America, Britain, David Cameron, Europe, European Union, News, Nuclear Weapons, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK with tags , , , , on 14/09/2014 by floroy1942

Strange though it may seem, the United Kingdom is now in more danger than even during the threat of Nazi invasion in  the dark days of 1940. Britain withstood the might of Hitler during the Second World War by fighting the common foe together, but now, sad to say the threat of destruction comes from the inside, and there is no defence.

Sorry! Couldn't Resist A Dig At Alex!

Sorry! Couldn’t Resist A Dig At Alex!

This all due to one man, Alex Salmond and his ambition to go down in history as the man who ‘freed’ Scotland from Britain after three hundred years.

Yes or NoWith now four days to the referendum on Scotland breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, the entire country has reached a crisis point from which it will probably never recover.  It does not matter if Salmond gets a Yes or No vote, irreparable damage has already been done.

The biggest worry will be the economic impact of a Yes vote. Many major companies and banks have already said they will leave Scotland if that happens. Even if the No camp win, there will still be major damage to the U.K. economy. The costs either way will be enormous, and as everyone knows, we can’t afford it.

RBS Pulling Out?

RBS Pulling Out Among Others?

Already we have seen investors pull out a massive £16.6 billion from the British economy because they are running scared of the impact of a Yes vote. Many are indicating that economic chaos will follow in the wake of Salmond getting his way. Even the European Union countries are holding their collective breath, scared that he will win. There can be little doubt that economic turmoil will follow if he does, and that will damage the U.K. economy in ways we have not yet thought about. It will also cause major problems on the international stage, for if Scotland breaks away it will no longer be considered a part of the E.U., and needless to say, Britain’s standing in the international community will also be damaged.

HMS Argyll

HMS Argyll

In today’s newspaper reports, the question of defence has been raised due to the demands on our armed forces Salmond is making if he wins. Should the Scottish people vote in favour of separating from the rest of the U.K. he is demanding that we hand over aircraft, ships and Army regiments to the value of £10 billion to form a Scottish Defence Force. The British Navy is at its lowest level for more than 500 years in the number of ships etc., but Salmond is demanding that Westminster provide 2000 sailors, plus reserves to man the two ships he wants. He will also demand RAF ground-crew and equipment to keep his 12 Typhoons in the air.

Should Cameron be obligated to fulfil this agreement, such a small force would never be able to defend Scotland, and it would weaken the U.K. to the extent where we too would be all but helpless.

Britain's Nuclear Deterrent Based At Faslane

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Based At Faslane

At such a challenging time in world history I find this extremely disconcerting, for it reduces the effectiveness of Great Britain’s defence capabilities, and international cooperation with the likes of NATO. Other nations have already intimated their concern at such a move. There is currently talk of Britain’s nuclear deterrent having to move to the United States for it would no longer be able to remain at Faslane in Scotland. Can you imagine such a ridiculous situation, our deterrent based in a country 3,500 miles away?

Even if the No camp win the damage has already been done. Cameron and his cronies have promised more devolution for Scotland in such an event as a measure to sway voters into the No camp. Naturally, as you can expect, Wales and Northern Ireland will want their share of that too, which eventually will mean the slow erosion of what was once the United Kingdom.

English Counties

English Counties

I read an article on devolution from London going even further with more power being handed to cities within the country. Its seems they would be allowed to handle tax-raising and spending powers among other things with directly elected mayors. I suppose you could liken the idea to the American State system.

The one thing that is certain is we need a clear-out in Westminster, for the three main parties have done nothing to alleviate the problems within the country. Labour can best be described as traitorous, the Conservatives as gutless, and the Liberals as a waste of space. The way all three parties have handled this Scotland affair among others, certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, come Thursday the Scottish people will sign the death-knell for the country my father, and many of yours, died for during the Second World War.

Roy.

Nonsense Time – An Historic Tale Set In Modern Times.

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Human Rights, Modern World, Political Correctness, Royal Navy, Spain, UK with tags , , , on 10/08/2013 by floroy1942
Admiral Lord Nelson

Admiral Lord Nelson

A superbly accurate description of life in modern Europe, but placed in an historic setting. I received this in the e-mails today and just had to share. My sincere congratulations go out to the person who put this together.

Most Brits, at least the older ones who were taught history, will know about the Battle of Trafalgar in which Admiral Lord Nelson beat the combined French and Spanish fleets at Cape Trafalgar on the southern coast of Spain on October 21st in 1805. With only twenty-seven ships, Nelson sank twenty-two ships of the opposing fleet of thirty-three without a single loss.

Now imagine how things would have been if the battle had taken place today:

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”

Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”

Nelson: “Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?”

