Talk:ARA General Belgrano

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Obsolete Warship[edit]

I find it curious and interesting that this article says absolutely nothing about the Belgrano being totally obsolete long before 1982. How clever to divide the article on the ship into two, which then conceals the fact this ship was completed and commissioned in the USN in 1938, before the Second World War even started! It was almost 44 years old in 1982 and plainly should have been, at best, a museum ship; its sister ship, the ex-USS Boise, had already even been scrapped in 1979. It was obviously no threat at all to any British forces; it was only a threat to its own crew. The speed of 32.5 knots that it was supposedly capable of according to the article was when it was new; there should be some effort to find out what speed it really was able to manage by 1982: not that speed, I bet. It hardly seems to have been updated at all; it still bore its original pre-World War II armament, apparently. So I find the British sinking of this antique relic of yesteryear somewhat embarrassing to both sides, Argentina because it put the crew stupidly at risk in a thoroughly useless coffin ship, and Britain because, out of a desire to recover lost imperial glory or to score a hit committed a rather pathetic and unnecessary act against an already-defeated opponent. Because it was a war, albeit undeclared, the sinking can't exactly be held a war crime, unless one considers the whole British war to be such a crime; that is, the Belgrano sinking can't be singled out. But it was at least imprudent, and redounds to no one's credit.LCalpurniusPiso (talk) 21:01, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

"It was obviously no threat at all to any British forces" - can you find a credible source stating this? Since both the Argentines who commanded it and the British who opposed it believe that it was a threat, on what basis do you say otherwise?
"a rather pathetic and unnecessary act against an already-defeated opponent." - again, can you find a credible, reliable, authoritative source stating that Argentina was "already-defeated"? Since they patently had not been defeated at this point (the war continued for almost three months afterwards) I doubt it.
You are essentially asking for the article to reflect your opinion, which appears to be quite baseless, without at all substantiating it. FOARP (talk) 13:50, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
I thought it best to simply ignore this, unless it started disruption to the article. WCMemail 14:09, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
The Atlantic Conveyor was a civilian ship crewed by civilian merchant seamen and no-one on the British side complains about the Argentinians sinking it. Sinking an enemy's ships is quite normal in war, of-which the British have considerable experience.
The Belgrano was an armed, commissioned, enemy warship. What else do people expect the British to have done. Of course they sank it - the Royal Navy has a 500-year record of sinking enemy warships. If the Argentinians hadn't wanted it sunk they should have been more careful with it, and kept it in port. Better still, they should have avoided conflict in the first place, and not invaded the Falklands. None of the Falkland Islanders asked them to.
BTW, the RNTF Mk VIII torpedo that sank the Belgrano was itself designed in 1925 thus making it around a decade more 'obsolete' than the ship Conqueror fired it at. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah. It had six-inch guns, and assuming that those still worked, or some of them worked (probably), then that is worthwhile hitting power. If it could get in range, which it would have done eventually if the British hadn't stopped it at some point. Herostratus (talk) 00:04, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Pretty obviously Belgrano's battery of 15 radar-laid 6-inch guns would have had a terrible effect on the unarmoured modern warships of the British fleet, never mind the troop transports QE2 and Canberra, if she ever got within range. (HMS Belfast's nine 6-inch guns did the German battleship Scharnhorst no favours at all in the Battle of the North Cape in 1943.) The Exocet missiles of Belgrano's destroyer escorts were a not insignificant threat as well. Of course the British were going to sink the Belgrano and so take out the task group, if they could.

But the sinking is only controversial because of the ridiculous, disproportionate death toll. Perhaps the 'reliable sources' don't allow it, but it would help if the article could explain the death toll in some way. A number of small, unarmoured British warships were hit by Exocet missiles (with 300lb warheads) and air-dropped 500lb bombs, and some of them burned, and sank, and the death toll in each case was in the region of 20. Admittedly the Mark 8 torpedo with its 800lb warhead was a hefty weapon, but that still doesn't explain the absurd death toll on board the Belgrano. Martin Middlebrook, in The Fight For The 'Malvinas', gives this reason (p.110, Penguin edition, 1990): 'The nearby magazines were just aft of the hit but did not explode; that was the only good fortune going. The torpedo easily pierced the side of the ship before exploding in the after machine room, wiping out the watch on duty there. But the effects of the explosion spread much further. Just above the machinery room were two messes -- one for petty officers and one for senior seamen -- and, then, on the next deck up, were two dining halls, and a general relaxation area called the "Soda Fountain". These areas were crowded, particularly the Soda Fountain and the dining halls, because the watches were being changed at 4.00 pm. The blast of the explosion had to find an outlet and most of it went upwards, blowing out these compartments and leaving a 20-yard-long hole in the main deck. There were no survivors from these places; it was later estimated that 275 men -- 85 per cent of the total dead -- were in this area.'

