Falklands war

Falklands War
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Location of the Falkland Islands

Map showing location of the Falkland Islands
Date2 April 198214 June 1982
LocationFalkland Islands, South Georgia and surrounding sea and airspace
Argentine occupation of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
ResultDecisive British military victory (status quo ante bellum), collapse of the Argentine Military Junta led by dictator Leopoldo Galtieri


United Kingdom
President Leopoldo Galtieri
Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo
Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo
Brigade-General Mario Menéndez
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse
Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward
Major-General Jeremy Moore
649 killed
1,068 wounded
11,313 taken prisoner
75 fixed-wing aircraft
25 helicopters
1 light cruiser
1 submarine
4 cargo vessels
2 patrol boats
1 spy trawler
258 killed[1]
777 wounded
115 taken prisoner
6 (Sea) Harriers
24 helicopters
2 destroyers
2 frigates
1 LSL landing ship
1 LCU amphibious craft
1 containership
The Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur), also called the Falklands Conflict/Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Falkland Islands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean east of Argentina, and their name and ownership have long been disputed. (See Sovereignty of the Falkland Islands for the background to the latter dispute.)

The war was triggered by the occupation of South Georgia by Argentina on 19 March 1982 followed by the occupation of the Falklands, and ended when Argentina surrendered on 14 June 1982. War was not actually declared by either side. The initial invasion was considered by Argentina as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by Britain as an invasion of a British overseas territory, and the most recent invasion of British territory by a foreign power.

In the period leading up to the war, Argentina was in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and large-scale civil unrest against the repressive military junta that had been governing the country since 1976[2]. The Argentine military government, headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri, sought to maintain power by diverting public attention playing off long-standing feelings of the Argentines towards the islands,[3] although they never thought that the United Kingdom would respond militarily.[4] The ongoing tension between the two countries over the islands increased on 19 March when a group of hired Argentinian scrap metal merchants raised their flag at South Georgia, an act that would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war. The Argentine Military Junta, suspecting that the UK would reinforce its South Atlantic Forces,[5] ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands to be brought forward to 2 April.

Word of the invasion first reached Britain via ham radio[6]. Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, but launched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. After combat resulting in 258 British and 649 Argentine deaths, the British eventually prevailed and the islands remained under British control. However, as of 2007 [7] and as it has since the 19th century, Argentina shows no sign of relinquishing its claim (the claim is included in the National Constitution [8]).

The political effects of the war were strong in both countries. A wave of patriotic sentiment swept through both: the Argentine loss prompted even larger protests against the military government, which hastened its downfall; in the United Kingdom, the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was bolstered. It helped Thatcher's government to victory in the 1983 general election, which prior to the war was seen as by no means certain. The war has played an important role in the culture of both countries, and has been the subject of several books, films, and songs. However, it is not seen as a truly major event of either military or 20th century history because of the low number of casualties on both sides and the small size and limited economic importance of the disputed areas. The cultural and political weight of the conflict has had less effect on the British public than on that of Argentina, where the war is still a topic of discussion.[9]

Lead-up to the conflict

See also: Operación Azul (The Argentine occupation of the Falklands Islands)


By mid-April, the Royal Air Force had set up an airbase at Wideawake on the mid-Atlantic island of Ascension, including a sizable force of Avro Vulcan B Mk 2 bombers, Handley Page Victor K Mk 2 refuelling aircraft, and McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR Mk 2 fighters to protect them. Meanwhile the main British naval task force arrived at Ascension to prepare for war. A small force had already been sent south to re-capture South Georgia.

Encounters began in April; the British Task Force was shadowed by Boeing 707 aircraft of the Argentine Air Force during their travel to the south. One of these flights was intercepted outside the British self-imposed exclusion zone, by a Sea Harrier; the unarmed 707 was not attacked because diplomatic moves were still in progress and the UK had not yet decided to commit itself to war.

Recapture of South Georgia and the attack on the Santa Fe

The South Georgia force, Operation Paraquet, under the command of Major Guy Sheridan RM, consisted of Marines from 42 Commando, a troop of the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Squadron (SB Sqn) troops who were intended to land as reconnaissance forces for an invasion by the Royal Marines. All were embarked on RFA Tidespring. First to arrive was the Churchill-class submarine HMS Conqueror on 19 April, and the island was over-flown by a radar-mapping Handley Page Victor on 20 April. The first landings of SAS troops took place on 21 April, but — with the southern hemisphere autumn setting in — the weather was so bad that their landings and others made the next day were all withdrawn after two helicopters crashed in fog on Fortuna Glacier. The first Royal Navy ship to arrive was the type 42 destroyer HMS Glasgow.

On 23 April, a submarine alert was sounded and operations were halted, with the Tidespring being withdrawn to deeper water to avoid interception. On 24 April, the British forces regrouped and headed in to attack the submarine. On 25 April the ARA Santa Fe was spotted by a Westland Wessex HAS Mk 3 helicopter from HMS Antrim, which attacked the Argentine submarine with depth charges. HMS Plymouth launched a Westland Wasp HAS.Mk.1 helicopter, and HMS Brilliant launched a Westland Lynx HAS Mk 2. The Lynx launched a torpedo, and strafed it with its pintle-mounted General Purpose Machine Gun; the Wessex also fired on the Santa Fe with its GPMG. The Wasp from HMS Plymouth as well as two other Wasps launched from HMS Endurance fired AS-12 ASM antiship missiles at the submarine, scoring hits. Santa Fe was damaged badly enough to prevent her from submerging. The crew abandoned the submarine at the jetty at King Edward Point on South Georgia.

