falkland islands war


April 2nd 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands

On this day in 1982, Argentine forces landed on the Falkland Islands and occupied the area, which marked the beginning of the Falklands War. The war was the product of long tensions over who possessed the islands, with Argentina claiming ownership and Britain seeing the islands as British territory. Argentine forces landed on the islands and fought the British Royal Marines at Government House, leading to British surrender and thus Argentina seizing control of the Falklands. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher responded by sending a naval task force to attack the Argentinians. The conflict killed 649 Argentinians, 255 Britons and three Falkland Islanders, even though it only lasted 74 days. The war ended with Argentine surrender on 14th June, thus returning the islands to Britain.

The Actual Telafax Message Sent To London After The 1982 Invasion Of The Falkland Islands
  • FK: YES

During the Falklands War, the SS Atlantic Conveyor was carrying six Chinook HC.1s when she took two Exocet missiles to the side and burned. Only one - HC.1 ZA718 “Bravo November” - was in flight at the time, meaning she was the lone survivor – picking up the nickname “The Survivor” as a result. 

Conveyor also went down with her IFF codes and nearly every tool used in maintenance except a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. As the war went on, she got filthier and filthier - parts fell off, her rotors got out of track, she developed a leak of oil in her rear rotor’s gearbox, but she gamely flew on without nearly any form of maintenance. The British forces loved her, giving her the new nickname, “The Shuddering Shithead." 

 One night, Bravo November was commissioned to fly an SAS troop, three artillery pieces, and their ammunition to a hot LZ atop Mount Kent, at night. It was a foolhardy mission and was stretching the already ailing bird to her very limit, but she did her duty. 

On her way home she flew into a snowstorm. While the crew was trying to figure out how to get home, they flew into the sea at 100 knots, due to a faulty altimeter. The impact threw up spray that flooded the engine intakes but Langworthy and his co-pilot managed to get the helicopter back in the air. The fuselage was damaged, an antenna had been lost and the co-pilot’s door had been removed. While the co-pilot door was missing, the crew of Bravo November were unable to navigate or communicate with other forces. Bravo November returned to San Carlos for damage inspection. The impact had caused "little more than dents to the fuselage and damage to the radio systems.” For the rest of the war she flew without a side door, leaving the copilot shivering. 

 At the end of the war she had one last thing to do. 

Flying into Port Stanley at the cessation of hostilities, she landed next to an Argentinean helicopter that had been grounded by an air strike. Her crew took their single screwdriver, unscrewed the Argentine door, and put it on the British helicopter. 

 Allegedly, she still has the Argentine door today. 

 What’s even funnier is that, a decade later, her original door washed up on shore and was discovered by a Falkland Islander.

Uncle Rudy

So, what do we know about the mysterious Uncle Rudy?

“The siren call of old habits. How very like Uncle Rudy – though, in many ways, cross-dressing would have been a wiser path for you.” (Mycroft, HLV).

We know UR was in the Intelligence/British security business as it was he who ‘managed’ the Eurus situation after she torched Musgrave Hall. That UR had both knowledge of and access to a place such as Sherrinford, suggests that not only was he deep within British Intelligence at the time (and remember, this is going back some 30-odd years), but that he also held a very senior post.

Was UR Mycroft’s predecessor? Did Mycroft inherit the mantle of British Government Omniscient from UR’s shoulders? If this was, in fact, a family inheritance, then I feel UR is related on the paternal side - the line of 'Holmes’ rather than a maternal uncle, though there is no evidence one way or the other (is there?). For some reason, I see UR as the elder brother of the Holmes father. Having slightly odd names would have gone in the family, so a 'Rudolph’ would have been entirely normal by family standards. Assuming Daddy Holmes is about 77-ish in the series (Timothy Carlton was born in 1939), then an older brother would have been at least a year or so senior and probably a bit more. This would most likely make UR’s birthdate between 1933-1937. Let’s say 1935.

We also know that UR was most likely a transvestite. Given the timeframe - this would have been around the mid-seventies, bang in the middle of the Cold War - then UR’s personal preferences would have been kept very well hidden; one did not publicly acknowledge such leanings and remain in high office in the Intelligence services at that time.

Mycroft also says “The siren call of old habits…” which further suggests that cross-dressing had been something UR had done and then given up, only to return to the practice (the 'siren’ call) at some point later on, most likely when he felt sufficiently secure in his professional position to handle the risk of discovery without undue concern. This further suggests that during the time of Eurus’ incarceration at Sherrinford, UR had become even more powerful than he had been when he shut her away.

Assuming Mycroft Holmes was born in the mid-sixties, then he wouldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 when Musgrave Hall was destroyed. It would be at least another seven or eight years before he’d be old enough to join the Civil Service (because that’s what British Intelligence officers are, Civil Servants). This means Mycroft would be about 18 or so in the late seventies. Naturally, he would have gone to university first. By his patronising and somewhat superior demeanour, I’d imagine him attending one of the older Oxford colleges or perhaps even London’s Imperial College. For some reason, Mycroft doesn’t feel like a Cambridge man. Cambridge would have been far too liberal for his tastes. UR would now be in his mid-forties, the same age that Mycroft is in the series.