All right. So, by happenstance, Conqueror's torpedo struck just aft of the main belt armour and penetrated at the very worst time of day, just before the change of watch at 4pm, when the other ranks' mess decks were at their most crowded with the men of the old and the new watch coming and going.

But... why were the crew still messing as normal, as if they were on a peacetime cruise? Why weren't they at action stations and closed up? The whole point of going to action stations is to prevent that kind of disaster. So why on earth were the mess decks that full of sailors just lounging about as if nothing were the matter and nothing serious was going on at all? Because -- along with the escorts' failure to realise what had happened -- that might explain why Belgrano lost 323 men. Unlike several of the British ships sunk by heavy weapons, Belgrano didn't burn (and fire is the fighting sailor's worst fear). And the magazines, protected by old-school armoured bulkheads, didn't explode. And the sinking wasn't sudden. Captain Bonzo only ordered 'Abandon ship' after 20 minutes and, as you can see from the famous photo, the ship was still afloat a long time after that, when the life rafts had been launched. Belgrano was lucky. Yet still this disproportionate death toll. There must be a reason, and it's presumably the failure to keep action stations in a combat area (and Captain Bonzo knew he was lawfully liable to attack anywhere in the South Atlantic, in or out of the 'exclusion zone'), but it never seems to be explained. Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:32, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

One of Conqueror's torpedoes missed the Belgrano, instead carrying on and hitting one of the escorts but failing to explode. This caused the escorts (quite rightly) to withdraw from the area. The torpedo striking was clearly heard aboard the escort, and a large dent in the hull was subsequently discovered when the ship was later dry-docked.
In the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed, so at the time there was the impending onset of winter, so the sea would have been cold, leading unprotected men in it to suffer from exposure.
BTW, the Argentinian Navy had had long and friendly relations with Britain and the Royal Navy but these had been allowed to wither-and-die by Argentina with the arise of the Argentinian right-wing military dictatorships.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Requested move 28 February 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved (non-admin closure). feminist 15:51, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

ARA General BelgranoARA General Belgrano (C-4) – There are two ships of this name, one from 1896 and this one. In October 2016, a brief discussion agreed the move. Parsecboy moved it back recently based on "lack of discussion". This should be a none controverisial and routine move, since as noted in the discussion its common to use the pennant number or year in ship titles. WCMemail 13:56, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

This is a contested technical request (permalink).  — Amakuru (talk) 14:22, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the move was reverted because this ship is a primary topic, hence the "C-4" disambiguator is not needed, and I agree with that. This is by far the better known and more notable of the two Belgranos, and there is no need to move this article. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 14:22, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - what he said. Because of its manner of sinking, this ship is one of the most famous of the 20th century, and I presume it is the primary topic. Being a primary topic supersedes the other naming consideration invoked, I think. (In fact if anything going the other way and moving this page to just "General Belgrano" could possibly be justified (I'm not actually suggesting that )). Herostratus (talk) 14:45, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
    Indeed. In the UK, the term "General Belgrano" immediately conjours up the ship, and that would be a contender for PTOPIC for the name. However, when weighing all the criteria for a PTOPIC I'm quite sure Manuel Belgrano, the guy the ship was named after, and major figure in the Argentine independence, would be as much of a major contender.  — Amakuru (talk) 14:54, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
My thought also. Herostratus (talk) 16:18, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Just for reference, this article got 12.7k views in the last month, and its namesake got 8.8k - so more, but not the widest of margins. Parsecboy (talk) 16:40, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Oddly enough though, over 6000 of those edits took place just yesterday. Against a long term average of under 100 views per day. I wonder if it was on the main page, or linked from elsewhere for a day.  — Amakuru (talk) 17:16, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, he was in yesterday's selected anniversaries. Parsecboy (talk) 17:53, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Wow... based on those pageviews (and if you discount the one-day spike), a reasonable case could be made for moving this page to just "General Belgrano". I dunno... I guess while Manuel Belgrano is not that notable in the English-speaking world, he was important in a world-history sense, so I wouldn't do it. Herostratus (talk) 00:12, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per arguments above. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 15:55, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this is clearly the primary topic, and even if it was only the slightly more sought article, there is only one other ship with this name, which can be handled with a simple hatnote. Parsecboy (talk) 16:15, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose See HMS Victory as an example of a very well known warship where other warships of that name existed. PatGallacher (talk) 14:51, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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the second sunk in action by any type of submarine since World War II[edit]

Should this paragraph:

"She is the only ship to have been sunk during military operations by a nuclear-powered submarine[1] and the second sunk in action by any type of submarine since World War II, the first being the Indian frigate INS Khukri, which was sunk by the Pakistani Submarine PNS Hangor during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War."


A South Korean-led official investigation carried out by a team of international experts from South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Sweden[2][3] presented a summary of its investigation on 20 May 2010, concluding that the warship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo[4][5] fired by a midget submarine.[6] The conclusions of the report resulted in significant controversy within South Korea. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:19, 22 November 2017 (UTC)