With the Tidespring now far out to sea and the Argentine forces augmented by the submarine's crew, Major Sheridan decided to gather the 76 men he had and make a direct assault that day. After a short forced march by the British force, the Argentine forces surrendered without resistance. The message sent from the naval force at South Georgia to London was "Please inform Her Majesty, that the white ensign flies alongside the union flag on the isle of South Georgia. God save the queen". Prime Minister Thatcher broke the news to the media, telling them to "Just rejoice at that news!"[10]

Black Buck raids

Main article: Operation Black Buck
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An Avro Vulcan B.Mk.1A, an earlier version of the Vulcan than the Mk.2 used for the Black Buck raids
The Operation Black Buck raids were a series of five attacks on the Islands by RAF Avro Vulcan bombers of 44 Squadron, staged from Wideawake airbase on Ascension Island, close to the equator. The aircraft carried either 21 1,000 lb bombs internally or four Shrike anti-radar missiles externally. The overall effect of the raids on the war is difficult to determine, as the raids consumed precious tanker resources[11]. The raids did minimal damage to the runway and damage to radars was quickly repaired. Post-war propaganda[12] states that the Vulcan raids influenced Argentina to withdraw Mirage IIIs from the Southern Argentina to the Buenos Aires Defence Zone. It has been suggested that the Black Buck raids were pressed home by the Royal Air Force[13]. The British armed forces had been cut in the late seventies, and the RAF may have desired a greater role in the conflict to prevent further cuts[14]. A single crater was produced on the runway, rendering it impossible for the airfield to be used by fast jets[15]. Argentine ground crew repaired the runway[16] within twenty-four hours[17] and produced fake craters to confound British damage assessment[18]. The runway was also available for MB-339 Aermacchi jets[19].

On 1 May operations against the Falklands opened with the "Black Buck 1" attack on the airfield at Stanley. The Vulcan had originally been designed for medium-range stand-off nuclear missions in Europe and did not have the range to fly to the Falklands, requiring several in-flight refuellings. The RAF's tanker planes were mostly converted Handley Page Victor bombers with similar range, so they too had to be refuelled in the air. Thus, a total of 11 tankers were required for only two Vulcans, a huge logistical effort, given that both the tankers and bombers had to use the same strip. The attack yielded only a single hit on the runway.

The raids, at almost 8,000 nautical miles (13 000 km) and 16 hours for the return journey, were the longest-ranged bombing raids in history at that time (surpassed in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 by USAF Boeing B-52G Stratofortresses flying from the continental United States but using forward-positioned tankers[20]). They are often credited with the strategic success of causing the Argentine Air Force ("Fuerza Aerea Argentina") to withdraw all their Mirage IIIEA aircraft to protect against the possibility of similar bombing raids on the Argentine mainland. However, according to the FAA version, Group 8 Mirages were deployed to Comodoro Rivadavia and Rio Gallegos in April (before the raids) where they remained until June to protect against any Chilean threat and as reserve for the strike units. Their lack of aerial refuel capability and a smaller internal fuel capacity, as compared to the IAI Daggers, prevented them from being used effectively over the islands, as was shown by their only engagement of the war on May 1, so they were relegated to mainland duties. Concerned about the possibility of Chilean strikes or SAS raids, the FAA was forced to disperse its aircraft in the areas surrounding their southern airfields. For example, several parts of the national route #3 were used for this purpose.[21]

Only minutes after the RAF's Black Buck 1, nine Fleet Air Arm BAE Sea Harrier FRS Mk 1s from HMS Hermes followed up the raid by dropping BL755 cluster bombs on Stanley and the smaller grass airstrip at Goose Green. The Harriers destroyed one FMA IA 58 Pucará at Goose Green[22] and caused minor damage to Stanley airfield infrastructure. The remaining runways were fully operational through the rest of the conflict. Other Sea Harriers had taken off from the deck of HMS Invincible for combat air patrols, and although attached BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan was forbidden to divulge the number of planes involved, he came up with the memorable phrase "I counted them all out and I counted them all back."[23][24]

The Argentines nevertheless claimed that two Sea Harriers were downed that morning in the general area of Stanley. The Commander of the 10th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General Oscar Jofre, gave the serial numbers of the two Sea Harriers as XZ 458 and XZ 491. Claiming the first to a 35 mm gun and the second to a Roland missile.[25] This claim has been dismissed by a number of English language sources[26][27]

Of the five Black Buck raids, three were against Stanley Airfield, with the other two anti-radar missions using Shrike air-to-surface antiradiation missiles.

Escalation of the air war

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Fleet Air Arm Sea Harrier FRS Mk 2 . This aircraft's predecessor, the FRS1, participated during the conflict.

The Falklands had only three airfields. The longest and only paved runway was at the capital, Stanley, and even it was too short to support fast jets. Therefore, the Argentine Air Force (FAA) was forced to launch its major strikes from the mainland, severely hampering its efforts at forward staging, combat air patrols and close air support over the islands. The effective loiter time of incoming Argentine aircraft was low, and they were later compelled to overfly British forces in any attempt to attack the islands.

The first major Argentine strike force comprised 36 aircraft (McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawks, Israel Aircraft Industries Daggers, English Electric B Mk 62 Canberras and Dassault Mirage III escorts), and was sent on 1 May, in the belief that the British invasion was imminent or landings had already taken place. Only a section of Grupo 6 (flying IAI Dagger aircraft) found ships, which were firing at Argentine defences near the islands. The Daggers managed to attack the ships and return safely. This greatly boosted morale of the Argentine pilots, who now knew they could survive an attack against modern warships, protected by radar ground clutter from the Islands and by using a late pop-up profile.

Meanwhile, other Argentine aircraft were intercepted by Sea Harriers operating from HMS Invincible. A Dagger and a Canberra were shot down.

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Argentine Air Force Mirage IIIEA. Their lack of aerial refuelling capability prevented them from being used effectively over the islands in the air-air role.
Combat broke out between Sea Harrier FRS Mk 1 fighters of No. 801 Naval Air Squadron and Mirage III fighters of Grupo 8. Both sides refused to fight at the other's best altitude, until two Mirages finally descended to engage. One was shot down by an AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missile (AAM), while the other escaped but without enough fuel to return to its mainland airfield. The plane made for Stanley, where it fell victim to friendly fire from the Argentine defenders.

