Wednesday 4 May 2022

France might not have been a greater danger to England than Russia in 1982 but certainly has been since the Cold War ended


'A claim that Margaret Thatcher threatened to launch a nuclear attack on Buenos Aires unless France handed over information to disable Argentina's Exocet missiles in the Falklands War has resurfaced on the 40th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Sheffield.

'The Royal Navy ship sank six days after being hit by one of the French-made guided missiles on May 4, 1982, leading to the deaths of 20 crew members. A further 26 servicemen suffered injuries, including burns.

'The attack was the first British loss of life in the Falklands War, which took place after Argentine forces invaded the Falklands Islands, on the orders of dictatorial leader General Leopoldo Galtieri.

'According to a 2005 book by psychoanalyst Ali Magoudi, who met regularly with the French leader from 1982 to 1984, France's then president Francois Mitterrand was approached by Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for information that could disable the missiles.

'Mrs Thatcher was then said to have threatened to fire a nuclear warhead at Argentina's capital unless the information was handed over. Magoudi's claim was reported again by The Telegraph today.

'It comes after senior MPs last night called for an inquiry into whether France lied about the existence of a 'kill switch' in the Exocet missiles used by Argentina. In total, the weapons hit three Royal Navy ships, killing 46 sailors.

'The missiles allegedly contained technology to disarm them, but Mitterrand denied the feature existed.'

In the Cold War the French bomb was the deterrent. Nobody thought we or the Americans would incinerate the USSR, but everyone knew the French were bloddy-minded enough to do so.

I am fully in favour of England arming and helping the Ukraine, unless it looks as though a long war will develop which will destroy the country. But once this war is over I see no reason why the UK should continue to take much interest in defending the continent. Putin is not Stalin and as we can see now Stalin would not have marched into Western Europe.

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