The Falklands Legacy
I have the view that the Falklands War had a much greater effect on the thirty years since Argentina invaded, than we generally think.
I travelled in Europe both before and after the war and it brought a great change to the way Europe thought about the Russian menace. Not about the threat of nuclear war, but a lot of our forces atb the time were lined up with the Germans, the French, the Americans and others to fight the Russian tanks, when they were ordered to attack. But after the Falklands War, it was now apparent that a well-trained volunteer army, could always outfight a conscript one, who wanted to be elsewhere and I think this gave Europe a much stronger backbone against a Soviet invasion.
It wasn’t the sole reason obviously, but it helped to break-up the Soviet Union and release their stranglehold on the satellites. Remember most Soviet commanders at the time had very deep knowledge of the very brutal Second World War they had fought and from what I have read and heard, wouldn’t have really wanted to do it again. After all, when there was the coup later againt Boris Yeltzin, the Army stayed loyal.
I also wonder what would have happened, if we hadn’t regained the Islands by force.
I suspect that Guatemala would have done what they have wanted to do for years and absorbed Belize.
And would we have gone to regain Kuwait from Saddam in the First Gulf War? The Americans might have gone, because they needed the oil.
The Falklands War sent a powerful message in terms of democracy. But it was a tragic, that a bunch of geriatric dictators, decided to invade, in a vain effort to cling to power.