As a result of this experience, Argentine Air Force staff decided to employ A-4 Skyhawks and Daggers only as strike units, the Canberras only during the night, and Mirage IIIs (without air refuelling capability or any capable AAM) as decoys to lure away the British Sea Harriers. The decoying would be later extended with the formation of the Escuadron Fenix, a squadron of civilian jets flying 24 hours-a-day simulating strike aircraft preparing to attack the fleet. On one of these flights, an Air Force Learjet was shot down, killing the squadron commander, Vice Commodore Rodolfo De La Colina, who was the highest-ranking Argentine officer to die in the War.

Stanley was used as an Argentine strongpoint throughout the conflict. Despite the Black Buck and Harrier raids on Stanley airfield (no fast jets were stationed there for air defence) and overnight shelling by detached ships, it was never out of action entirely. Stanley was defended by a mixture of Surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems such as the Franco-German Roland) and Swiss-built 35 mm twin anti-aircraft cannons. Lockheed Hercules transport night flights brought supplies, weapons, vehicles, and fuel, and airlifted out the wounded up until the end of the conflict. The few RN Sea Harriers were considered too valuable by day to risk in night-time blockade operations, and their Blue Fox radar was not an effective look-down over land radar.[28] The only Argentine Air Force Hercules shot down by the British was lost on 1 June when TC-63 was intercepted by a Sea Harrier in daylight[29][30] when it was searching for the British fleet north-east of the islands after the Argentine Navy retired its last SP-2H Neptune due to airframe attrition.

Sinking of Belgrano

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The Sun's infamous "Gotcha" headline

Two separate British naval task forces (surface vessels and submarines) and the Argentine fleet were operating in the neighbourhood of the Falklands, and soon came into conflict. The first naval loss was the World War II vintage Argentine light cruiser ARA General Belgrano — formerly the USS Phoenix, a survivor of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The nuclear-powered submarine HMS Conqueror, captained by Commander Christopher Wreford-Brown, sank Belgrano on May 2 using Mk 8 Mod 4 torpedoes of WWII-vintage design; these were chosen as they carried a larger warhead and contact fuses and there were worries surrounding the reliability of the newer Mk 24 torpedo stock. Three hundred and twenty-three members of Belgrano's crew died in the incident. Over 700 men were rescued from the open ocean despite cold seas and stormy weather. Losses from Belgrano totalled just over half of Argentine deaths in the Falklands conflict, and the Belgrano remains the only ship ever sunk by a nuclear submarine in combat.

In a separate incident later that night, British forces engaged an Argentine patrol gunboat, the ARA Alferez Sobral. At the time, the Alferez Sobral was searching for the crew of the Argentine Air Force English Electric Canberra light bomber shot down on May 1. Two Sea Lynxes fired four Sea Skua missiles against her. Badly damaged and with eight crew dead, the Sobral managed to return to Puerto Deseado two days later, but the Canberra's crew were never found.

Initial reports conflated the two incidents, contributing to confusion about the number of casualties and the identity of the vessel that sank. The Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid newspaper The Sun greeted the initial reports of the attack with the headline "GOTCHA". This first edition was published before news was known that the Belgrano had actually sunk (reporting instead, erroneously, that the gunboat had sunk) and carried no reports of actual Argentine deaths. The headline was replaced in later editions by the more tempered "Did 1,200 Argies drown?".

The loss of ARA General Belgrano hardened the stance of the Argentine government and also became a cause célèbre for anti-war campaigners (such as Labour MP Tam Dalyell), who declared that the ship had been sailing away from the Falklands at the time. The vessel was outside the exclusion zone, and sailing away from the area of conflict. However, during war, under international law, the heading of a belligerent naval vessel has no bearing on its status. In addition, the captain of the Belgrano, Hector Bonzo, has testified that the attack was legitimate.[31][32] In later years it has been claimed that the information on the position of the ARA General Belgrano came from a Soviet spy satellite which was tapped by the Norwegian intelligence service station at Fauske, Norway, and then handed over to the British. However, Conqueror had been shadowing the Belgrano for some days, so this extra information would have been unnecessary.[33]

The sinking occurred 14 hours after Constitutional President of the Republic of Peru Fernando Belaúnde Terry had proposed a comprehensive peace plan and called for regional unity. With the comprehensive failure of diplomatic efforts to that point and so without any hope that additional diplomatic efforts would lead anywhere, and with the knowledge that the delay that would be incurred by such efforts would eliminate the military option due to the closing winter weather, this plan was not entertained by the UK.

Regardless of controversies over the sinking, it had a crucial strategic effect: the elimination of the Argentine naval threat. After her loss, the entire Argentine fleet returned to port and did not leave again for the duration of hostilities. The two escorting destroyers and the battle group centred on the aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo both withdrew from the area, ending the direct threat to the British fleet that their pincer movement had represented. The attack on Belgrano was the first kill made by a nuclear submarine and only the second submarine kill since the end of the Second World War, the other being made by PNS Hangor, a diesel electric submarine during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.

British historian Sir Lawrence Freedman stated in the second volume of his Official History of the Falklands that intelligence about the Belgrano did not reach senior British commanders and politicians until the order to sink her was passed.[34] Commander Christopher Wreford-Brown, commanding officer of HMS Conqueror, informed the Admiralty four hours before his attack that the Argentine cruiser had changed course, but this information was not passed to the Ministry of Defence or Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward (commander of the RN task force). However, as Admiral Woodward later stated, the Belgrano's course and speed at the time she was sunk were irrelevant - from a strategic point of view, only her position and capabilities mattered.

Sinking of HMS Sheffield

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French-built Super Etendard of the Argentine Navy.

Two days after the sinking of Belgrano, on May 2, the British lost the Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield to fire following an Exocet missile strike. Sheffield had been ordered forward with two other Type 42s in order to provide a long-range radar and medium-high altitude missile "picket" far from the British carriers. After the ships were detected by an Argentine Navy P-2 Neptune patrol aircraft, two Dassault Super Étendards (serial no. 202 and 203) were launched from their base at Río Grande, each armed with a single Exocet AM39 missile. Refuelled by an Argentine Air Force KC-130H Hercules after launch, they went in at low altitude, popped up for a radar check at 50 miles (80 km) and released the missiles from 20 to 30 miles (30 to 50 km) away.