Hardy: “Sorry sir?”

Nelson (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ – What gobbledegook is this?”

Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting ‘England’ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”

Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main-brace to steel the men before battle.”

Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it ………. full speed ahead…”

Hardy: “I think you’ll find that there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water.”

Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest please.”

Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.”

Nelson: “What?”

Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected.”

Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.”

Hardy: “He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral.”

Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”

Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled.”

Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.”

Hardy: “Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons.”

Hardy: “A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt – haven’t you seen the adverts?”

Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.”

Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”

Nelson: “What? This is mutiny!”

Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There’s a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”

Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”

Nelson: “We’re not?”

Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”

Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”

Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary report.”

Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.”

Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me – health and safety. Whatever happened to rum,sodomy and the lash?”

Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”

Nelson: “What about sodomy?”

Hardy: “I believe that is now legal, sir.”

Nelson: “In that case…………………………. kiss me, Hardy.”…!!!!!

I think we can thank our lucky stars that all the country’s major battles were fought way back in the past. Imagine trying to fight the Second World War today!!!!!

My sincere thanks to the mystery writer and the friend who sent it to me.

Roy.

The Lost Spitfires Of Burma

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Germany, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, World War 2 with tags , , , , , on 29/11/2012 by floroy1942

Once in a while its nice to write about something positive, for as we all know, there are few opportunities for this today. While the world and its people are getting crazier by the minute it was refreshing to find a news story that piques the imagination and does not involve disaster, corruption, hunger or death. I refer to an amazing tale and one man’s quest to unearth buried Spitfires in the jungles of Burma.

David Cundall

There are few of these iconic aircraft flying these days so long after the end of the Second World War, but if luck is with David Cundall this may change. He is a farmer and aviation enthusiast who for sixteen years has been researching the events of the time, and in particular the area around Mingaladon in Burma where it is said that 36 of these aircraft were buried in the jungle sometime during 1945. He is sure that two other sites contain as many as another 24 aircraft.

Boxing A Spitfire – Burma 1945

They had arrived at an airfield in the region in crates and were never unpacked or assembled, and for some reason orders were handed down to bury them as they were, maybe to prevent them falling into Japanese hands although this is doubtful. The real reason may never be known but for Mr, Cundall there is evidence enough that they exist. He has over the past few years assembled a team that have been combing the jungle and interviewing anyone who might have had knowledge of the event, and with some success. He met with a local Burmese man who remembered how, as a 15-year-old, he and his father had transported timber used when the Spitfires were buried.

1940 – Attacking The Bomber Stream

To date, electro-magnetic surveys have uncovered  two areas of interest to the team, and it is expected that work to excavate them will begin in January. His greatest wish is to take them back to England and restore them to flying condition. He said he would love to see a squadron of Spitfires flying over London again, and that is a dream held by many, myself included. Being an aviator for 45 years, he said he would love the opportunity to fly one himself, and who can blame him.

Spitfire Prototype – 5 March 1936

The Supermarine Spitfire was the brainchild of R. J. Mitchell who was chief designer at the Supermarine Aviation Works which since 1928 had operated as a subsidiary of the Vickers Armstrong company. First test flown on March 6 1936 the Spitfire underwent several changes before entering into squadron service with 19 Squadron at RAF Duxford on the 4th August 1938. Throughout the duration of the war the aircraft served in Britain and on the Continent, the Middle East and the Far East, and many were crated and sent to the Russians for use on their front.

Heartbeat Of The Spitfire

The power plant of this superb aircraft was the Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 that was first developed in the early 1930’s and underwent successive changes until it was ready for the Spitfire. The Merlin was the most successful wartime engine in British aviation during the war years, being fitted not only to the Spitfire, but also the Avro Lancaster, the Handley Page Halifax, the De Havilland Mosquito and the Hawker Hurricane.

Heading For The Enemy

The successes of the Spitfire are unparalleled in aviation history, for although built as a fighter it also carried out the roles of photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber and carrier-based aircraft. This aircraft also claimed many speed and altitude records in its time. The Spitfire will always be associated with Battle of Britain, and although the Hawker Hurricane did as much sterling work as the Spitfire during those treacherous  months, it is always the Spitfire that immediately springs to people’s minds when that time in British history is mentioned. This fine veteran of war flew its last flight for the RAF on 9th June 1957 and although many remained airborne around the world, now, 67 years after the war, they are very scarce, so I wish David Cundall lots of luck in his quest to unearth what might be a ‘new generation’ of this venerable war machine.

Roy.

The Argentine President is Making Herself Look Ridiculous

Posted in Britain, England, Human Rights, Relationships, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Security Council, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 09/02/2012 by floroy1942

As just about everyone knows, the Falklands issue has once again hit the headlines in a war of words between the British and Argentine governments. Now however President Christine Kirchner is making herself look ridiculous just to please the electorate at home.

