Sinking Prestige

Sinking Prestige A self-inflicted disaster

No single episode in the 74-day Falklands war so upset world opinion as the seemingly heartless British sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, in which a total of 321 Argentine sailors perished.

For Britain, the episode was a monumental public relations disaster. Ironically, TIME learned last week, the damage to British prestige was largely self-inflicted—a direct result of the Ministry of Defense's penchant for supersecrecy. Soon after the Belgrano was hit, London sent a top-secret communication to the Argentine high command in Buenos Aires assuring it that...

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