Glasgow, Sheffield’s sister ship and the northernmost of the three-destroyer picket, detected the two Étendards on their first pop-up, and warned the fleet-wide anti-air warfare coordinator in Hermes. Hermes dismissed the report as one of the many false alarms already that morning. Glasgow continued to monitor that bearing and detected the second pop-up, and this time the tell-tale Exocet seeker radar via the ship's ESM equipment. Again Hermes ruled the detection as spurious, but Glasgow continued to broadcast handbrake, the codeword for Exocet radar detected.

The first missile missed HMS Yarmouth, due to her deployment of chaff in response to the warning, whilst Glasgow repeatedly tried, without success, to engage the other with Sea Dart missiles. Still Hermes ruled that this was a false alarm.

Sheffield was unable to detect directly the seeker radar as, in a case of bad timing, the SCOT satellite communications terminal was in use which deafened the onboard electronic warfare support measures (ESM) equipment. She did not detect the missile on radar due to her radar being of a similar frequency to that of the Exocet. It is not known why she did not respond to Glasgow's warnings, but no chaff was fired and a shipwide warning of attack went out only seconds before impact when a watchkeeper (Lieutenant Commander Peter Walpole) identified rocket trails visually.

Sheffield was struck amidships, with devastating effect. Whether the warhead actually exploded is debated, but raging fires started to spread, ultimately killing 20 crew members and severely injuring 24 others. Whilst alongside rendering assistance, Yarmouth repeatedly broke off to fire anti-submarine weaponry in response to Sonar reports of torpedoes in the water (later believed to have been a misdiagnosis of the outboard motor of the small inflatables helping with firefighting), as well as visual reports of torpedoes (in actual fact the Sheffield was ridding herself of torpedoes to prevent explosion).

Sheffield was abandoned several hours later, gutted and deformed by the fires that continued to burn for six more days. She finally sank outside the Maritime Exclusion Zone on May 10, whilst under tow from Yarmouth, becoming an official war grave. In one sense Sheffield served her purpose as a part of the missile picket line — she took the missile instead of the aircraft carriers.

The tempo of operations increased throughout the second half of May as United Nations attempts to mediate a peace were rejected by the British, who felt that any delay would make a campaign impractical in the South Atlantic storms. The destruction of Sheffield had a profound impact on the British public, bringing home the fact that the "Falklands Crisis", as the BBC News put it, was now an actual 'shooting war'.

SAS operations

Given the threat to the British fleet posed by the Etendard / Exocet combination, plans were made to use Special Air Service troops to attack the home base of the five Etendards at Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego. The aim was to destroy the missiles and the aircraft that carried them, and to kill the pilots in their quarters. Two plans were drafted and underwent preliminary rehearsal: a landing by approximately fifty-five SAS in two C-130 Hercules aircraft directly on the runway at Rio Grande; and infiltration of twenty-four SAS by inflatable boats brought within a few miles of the coast by submarine. Neither plan was implemented; the earlier airborne assault plan attracted considerable hostility from some members of the SAS, who considered the proposed raid a suicide mission.[35] Ironically, the Rio Grande area would be defended by four full-strength battalions of Marine Infantry of the Argentine Marine Corps of the Argentine Navy, some of whose officers were trained in the UK by SB Sqn years earlier.[36] After the war, Argentine marine commanders admitted that they were waiting for some kind of landing by SAS forces but never expected a Hercules to land directly on their runways, although they would have pursued British forces even into Chilean territory if they were attacked.[37]

A SAS reconnaissance team was dispatched to carry out preparations for a seaborne infiltration. A Westland Sea King helicopter carrying the assigned team took off from HMS Invincible on the night of May 17, but bad weather forced it to land 50 miles (80 km) from its target, and the mission was aborted.[38] The pilot flew to Chile and dropped off the SAS team, before setting fire to his helicopter and surrendering to the Chilean authorities. The discovery of the burnt-out helicopter attracted considerable international attention at the time.

On May 14, the SAS carried out the raid on Pebble Island at the Falklands, where the Argentine Navy had taken over a grass airfield for FMA IA 58 Pucará light ground attack aircraft and T-34 Mentors. The raid destroyed the aircraft there.

Landing at San Carlos — Bomb Alley

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San Carlos landing sites
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Context of landings in the Falklands

During the night on May 21, the British Amphibious Task Group under the command of Commodore Michael Clapp landed on beaches around San Carlos Water, on the northwestern coast of East Falkland facing onto Falkland Sound. The bay, known as Bomb Alley by British forces, was the scene of repeated air attacks by low-flying Argentine jets.[39][40]

The 4,000 men of 3 Commando Brigade were put ashore as follows: 2nd battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) from the RORO ferry Norland and 40 Commando (Royal Marines) from the amphibious ship HMS Fearless were landed at San Carlos (Blue Beach), 3 Para from the amphibious ship HMS Intrepid were landed at Port San Carlos (Green Beach) and 45 Commando from RFA Stromness were landed at Ajax Bay (Red Beach). Notably the waves of 8 LCUs and 8 LCVPs were led by Major Ewen Southby-Tailyour who had commanded the Falklands detachment only a year previously. 42 Commando on the liner SS Canberra was a tactical reserve. Units from the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers etc. and tanks were also put ashore with the landing craft, the Round table class LSL and mexefloat barges. Rapier missile launchers were carried as underslung loads of Sea Kings for rapid deployment.

By dawn the next day they had established a secure beachhead from which to conduct offensive operations. From there Brigadier Thompson's plan was to capture Darwin and Goose Green before turning towards Port Stanley. Now, with the British troops on the ground, the Argentine Air Force began the night bombing campaign against them using Canberra bomber planes until the last day of the war (June 14).

