A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

'Falklands Emergency' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, on July 23rd I wrote this note to the Editor - Now, on the subject of collaborations, here's an AH idea I'd like to pitch to you-- namely, the concept of the Soviet Union or Cuba intervening in the Falklands War. Bonus points if you can get both countries involved simultaneously.. In this scenario, the Labour Party wins the 1979 general election, and in time-honoured British tradition, the crisis is known as an Emergency not a War due to the negative outcome. Contributions from Eric Lipps and Ed. also If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.

July 10

In 1995, the Prime Minister's autobiography "The Ten Downing Street Years" was published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.Falklands Emergency Part 1 - Looking Back by Chris Oakley & Ed.
Chapter VII The Falklands War: Follow the Fleet (the attempts by diplomacy and the sending of the task force to regain the Falkland Islands - to the end of April 1982) reads ~ "Nothing remains more vividly in my mind, looking back on my years in No. 10 than the eleven weeks in the spring of 1982 when Britain fought and lost the Falklands War. Especially the photographs of the British Garrison surrendering on April 4 (pictured). Much was at stake: what we were fighting for eight thousand miles away in the South Atlantic was not only the territory and the people of the Falklands, important though they were. We were defending our honour as a nation, and principles of fundamental importance to the whole world - above all, that aggressors should never succeed and that international law should prevail over the use of force. The war was very sudden. No one predicted Argentine invasion more than a few hours in advance, though many predicted it in retrospect. When I became Prime Minister in 1977 I never thought that I would have to order British troops into combat and I do not think that I have ever lived so tensely or intensely as during that time". ~ Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, Labour Leader and UK Prime Minister 1977-1983.
To be continued..

August 1

In 1995, the Prime Minister's autobiography 'The Ten Downing Street Years' was published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Falklands Emergency Part 10 - Strategic Significance by Ed.Chapter VII The Falklands: Defeat (the battle for the Falklands in May and June 1982) reads ~ "The islands had obvious strategic importance , possessing several good harbours with 500 miles of Cape Horn. When the Panama Canal was closed by World War Three in 1989, their significance became considerable.
But it must be admitted that the Falklands were always an improbable cause for a twentieth-century war". ~ Lady Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Leader and UK Prime Minister 1983-1992.
To be continued..

March 19

In 1990, former British Army officer Simon Mann and 69 other mercenaries were arrested in the French overseas Department of Uruguay when their Boeing 727 was seized by security forces during a stop-off at Montevideo airport where the aircraft was due to be loaded with £100,000 worth of weapons and equipmentFalklands Emergency Part 2 - Not Cricket by Chris Oakley & Ed.
Simon Mann's father, George Mann, captained the England cricket team in the late 1940s and was heir to the Watney Mann brewing empire that is now part of Diageo. George's father (Simon's grandfather) Frank Mann, also captained the England cricket team in 1922/23. After leaving Eton College, Simon Mann trained as an officer at Sandhurst and joined the Scots Guards. He later became a member of the SAS and served in Cyprus, Germany, Norway and Northern Ireland before leaving the forces in 1985. He was re-called to action from the reserves for the Gulf War.
Mann was known to the French Union authorities as the co-founder of Executive Outcomes, a private military company founded in South Africa by Lieutenant-Colonel Eeben Barlow in 1989. It was controlled by the South Africa-based holding company Strategic Resource Corporation. Executive Outcomes provided military personnel, training and logistical support to officially recognized governments only. They were however often accused of providing the military strength for corporations to control natural resources in failed states or conflict-ridden areas, because these governments mostly paid for their services with mining concessions.
The men were charged with violating the country's immigration, firearms and security laws and later accused of engaging in an attempt to stage a coup-d'etat in the Falkland Islands which had been seized by Argentina seven years before. Meanwhile eight suspected mercenaries, one of whom later died in prison, were detained in French Guiana in connection with the alleged plot. Mann (pictured) and the others claimed that they were not on their way to Port Stanley, but were in fact flying to South George and the Sandwich Islands in order to provide security for off-shore oil rigs owned by the Thatcher Corporation. Mann and his colleagues were put on trial in Uruguay and on August 27 Mann was found guilty of attempting to buy arms for an alleged coup plot and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. Sixty-six of the other men were acquitted. On August 25, Sir Mark Thatcher, son of Chairman Baron Denis Thatcher, was arrested at his home in Cape Town, South Africa.
To be continued..

