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Sir John Woodward's leadership remembered

Sir John Woodward
Sir John Woodward has died, age 81 Credit: PA

Sir John Woodward's military leadership during the Falklands conflict resulted in one of the most historic victories for British forces.

First Sea Lord Adm. George Zambellas paid tribute to Woodward, saying he had been "undaunted by the challenge of fighting a capable enemy over 8,000 miles from the U.K., in the most demanding and extreme of weather conditions, and against uncertain odds."

In a military career spanning more than 40 years, Woodward was later deputy chief of the defense staff and flag aide-de camp to Queen Elizabeth II.

Falklands war Navy commander Sandy Woodward dies

Sandy Woodward (left) arriving aboard HMS Hermes to assume command of the Falklands task force in 1982.

Sir John "Sandy" Woodward, the commander of the Royal Navy task force that retook the Falklands Islands in 1982, has died aged 81, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed today.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond commended Admiral Woodward on his "magnificent achievement" and said he would be remembered by many as the Navy's "fighting admiral".Admiral Woodward reportedly died after a long illness.

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'People will remember the lack of dignity shown'

More than 2,300 guests will attend Margaret Thatcher's funeral today, including 50 Falklands Veterans.

Speaking to Daybreak, Falklands veteran Simon Weston said: "Whatever else goes on and whatever people want to say about today somebody's died."

He added, "we're talking about somebody who is dead, it's not going to affect her a single jot, all people will remember is the lack of dignity that we have shown."

British portrayed as Falklands 'terrorists' in video game

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been in conflict with the UK over the Falklands. Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire/Press Association Images

An Argentine company has created a new version of the 'Counter Strike' video game in which players fight British "terrorists" on the Falkland Islands.

The new setting attracted over 9,000 downloads within the first few hours of its release.

A spokesman for Dattatec, who created the setting, said: "It's a game – we say so in the opening credits – and we have certainly not set out to be provocative."

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MPs urged Thatcher to 'keep calm' ahead of Falklands invasion

Ken Clarke, along with Sir Timothy Raison, MP for Aylesbury, are attributed in private papers from 1982 with the view: "Hopes nobody thinks we are going to fight the Argentinians. We should blow up a few ships but nothing more."

Lady Thatcher had marked the comment with two blue biro lines.

Sir John Page was said to be "desperately depressed" by the situation and Ian Gilmour, later Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar, said: "We are making a big mistake. It will make Suez look like common sense."

Five MPS urged Lady Thatcher to "keep calm" adding "we can get away without a fight" while others were "all taking a hard line".A similar note the following day described Stephen Dorrell as "very wobbly".

It adds: "Will only support the fleet as a negotiating ploy. If they will not negotiate we should withdraw."Meanwhile referring to Keith Stainton, the note reads: "Intends to attack the Government. His wife has large interests in the Falklands."

Backroom dealing before Falklands revealed

Until now the backroom deliberations within the Conservative party over the Falklands have remained largely private but the notes are among those released by the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust as it opens its files from a year which came to define Lady Thatcher's career.

They range from Ken Clarke, then a junior minister, arguing to "blow up a few ships but nothing more" to West Devon MP Peter Mills who warned "my constituents want blood".

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pictured in 1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pictured in 1982 Credit: PA/PA Wire

On April 6, four days after the incursion, the Chief Whip, Michael Jopling, prepared a note for the Prime Minister saying: "You may like to have general re-action to events in the Falkland Islands."

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