At sea, the paucity of the British ships' anti-aircraft defences was demonstrated in the sinking of HMS Ardent on May 21, HMS Antelope on May 21, and MV Atlantic Conveyor, with a vital cargo of helicopters, runway-building equipment and tents on May 25. The loss of all but one of the Chinook helicopters being carried by the Atlantic Conveyor was a severe blow from a logistics perspective. Also lost on this day was HMS Coventry, a sister to HMS Sheffield, whilst in company with HMS Broadsword after being ordered to act as decoy to draw away Argentinian aircraft from other ships at San Carlos Bay.[41] HMS Argonaut and HMS Brilliant were badly damaged. However, many British ships escaped terminal damage because of the Argentine pilots' bombing tactics. In order to avoid the highest concentration of British air defences, Argentine pilots were forced to release ordnance from very low altitude, consequently their bomb fuses did not have time to arm before impact.

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Historical photo of an Argentine Air Force A-4C Skyhawk flying to the islands. Notice the 1000 lb bomb

While the attacks were undoubtedly brave, the low release of the unretarded bombs (some of which were sold to the Argentine FAA by the British years earlier) meant that many never exploded as there was insufficient time in the air for them to arm themselves. Simple free-fall bombs will, at low altitude, impact almost directly below the dropping aircraft, therefore there is a minimum safe altitude for release. The pilots would doubtless have been aware of this, but in the heat of Bomb Alley (the pilots need to avoid a high concentration of anti-aircraft defences of SAMs and AAA plus the Sea Harriers' CAPs) many failed to climb to the necessary release point. The problem was solved by the improvised fitting of retarding devices, allowing low-level bombing attacks as employed on June 8.

In his autobiographical account of the Falklands War,[42] Admiral Woodward blames the BBC World Service for these changes to the bombs. The World Service reported the lack of detonations after receiving a briefing on the matter from an MOD official. He describes the BBC as being more concerned with being "fearless seekers after truth" than with the lives of British servicemen. Colonel H. Jones levelled similar accusations against the BBC after they disclosed the impending British attack on Goose Green by 2 Para. Jones had threatened to lead the prosecution of senior BBC officials for treason but was unable to do so since he was himself killed in action around Goose Green.

Thirteen bombs[43] hit British ships without detonating. Lord Craig, the former Marshal of the Royal Air Force, is said to have remarked: “Six better fuses and we would have lost”[44] although Ardent and Antelope were both lost despite the failure of bombs to explode. The fuses were functioning correctly, and the bombs were simply released from too low an altitude.[45][46]

The Argentines lost nearly twenty aircraft in these attacks.

Battle of Goose Green

Main article: Battle of Goose Green
From early on 27 May until 28 May, 2 Para, (approximately 500 men) with Artillery support from 8 Alma Cdo Bty, approached and attacked Darwin and Goose Green, which was held by the Argentine 12th Inf Regt. After a tough struggle which lasted all night and into the next day, 17 British and 55 Argentine soldiers had been killed, and 1,050 Argentine troops (including around 350 FAA non-combatant personnel of the Condor airfield [47]) taken prisoner. The BBC announced the taking of Goose Green on the BBC World Service before it had actually happened. It was during this attack that Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones, the commanding officer of 2 Para was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

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East Falkland showing San Carlos bridgehead, Teal Inlet, Mt Kent and Mt Challenger

With the sizeable Argentine force at Goose Green out of the way, British forces were now able to break out of the San Carlos bridgehead. On 27 May, men of 45 Cdo and 3 Para started walking across East Falkland towards the coastal settlement of Teal Inlet.

Special forces on Mount Kent

Meanwhile, 42 Commando prepared to move by helicopter to Mount Kent. Unknown to senior British officers, the Argentine generals were determined to tie down the British troops in the Mount Kent area, and on 27 May and 28 May they sent transport aircraft loaded with Blowpipe surface-to-air missiles and commandos (602nd Commando Company and 601st National Gendarmerie Special Forces Squadron) to Stanley. This operation was known as Operation AUTOIMPUESTA (Self-Determination-Initiative). For the next week, the Special Air Service (SAS) and Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre of 3 Commando Brigade waged intense patrol battles with patrols of the volunteers' 602nd Commando Company under Major Aldo Rico, normally 2IC of the 22nd Mountain Infantry Regiment. Throughout 30 May, Royal Air Force Harriers were active over Mount Kent. One of them — Harrier XZ 963 flown by Squadron-Leader Jerry Pook — in responding to a call for help from D Squadron, attacked Mount Kent's eastern lower slopes, and that led to its loss through small-arms fire.

On the 31 May, the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre (M&AWC) defeated Argentine Special Forces at the Battle of Top Malo House. A 13-strong Argentine Army Commando detachment (Captain Jose Vercesi's 1st Assault Section, 602nd Commando Company) found itself trapped in a small shepherd's house at Top Malo. The Argentine commandos fired from windows and doorways and then took refuge in a stream bed 200 metres (0 ft) from the burning house. Completely surrounded, they fought 19 M&AWC marines under Captain Rod Boswell for forty-five minutes until, with their ammunition almost exhausted, they elected to surrender. Three Cadre members were badly wounded. On the Argentine side there were two dead including Lieutenant Ernesto Espinoza and Sergeant Mateo Sbert (who were decorated for their bravery). Only five Argentines were left unscathed. As the British mopped up Top Malo House, down from Malo Hill came Lieutenant Fraser Haddow's M&AWC patrol, brandishing a large Union Flag. One wounded Argentine soldier, Lieutenant Horacio Losito, commented that their escape route would have taken them through Haddow's position.

It is estimated that 40 Argentine Commandos were involved in the battle with the SAS and the Cadre at Top Malo House and Mount Kent. A body count revealed four bullet-ridden Argentine Army 602nd Commando Company killed in the firefights. Seven members of the British Special Forces were wounded during these actions. One Special Boat Squadron sergeant was killed in a blue on blue engagement by an SAS patrol.