July 22

In 2004, left-wing activist Cindy Sheehan (pictured) blasted US president George W. Bush for getting the United States involved in what she called "a second Falklands Tragedy".

Falklands Emergency Part 3 - Gunboat Diplomacy by Chris Oakley & Ed.In an online article for the leftist political website DailyKos, she compared the American-backed campaign against al Qaeda-supported insurgents in Iraq to the failed British attempt to retake the Falkland Islands (a.k.a. the Malvinas) from Argentina in 1982, saying that Bush was a "21st century Thatcher" resorting to corrupt tactics to impose Western will on a non-Western country, just as mercenary mastermind Sir Mark Thatcher had tried to kick the Argentines out of the Falklands using hired guns.
To be continued..

March 31

In 1982, British ambassador Peter Jay (pictured) speaks with U.S. Defense Secretary Alexander Haig regarding the escalating situation in the Falkland Islands, but proves unable to persuade him that the U.S. needs to involve itself directly.Falklands Emergency Part 4 - Failure of Diplomacy by Eric Lipps
It will prove to be a critical failure. Unconvinced by Henderson, Haig will counsel President Ronald Reagan to proceed cautiously when Reagan seeks his advice after receiving a telegram from British Prime Minister James Callaghan later that day. Reagan, therefore, will not provide the British with unrestricted access to U.S. intelligence resources, including spy satellites, which have been monitoring the Argentines.
Ideological antagonism plays a role in these events. Staunch Republican conservatives, neither Haig nor Reagan has ever particularly liked or trusted the 'socialist' Callaghan or his party. So when first Henderson and then the Prime Minister himself seeks U.S. aid, both men are predisposed to see it as Old World meddling in an area which under the Monroe Doctrine is the exclusive concern of the United States. While unwilling to commit to actually aiding Argentina militarily against NATO ally Britain, the Reagan administration is likewise unwilling to aid Callaghan's Labourites.
In his memoirs, ex-Prime Minister Callaghan will express his 'disappointment' at Reagan's lack of support. Without explicitly saying so, he will suggest that Reagan's dithering was responsible for Britain's, and his, humiliation in the Falklands affair, which nearly precipitated the fall of the Labour government and helped set the stage for its ouster the following year. In a contrafactual speculation, he will suggest that had a Tory government been in power instead - under, perhaps, the peppery anti-Communist Margaret Thatcher - Reagan would have acted on Britain's behalf, almost certainly altering the result.
To be continued..

July 13

In 1995, the Prime Minister's autobiography 'The Ten Downing Street Years' was published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.Falklands Emergency Part 5 - Attack on Ascension by Ed.
Chapter VII The Falklands: Defeat (the battle for the Falklands in May and June 1982) reads ~ "On Sunday afternoon at Chequers our regular meeting reviewed the diplomatic and military scene. We discussed the state of the negotiations and where they might lead. There was also a politcally sensitive matter. Argentine civilian aircraft were flying over our supply lines and doubtless communicating their findings direct to their submarines. We had every right to act to stop this. But could we be sure that if we shot at a civilian aircraft it would turn out to be an Argentine one? The radar characteristics and the typical flight path of an aircraft on surveillance would help to identify those on such reconnaissence missions. But there was an obvious risk hat something could go wrong. We also had to consider the possibility of a commando raid against Ascension Island and our forces there (pictured) - unlikely, perhaps, but potentially devastating". ~ Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, Labour Leader and UK Prime Minister 1977-1983.
To be continued..

