Did Argentine forces really behave like savages during the Falklands occupation?

Discussions on other historical eras.
petertsolakis
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: 18 Oct 2009 08:48

Did Argentine forces really behave like savages during the Falklands occupation?

Post by petertsolakis » 03 Mar 2023 13:12

A lot of people, in recent years, in the comments I read on YouTube are claiming the Argentine forces behaved like savages and thugs. Funny thing is I never heard any of these wild allegations before while growing up as a teen in the 1980s and I read pretty much all the books, including the books written by British military historian Martin Middlebrook who even traveled to the Falklands to interview the islanders for their side of the story for his book Operation Corporate: The Falklands War, 1982 (Viking, 1985) and he even traveled to Argentina when writing The Fight for the "Malvinas": The Argentine Forces in the Falklands War (Penguin, 1990). Did I miss the big picture or is there a serious attempt to rewrite history?

j keenan
Financial supporter
Posts: 1575
Joined: 04 Jun 2007 11:22
Location: North

Re: Did Argentine forces really behave like savages during the Falklands occupation?

Post by j keenan » 03 Mar 2023 13:35

Your taking comments on YouTube seriously ? I have fallen out of my chair laughing thanks for that :lol: :lol: :lol:

petertsolakis
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: 18 Oct 2009 08:48

Re: Did Argentine forces really behave like savages during the Falklands occupation?

Post by petertsolakis » 03 Mar 2023 16:03

Your taking comments on YouTube seriously ? I have fallen out of my chair laughing thanks for that
Not just YT I have also come across it repeatedly in what used to be probably the world's best online forum, but in the last couple of years it seems to have been taken over by trolls and so-called experts that can claim what they want without providing any kind of real evidence like this:

"The soldiers broke in and stole anything of value, then used each house as a toilet. Excrement was everywhere, smeared up the walls, clothes used for toilet roll, cupboards such as airing cupboards and meter cupboards were found literally packed with it. My friend Jim found family photos and baby clothes used to wipe the backsides of the soldiers, and every room sodden with urine and excrement, and this was widespread. My friend Taff Davies found his beds had been routinely urinated on and his deep freeze, full of food, had been defecated in (...) Falkland Islander Paul Summers recounts how his 81 year old grandmother came home to find everything stolen or smashed, and they had routinely defecated in her bed. Robin Goodwin found the same in his house, with the beds and bath full of excrement. Falkland Islander Ian Cameron also recounts how they deliberately poured acid or a similar corrosive substance onto gravestones in the cemetery, including his mother's (...) There were several sexual assaults, the most disturbing I have heard of was of a lady forcibly stripped in her home in front of her husband and children, who then had her breasts and sensitive areas poked with rifles by two laughing Argentine soldiers (...) In Goose Green, 115 people were locked up inside the town hall for 28 days until liberated, with one blocked toilet, meagre rations and unsanitary conditions. As they stayed in this condition, the Argentine soldiers again despoiled their homes and planted booby traps for them, including wiring kids bikes with fused grenades and other explosives (...) I have mentioned the kids bikes wired up to explode in Goose Green, but this is far from isolated. In many houses in Stanley, grenades were primed then placed in upturned coffee mugs or in hollowed out cans, so that by lifting them, the person would release the lever and be blown up. Several people reported similar, with everything from doors to tea cups being tied to the pin of a wedged grenade, ready to explode. In the primary school, the Argentines left mines beneath the floorboards and tucked primed grenades into any small hole or cleft, waiting for an inquisitive child to pull it out, and in fact, both schools were booby trapped in this way. Shockingly, they only found one such device recently whilst doing remedial works. The beds of the geriatric ward in Stanley's King Edward Memorial Hospital had pressure mines laid under the mattresses (...)
In Stanley, Mike Summers, later a Falklands politician and MLA barely managed to stop his five year old girl picking up her doll which she returned home to find safe. It had a wire around its neck, tied to the pin of a wedged grenade. Her toy cupboard was also similarly wired up to explode."
https://www.quora.com/How-well-badly-di ... on-in-1982

What I find very interesting is that Paul Summers, Anthony Davies, Jim Fairfield and others that in recent years have come forward to present this very grim picture of savagery and thuggery on the part of the Argentine forces were then members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF) or later formed part of the resistance movement.

