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When news came through that an Argentinian cruiser, the General Belgrano, had been sunk by a British submarine, the first newspaper to go to press was The Sun. Editor Kelvin Mackenzie utilised an impromptu exclamation by features editor Wendy Henry and turned it into a huge, celebratory headline: ‘Gotcha’.

Image from The Sun, 4 May 1982    
The Sun, 4 May 1982    
The British Library gratefully acknowledges the John Frost Newspaper Archive for permission to reproduce this front page.

The headline was deemed as tasteless jingoism, though others believed The Sun had captured, not created the nation’s mood. When reports filtered through that the entire crew may have died, Mackenzie changed the headline to ‘Did 1,200 Argies drown?’ for later editions. Hardly anyone saw the original front page as it only made the first Northern editions but ‘Gotcha’ remains legendary in front page history.

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