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Sir Henry Leach (born 1923) was First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff between 1979 and 1982.
Leach had joined the Royal Navy at age 13 as a cadet in 1937, and served about HMS Mauritius and HMS Duke of York during World War II. In 1970, he was given command of the aircraft carrier HMS Albion.
Immediately after the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, he went beyond what is usual for a British naval officer - in advising what is possible - but also suggested what should be done. Furthermore, he did this despite the serious debts of Secretary of State for Defence, Sir John Nott. When asked by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher whether a military operation to retake the islands was possible, he replied "Yes we can recover the islands, and we must!". Thatcher then asked "Why?", and Leach responded "because if we don't do that, in a few months we will be living in a different country whose word will for little!"
Leach retired in 1982, after the successful conclusion of the Falklands campaign, and was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet upon his retirement. In 2004, the Royal Navy's new Fleet Headquarters building in Portsmouth was named the "Sir Henry Leach Building" in his honour.
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