At university, Mycroft would probably take PPE and languages given his inherent linguistic skills. He would almost certainly knock off his undergraduate studies in record time and possibly spend an additional year polishing things off with an M Phil. This would make him around 22-23 by the time he’d finished with his studies and was ready to find productive employment. At this point, in the early1980s, Margaret Thatcher was PM and there was significant growth in British Intelligence, not only to deal with the fallout of the Falkland Islands war, but also the risk posed by Soviet interference due to the rise of rampant unionism in the UK at the time. UR is now around 50 and at the height of his power (most senior Civil Servants retire between 55-60 years of age).

It would have been at this point that UR had the perfect opportunity to recruit his nephew, the young and fiercely clever Mycroft Holmes into the Intelligence services, probably as a junior analyst to begin with, until he was able to demonstrate his incredible intellectual prowess. This brings the timeline to around 1985 or so. It would take a few years for Mycroft to begin to rise (despite all fantasies, the British Civil Service has some of the strictest employment and promotion policies in the Western world). Therefore, Mycroft would be in his mid-to-late 20s (25? 26?) before he’d be in any position to share secrets with UR. At this point, I think UR would have been in the top seat himself and thus able to expedite Mycroft’s upward movement.

These (admittedly huge) assumptions being even remotely accurate, then at some point in the 20-year period between 1990 and 2010, UR dies and Mycroft is promoted into his uncle’s shoes. He takes his uncle’s government role, his responsibilities (Eurus’ ongoing captivity is only one minor issue) and his wedding ring (this begs another question about UR’s wife. Whom did he marry? What happened to Lady Holmes? (I see UR as being knighted by this time)). That the ring belonged to UR also explains why nobody ever asks Mycroft about it or why he’s wearing it - they all know that UR was his mentor and naturally, there would have been a closeness of sorts. This then postulates that Mycroft would have been in his current role for at least fifteen-years before the series starts in 2010, which feels about right.

Can anyone add further detail to my surmising?

14th June 1982: Falklands war ends 

The Falklands war, known in argentina as the Guerra del Atlántico Sur or the South atlantic war. Was an 10 week war between the argentinian military Junta and the British government under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher. The war would have big political consequences in both countries and is still a source of tension in world diplomacy today. 

In 1765 the British established a colony on one of the smaller islands and claimed the entire archipelago. Unaware of the french colony on east falklands The French handed over their colony to the spanish in 1767. However the spanish and the British where forced to leave due to the american revolution. The Argentinians set up a settlement there but the British were angered by this and returned in 1833 with a small force. It has remained British since then. After ww2 the islanders wished to remian a crown territory. 

In 1976 argentina was the victim of a military coup and a repressive far right government was set up.The country suffered from economic problems and civil unrest. To distract the argentinians from the failing administration. Argentine dictator Leopold Galtieri hatched a plan to retake the Falkland Islands to increase the popularity of the junta. 

The Argentine government sent a ship of scrap metal merchants to South Georgia island. However the ship was a trojan horse and contained 60 Argentine marines. The Marines hoisted the argentine flag on the Islands. The HMS endurance was dispatched to remove what they thought were civilian rebels. taking a small marine detachment. This was the only British ship in the region and before anyone could say a word. The argentinians had launched a full invasion of the falklands islands. 

The Falklands where easily captured and the argentinian government thought the British wouldn’t respond due to the isolation of the Islands and the harsh terrain. They were wrong. 

British prime Minister margaret Thatcher dispatched Britains best. Royal commandos, marines, gurkhas and paratroopers were sent with a task force of 127 ships and 42 aircraft to retake the Falklands. The plan was to achieve air and naval superiority before landed their troops. British harriers valiantly defended their navy despite being heavily outnumbered. A British submarine controversially sunk the argentine vessel “the Belgrano” which was retreating to port and was out of the exclusion zone. Once information reached thatcher that the ship was carrying exocet missles. She had the ship sunk. Technically a war crime. the argentines responding by sinking HMS sheffield.

The British landed 4000 troops in late may. The Argentines launched air assaults sinking the transport ships carrying helicopters. With no transport. The British moved on foot. The task force split up. Half moving to Goose green and another marching 120km by foot to the capital of Port stanley. At Goose green the British overwhelmed the argentinian garrison. When the rest of the task force arrived at port stanley they found 10,000 conscripts waiting for them. Using a series of brilliant night attacks carried out by special forces. The argentinians were defeated. Their morale broke and the British had retaken the islands. 

In Britain the war had made Thatcher very popular with the british people despite being hated before the war. This got her elected with a majority the next year. The war only worsened the juntas grip on argentina. As the war had costed over 600 lives. The Junta left power the next year. The sovereignty of the islands is still desputed. A referendum was held in 2013 where the population voted to remain british. Although Argentina have denounced this. Lets hope it won’t come to war again. 

At the time of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands  the islands were defended by Naval Party 8901 (NP 8901) that consisted of a Royal Marine garrison of about troop strength. It just so happened that NP 8901 was in the process of its annual rotation, with one troop arriving and one troop returning to the UK (a fact that the Argentine intelligence did not know). Major Norman’s troop of Marines were being relieved by a troop commanded by Major Noott. This gave Rex Hunt a total of 67 Royal Marines to defend the Falklands. Major Norman, being the senior of the two Majors, was placed in over all command and Noott was made military adviser to the Governor.