Skip to comments.Belgrano was heading to the Falklands, secret papers reveal
Posted on 12/26/2011 11:42:12 AM PST by sukhoi-30mkiEdited on 12/26/2011 2:44:41 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
Top secret papers are set to prove that the warship Belgrano was heading into the Falkland's exclusion zone when it was sunk, and not heading back to port as the Argentinians claimed.
For decades debate and recrimination has raged over where the ship was heading when it was torpedoed by a Royal Navy submarine.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Sad fate for the last surviving warship of the Dec 7, 1941 attack.
Yeah it was.
I may be wrong, but wasn’t this the USS St. Paul? I think it was of a class nicknamed the “TREATY CRUISERS”, designed and constructed according to the limitations of the 5-5-3 Naval Treaty. Didn’t work out too good for the USA.
Thank you for the ping AAC, and Merry Christmas!
The Belgrano was formerly known as the USS Phoenix (CL-46).
USS Pheonix. One of the first major ships out of the harbor that morning.
I always heard loss of the Belgrano was due to malfunctioning vents causing high concentrations of bean vapor to build up below decks which a spark subsequently detonated.
You're right about the treaty cruisers though, their kind was pretty much wiped out during the war.
In the battle of Leyte Gulf, Phoenix was a unit of Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf's group which annihilated the Japanese Southern Force in the battle of Surigao Strait. Phoenix fired four spotting salvoes, and when the fourth hit, opened up with all of her 6" (152mm) batteries. The target later proved to be Yamashiro, which sank after 27 minutes of concentrated fire from the American fleet. The Japanese also lost Fusō and three destroyers in the battle, and American planes sank Mogami the next day.
Being the “phoenix”, shouldn’t we expect it to rise up and float again?
Those 15 automatic 6” were supposedly pretty awesome once they found the range.
thank you. and the connection to the attack on pearl harbor also makes this interesting to me.
Some good photos here.
Petty tyrants and dictators often forget that war is hell.
Bean vapor???Not the Argies!!! They live and die by steak 3 times a day.
In “War and Remembrance” Pug was in command of the USS Northampton, which was design constrained by the treaty. Herman Wok went into some detail as to how the design was compromised by the artificial constraint. It’s been decades since I read it, so the details are foggy in my mind, but IIRC he covered the subject rather well, considering that it was a work of fiction. He’s written some damn fine works, “The Caine Mutiny” first and foremost to me.
Considering that air superiority was contested and there were nuclear attack boats in the area, sending this ship out of port was not a real good idea.
The other problem was these cruisers is they were often attempting to occupy the same space as the superb Japanese Type 93 torpedo.
Seven of the 18 treaty cruisers were sunk. The first being Houston after the Java Sea. The last being Indianapolis. Three were sunk at Savo and the Northampton and Chicago in separate Solomons actions. 11 survived the war.
Its a tribute to the men who served on them that we didn’t lose more.
The Brooklyns where beautiful ships.
“Sad fate for the last surviving warship of the Dec 7, 1941 attack.”
coast guard cutter TANEY (1 of 6 treasury cutters) is still afloat in baltimore.
I got to Buenos Aires in 1986 and was working with the Defense Attache, who himself had recently arrived. He told me that the Argentine officers who had trained in the US, lined up in front of our embassy and tossed their US decorations, diplomas and certificates over the fence. Unlike John Kerry, theirs were their own. They were very displeased with US for "tilting" toward the UK in this conflict.
The night before I PCSd out of there in Jun 1989, I was in the hotel bar with some young Argentines. When they figured out by my atricious accent that I was a Yanqui, they wanted to now why we didn't support our hemispheric ally, I asked them how many Argentine regiments went ashore with us at Normandy or how many Argie regiments were alongside the Brits and us in Korea. It shut them up.
And how many Nazi war criminals did the Argies harbor?
When you are fighting a war at sea your naval vessels are fair game.
Nice looking ship. It was a warship belonging to one of the combatants. Who cares where it was when it got sunk?
Not only that, but the Argentinians were very sympathetic to the nazi cause. Screw ‘em.
> Those 15 automatic 6 were supposedly pretty awesome once they found the range.