Major Mario Castagneto's commanding the 601st Commando Company attempted to move forward on their Kawasaki motorbikes and commandeered Landrovers to rescue 602nd Commando Company on Estancia Mountain. Spotted by 42 Commando of the Royal Marines, they were engaged with 81 mm mortars and forced to withdraw to Two Sisters mountain. Captain Eduardo Villarruel on Estancia Mountain realised his position had become untenable and after conferring with fellow officers ordered a withdrawal.[48]

The Argentine operation also saw the extensive use of helicopter support to position and extract patrols; the Argentine Army 601st Combat Aviation Battalion also suffered casualties. At about 11.00 a.m. on 30 May, an Aerospatiale SA-330 Puma helicopter was brought down by a shoulder-launched Stinger surface-to-air missile (SAM) fired by the SAS in the vicinity of Mount Kent in which six National Gendarmerie Special Forces were killed and eight more wounded in the crash.

As Brigadier Julian Thompson commented, "It was fortunate that I had ignored the views expressed by Northwood that reconnaissance of Mount Kent before insertion of 42 Commando was superfluous. Had D Squadron not been there, the Argentine Special Forces would have caught the Commando before deplaning and, in the darkness and confusion on a strange landing zone, inflicted heavy casualties on men and helicopters."[49]

Bluff Cove and Fitzroy

Enlarge picture
The abandoned hulk of RFA Sir Tristram in Fitzroy
By June 1, with the arrival of a further 5,000 British troops of the 5th Infantry Brigade, the new British divisional commander, Major General Jeremy Moore RM, had sufficient force to start planning an offensive against Stanley.

During this build-up, the Argentine air assaults on the British naval forces continued, killing 56. 32 of the dead were from the Welsh Guards on RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram on June 8. According to Surgeon-Commander Rick Jolly of the Falklands Field Hospital, more than 150 men suffered burns and injuries of some kind in the attack, including, famously, Simon Weston.[50]

The Guards were sent to support a dashing advance along the southern approach to Stanley. On 2 June, a small advance party of 2 Para moved to Swan Inlet house in a number of Army Westland Scout helicopters. Telephoning ahead to Fitzroy, they discovered the area clear of Argentines and (exceeding their authority) commandeered the one remaining RAF Chinook helicopter to frantically ferry another contingent of 2 Para ahead to Fitzroy (a settlement on Port Pleasant) and Bluff Cove (a settlement confusingly, and perhaps ultimately fatally, on Port Fitzroy).

This un-coordinated advance caused planning nightmares for the commanders of the combined operation, as they now found themselves with a 30 mile (48 km) string of indefensible positions on their southern flank. Support could not be sent by air as the single remaining Chinook was already heavily oversubscribed. The soldiers could march, but their equipment and heavy supplies would need to be ferried by sea. Plans were drawn up for half the Welsh Guards to march light on the night of 2 June, whilst the Scots Guards and the second half of the Welsh Guards were to be ferried from San Carlos Water in the Landing Ship Logistics (LSL) Sir Tristram and the landing platform dock (LPD) Intrepid on the night of 5 June. Intrepid was planned to stay one day and unload itself and as much of Sir Tristram as possible, leaving the next evening for the relative safety of San Carlos. Escorts would be provided for this day, after which Sir Tristram would be left to unload using an inflatable platform known as a Mexeflote for as long as it took to finish.

Political pressure from above to not risk the LPD forced Mike Clapp (Commander, Amphibious Forces) to alter this plan. Two lower-value LSLs would be sent, but without suitable beaches on which to land, Intrepid's landing craft would need to accompany them to unload. A complicated operation across several nights with Intrepid and her sister ship Fearless sailing half-way to dispatch their craft was devised. The attempted overland march by half the Welsh Guards failed, possibly as they refused to march light and attempted to carry their equipment. They returned to San Carlos and were landed directly at Bluff Cove when Fearless dispatched her landing craft. Sir Tristram sailed on the night of June 6 and was joined by Sir Galahad at dawn on June 7.

Anchored 1,200 feet (370 m) apart in Port Pleasant, the landing ships were near Fitzroy, the designated landing point. The landing craft should have been able to unload the ships to that point relatively quickly, but confusion over the ordered disembarcation point (the first half of the Guards going direct to Bluff Cove) resulted in the senior Welsh Guards infantry officer aboard insisting his troops be ferried the far longer distance directly to Port Fitzroy/Bluff Cove. The intention was for the infantrymen to march via the recently repaired Bluff Cove bridge (destroyed by retreating Argentine combat engineers) to their destination, a journey of around seven miles (11 km).

The longer journey time of the landing craft taking the troops directly to Bluff Cove and the squabbling over how the landing was to be performed caused enormous delay in unloading. This had disastrous consequences. Without escorts, having not yet established their air defence, and still almost fully laden, the two LSLs in Port Pleasant were sitting targets for two waves of Argentine FAA A-4 Skyhawks.

The disaster at Port Pleasant (although often known as Bluff Cove) would provide the world with some of the most sobering images of the war as TV news video footage showed Navy helicopters hovering in thick smoke to winch survivors from the burning landing ships.

The fall of Stanley

Notable battles:
On the night of June 11, after several days of painstaking reconnaissance and logistic build-up, British forces launched a brigade-sized night attack against the heavily defended ring of high ground surrounding Stanley. Units of 3 Commando Brigade, supported by naval gunfire from several Royal Navy ships, simultaneously assaulted in the Battle of Mount Harriet, Battle of Two Sisters, and Battle of Mount Longdon.

During this battle, 13 were killed when HMS Glamorgan, straying too close to shore while returning from the gun line, was struck by an improvised trailer-based Exocet MM38 launcher taken from ARA Seguí destroyer by Argentine Navy technicians.[51] On this day, Sgt Ian McKay of 4 Platoon, B Company, 3 Para died in a grenade attack on an Argentine bunker which was to earn him a posthumous Victoria Cross. After a night of fierce fighting, all objectives were secured.

The night of June 13 saw the start of the second phase of attacks, in which the momentum of the initial assault was maintained. 2 Para captured Wireless Ridge at the Battle of Wireless Ridge, and the 2nd battalion, Scots Guards captured Mount Tumbledown at the Battle of Mount Tumbledown.

With the last natural defence line at Mount Tumbledown breached, the Argentine town defences of Stanley began to falter. In the morning gloom, one company commander got lost and his junior officers became despondent. Private Santiago Carrizo of the 3rd Regiment described how a platoon commander ordered them to take up positions in the houses and "if a Kelper resists, shoot him", but the entire company did nothing of the kind.[52]

On June 14, the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore. 9,800 Argentine troops were made prisoners of war and some 4,167 were repatriated to Argentina on the ocean liner Canberra alone.

For the surrender document see Falklands War Argentine surrender.

On June 20, the British retook the South Sandwich Islands, (which involved accepting the surrender of the Southern Thule Garrison at the Corbeta Uruguay base) and declared hostilities to be over. Corbeta Uruguay was established in 1976, but the Argentine base was only contested through diplomatic channels by the UK until 1982.

The war lasted 74 days, with 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and three civilian Falklanders killed.



Enlarge picture
'Monumento a los Caídos en Malvinas' (Monument for the fallen on the Falkland Islands) in Plaza San Martín, Buenos Aires[53]
In total 907 were killed during the 74 days of the conflict: Of the 86 Royal Navy personnel, 22 were lost in HMS Ardent, 19 + 1 lost in HMS Sheffield, 18 + 1 lost in HMS Coventry and 13 lost in HMS Glamorgan. 14 naval cooks were among the dead, the largest number from any one branch in the Royal Navy.

33 of the British Army's dead came from the Welsh Guards, 21 from the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, 18 from the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, 19 from the Special Air Service (SAS), 3 from Royal Signals and 8 from each of the Scots Guards and Royal Engineers.

As well as memorials on the islands, there is a memorial to the British war dead in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, London. [67] As for the Argentine war dead, there is a memorial at Plaza San Martín in Buenos Aires, [68], another one in Rosario and a third one in Ushuaia.

There were also 1,188 Argentine and 777 British casualties in addition to the war dead; some of these service personnel were later to die of their injuries. Further information about the field hospitals and hospital ships is at Ajax Bay, List of hospitals and hospital ships of the Royal Navy, HMS Hydra and Argentine Navy's ARA Almirante Irizar.

There are still 125 uncleared minefields on the Falkland Islands and according to forcesmemorial.org.uk via Falklands25's "Official Commemorative Publication" 30 British servicemen have died on the islands since the end of the hostilities.

See also Argentine and British ground forces in the Falklands War


The Argentine loss of the war led to ever-larger protests against the military regime and is credited with giving the final push to drive out the military government that overthrew Isabel Perón in 1976 and participated in the crimes of the Dirty War. Galtieri was forced to resign and elections were held on 30 October 1983 and Raúl Alfonsín, the Radical Civic Union (UCR) party candidate, took office on 10 December 1983. Alfonsín defeated Italo Luder, the candidate for the Justicialist Party (Peronist movement).

For the UK, the war cost 255 men, six ships (ten others suffered varying degrees of battle damage), 34 aircraft and £2.778 billion,[69] but the campaign was considered a great victory for the United Kingdom. The war provided a substantial boost to the popularity of Margaret Thatcher and undoubtedly played a role in ensuring her re-election in 1983. Several members of her government resigned however, including the Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, the last time that a UK government minister resigned openly in response to a failure of his department (in not anticipating the war).

Criticism was levelled at Ted Rowlands, a former junior foreign minister in the preceding government, who disclosed in Parliament in April 1982 that the British had broken the Argentine diplomatic codes. Because the same code machines were used by the Argentine military, this disclosure immediately served to deny British access to valuable intelligence. This, and other responses to parliamentary questions, and leaks of information to the BBC has been alleged by historian Hugh Bicheno to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the Thatcher government on the part of a variety of individuals who had a vested interest in its fall.[70]

The United States international image was damaged because of the perception in Latin America[71] that it broke the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) by providing the UK with all kinds of military supplies.[72] Chile is also perceived to have broken the TIAR because they supported UK troops.[73] In September 2001, President of Mexico Vicente Fox cited the Falklands War as proof of the failure of the TIAR.

Ultimately, the successful conclusion of the war gave a noticeable fillip to British patriotic feeling, with the mobilisation of national identity encapsulated in the concept of "Falklands Factor." Since the failure of the 1956 Suez campaign, the end of Empire and the economic decline of the 1970s which culminated in the Winter of Discontent, Britain had been beset by uncertainty and anxiety about its international role, status and capability. With the war successfully concluded, Thatcher was returned to power with an increased Parliamentary majority and felt empowered to press ahead with the painful economic readjustments of Thatcherism. A second major effect was a reaffirmation of the special relationship between the US and UK to arguably its closest level ever. Both Reagan and Weinberger (his Secretary of Defence) received honorary knighthoods for their help in the campaign, but the more obvious result was the common alignment of Britain and the USA in a more confrontational foreign policy against the Soviet bloc, sometimes known as the Second Cold War.

Mobilisation of national identity in Argentina, called the "Malvinas Spirit," has now developed in a constant recovery of the relevant aspects of the Falklands-Malvinas War that boost national self-image.[74]

In 2007 the British government expressed regrets over the deaths on both sides in the war.[75] Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying "in the struggle against evil... we can all today draw hope and strength" from the Falklands victory,[76] while current Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner claimed that the UK won a colonial victory and vowed that the islands would one day return to Argentine sovereignty. He augmented this however, with an affirmation that the use of force could never again be used in an attempt to bring this about.[77].


Enlarge picture
British propaganda leaflet intended for Argentine soldiers dropped during the Falkland Islands War. Titled "Islands of the Condemned," it warns Argentine naval ships and aircraft not to enter the Falkland Islands exclusion zone.

Militarily, the Falklands conflict remains the major air-naval combat operation between modern forces since the end of the Second World War. In his Price of Admiralty, military historian Sir John Keegan noted that the brief conflict showed the irremediable vulnerability of surface ships to anti-ship missiles, and, most importantly, to submarines. Thus, despite the seemingly limited consequences of the war, it, in fact, confirmed the dominance of the submarine in naval warfare. This is especially so, Keegan argues, because submarines are far less vulnerable than aircraft to counterattack, being able to approach and destroy their targets with almost complete impunity. However, Keegan's conclusions must remain conjectural since no other naval conflict of consequence has occurred since 1982[78].

