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Operation Soberanía

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Operación Soberanía (Operation Sovereignty) was a planned Argentine military invasion of Chile due to the Beagle conflict. The invasion was initiated on 22 December 1978 but was halted after a few hours and Argentine forces retreated from the conflict zone without a fight. Whether the Argentine infantry actually crossed the border into Chile has not been established. Argentine sources insist that they crossed the border.[1][2]

In 1971 Chile and Argentina agreed to binding arbitration by an international tribunal, under the auspices of the British Government, to settle the boundary dispute. On 22 May 1977 the British Government announced the decision, which awarded the Picton, Nueva and Lennox islands to Chile.

On 25 January 1978 Argentina rejected the decision and attempted to militarily coerce Chile into negotiating a division of the islands that would produce a boundary consistent with Argentine claims.[3][4][5][6]

Date, objective and name of the operation


According to Argentine sources, after the Argentine repudiation of the arbitration award in January 1978, the invasion plans were given different names depending on the planning level and phase.[7] Also, the targets of the invasion changed according to the political situation and to the information about the Chilean defense effort: the target being first only the Picton, Nueva and Lennox islands, then the "little" Evout, Hoorn, Deceit and Barnevelt islands, then both groups of islands. Finally, on Friday 15 December 1978 Argentina's President Jorge Videla signed the order to invade on 21 December 1978 at 04:30 as the beginning of the invasion,[8] but it was postponed to the next day because of the bad weather conditions in the landing zone.

Military imbalance


At the time of the crisis, the Argentine military was substantially larger than that of Chile; in addition, the Chilean regime was more politically isolated and had suffered deteriorating relations with its main suppliers of arms. The Chilean military, however, had the advantage of defending difficult terrain, as well as being a more professional force,[9][10][11][12] while decades of intervention by the Argentine armed forces in day-to-day politics had degraded their professional skills.[13]

There was considerable international condemnation of the Chilean regime's human rights record, with the United States expressing particular concern after Orlando Letelier's 1976 assassination in Washington D.C., though the U.S. helped install the Pinochet administration initially. The United States banned the export of weapons to Chile through the Kennedy Amendment, later International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.[14][15] 16 Northrop F-5's were delivered to Chile before the embargo took effect, but they arrived without any armament.[16] In 1980 Chile was excluded from UNITAS joint naval maneuvers because of human rights violations.[17][18] Germany,[19] Austria[20] and the United Kingdom[21] the traditional supplier of the Chilean Armed Forces, did not supply weapons to Chile.

In 1974 the Argentine Navy incorporated two modern Type 209 submarines, Salta and San Luis, complementing two older GUPPY submarines, Santa Fe and Santiago del Estero.[22]

In 1978, the United States extended the Kennedy amendment to Argentina as well because of its human rights record,[23] which led to the Armed Forces purchases shifting to Europe: France, Germany, and Austria exported weapons to Argentina even during the critical phase of the Beagle conflict, as Argentina had already rejected the international binding Arbitral Award. In December 1978, when the outbreak of war appeared unavoidable, the German shipbuilding and engineering works Blohm + Voss and the Argentine Junta agreed to the building of four destroyers.[24] In November 1978 France delivered two corvettes to Argentina, originally built for the apartheid Regime in South Africa. The corvettes, Good Hope and Transvaal, could not be delivered because of anti-apartheid embargoes; in Argentina they were renamed Drummond and Guerrico. United States President Ronald Reagan (1981–1989) would later improve relations to Argentina due to their military support for Nicaragua's Contras.[25] (See Operation Charly).

The United Kingdom delivered Type 42 destroyers to the Argentine junta. On 19 September 1977 Hércules (built and completed in the UK) sailed to Argentina from the Vickers Shipbuilding yard in Barrow-in-Furness; on 28 November 1981 Santísima Trinidad (built in Argentina, completed in the UK) sailed from Portsmouth.[26]

An overview of both countries' defense spending:[27]

1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
defense spending* 487 566 713 951 1,128 949
percentage of the GNP 3.5 3.5 4.1 4.6 5.2
defense spending* 2,702 2,225 2,339 2,641 2,126 2,241
percentage of the GNP 2.2 2.0 2.3 2.5 2.0

* Costs in millions of 1979 US dollars.

The Argentines' numerical advantage was counterbalanced by the following factors:

The Ambassador of the United States in Argentina (1978) Raúl Castro described the attitude of the Argentine military towards a possible war with the following:

They supposed that they were going to invade Chile, Santiago especially. It seemed to them something very easy; Just a matter of crossing the border and that the Chileans were going to surrender right away. And I told them: No, no, you are mistaken. They have a better Navy than yours. They are well armed, and are very strong.[32]

Argentine plan


No Argentine official documents or statements concerning the planning of the war of aggression[33] against Chile have been released. But so many individual accounts exist among the Argentine ranks that the existence of a plan has not been disputed.[by whom?]

The Argentine Government planned to first occupy the islands around Cape Horn and then, in a second phase, either to stop or continue hostilities according to the Chilean reaction.[34] Argentina had already drafted a declaration of war. An Argentine complaint in the UN Security Council over Chile's military occupation of the disputed islands was to precede the attack.[citation needed]

Rubén Madrid Murúa in "La Estrategia Nacional y Militar que planificó Argentina, en el marco de una estrategia total, para enfrentar el conflicto con Chile el año 1978", ("Memorial del Ejército de Chile", Edición Nº 471, Santiago, Chile, 2003, S. 54-55),[35] stated that the Argentine General Staff planned the operation under the name "Planeamiento Conjunto de Operaciones Previstas contra Chile".

The Argentines planned amphibious landings to seize the islands southwards of the Beagle Channel, along with massive land-based attacks:[citation needed]

  1. at 20:00 on 22 December 1978 a task force of the Argentine Navy and the Argentine Marines ( Batallón N° 5 ) under the command of Humberto José Barbuzzi would seize the islands Horn, Freycinet, Hershell, Deceit and Wollaston.
  2. at 22:00 on 22 December 1978 the Argentine task force (with Naval Infantry Battalions N° 3 and N° 4) would seize Picton, Nueva and Lennox islands and secure for the navy the east mouth of the Beagle Channel.
  3. at 24:00 on 22 December 1978 the invasion of continental Chile would begin. The Fifth Army Corps under command of José Antonio Vaquero would seize Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, the largest two cities of the Chilean Magallanes Region.
  4. at daylight 23 December 1978 the Argentine Air Force would begin attacks against Chilean Air Force.
  5. Later, Third Army Corps under the command of Luciano Benjamín Menéndez would start an offensive through the Andean passes of "Libertadores", "Maipo" and "Puyehue" (today Cardenal Samore Pass) to seize Santiago, Valparaíso and the Los Lagos Region.
Resources and mission of Argentine Forces for the phases 1 and 2 according to Alberto Gianola Otamendi[36]
GT 42.1 GT 42.2 GT 42.3 V Army Corps
  • Naval interdiction of the Beagle Channel
  • Fire-support for landing
  • Defense of Ushuaia
  • Landing in the islands
  • Support and base for helos
  • Landing of BIM sect. in the islands
  • Fire support for landing
  • Defense north of Lago Fagano


  • Buzos Tácticos
  • Grupo de Minado
  • Destacamento Naval de Playas


  • Agrupación de Lanchas Rápidas


  • 12 SA 316 B Alouette III (ARA)


  • BIM N°4:
    • Cía. Kaiken IM
    • Cía.Jaguar IM
    • Cía. Leopardo EA
    • Sec. anfibious vehicle (VAR)


  • -


  • 3 Sea King ARA
  • 1 Puma EA
  • 7 Sikorsky FAA
  • T28, T34 and Aermacchi MB 326


  • section of BIM N°4 on board


  • ARA Belgrano
  • ARA 25 de Mayo (+24 Skyhawk)
  • 3 Corvettes
  • 9 destroyers


  • 12 Skyhawk A4Q
  • 3 Grumman S2A / S2E
  • 3 heli Sea King
  • Beechcraft B200


  • V Army Corps
  • BIM N°5 in Río Grande


  • -


  • -

The Second Army Corps under the command of Leopoldo Galtieri would protect the north of Argentina from a potential Brazilian attack and its II Brigada de Caballería blindada would protect the Argentine region of Río Mayo in Chubut Province from a possible Chilean attack.[citation needed]

The Argentine Armed Forces expected between 30,000 and 50,000 dead in the course of the war.[37][38][39]

Argentina solicited a Peruvian attack in Chile's north, but Peru rejected this demand and ordered only a partial mobilization.[40]

Plan for the time after the invasion


For the postwar phase of the operation, the Argentine Navy prepared political instructions to be followed in the southern zone after the disputed islands were under Argentinian sovereignty. They defined the new border, navigation rights for Chilean ships, instructions in case of confrontations with the Chilean Navy, dealing with injured personnel, prisoners of war, etc.[8]

Chilean preparedness

Mine field in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego Chile, photograph from 2006

There was no surprise factor, since the Chilean military kept movements of the Argentine fleet under surveillance and monitored the build-up of Argentine troops. Chilean troops were deployed along the border, ready to meet any invaders.

Chile planted mines in certain areas along its borders with Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.[41] and dynamited some mountain passes.[42]

Parts of route 9-CH between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales were selected to serve as extra airstrips in the case of an invasion.[43] A defensive position was built up the narrowest part of Brunswick Peninsula to avoid or delay an Argentine capture of Punta Arenas.[43] In contrast to the defensive war planned by the Chilean Army in Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, the Chilean army had plans for an attack to invade the Argentine part of Tierra del Fuego, but control of the island of Tierra del Fuego was considered a secondary goal since its control was believed to depend on the outcome of the clash of the navies.[43]

The combat-ready Chilean fleet sailed on 22 December 1978 from the fjords of Hoste Island to frustrate an Argentine landing.[citation needed] Rear Admiral Raúl López, Chief of the Chilean fleet, kept silent as to whether he would simply wait or initiate an attack on the enemy navy.[44]

Chilean biochemist Eugenio Berríos is reported to have worked on a plan to poison the water supply of Buenos Aires in the event of war.[45][46]

Operation aborted


On D-day, a severe storm impeded Argentine operations in the disputed area. Meanwhile, Pope John Paul II, alarmed by the situation, decided to act personally and informed both governments that he was sending his personal envoy, Cardinal Antonio Samoré, to both capitals. Six hours before landing, the Argentine fleet turned back and Operation Soberanía was called off.[47]

Whether the Argentine infantry actually crossed the border into Chile or only waited at the border for the result of the naval combat cannot be established. Argentine sources insist that they crossed the border[48][49] which would be inconsistent with the two-phase war plan[citation needed].

Alejandro Luis Corbacho, in "Predicting the probability of war during brinkmanship crisis: The Beagle and the Malvinas conflicts" [3] considers the reasons for cancelling the operation (p. 45):

The newspaper Clarín explained some years later that such caution was based, in part, on military concerns. In order to achieve a victory, certain objectives had to be reached before the seventh day after the attack. Some military leaders considered this not enough time due to the difficulty involved in transportation through the passes over the Andean Mountains.

On p. 46:

According to Clarín, two consequences were feared. First, those who were dubious feared a possible regionalization of the conflict. Second, as a consequence, the conflict could acquire great power proportions. In the first case decisionmakers speculated that Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil might intervene. Then the great powers could take sides. In this case, the resolution of the conflict would depend not on the combatants, but on the countries that supplied the weapons.



Unlike the prelude to the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands, from the beginning of Operation Soberanía there were no critical misconceptions on Argentina's side about Chile's commitment to defend its territory: the entire Chilean Navy was in the disputed area, an unequivocal fact at Cape Horn.[50] As stated by David R. Mares in "Violent Peace: Militarized Interstate Bargaining in Latin America":[51]: 142 

These Chilean advantages do not imply that it could have won the war against Argentina, but that is not the relevant point. To deter their neighbors the Chileans do not have to demonstrate a capability to win. They need, instead, to make a credible case that a military adventure against Chile would not be cheap. In 1978, the Argentine Junta could not be very confident that war would produce a low-cost victory against Chile.

Although it had called off the operation, the Argentine government never gave up on the use of military force to pressure Chile.[51]: 146  After the invasion of the Falklands on 2 April 1982, the Argentine junta planned the military occupation of the disputed islands in the Beagle channel, as stated by Brigadier Basilio Lami Dozo, chief of the Argentine Air Force during the Falklands war, in an interview with the Argentine magazine Perfil:

L.F. Galtieri: [Chileans] have to know that what we are doing now, because they will be the next in turn.[52]

Augusto Pinochet foresaw a long and bloody war, a kind of partisan war:

a guerrilla war, killing every day, shooting people, by both sides, and in the end, by a matter of fatigue, we would have reached peace[53]

Argentine Falklands War veteran Martín Balza, Chief of Staff of the Argentine Army (1991–1999), caused a stir in 2003 when he declared his conviction that in 1978, Chile would have won the war had it broken out.[54]

See also



  1. ^ Amato et al. 1998:
    …Yo de esto hablé una vez con un teniente coronel que era jefe de un regimiento en la cordillera y que cuenta que sus patrullas cruzaron la frontera y entraron en Chile…
    (Transl.:«I spoke once about this with a colonel-lieutenant who was a detachment chief in the mountains, and he told me that his patrols crossed the border and entered Chile…»)
  2. ^ Beagle: historia secreta de la guerra que no fue Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine in Argentine newspaper "La Nación" on 12 August 1996, stored in "Base de Datos SER en el 2000", retrieved on 30 August 2008:
    …«No restaba mucho tiempo: las primeras patrullas de infantería del Ejército pisaban ya suelo chileno…
  3. ^ David R. Mares, Natural Gas Pipelines in the Southern Cone Archived 2007-07-09 at the Wayback Machine, Mai 2004, Working Paper #29, p. 9, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Energy Forum, retrieved on 26 August 2008
  4. ^ Alejandro Luis Corbacho, Predicting the Probability of War During Brinkmanship Crises: The Beagle and the Malvinas Conflicts, p. 6, retrieved 26 August 2008:«When it became clear that the Chileans wanted full acceptance of the [Court of Arbitration] resolution, the Argentine position hardened, and Argentina began to challenge the Chilean commitment to defend the territory»
  5. ^ During a summit in Puerto Montt in February 1978 President of Argentina Jorge Videla threatened, See General Juan E. Gugliamelli: "Cuestión del Beagle. Negociación directa o diálogo de armas", (Spanish Language) compiled from articles in magazine "Estrategia", Buenos Aires Nr:49/50, January–February 1978:
    «… las negociaciones directas constituyen la única vía pacífica para solucionar el conflicto …»
    (Transl.:«…the direct negotiations are the only peaceful manner to resolve the conflict …»)
  6. ^ Rubén Madrid Murúa, "La Estrategia Nacional y Militar que planificó Argentina, en el marco de una estrategia total, para enfrentar el conflicto con Chile el año 1978", p. 55:
    «Al no llegar a un acuerdo entre ambos países, comienza durante las diversas negociaciones, la tercera fase de su maniobra, pasando a una estrategia de la disuasión directa, efectuando para lo anterior actitudes de amedrentamiento, desplazamientos de fuerzas y aumento sistemático de las violaciones a los espacios aéreos y marítimos chilenos.»:
    (Transl.:«As the two nations didn't agree [to change the award], the third phase of the [Argentine] plan began, coming to a strategy of direct dissuasion, with intimidation, strong-arm tactics and a systematic air and maritime Chilean space violations»)
  7. ^ Website Histamar, Preludios de Acción Militar Conjunta, Una operación conjunta planificada durante el conflicto de 1978 por la soberanía de las islas del canal Beagle, by Alberto Gianola Otamendi, retrieved on 21 November 2012
  8. ^ a b Amato et al. 1998
  9. ^ Kristina Mani, "Democratization and Strategic Thinking: What the Military in Argentina and Chile Learned in the 1990s", Columbia University, p. 7:
    ...that Chile had a significant defender’s advantage, given the professional quality of Chilean troops and well-developed supply and communications lines.
  10. ^ Michael A. Morris, "The Strait of Magellan", Clemson University, South Carolina, USA, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p. 160:
    "Chile, nevertheless, benefits from considerable advantages in the far south, including good ports, control over the Strait of Magellan, as well as the Fuegian and Patagonian channels, branching off laterally from the strait, which gives Chile geographical and logistical advantages in the Drake Passage."
  11. ^ Karl Hernekamp , "Der argentinisch-chilenisch Grenzstreit am Beagle-Kanal", p. 84:
    "Umgekehrt hätte für Chile positiv zu Buche geschlagen die von militärischen Fachleuten als allgemein höher bewertete Kampfkraft der chilenischen Streitkräfte."
    "On the other hand, in accordance with the military experts, Chile was benefited of the higher combat strength of the armed forces")
  12. ^ The reputation built upon professionalism of the Chilean armed forces impressed the observer since the end of the War of the Pacific. On 5 November 1900, 78 years prior, in a similar strained situation, Julio de Arellano, Minister Plenipotentiary of Spain in Buenos Aires informed to his government in Madrid about the danger of a war between Chile and Argentina. About the strength of the forces told:
    La Républica Argentina es, sin duda, el estado más rico de Sud América, su marina es más fuerte en número y en calidad de buques que la de Chile, posee elementos de guerra para armar un ejército de 300.000 hombres y en sus arsenales y depósitos militares, se ha gastado y se gasta sin reparar en cifras con tal de que se hayen provistos de armamento de último modelo; pero en este país se carece de homogeneidad de población que caracteriza a Chile ... donde es unánime la exaltación patriótica y donde ha podido formarse un Ejército, que los oficiales alemanes proclaman comparable en su organización y cualidades al mejor de Europa (See Pedro Santos Martínez, "Documentos Diplomáticos sobre historia argentina, 1850–1954"), Tomo V: 1890–1909. Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Históricas "Cuyo", Mendoza, 2002, ISBN 987-43-1155-X, pág. 124, documento nr.:368
