Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos


with one comment


Falklands. It was a little war in a godforsaken place. The last spasm of post-imperial imperialism, it was at most Thachter’s war in the British public’s view. One newspaper managed to turn this public opinion around and it was the Sun.

The Sun’s editor Kelvin MacKenzie’s Falklands coverage — xenophobic, bloody-minded, ruthless, reckless, black-humoured and ultimately triumphalist — captured the zeitgeist of a new gung-ho Britain. The first headline reporting the invasion read “STICK IT UP YOUR JUNTA!”, the retaking of South Georgia, “INVASION!” and even prematurely announced “IN WE GO”. Single-word headlines became the Sun’s trademark throughout the war … and it worked too. Within a week, thousands of T-shirts bearing the Sun’s headlines were being sold.

The most memorable headline and the image came when the Argentine vessel General Belgrano had been hit. MacKenzie seized an editor’s ecstatic words and designed a front page which said: “GOTCHA. Our lads sink gunboat and hole cruiser.” When the Sun realized there was a huge loss of life (about 350 Argentines drowned), MacKenzie changed the cover for the subsequent editions.

MacKenzie later produced the headline: “BRITAIN 6 (Georgia, two airstrips, three warplanes), ARGENTINA 0.” When Private Eye spoofed the Sun with the headline, “KILL AN ARGIE AND WIN A METRO”, MacKenzie laughed off joking: “Why didn’t we think of that?”

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

July 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Society, War

Tagged with ,

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] have written a lot about the Falklands already (here, here). War clouds are gathering over the Falkland Islands again. From the viewpoint of the Civil […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: