Archive (Reagan Library)

Falklands: State Dept Bureau of Intelligence memorandum ("Argentine Air Force Chief of Staff Rules Out Preemptive Strike") [but State notes considerable pressure on Argentine navy to attempt a major strike] [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Reagan Library: per National Security Archive website (
Editorial comments: The commentary by State questioning the Air Force Chief of Staff's information is spot on: at 2213 local time 1 May the Argentine fleet commander, Admiral Lombardo, sent a message to all units to coordinate attacks against the British Task Force. It was intercepted and decoded by the British, and triggered the events leading to the sinking of the General Belgrano. See Freedman Official History of the Falklands War , Vol2, p285.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 2pp
Themes: Defence (Falklands), Foreign policy (USA)