ARA General Belgrano


 General Belgrano


The Argentine Light Cruiser ARA General Belgrano Was Made Infamous As She Was One Of The First Casualties of The Falklands War, sunk one month to the date after the start of the conflict, She Began her career in 1938 as the USS Phoenix, The American Light Cruiser Was Based At Pearl Harbour And Was Present During The Japanese Attack On The Naval Base In 1941, the Phoenix Was The Only Ship To Survive The Attack With No Damage, Following The End Of World War Two The USS Phoenix Was Decommissioned In 1946 And Sold To The Argentine Navy Some 5 Years Later.

After The Argentine Navy Acquired The Vessel In 1951 The Ship Was Renamed ARA General Belgrano After Military Leader Manuel Belgrano Who Took Part In The Argentine War of Independence.

On April 2, 1982 Argentine Forces Invaded The Falkland Islands Taking Control Of The Royal Marines Garrison, South Georgia, And The Capitol Port Stanley, On April 4 The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror Sets Sail For The Falklands Followed The Next Day By Aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible Joining A Task Force Of Over 100 Vessels, After Almost 3 Weeks The Task Force Arrives Off South Georgia On April 21, The Small Argentine Garrison Is Quickly Overwhelmed By Royal Marines And South Georgia Is Recaptured On April 25.

The General Belgrano And Two Destroyers Were On Patrol South Of The Falkland Islands On April 29, Outside of The Exclusion Zone Established by the British Government The Small Fleet Was Soon Detected By The Nuclear Submarine HMS Conqueror Who Continued To Monitor them, After Careful Consideration The Belgrano Was Considered To Be A Threat And The Order Was Given For HMS Conqueror To Attack, On May 2, 1982 The Conqueror Fired 3 Torpedoes At The Belgrano, Two Of Which Hit Their Target Causing Massive Damage To The Ship, 20 Minutes After The First Explosion The Belgrano's Captain Hector Bonzo Ordered The Vessel To Be Evacuated And Lifeboats Were Launched, The Two Destroyers That Had Been Patrolling With The Belgrano Were Unaware Of The Attack, Due To Bad Weather And Poor Visibility They Had Not Seen The Distress Rockets And The Belgrano Was Unable To Send A Distress Call As Her Electrical System Was Damaged In The Torpedo Attack, By The Time They Realised Something Had Happed To The Belgrano It Was Dark And The Weather Had Deteriorated Even More.

The 772 Survivors In The Lifeboats Were Eventually Rescued Over The Next Two Days; The Final Death Toll From The Sinking Was 323.

To Date The ARA General Belgrano Is The Only Ship Ever To Have Been Sunk By A Nuclear-Powered Submarine, The Conflict Finally Ended On June 14 1982 Following The Liberation Of The Capitol Port Stanley And The Surrender Of The Argentine Forces.



 Video's  of  General Belgrano And The Falklands Conflict





Ship Specifications


General Belgrano2thumb 
  • Size:Medium
  • Type :Cruiser
  • Length: 608 feet
  • Beam: 62 feet
  • Tonnage: 12,242 When Loaded
  • Speed: 32.5 knots
  • Crew: Aprox 1,138
  • Armament: 15x6"/47cal, 8x5"/25cal, 40mm and 20mm anti aircraft guns, sea cat missile system, 2 x helicopters
  • Current status: Sunk by HMS Conqueror in 1982 During The Falklands Conflict

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Nautical Terms

Afterdeck - Deck behind a Ship's Bridge

Bow - The Front of the Ship (pointy bit)

Beam - The Greatest Width of the Ship

Bridge - The Location From Which a Ship is Steered and its Speed Controlled

Cargo Hold - A Space for Storing Cargo

Capstan - Upright Device for Winding in Heavy Ropes or Cables

Davit - Device for Hoisting and Lowering a Boat

Flagstaff - Flag Pole at the Stern of a Ship

Forecastle - The Section of the Upper Deck of a Ship Located at the Bow Forward of the Foremast

Foremast -  Mast nearest to  the Bow of a Ship

Galley - The Kitchen area of a Ship

Helm - Ship's Steering Wheel

Hull - The Main Structure or Body of a Ship

Knot - A Measure of Speed Equal to One Nautical Mile (6076 feet) per Hour