Dockyard ‘hospital’ gears up, damaged ships limp home
Four warships damaged in air attacks are on the way home from the battle zone - and one is believed to be the Portsmouth-based Type 42 destroyer, HMS Glasgow.
Glasgow, a sister-ship of HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry, which were lost, had an amazing escape when an Argentine bomb went straight through her without exploding.
The Devonport-based Leander frigate, HMS Argonaut, attacked as British troops first landed on the Falklands, is another of the ships coming home.
A Portsmouth Dockyard spokesman said: ‘We are standing by to do what is required on the ships coming home. At this stage, we cannot be specific about the ships coming here.
‘The rundown of the ‘Yard has been halted pending the current operations in the Falklands, and the aftermath, and we look like having a busy autumn and winter.’
It is a safe assumption that Glasgow will be repaired in Portsmouth, which is the base for the Type 42 guided - missile destroyers.
Special facilities were built in the dockyard to handle the refits and maintenance of these highly complex ships.
John Nott, the defence secretary, announced recently that ten more warships had arrived in the area to replace vessels put out of action.
Troops poised in Falklands
A battle for Port Stanley and the Falklands is now imminent. As British troops close relentlessly on the Argentinians’ last stronghold, Mrs. Thatcher has made it clear she sees little chance of avoiding further bloodshed.
In separate interviews on BBB. and ITV, she said: ‘I don’t think there is anything more I can do.’
The 7,000 Argentine troops in Port Stanley are now being bombarded constantly by artillery and the British fleet, and there is little doubt that major combat is about to begin.
Thatcher thanks Aussies
The government will consider the proposed sale of HMS Invincible to the Australian Navy ‘as soon as the situation in the Falkland Islands permits’, Mrs Thatcher announced today.
She was replying to an offer from the Australian government which would allow Britain to back out of the planned sale if she wished to retain the aircraft carrier because of the Falklands crisis. In a statement today, Mrs Thatcher thanked Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser for his ‘typical generosity’.
In other news: No date yet for Mary Rose lift
The Mary Rose Trust is still unable to give a date for the delicate lifting operation of the Tudor warship.
Members of the trust’s Executive Committee were meeting today for a progress report on works surrounding the wreck of the ship, which sank off Portsmouth in 1545.
It is expected that the lift, which will involve a giant crane and cradle, will take place some time in October. The Mary Rose will then be towed to Portsmouth Dockyard.
But it seems unlikely that the exact day she will be raised from the Solent seabed will be known until mid-August.