  13. ^ Interview with General Martin Balza for the Chilean newspaper La Tercera[permanent dead link] on 21 December 2001:
    "Estoy convencido [that Chile would have won the war], por razones que he expuesto en mis libros "Dejo constancia" (2001) y "Malvinas, gesta e incompetencia" (2003). Ahí expreso cuál era la situación de las Fuerzas Armadas, fundamentalmente del Ejército, en 1982.... [En 1978] Chile estaba en unas inmejorables condiciones, porque la defensa es muy fuerte, sobre todo cuando se puede actuar mediante la dinámica propia, que no margina reacciones ofensivas dentro de la concepción defensiva."
  14. ^ "Published Airpower Journal", Spring 1999, "US Arms Transfer Policy for Latin America Lifting the Ban on Fighter Aircraft" Archived 2008-06-17 at the Wayback Machine, Dr. Frank O. Mora, Lt. Col. Antonio L. Palá, USAF:
    «The 1976 Arms Export Control Act, proposed by Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.), began to limit presidential ability to transfer weapons to other nations by giving the United States Congress veto power over sales and extending the notification period to 30 days. Against the wishes of the Ford administration, several countries were placed under even tighter restrictions based on their human rights records. Such was the case with Chile in 1976 under Public Law 94-329. This legislation, commonly referred to as the Kennedy Amendment, prohibited security assistance, military training, and arms sales to Gen Augusto Pinochet’s repressive military regime in Chile» cited from US Code, vol. 22, sec. 2370 (1976).
  15. ^ Una enmienda clave para la región[permanent dead link] in Argentine newspaper "La Nacion" on 27 August 2009. (retrieved 27 August 2009):
    La enmienda impedía vender armas a Chile hasta que se verificaran tres condiciones: un progreso significativo en el respeto de los derechos humanos en ese país; garantías de que la dictadura de Pinochet no encubriría a terroristas internacionales y que, por lo tanto, iba a juzgar a los implicados en el asesinato de Letelier, y que la venta del armamento fuera de interés nacional para Estados Unidos.
  16. ^ "Chileans Try an Air Force Their Way". The New York Times, 9 July 1988:
    «When the embargo took effect, the Chilean Air Force had just taken delivery of 16 Northrup-built F-5s…»
  17. ^ UNITAS. globalsecurity.org
  18. ^ Michael Morris, «The Strait of Magellan», published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Netherlands, 1989, p. 128
  19. ^ Der Spiegel on 6 March 1978:
    «… seit 1974 verhalf Bonn zudem den Streitkräften fast aller südamerikanischen Meeresanrainer (Ausnahme: Chile) zu stärkerer Seetüchtigkeit…»
    (Transl.:«since 1974 Bonn [Germany] strengthened the navies of all South American coastal states (exception: Chile)»)
  20. ^ Historia general de las Relaciones Exteriores de la República Argentina by Andrés Cisneros y Carlos Escudé in cema Archived 2012-06-29 at archive.today:
    «… en el mismo mes de junio de 1981, la Argentina adquirió 57 tanques austríacos, operación que generó los recelos del lado chileno, pues en 1980 el mismo país proveedor de esos tanques les negó a los militares trasandinos la compra de 100 unidades …»
    (Transl.:«on juni 1981 Argentina bought 57 austrian tanks, this operation arouse suspicion on the Chilean side because 1980 Austria refused to sell 100 tanks to Chile»)
  21. ^ "The Politics of British Arms Sales Since 1964: To Secure Our Rightful Share", Mark Phythian, published by Manchester University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-7190-5907-0, ISBN 978-0-7190-5907-0, 352 pp., (pp. 105 ff). The UK signed contracts prior to the Coup d'État for delivery of 7 Hawker Hunter aircraft, two Leander-class frigates (Almirante Condell and Almirante Lynch), two Oberon-class submarines (O'Brien and Hyatt), spare parts and the overhaul of Hawker Hunter turbines. The James Callaghan government delivered the vessels, submarines and planes behind schedule and the aero-engines and the submarine spare parts were "blacked" by the unions until October 1978 as they were removed from the East Kilbride plant by a combination of police, haulage contractors, sheriff's officers and Chilean representatives:
    "The union convenor at the East Kilbride plant indicated that the engines were all rusting away anyway, because they have been left packed in crates and left outside the warehouse ever since the overhaul work had been completed in 1975".
    The relations between Chile and UK has been also seriously damaged by the Sheila Cassidy affair, the use of British made planes during the Coup d'État and the violations of human rights by the Pinochet regime. In October 1981, under Margaret Thatcher, the UK announced its first significant arms sale with the sale of the County-class destroyer HMS Norfolk and the naval tanker RFA Tidepool.