Argentinian President – A Desperate Woman

Referring to the sending of HMS Dauntless to the islands, and the arrival of Prince William on a six-week rotation, in her latest outburst in Buenos Aries she said, “The question of the Malvinas has stopped being just an Argentinean cause. It has become a Latin American cause. It is a global cause”. She continued, “I have instructed our foreign secretary to submit before the UN security council and the UN assembly this militarization, which is a serious risk to to international security”. A global cause? A serious risk to international security? Really Madam, that is surely bordering on paranoia is it not? It is one ship and a search and rescue pilot!

Prince William Doing His Duty – Nothing More

She also complains that the Prince wears the uniform of an RAF pilot and says he should wear plain clothes. Dammit women, he is in the military and our forces have not yet introduced the idea of going to war in civilian clothes (although this may be another way for the MOD to save money. Hmmm!)!

I wonder what she will say if Prince William is involved in the rescue of Argentinean seamen if one of their vessels gets into trouble and is sinking? I have no doubt this would put her in a quandary, and she will be left standing with her mouth open wondering how to handle it. Such an event would sure as hell take the wind out of her sails.

Argentine P.O.W’s 1982

Britain has, quite rightly in my view, maintained an increased military presence on the island ever since the Falklands war of 1982, and who can  blame them for that. Even President Kirchner admits the 1982 invasion of the islands was a move by the then military junta to divert attention away from the problems on the home front. The islands are 7,000 miles away from our shores and the islanders are British and wish to stay that way.

This is an important point, for the simple reason the United Nations Charter on Human Rights states the inalienable right of people to self-determination. In other words, no-one can force the islanders to accept Argentinean rule, and Argentina cannot force themselves upon them.

UN Security Council – Not Likely to Take the Bait

So all in all, I doubt very much that the UN Security Council will give much credence to this macabre joke by Kirchner. The only fly in the ointment is the United States who have already sided with Argentina on the Falklands issue in this latest round, for their own ends of course! It is now well known there is a massive oil field in the waters surrounding the islands, and once exploration is completed and drilling can begin, guess who will be looking for the lion’s share of the drilling contracts. Need I say more?

Should Argentina win this political battle for the Falklands with the backing of Washington, you can bet most, if not all the contracts will go to American companies. Should Britain retain the islands it will be British companies. That is what is behind this current diplomatic spat, and you can rest assured it will not go away until the oil runs out, and then no-one will give a damn about the islands.

John MacBride – Founder of the First Settlement

The history of the Falklands is extremely complicated, but in a nutshell, it was first discovered by Europeans in the 16th century, possibly by Ferdinand Magellan. Between 1592 and 1690 the islands were visited by various British ships, and were in fact named after Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland in 1690. France established a colony on the eastern island in 1764 and a British settlement was established on the western island in 1766 by Captain John Macbride, who was unaware of the French. The French eventually agreed to leave and the eastern island was taken over by the Spanish, ruling from Buenos Aries. Under economic pressures brought about by the American War of Independence the British left the islands in 1776, leaving behind a plaque claiming the Islands.

From Buenos Aries, Spain ruled the islands until 1811 but withdrew under pressure of the Napoleonic wars raging in Europe. In 1832 Buenos Aries set up a penal colony on the island. In 1833 Britain sent a sloop under the command of Captain James Onslow to reclaim the islands, which he did, having asked the Spanish officials to leave.

Port Stanley – Island Capital

So you see, at various times since the 15th century, various countries have claimed the islands, and it was more Spain that occupied them rather than Argentina itself, for the country did not exist during this period, but was no more than a Spanish colony. Britain was the only country to maintain an occupancy for any length of time. During the Spanish occupation it was mostly seal hunters that visited the islands. Argentina finally became a country in its own right after the Peninsula War against the Spanish and was recognized by Britain in 1825.

So if you go back and examine the history of the Falklands, it becomes clear that Argentina has actually little or no claim on the islands, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary. No, I believe the driving factor here is the oil. Currently, we may only be scratching the surface of the amount of oil hidden away under the seabed around these disputed islands, and when push comes to shove, that’s what its all about.

Falkland Oil Fields

The British company that is carrying out the search for undersea oil is Rockhopper, and they have already discovered a field estimated to hold 700million barrels of oil which they named ‘Sea Lion’. The company needs an injection of cash to extend the search and work the ‘Sea Lion’ field, and is currently searching for a partner.

James Hackett – CEO of Anadarko

One American company looks like getting in ‘on the ground floor’ – Anadarko, with close ties to the American Ministry of Defence. Two British and four American companies have expressed interest (naturally), but its Andarko that is currently in negotiations with Rockhopper, having had a meeting with them a couple of weeks ago.