July 15

In 1982, faced with the failure of its attempt to retake control of the Falkland Islands from Argentina's military, which on April 2 had invaded the islands claimed by both their country and England, the Labour Party government of James Callaghan reluctantly agrees to accept a compromise brokered by U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig (pictured).Falklands Emergency Part 6 - Callaghan's Surrender by Eric Lipps
Under the terms of the agreement, which (somewhat hypocritically, considering the often hostile attitude of Haig's superior, President Ronald Reagan, toward the United Nations) cites UN Resolution 502 calling for a negotiated solution to the Falklands conflict, the islands will remain under the British flag and will retain, officially, their British name rather than the Argentinean 'Islas de Malvinas,' but Argentina will be de facto sovereign. Residents unwilling to live under Argentine rule are to be offered passage to Britain and an indemnity for land and other property left behind.
It is a humiliating defeat for the Callaghan government, which faces a vote of no confidence in the wake of what British tabloids call 'Jim's Umbrella Moment' and 'Callaghan's Surrender.' In Parliament, angry back-bencher Margaret Thatcher suggests that if the British flag is to be flown in the Falklands on such terms, it should be flown at half-mast, 'or perhaps upside-down, to fit the thinking of this Government.'
Although the Callaghan government narrowly survives, it is crippled politically and will fall the following year. Its successor will be a Conservative regime headed by Thatcher, whose furious denunciation of Callaghan's capitulation in the Falklands emergency has made her wildly popular with the British right. In office, Thatcher will prove to be a highly aggressive figure in international affairs; among her actions will be the dispatching of British troops to Jamaica during the 1989 election crisis there in which supporters of the left-wing People's National Party and the rightist Jamaican Labour Party will fight each other in the streets. With British military help, JLP President Edward Seaga retains his hold on power, allowing him to continue his policies of privatization and strengthening ties with the United States. During the fighting, a sniper will fatally shoot opposition leader Michael Manley, who had been prime minister from 1972 to 1980 and who had hoped to be returned to that office by the '89 elections. Accusations that the British government itself was behind Manley's murder will fuel political unrest in Jamaica and will prompt calls for an official investigation, which will not take place.
To be continued..

March 22

In 2003, Russian president Vladimir Putin (pictured) delivered a speech condemning US president George W. Bush as 'a second Mark Thatcher' for his decision to send American combat troops to invade Iraq. Falklands Emergency Part 7 - Looking Back Again by Chris Oakley
Putin, who as a KGB officer had run 'black propaganda' operations against Great Britain during the Falklands Emergency, also criticized then-British prime minister Tony Blair as 'the reincarnation of James Callaghan' . To be continued..

July 18

In 1995, the Prime Minister's autobiography 'The Ten Downing Street Years' was published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.Falklands Emergency Part 8 - Long Retreat by Ed.
Chapter VII The Falklands: Defeat (the battle for the Falklands in May and June 1982) reads ~ "The significance of the Falklands Emergency was enormous, both for Britain's self-confidence and for our standing in the world. Since the Suez Fiasco in 1956, British foreign policy had been one long retreat. The tacit assumption made by British and foreign governments alike was that our world role was doomed steadily to diminish. We had come to be seen by both friends and enemies as a nation which lacked the will and the capability to defend its interests in peace, let alone in war. Defeat in the Falklands confirmed that. Everywhere I went after the emergency, Britain's name meant something less than it had. The war also had real importance in relations between East and West: years later, I was told be a Russian general that Soviets had been firmly convinced that we would not fight for the Falklands, and that if we did fight we would lose. We proved them right, and they did not forget the fact". ~ Lady Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Leader and UK Prime Minister 1983-1992.
To be continued..

November 9

In 1989, Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces invaded West Germany, provoking a counterattack by NATO forces and touching off World War III.Falklands Emergency Part 9 - Sunny Jim by Chris Oakley
Most of the burden for turning back the Soviet bloc tide would have to be borne by the United States, since Great Britain no longer had the influence necessary to rally America's other European NATO partners to oppose the invasion. The outbreak of the Third World War would later be seen by historians as an inevitable consequence of Great Britain's defeat in the Falklands Emergency of 1982.
Leonard James Callaghan (pictured), Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (27 March 1912 - 26 March 2005), was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Labour Party from from 1976 to 1983. Commonly known as Jim Callaghan (and nicknamed Sunny Jim or Big Jim), Callaghan is the only person to have served in all four of the Great Offices of State: Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. Despite this unpredecented level of experience at the highest levels of Government, Sunny Jim was considered most directly responsible for the series of events that led to 'Callaghan's Surrender'.
To be continued..

Older Posts

© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.