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Thread: Argentina considered seizing the Falklands in 1941

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    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Default Argentina considered seizing the Falklands in 1941

    http://en.mercopress.com/2013/11/14/...g-world-war-ii

    It was 26 September 1941, Nazi Germany consolidated the siege on Stalingrad, America had yet to suffer Pearl Harbor and declare war on the Axis and Britain was suffocated under the pounding of German bombs and at sea losing tens of thousands of vital shipping.

    That same day in Buenos Aires an Argentine naval officer, Captain Ernesto Villanueva presented a paper titled “Army and Navy cooperation. Occupation of the Malvinas Islands”, a detailed operation to militarily recover the South Atlantic archipelago occupied by the British.

    So reads a piece published in the Ushuaia daily Diario del Fin del Mundo (End of the world journal), in the Memory lane section, credited to Bernardo Veksler, and recalling events of September 1941: “This happened in our region: a plan to recover the Malvinas militarily was presented”

    The plan to be considered at the Naval War School assessed the international stage of World War II and the resources it involved.
    Captain Villanueva “believed that Great Britain was too occupied in other world theatres as to address the luck of a few small colonial islands” (Juan B. Yofre; Malvinas, the documented history).

    The plan was set out in 34 typed pages and its mission was ”to restitute an archipelago that belongs to the country (Argentina), and which its strategic situation is of vital significance for the maritime defense of the nation“.

    With this purpose the plan was to land at Uranie Bay, at Berkley Sound, and at Cox Bay establishing ”an operational basis at Port Louis, until the operation could move with certainty on to Port Stanley (Puerto Argentino)“.

    The plan discarded the use of the air force and stated: ”taking control of Port Stanley with Army and Navy landing troops, operating in a surprise action, with the early dawn lights, from Uraine Bay, protecting the landing with vessels and aircraft from the Fleet, destroying the defense batteries with air-naval forces operating from Deseado...“

    The task force would be made up of ”a battalion of Marines distributed in two battleships, two heavy cruisers, a light cruiser, twelve torpedo boats, a tanker and nine tracking vessels“. To this would be added another 750 members from the Army which would have the main task, ”taking control of Port Stanley“.

    Since it was a joint operation, criticism was the responsibility of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamín Rattenbach and it was categorical: the 'coup' in itself did not offer much difficulties. What was really difficult was what came after: keeping the Islands against a reconquest attempt from the British”.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SirGene's Avatar
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    Best case scenario for Argentina would have been if they succeed in capturing Falklands and Britain after 1945 became so war wary that they did not attempt a recapture

    Worst case scenario would be that if Argentina attempted military action in Falklands during WW2 they would be included in Axis club and then be open for much worse response

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    Senior Member Euroamerican's Avatar
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    Yep. I agree with SirGene. The risk of receiving heavy attention from the Royal Navy would be have been very high. The Royal Navy was fully capable of delivering high quality naval bombardment all during the war, and certainly had time to spare later in the war.

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    On the one hand the Falklands were an important strategic point for controlling the South Atlantic. I doubt the British would have been happy acceding to this. But on the other hand, how much Argentine produce was being consumed by Britain? A lot IIRC. Cutting off a major supplier at a critical moment would also not have been a good move.

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    In 1941 the best scenario for Argentina would be to be bombed back to the stone age. And unlike during the Falklands War, Brazil wouldn't lift a finger to prevent British bombers from flying in Brazilian air space.

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    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Where do you think the British bombers would be flying from exactly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    Where do you think the British bombers would be flying from exactly?
    Lol

    10 char

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    What was the Falklands Garrison like in 1941?

    JMO but there's no way Churchill lets an invasion stand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LineDoggie View Post
    What was the Falklands Garrison like in 1941?

    JMO but there's no way Churchill lets an invasion stand.
    Bn sized (in addition to the FIDF) from early '42 onwards. This was mostly to prevent a Japanese attack. There were also warships there frequently.