Chief Negotiator of the Islands Penguins Setting Compensation Limits for Oil Contamination

Apparently this has enraged President Kirchner, who sees a golden opportunity of using American muscle to get her own way with the oil contracts as bait, slip through her fingers. It seems from this standpoint, that the best way out of the crisis for Britain may well be to allow some American companies in, in which case Argentina will be completely shut out. Whoever wins the contracts, I hope the islanders get their fair share of the loot. As to the penquins, I doubt they will care very much (so long as we don’t get any oil spills). Like many others, I will await the outcome.

Roy.

HMS Dauntless Goes To The Falklands

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 02/02/2012 by floroy1942

It seems the only thing Britain can do to stop the Argentinians from taking over the Falkland Islands, is to send our newest, most up-to-date warship, HMS Dauntless, a type 45 Destroyer.

HMS Dauntless – Can She Do It Alone?

From the rhetoric you would think Dauntless can stop any future invasion single-handed! One Navy source is quoted as saying, Dauntless could “take out all of South America’s fighter aircraft let alone Argentina’s.” Another said: “It can shoot down Argentine fighters as soon as they take off from their bases. This will give Buenos Aires serious pause for thought.” Hmmm! Ever hear of a stand-off missile or well-aimed torpedo matey?

Dauntless Fires A Sea Viper Missile

Dauntless is equipped with Sea Viper anti-aircraft missiles and Sampson radar which is said to be more powerful than that of Heathrow airport. It is hailed as the most advanced and sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world, and according to the Navy, could defend the Falkland islanders from air attack all on its own. Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran, sent this message to the Argentine government:  “Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It’s a game-changing capability.” That is an enormous amount of faith to put in a new ship and its crew. One can only hope its anti-submarine defences are as good as its anti-aircraft defences.

I did predict in an earlier post  that since the demise of our carrier fleet and the harrier jets in the last round of defence cuts, the Falkland islanders would be practically defenceless. https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/falklands-to-be-handed-over-to-argentina/

General Sir Mike Jackson

It seems I am not the only one with that view, for last week, General Sir Mike Jackson, a former head of the Army, stated just that by saying: “The demise of jets capable of launching from aircraft carriers would make it just about impossible to recover key strategic strongholds” He went on further to say: “The official answer will be that it would not be possible for the Argentinians to gain a foothold on the islands, in particular to take Mount Pleasant airfield, which is key to the British defence plan. We have a large international-sized airfield to allow for very rapid reinforcement by air, should circumstances so require. But I suppose I have learned in life, never say never. What if an Argentinian force was able to secure the airfield? Then our ability to recover the islands now would be just about impossible”.

Mainstay Of The Islands Defence – The Eurofighter

From the current information available, it would seem the government is putting all its faith in the four Eurofighter aircraft based at Port Stanley airfield that would ‘hold the fort’ long enough for reinforcements to be flown out from the UK. Four fighters against an invading force backed up by the Argentine Air Force does not seem like a lot, no matter how advanced the Eurofighter is. It would take only one or two bombs on the runway to put the airfield out of action and give the fighters nowhere to land. Not only that, but any reinforcements would have no option but to ditch in the sea.

The Ascension Islands – A Vital Refuelling Stop

The next great flaw in the plan is the presumption that the American’s would allow refuelling of  any aircraft flown out from the UK at Ascension Island in the Mid-Atlantic, even though it belongs as such to Britain. The American’s, who share the island for intelligence gathering, have exerted more and more influence over what goes on there, all due to the oil finds around the Falklands. In 1982 they did not object to the British Fleet refuelling there, but it is far from certain they would this time. American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has already made it plain America is backing Argentina for a negotiated settlement of the Falkland Island sovereignty. So the chances of help from that quarter look mighty slim. Without the refuelling capabilities of Ascension Island, any operation against the Falklands is a non-starter. That goes for ships as well as planes.

The Falkland Oil Field

It would not be unreasonable for someone to question why all this political sabre rattling is going on over what is really a small insignificant couple of islands in the South Atlantic. Oil! That’s what! The Argentine heart has quickened now they know there are huge oil reserves buried under the seabed around the islands. I am pretty sure that is the reason for American interest and it’s backing for Argentina in the war of words, plus the sudden change in its ‘special relationship’ with Britain. People should have learned by now that the American government doesn’t do anything unless its in America’s interest.

The defence cuts may have been hailed as good for the government’s purse, but with all that oil in the mix I have a sneaking suspicion the whole thing could unravel in the not too distant future. I sincerely hope not.

Roy.

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