Automatic meaning the guns fired as soon as the shell were seated and not dependent on someone pressing the firing button.
In 1951 Navy boot camp we watch a destroyer gun crew go through a firing drill on a mock up of a 5” gun. It was a marvel to watch those guys work. The whole operation looked like a human machine - each guy moving exactly as he did before as they simulated firing about every ten seconds (manual loading - a projectile and then a brass case).
Later on we were taken to the room below and had to load 54 lb projectiles into the hoist. Some when up as fast as they were dropped in, others hesitated a few seconds and then shot up. We had to grip the shell by the nose and then grip the base but NEVER place our fingers over the base as they might be sheared off as the shell was sent up.
What really impressed me as to how neat some of our WWII stuff was that as the shell was delivered, the fuse in the nose was turned and set to whatever range the range finder hread at the time. Tres Cool.
When I read of some Pacific bombardments lasting hours, all I could thing of was those poor ammo handlers heaving 54 lb projectiles every 15 seconds or so. One guy wrote that after a heavy action on a light cruiser (6” guns and 100 + lb projectiles) sweat was dripping from the turrets as if they had broken a water line.
Oh yeah. If there was a misfire, the crews were supposed to wait 1/2 hour. During combat it was Tough Noogies and they had to take a chance by opening the breech and tossing the case out. Most of the times it work, but when it didn’t, the flare up fried the whole crew.
Thanx for posting that pic.
Wasn’t it, +/- 29 years ago?..... the Falkland War?
The timing of the revelation seems to coincide with the rise in Argentine bellicosity towards the Falkland Is. Kirchner has made some rather aggressive statements of late. England may be trying to head her off with this not so subtle “reminder...”
Technically, she wasn't, and was.
"Treaty cruiser" is a term given to those ships designed to the limits of the 1922 Washington treaty: 10,000 tons and 8" guns. Total numbers and tonnage were not limited
But those ships were limited by the 1930 London treaty. Limits of 8" cruisers were actually 6:5:4. At this stage the US had only built 8, so there were no real restrictions to the building program (the last of the next 10, Wichita, in 1937, as actually a modified Brooklyn class, built to fill out the allocation).
The UK was right on the limit and had to cancel 8 ships authourised in 1927, 1928, and 1929.
Japan was already building the twelvth, but could complete all authorised ships, swiching to to nominal "10,000 tonners" with 15 6.1" guns in the 1931 allocation. This was not what the round-eyed parties expected (The US had less than half her allocation built but really didn't want to spend money building more cruisers during the Depression, and the UK really wanted smaller 6" cruisers built in larger numbers for her strategic needs)
The London treaty also imposed tonnage limits for 6" cruisers - 143,000 tons total for the US - but as at the time the US only had 10 small preWashington Omaha class, techically the first 8 Brooklyns fell within the London treaty limits.
London Naval Treaty limits of 8” cruisers were 18 US, 15 UK, 12 Japan.
They are harboring them even today, those that are still breathing and waiting for their appointment at The Pearly Gates. The family that lived across the street from us were unreconstructed Nazis. Mom and Pop were born in Argentina to German parents, who sent them back to Germany to be educated by the Reich. The returned to Argentina after the war and were reintegrated into the German society there. They had very little to do with the Argies and spent most of their time at one of the many German social clubs there. Daughter Ingrid was SMOKIN’ HOT. Son Axel would’ve been right at home at a NSDAP meeting. They hated the Jews.
Concur. The Argies supplied the Nazis with a lot or beef.
Exactly. The Argentinians themselves later acknowledged that the sinking was a legitimate act of war and that being outside of the proclaimed Exclusion Zone did not mean their forces were not subject to attack. The "controversy" about the sinking was mostly a fabrication of anti-Thatcher forces in the UK.
Thanks for the correction, I'll have to pass it on to my British friends.
Yes, a couple of years before Argentina eliminated England on their way to a second World Cup.
To borrow from W.T. Sherman “War is Hell” and knows no bounds. Those who think that they can civilize war are fools because the winners call the shots afterwards and write the history too.
True. She was in Honolulu Harbor at the time, wasn’t she?