  22. ^ Fuerza de submarinos de la Armada Argentina en la crisis de 1978 - Ricardo Burzaco, Defensa y Seguridad MERCOSUR-Año 8-Nº43 (Mayo-Junio 2008) Archived 2016-06-03 at the Wayback Machine (retrieved 2016-04-30)
  23. ^ Una enmienda clave para la región[permanent dead link] in Argentine newspaper "La Nacion" on 27 August 2009 (retrieved 27. August 2009): A través de la enmienda Humphrey-Kennedy, la Argentina también vio congelada en 1978 la ayuda militar de Estados Unidos a raíz de las violaciones de los derechos humanos.
  24. ^ "Wie geschmiert - Rüstungsproduktion und Waffenhandel im Raum Hamburg" Kriegsschiffe für Argentinien (German Language)
  25. ^ Argentina Human Rights Watch. Retrieved: 16 August 2008:«By contrast, President Ronald Reagan went to great lengths to patch up relations between the two countries that it considered had been damaged by Carter's human rights-based policies: inviting Argentina's military leaders to Washington, exaggerating improvements in respect for human rights, and moving to repeal the Humphrey-Kennedy amendment.»
  26. ^ Navy History of Argentina, retrieved 16 August 2008
  27. ^ Distribución de capacidades en el Cono Sur Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine, Sabrina Melidoni, Buenos Aires, 2006 (p. 45).(Spanish Language)
  28. ^ Martin Balza in an Interview Archived 2013-02-27 at the Wayback Machine with the Chilean newspaper La Tercera on 21. December 2001:
    Si Chile adoptaba una actitud estratégica defensiva y Argentina hubiese tenido que adoptar una actitud ofensiva, Chile estaba en unas inmejorables condiciones, porque la defensa es muy fuerte, sobre todo cuando se puede actuar mediante la dinámica propia, que no margina reacciones ofensivas dentro de la concepción defensiva.
  29. ^ En 1978, Chile hubiese derrotado a la Argentina, an interview with General Martin Balza, Chief of Staff of the Argentine Army (1991–1999), in the Chilean newspaper "La Tercera" on 21 December 2003, stored in seprin, retrieved 30 August 2008:
    «… La incursión [de las fuerzas armadas] en los gobiernos de facto de 1955 y fundamentalmente la dictadura de 1976 habían alejado a las Fuerzas Armadas del profesionalismo que todos deseábamos …»
    (Transl.:«the incursion [of the armed forces] into the (daily) politics as de facto government 1955 (Revolución Libertadora) and mainly the dictatorship of 1976 (Dirty War) disconnected the Argentine armed forces from its professional duty»)
  30. ^ Alejandro Luis Corbacho, reasons of the call off:«…Some military leaders considered this not enough time due to the difficulty involved in transportation through the passes over the Andean Mountains…»
  31. ^ Michael Morris in «The Strait of Magellan», published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Netherlands, 1989, p. 150 cited secure Chilean internal lines of communication between the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan through the Fueguian channels and that the Chilean capacity to surge its fleet out quickly from the Straits of Magellan into the Atlantic threatened the precarious Argentine supply line to forces south of the Strait.
  32. ^ Interview with Raúl Castro in Clarín Archived 2009-09-14 at the Wayback Machine, Argentina, on Sunday 20. December 1998. Original as published in Spanish:
    "Ellos suponían que iban a invadir Chile, Santiago, especialmente. Les parecía algo muy fácil; una cuestión de cruzar la frontera y que los chilenos se iban a dar por vencidos. Y yo les decía: No, no, se equivocan. Ellos tienen una armada mejor que la de ustedes. Están bien armados, son muy fuertes"
  33. ^ Clarín Archived 2009-09-09 at the Wayback Machine Buenos Aires, Argentina, 20 December 1998 ... la mediación del papa Juan Pablo II fue providencial para la Argentina: no sólo evitó una guerra de agresión contra Chile ....
    Amato et al. 1998: "De hecho, Chile no iba a ser el país atacante. Lo tenía todo: las islas y más aún. Era el generalato argentino el que auspiciaba el estallido.".
    La Nación Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Argentina 12 August 1996: "Se tomó, por tanto, la decisión de invadir a Chile y se puso en marcha el reloj de la cuenta regresiva.".
    See pp. 242–43 from "Argentina in the twentieth Century" or "Breve Historia Contemporanea de la Argentina", Luis Alberto Romero, 1994, Pennsylvania State University Press or Fondo de Cultura Economica, ISBN 0-271-02191-8 or ISBN 0-271-02192-6: "The aggression against Chile ...".
    Pacho O'Donnell, "Historias Argentinas", 1. Edicion, Buenos Aires, Sudamerica, 2006 ISBN 950-07-2749-8, Chapter: Se necesita una guerra (p. 315).
    Interview with Pio Laghi, Nuntius in Argentina in 1978, Clarín Archived 2010-12-07 at the Wayback Machine 20 December 1998:"El ministro de Economía, Martínez de Hoz, y el jefe del Ejército, general Viola, que no querían que estallara el conflicto, me informaron en una cena diplomática que se había tomado la decisión de desencadenar la guerra" .
