Falklands noose tightens
British troops are tightening their stranglehold on Port Stanley after mounting secret operations of ‘extraordinary daring’.
An all-out assault looks imminent.
The arrival of the 3,000-strong 5 Infantry Brigade, which includes the Gurkhas, has allowed the Army to set up a pincer movement, leaving the Argentines entirely cut off and without hope.
The common enemy - the bitter Falklands winter - has in one respect provided relief for the troops. The fog has hampered Argentine bombing raids and those carried out have so far been fruitless.
In Britain the War Cabinet was meeting today, with Mrs Thatcher back from the Versailles Economic Summit.
She yesterday dismissed suggestions that America's plan to abstain in the UN vote calling for a ceasefire had caused a rift between the two countries.
What mattered to her were the troops fighting in the Falklands rather than ‘a load of words’.
‘Anglo-American relations are excellent. We saw what happened,’ she told a Press conference at the close of the summit.
‘We saw there was an attempt to change the vote from a veto to abstention.
‘My attitude is this - if the only thing I have to worry about is this, I should be a very lucky woman.’
The US attempt to change its vote had not affected in any way the staunchness of American support for Britain.
Hints that Britain may have a speedy plan to end the war came last night in a despatch from ITN’s Michael Nicholson, saying there's ‘at this moment operations’ that ‘cannot be revealed until they are completed’.
British routed: claim
Argentine patrols claimed to have routed British units east of Port Stanley, the Argentine joint chiefs of staff announced today in Buenos Aires.
The military high command said reconnaissance patrols had captured British equipment left behind by ‘the 42nd Marine command’.
The government also said its troops had spotted British vehicles stuck and without occupants near Mount Fitzroy.
Earlier, the joint chiefs announced their forces had rained bombs and artillery fire on British forces preparing to launch an all-out assault on Port Stanley.
QE2 brings in survivors
Seven hundred men will come home to a heroes’ welcome when the luxury liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, docks in Southampton on Friday.
Survivors from the sunken warships, HMS Coventry, HMS Ardent, and HMS Antelope, are already on their way home aboard the cruise ship from the South Atlantic.
Thousands of relatives are expected to greet their menfolk when QE2 arrives, almost exactly a month after leaving Southampton for the Falklands. She is due to berth in the passenger terminal about noon.
It will be the Cunard flagship’s last role in the Falklands crisis. After reconversion she will be handed back to the shipping line to resume her cruise duties.
Carnival a sunny success
Olympic gold medal winner, Duncan Goodhew, joined about 4,000 people for the Havant Carnival.
In scorching sunshine, the superstar swimmer led nearly 20 floats through Havant to Oak Park School, Leigh Road, where he officially opened the event.
He presented the awards for the best floats, and explained to the crowd why he had donned a hat for the occasion - to protect his well-known bald head from sunburn. He then offered the hat to the carnival's organizers, Havant Lions Club, to be auctioned for charity.
He was rapidly surrounded by hordes of autograph-hunting children, he said: ‘Children having fun is what these occasions are all about.’