A Cold War: Britain, Argentina and Antarctica

The Argentinian writer Borges described the combatants in the Falklands War as being like 'two bald men fighting over a comb.' But thirty years before, Britain and Argentina nearly came to blows over territory far more remote and inhospitable.

On February 1st, 1952, Sir Miles Clifford, the Governor of the Falkland Islands, sent a telegram to the Colonial Office in London reporting the occurrence of a serious Anglo-Argentine incident – he suggested that 'this presumably constitutes an act of war' – at Hope Bay in Antarctica, wherein the two governments were in competition for the same piece of territory. Significantly, the clash came at a time when rumours were circulating in Buenos Aires and London to the effect that President Peron of Argentina might undertake some move against either the Falklands or the Falkland Islands Dependencies (FID) as a distraction from domestic difficulties.

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