On the day we started this blog a great warrior of the Cold War was buried in London.
Baroness Thatcher (1925-2013) was conservative leader and primeminister of Great Britain from 1979-1990 which is the period many believe to be the most dangerous time of the Cold War. Together with US President Ronald Reagan they had a mutual distrust of communism but worked hard to organise treaties to secure nuclear weapons balance (MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction) and eventually to reduce nuclear arsenals across the superpowers.
Thatcher was the first western leader to welcome Soviet Premiere Gorbachev and it was the summits with Gorbachev & Reagan that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany (the latter was something Thatcher disproved of it should be noted).
During her time in office she was responsible for replacing Britain’s ageing Polaris ICBM force with the more modern Trident system, she approved the siteng of Pershing missiles in Europe and from 1983 to 1990 GLCM nuclear missiles in the UK at RAF Greenham Common and RAF Molesworth sparking mass anti-nuclear peace protests at the sites.
She became a War PM in 1982 when Argentina invaded the British outpost of the Falklands and the UK succesfully recaptured and defended the islands.
All this aside, Thatcher is largely remembered for her tough line politics and hard line stance against trade unions in such matters as The Miners Strike” which has tarnished the memory of Thatcherism in the UK.
Whatever your viewpoint is on her legacy she, like most world leaders, did both bad and good things and rightly desrerves her place in history, especially in the Cold War section.