    Robert Pastor, US-national security advisor, to the Argentine Junta: "Si ustedes toman una sola roca, por minúscula que sea, el gobierno de los Estados Unidos y sus aliados de la OTAN los van a calificar de agresores. Le pediría que transmitiera este mensaje con claridad absoluta a Buenos Aires. El presidente Carter está al tanto de nuestra conversación..." La Nación Archived 2007-10-24 at the Wayback Machine, Argentina, 21 December 2003
    "En su lógica" Río Negro Archived 2012-07-24 at the Wayback Machine 5 September 2005: "Ahí, Argentina rompió reglas y apuró la guerra con el país vecino.".
    Siehe Interview with Sergio Onofre Jarpa, Ambassador Chile's in Argentina in 1978, La Tercera Archived 2012-09-07 at archive.today, Chile: "Había una campaña muy odiosa contra Chile a través de la prensa y los medios de comunicación, que demostraba cuál era la actitud del oficialismo.".
    "Cartas desde el abismo" Clarín Archived 2008-06-24 at the Wayback Machine, Argentina, 20 December 1998: "el drama que se estaba por abatir sobre la Argentina y Chile en 1978, impulsado por el afán belicista de los halcones del régimen militar argentino".
    Interview with General es:Reynaldo Bignone in Clarín Archived 2009-09-09 at the Wayback Machine, Argentina, 20 December 1998:"Si hay tipos que pensaban que no había otra solución que la cachetada, allá ellos.". "Cachetada" ("a slap in the face") is Euphemism für Aggression war.
    Interview of Augusto Pinochet with María Eugenia Oyarzún in "Augusto Pinochet: Diálogos con su historia", Editorial Sudamericana, Santiago, Chile, 1999. (S. 127): "Usted comprenderá que uno llega a estos grados pensando los pro y los contra de las cosas. Una guerra significa una detención o retroceso para un país de a lo menos 20 años. Hay que comenzar de nuevo. ¡No quiero guerra yo!; por lo demás, nosotros no habríamos peleado por ambiciones expansionistas sino defendiendo lo que teníamos, nada más. Ello, a pesar de que en el otro lado había deseos de agresión y vientos de guerra"
  34. ^ Alejandro Luis Corbacho. Predicting the Probability of War During Brinkmanship Crises: The Beagle and the Malvinas Conflicts
  35. ^ Madrid Murúa, Rubén. "La Estrategia Nacional y Militar que planificó Argentina, en el marco de una estrategia total, para enfrentar el conflicto con Chile el año 1978" Archived 2006-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, Memorial del Ejército de Chile, Edición Nº 471, Santiago, Chile, 2003, Spanish Language
  36. ^ Gianola Otamendi, Alberto (2012), Preludios de Acción Militar Conjunta, Argentina: Fundacion Histarmar, archived from the original on 18 January 2013, retrieved 18 January 2013
  37. ^ Spanish newspaper El País on 06. October 1984 Satisfacción de los Gobiernos argentino y chileno al confirmar oficialmente la existencia de un acuerdo sobre el canal de Beagle
  38. ^ El País on 25. January 1984 Los militares involucionistas argentinos consideran una traición el acuerdo sobre Beagle
  39. ^ Argentine newspaper La Nación on 13 April 2005 La guerra que no ocurrió Archived 2008-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ The state, war, and the state of war by Kalevi Jaakko Holsti, p. 159 [1]
  41. ^ "Chile". International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009.
  42. ^ Moraga, Patricio (1 November 2004), "Cuando Chile y Argentina encendieron la mecha", El Centro (in Spanish), Chile, archived from the original on 27 September 2007, retrieved 29 September 2007
  43. ^ a b c "La escuadra en acción", by Patricia Arancibia Clavel and Francisco Bulnes Serrano. Editorial Grijalbo, Santiago de Chile, 2004
  44. ^ Gustavo Andrés Delgado Muñoz, El Conflicto del Beagle y la prensa: un debate limitado. Chile-Argentina (1977–1979), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Facultad de Historia , Geografía y Ciencia Política, Instituto de Historia, p. 100: Estaba consciente que tomaría con ello [un ataque preventivo] la grave responsabilidad de iniciarla [guerra] y dar pábulo para que Chile fuera tal vez acusado de ser el país agresor. Pero las consecuencias que se derivarían de obtener una clara superioridad iniciada en el mar, contribuirían a crear aceleradamente condiciones apropiadas para imponer la paz o para facilitar la futura condición de una guerra exitosa.
  45. ^ González, Mónica (19 October 2002). "En 1978, la DINA planeó envenenar el agua de Buenos Aires". Clarín (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  46. ^ "Chile planeó un ataque biológico en 1978". La Nación (in Spanish). 19 October 2002. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  47. ^ Beagle: historia secreta de la guerra que no fue Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine in Argentine newspaper "La Nación" on 12 August 1996, stored in "Base de Datos SER en el 2000", retrieved on 30 August 2008:
    «Finalmente se [la junta argentina] aceptó detener la cuenta regresiva, dar marcha atrás y esperar la llegada del enviado papal …»
    (Transl.:«finally they [the Argentina junta] accepted to stop the time counting, to withdraw the forces and to wait for the papal envoy … »)
  48. ^ Amato et al. 1998:

    …Yo de esto hablé una vez con un teniente coronel que era jefe de un regimiento en la cordillera y que cuenta que sus patrullas cruzaron la frontera y entraron en Chile…

  49. ^ Beagle: historia secreta de la guerra que no fue Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine in Argentine newspaper "La Nación" on 12 August 1996, stored in "Base de Datos SER en el 2000", retrieved on 30 August 2008:

    …«No restaba mucho tiempo: las primeras patrullas de infantería del Ejército pisaban ya suelo chileno…

  50. ^ Violent Peace: Militarized Interstate Bargaining in Latin America Latin American Politics and Society, Fall 2002 a Book recension by Aguilar, Manuela Aguilar in [2]
    "In the Malvinas dispute, the United States and Great Britain failed to signal deterrence credibly. In the Beagle Channel dispute, however, Chile successfully signaled its willingness to follow through, and Argentina rightly understood that the costs of all-out war were too high."
  51. ^ a b Mares, David R. Violent Peace New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-231-11186-X.
  52. ^ D, H (22 November 2009). "Después de Malvinas, iban a atacar a Chile". Perfil. Buenos Aires. Archived from the original on 25 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.:
    Para colmo, Galtieri dijo en un discurso: “Que saquen el ejemplo de lo que estamos haciendo ahora porque después les toca a ellos”.
    Also Óscar Camilión, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Argentina from 29 March 1981 to 11 December 1981, in his "Memorias Políticas", Editorial Planeta, Buenos Aires, 1999, p. 281 confirms the plan of Argentine military:
    «Los planes militares eran, en la hipótesis de resolver el caso Malvinas, invadir las islas en disputa en el Beagle. Esa era la decisión de la Armada…»
    (transl.:«The military planning was, with the Falklands in Argentine hand, to invade the disputed islands in the Beagle Channel. That was the determination of the (Argentine) navy…»)
    See also Kalevi Jaakko Holsti, The State, War, and the State of War Cambridge Studies in International Relations, 1996, 271 pp., ISBN 0-521-57790-X. See also here On p. 160:
    Displaying the mentality of the Argentine military regime in the 1970s, as another example, there was "Plan Rosario" according to which Argentina would attack the Malvinas and then turn to settle the Beagle Channel problem by force. The sequence, according to the plan, could also be reversed.
    See also article of Manfred Schönfeld in La Prensa (Buenos Aires) on 2 June 1982 about the Argentine Course of Action after the War:
    Para nosotros no lo estará [terminada la guerra], porque, inmediatamente después de barrido el enemigo de las Malvinas, debe serlo de las Georgias, Sandwich del Sur y de todos los demás archipiélagos australes argentinos, ...
    All articles of M. Schönfeld in "La Prensa" from 10 January 1982 to 2 August 1982 are in La Guerra Austral, Manfred Schönfeld, Desafío Editores S.A., 1982, ISBN 950-02-0500-9.
  53. ^ Interview with María Eugenia Oyarzún in Augusto Pinochet, diálogos con su historia, 1999. Original as published:
    "una guerra de montonera, matando todos los días, fusilando gente, tanto por parte de los argentinos como por nuestra parte, y al final, por cansancio, se habría llegado a la paz"
  54. ^ Mendelevich, Pablo. "Martín Balza: Chile hubiera ganado una guerra." (in Spanish)[permanent dead link] La Nación, 14 December 2003. Retrieved: 4 September 2010.