Bernard Porter: The Falklands War, 20 October 2005
Show More The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. I: The Origins of the Falklands War by Lawrence Freedman.
Routledge, 253 pp., £35, June 2005, 0 7146 5206 7Show More
The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II: War and Diplomacy by Lawrence Freedman.
Routledge, 849 pp., £49.95, June 2005, 0 7146 5207 5Show More
“... In 1982 Britain’s continued possession of the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands was ridiculous. Even at the British Empire’s height they had been one of its least important and favoured colonies. At the Great Exhibition of 1851 they were represented by a showcase containing some tufts of wool and dried grasses. Dr Johnson’s famous description of them in 1771, which Lawrence Freedman uses to open this history, has scarcely been challenged: a bleak and gloomy solitude, an island thrown aside from human use, stormy in winter, and barren in summer; an island which not even southern savages have dignified with habitation; where a garrison must be kept in a state that contemplates with envy the exiles of Siberia; of which the expense will be perpetual, and the use only occasional; and which, if fortune smiles upon our labours, may become a nest of smugglers in peace, and in war the refuge of future buccaneers ...”