For example Paul Summers joined the British advance to Port Stanley, and helped act as a guide for D Company 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) that reconnoitred the Argentine defences on Mount Longdon in the week and a half it took the rest of 3 PARA to get ready and storm the position. Jim Fairfield, a former member of 45 COMMANDO (45 CDO) took part in the defence of Government House during the Argentine amphibious landings, before changing to civilian clothing. He spent the remainder of the war observing and recording Argentine activities before linking up with 45 CDO and claimed to have recieved monetary compensation a number of times from the Argentine military authorities for break-and-enter crimes in his property, some of which he admits to have made up for the cash he got. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVWivce8vzc

Anthony Davies, another former Royal Marine, also took part in the British defence of Government House and Drill Hall on 2 April 1982, the day of the Argentine amphibious landings.https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-defia ... eat-of-war And Mike Summers, interestingly enough, is a Falklands politician.https://www.fiassociation.com/article/1 ... ember_2021

What I find really puzzling, is the fact I cannot find anything anywhere near near the horror stories presented above in Martin Middlebrook's book, and he visited Port Stanley and spoke to several residents that were there in order to record the experiences of the Falklanders during the Argentine occupation.

Claims that the Argentine soldiers had behaved like savages throughout the occupation were actually investigated in the days following the Argentine surrender with British embedded journalists Patrick Joseph Bishop and John Witherow concluding:

"They had certainly been responsible for smashing up the solid old post office, and the backstreets of the town were littered with excrement. But although fourteen local men were taken from their homes during the occupation and sent to West Falkland where they were put under house arrest, few inhabitants were ill-treated. It was an uncomfortable rather than brutal regime ... There were stories of looting and soldiers defecating in houses but on closer examination this tended to be troops stealing buns from the deep-freeze or sleeping in beds with muddy boots. Some valuables and souvenirs were stolen and houses vandalized but the details of the outrages were vague. Most of the serious damage was done by the British shelling." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupatio ... nd_Islands

Martin Middlebrook actually interviewed Eric Goss, the local farm manager at Goose Green:

"Sanitation in the hall was grim. We ran out of water on the third day, the toilets were blocked and there was some dysentery. We persuaded the Argentinians to bring sea water in barrels for the toilets; an old chap, Mike Robson, did sterling work keeping them going. Two young men, Bob McLeod and Ray Robson, both radio hams, found an old broken radio, part of the club equipment, in a junk cupboard. They made this work and we listened each evening to the B.B.C. World Service; the others made noise at the windows to cover the crackling of the broadcast and we were never discovered." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupatio ... nd_Islands

And British journalists Michael Bilton and Peter Kosminsky interviewed Brook Hardcastle, the general manager of the Falkland Island Company (FIC), based at Goose Green:

"After the first week the Argentines let two women go out each day to the galley in the cookhouse, where all the men would normally eat together. They were allowed to cook up a big meal, with bread and cakes, and bring it down to the hall. Considering we were all cramped together in a small place everybody got on very well. People were generally good-natured." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupatio ... nd_Islands

So much for the claims that "In Goose Green, 115 people were locked up inside the town hall for 28 days until liberated, with one blocked toilet, meagre rations and unsanitary" conditions."https://www.quora.com/How-well-badly-di ... on-in-1982

Lesteraction
Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 09 Mar 2023 12:12
Location: usa

Re: Did Argentine forces really behave like savages during the Falklands occupation?

Post by Lesteraction » 01 May 2023 12:45

The Argentine forces allegedly behaved like savages and thugs, according to several of the comments I've seen on YouTube in recent years. Funny thing is, I had never heard of any of these ludicrous claims before I was a teenager in the 1980s, and I had read pretty much every book on the subject, including those written by British military historian Martin Middlebrook, who even visited the Falklands to speak with locals about their experiences for his book Operation Corporate.

Return to “Other eras”