    The considerations of Argentina for invading during WW2, especially the latter part when Peron took over, are pretty well known. Whenever there's a period of upheaval in Argentina, you can guarantee that some sort of 'attack' on the Falklands will follow. Sometimes it's been military, sometimes it's been opportunistic incursions, sometimes it's been state-sponsored private incursions, sometimes it's been political/legislative attacks (as we've been seeing in the last few years), and more often than not it's grandstanding and whinging.

    Prior to Peron, there was no real interest in the islands, or anti-Falklands activity in Argentina for almost 100 years. When the debate reappeared, it did so with gusto and no shortage of fantasy revisions of history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    Where do you think the British bombers would be flying from exactly?
    Yeah really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lavos View Post
    In 1941 the best scenario for Argentina would be to be bombed back to the stone age. And unlike during the Falklands War, Brazil wouldn't lift a finger to prevent British bombers from flying in Brazilian air space.
    How would you know?

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    Brazil declared war on the Axis in Aug '42. So, if anything, an earlier military coup de main/attack/invasion of the Falklands would have set that time table forward... and under pressure from the Allies, Brazil most likely would have not only declared war on the Axis earlier, but the Argies would have been lumped into that basket too... leading to all sorts of interesting scenarios playing out, both land attacks, naval battles vs US Navy/ RN; and also bombers from Brazilian bases controlling the coast line/ flying over Uruguay to get to Buenos Aires and the River Plate ([*******#000000][FONT=sans-serif]Río de la Plata).
    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Brazil would have been a great stepping off point for any military action in the Argie steppes/ pampas... ( a natural tank attack country as I live and breath )... but kind of like WWII actions in the far Middle east/ Africa/ Burma; most likely fought with minimal resources; locally sourced supplies; and even local forces/ militias... there were not a lot of troops/ armor/ big guns to spare to have a US Army front in So. America... let alone additional British forces... ( maybe Canadian... ).

    Well, this would be a fun "What If" war game... how to allocate scarce land/air/naval sources to defeat the Argie Army/Navy... cool... Spitfires and Warhawks vs P-36... Regards
    Last edited by swampbeast; 11-18-2013 at 06:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampbeast View Post
    Brazil declared war on the Axis in Aug '42. So, if anything, an earlier military coup de main/attack/invasion of the Falklands would have set that time table forward... and under pressure from the Allies, Brazil most likely would have not only declared was on the Axis earlier, but the Argies would have been lumped into that basket too... leading to all sorts of interesting scenarios playing out, both land attacks, naval battles vs US Navy/ RN; and also bombers from Brazilian bases controlling the coast line/ flying over Uruguay to get to Buenos Aires and the River Plate ([*******#000000][FONT=sans-serif]Río de la Plata).
    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Brazil would have been a great stepping off point for any military action in the Argie steppes/ pampas... ( a natural tank attack country as I live and breath )... but kind of like WWII actions in the far Middle east/ Africa/ Burma; most likely fought with minimal resources; locally sourced supplies; and even local forces/ militias... there were not a lot of troops/ armor/ big guns to spare to have a US Army front in So. America... let alone additional British forces... ( maybe Canadian... ).

    Well, this would be a fun "What If" war game... how to allocate scarce land/air/naval sources to defeat the Argie Army/Navy... cool... Spitfires and Warhawks vs P-36... Regards
    Brazil declared war under US pressure. The scenario posted was to take place pre-Pearl Harbor so I don't think that pressure would be there initially.

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    BTW, I meet General Rattenbach before he died. Is interesting to note, that He was the head of the commission that investigated the Armed forces after the 1982 war, his inform is lapidary.

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    It was 26 September 1941, Nazi Germany consolidated the siege on Stalingrad, America had yet to suffer Pearl Harbor and declare war on the Axis and Britain was suffocated under the pounding of German bombs and at sea losing tens of thousands of vital shipping.
    The author seems to have trouble differentiating between Leningrad and Stalingrad.

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