Monday, 27 November 2017

Updates and Corrections – 27 November 2017

This page will be updated whenever a substantial correction or amendment is made to a post on this blog. I'll also update it with other pieces of relevant information.

Studio location (November 2017): I revealed the location of Radio Atlantico del Sur's previously undisclosed studio location in my 5 November 2017 post, The Secret is Revealed: Radio Atlantico del Sur's studio

References to the studio location have been updated in the posts Profile and Timeline
The Wrong Sort of Spanish? and Argentine Annie and Radio Atlantico del Sur – A Comparative Study.

The "Interim Assessment" (31 October 2017): In my post of 30 August, Setting the Record Straight, I wrote about the objectives of Radio Atlantico del Suras set out in the paper "Programming - Interim Assessment" - a key document written in early May 1982, before the station was launched. wrote:

ffrench-Blake said that he wrote this document, and quoted from it in his memoirs.
I'm now happy to report that I've been able to confirm ffrench-Blake's authorship of the "Interim Assessment" document.

There are at least two versions of the "Interim Assessment" in the MoD and FCO files that I'm now reading through. One of them – marked as a Draft for discussion  is described as being by the "Project Manager", surely a reference to ffrench-Blake. An introductory note explains: "It assesses subjectively his current thinking about the potential of the operation as a whole, with particular reference to programming opportunities and objectives."

This draft version of the "Interim Assessment" is dated 10 May and is in MoD file DEFE 25/502. Its wording differs very slightly from a later version in FCO file 26/2449 (which is the version on

The post Setting the Record Straight was updated on 31 October.

"Bridagier Bradall" (22 October 2017): In my post of 31 August 2017, Profile and Timeline, I wrote about the MoD's Special Projects Group (SPG) which was responsible for Operation MOONSHINE (Radio Atlantico del Sur) and said:

ffrench-Blake also says the SPG was under the overall control of "a sensible army brigadier called Jock Bradall", though elsewhere in the memoirs Bradall has become only a colonel. In any case, "Bradall" may well be a pseudonym.
That indeed is the case. Reading through the MoD files on Operation MOONSHINE there are numerous references to the military officers in the SPG, giving their names.

There is no mention of a Jock Bradall – whether a brigadier or a colonel.

Instead, the SPG was headed during most of the Falklands War by Colonel S. –  who was clearly very keen on Operation MOONSHINE. In early June 1982 he handed over leadership of the SPG to Colonel L..

The names of Colonel S. and Colonel L. are given in the files now available in the National Archives. I am choosing to use only their initials in this blog as a courtesy.

The post Profile and Timeline was updated on 22 October 2017.

Bernard Ingham's letter (22 October 2017): This is further to the 23 September 2017 entry below.

Thanks to Lee Richards, I've now seen the (in)famous letter from Margaret Thatcher's press secretary Bernard Ingham denouncing Project MOONSHINE.

This allows me to clear up a problem I highlighted in my post of 2 September 2017, The Wrong Sort of Spanish? In that post I quoted from Ingham's letter – as cited in The Official History of the Falklands Campaign (Volume 2) – and observed:
The Official History says these words were written on 10 April 1982, "when Ingham suspected the project to be dead". That would have been a very early date indeed for him to have thought that. By then the MoD's Special Projects Group (SPG) had only just begun work, and wouldn't formally submit a case to set up Radio Atlantico del Sur, under the codeword MOONSHINE, until more than a fortnight later (28 April). 
I wonder if Ingham's memo was written on 10 May (rather than 10 April), by which date the proposal had still not been put to the War Cabinet and so he could have reasonably assumed that it wasn't going ahead.
And that turns out to be exactly the case. The letter (under a 10 Downing Street letterhead and copied to several civil servants) is clearly dated 10 May 1982.

The post The Wrong Sort of Spanish? was updated on 22 October 2017.

BFBS and SSVC (22 October 2017): In my post of 1 October 2017, BFBS Calling the United Kingdom Task Force, I noted that in 1982 the operations of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) came under the control of a new organisation, the Services Sound and Vision Corporation, SSVC, a registered charity which also took over the running of cinemas and the provision of live entertainment for British forces overseas. 

I said I didn't know whether this change took place before or after the Falklands War. 

I've now been able to confirm from contemporary documents that SSVC was already in charge of BFBS by April 1982.

As I noted in the post, the BFBS name continued to be used on air, as it does to this day.

The post BFBS Calling the United Kingdom Task Force was updated on 22 October 2017.

Bernard Ingham's letter (23 September 2017): An exciting discovery! The letter from Bernard Ingham, Mrs Thatcher's press secretary, expressing strong opposition to Project MOONSHINE, is among MoD documents relating to the 1982 Special Projects Group and Special Operations Group previously graded as Secret or Top Secret and released to the public on 22 September 2017. Professional researcher Lee Richards is looking through the documents.

Up to now, the full text of Ingham's letter has not been publicly available, only quotes from it.

I discussed the letter in my post of 2 September 2017, The Wrong Sort of Spanish?

Local time in the Falklands (8 September 2017): In my post of 31 August 2017, Profile and TimelineI said that "when Argentine forces invaded the Falklands on 2 April 1982 the local time in the islands was 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), having been moved back from 3 hours behind GMT after summer time had ended."

Having checked a Wikipedia page on local time in the Falklands, it appears that my statement about summer time was incorrect. The Wikipedia page uses data from the website (which I have always found reliable) stating that the Falklands did not introduce summer time until 1983, and that before then local time was 4 hours behind GMT throughout the year.

While this is interesting to know, this new information does not affect the reason I raised the point of local time in the blog, which was that Radio Atlantico del Sur used the Argentine-imposed time zone of 3 hours behind GMT, rather than the time zone used during the war by the islanders (4 hours behind GMT).

The post Profile and Timeline was corrected on 8 September 2017.

© 2017. Material may be reproduced if attributed to Chris Greenway and any original source.

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