Neither side achieved total air supremacy; nonetheless, air power proved to be of critical importance during the conflict, due to the isolated, rough landscape of the Falklands in which the mobility of land forces was restricted. Air strikes were staged against ground, sea and air targets on both sides, and often with clear results. All of the UK losses at sea were caused by aircraft or missile strikes (by both the Argentine Air Force and Naval Aviation). The French Exocet missile proved its lethality in air-to-surface operations, leading to retrofitting of most major ships with Close-in weapon systems (CIWS).

The air war in the Falklands vindicated the UK decision to maintain at least the STOVL aircraft carriers after the retirement of the HMS Ark Royal. The domination of air power in major naval engagements was demonstrated, along with the usefulness of carriers and it proved the small but manoeuvrable Sea Harrier as a true fighter. Sea Harriers shot down 21 aircraft with no air-to-air losses themselves, although six Sea Harriers were lost to ground fire and accidents.

It should be noted that the disparity in figures, with the Argentine fighters failing to shoot down a single Sea Harrier, can be explained by several factors. The Argentine planes were operating at the limit of their range (average 450 milles) with no fuel available for dogfighting; the air combat training of the British pilots was indisputably superior; limited fighter control was provided by British warships in San Carlos Water, the then almost unparalleled Blue Fox radar, and the extreme manoeuvrability of the Sea Harrier. These factors were also enhanced with the use by the British of the latest AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles while the Argentine strike planes had no air-to-air missiles for self defence; 2 of their 21 confirmed kills were made against unarmed planes. The only theoretical advantage of the Argentine jets would be their greater speed. However, Argentine pilots could not benefit from this unless they risked running out of fuel, as was seen in the first air combat of the war when a Mirage IIIEA was forced to attempt a landing at Stanley.

The logistic capability of the UK armed forces was stretched to the absolute limit in order to mount an amphibious operation so far from a home-base, onto mountainous islands with few roads. After the war, much work was done to improve both the logistic and amphibious capability of the Royal Navy. Task force commander Rear Admiral Sir Sandy Woodward refers to the conflict as "a lot closer run than many would care to believe", reflecting the naval and military belief that few people understood — or understand — the extent to which the logistical dimension made the war a difficult operation for the UK.[79] The ships of the task force could only remain on station for a limited time in the worsening southern hemisphere winter. With such a high proportion of the Royal Navy's surface fleet actively engaged, or lost in combat, there were few units available for northbound traffic. At the core of the fleet, Invincible could possibly have been replaced by the hastily-prepared Illustrious, but there was no replacement available for Hermes, the larger of the two British carriers. Woodward's strategy, therefore, required the land war to be won before Hermes, in particular, succumbed to the harsh environment. This, as Woodward said, was "a damned close run thing".

The usefulness of special forces units was reaffirmed. British special forces destroyed many Argentine aircraft (notably in the SAS raid on Pebble Island) and carried out highly informative intelligence gathering operations.

Contrary to popular understanding, the Argentine special forces also patrolled hard, in appalling climatic conditions, against a professional enemy and showed that they could sometimes get the upper hand. [80]

The usefulness of helicopters in combat, logistic, and casevac operations was confirmed.

Nylon was shown to be a poor choice for fabric in uniforms, as it is more flammable than cotton and also melts with heat. Burning nylon adheres to the skin, causing avoidable casualties.

The importance of Airborne Early Warning (AEW) was shown. The Royal Navy had effectively no over-the-horizon radar capability. This was to be hastily rectified after the war as Sea King helicopters were fitted with retractable radomes containing a variant of the Nimrod ASW aircraft's Searchwater radar. These first travelled south after the war on the brand new HMS Illustrious, sister ship to Invincible.

Impact on the Royal Navy

Strained by two oil crises, the United Kingdom's government desired to cut defence spending in line with the rest of Europe. Many former British possessions in Africa and Asia had gained independence from the UK by the 1980's. Due to this decolonisation, successive Labour governments investigated closing British overseas bases and reducing the UK's armed forces on the belief that capabilities such as a blue water navy were no longer required. Thatcher's Defence Secretary John Nott produced a white paper in 1981 proposing major cuts for the navy in the next ten years[81] (The army and the RAF have already been tailormade for NATO.)

Denis Healey, the Defence Secretary in 1966, once said that aircraft carriers were required only for operations regarding 'landing or withdrawal of troops against sophisticated opposition outside range of land-based air cover'. When the last conventional carrier in the Royal Navy, HMS Ark Royal, was decommissioned in 1978, the pro-carrier lobby succeeded in acquiring light carriers (euphemistically christened 'through deck cruisers') equipped with VTOL Sea Harriers as well as helicopters, justified by the fact that one of their primary roles was anti-submarine warfare.[82]. John Nott's defence review concluded that anti-submarine defence was performed cheaper by fewer destroyers and frigates. HMS Hermes was therefore to be scrapped and HMS Invincible sold to Australia. Under the review, the Royal Navy was focussed primarily on anti-submarine warfare under the auspices of NATO. Any out-of-area amphibious operations were considered unlikely. The entire Royal Marines was in jeopardy of being disbanded and the sale of HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless was mooted.[83]

In 1980 low funding caused many ships to be in harbours for months, due to lack of spare parts and fuel. The largest cut in Royal Navy's conventional forces led to the resignation of the Navy Minister Keith Speed in 1981. Sea battles, mass convoys, amphibious landings and coastal bombardments were considered obsolete in the second half of the 20th Century[84]. The head of the admiralty, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Henry Leach was still fighting the cuts in the Ministry of Defence together with the Chief of Defence Staff, who by chance, was also a naval officer - Admiral Lord Lewin.

At the onset of the crisis, First Sea Lord Sir Henry Leach was summoned to brief the Prime Minister. He claimed that Britain was able to recapture the islands, and that it should be done. "Since here was a clear, imminent threat to British overseas territory that could only be reached by sea, what the hell was the point in having a Navy if it was not used for this sort of thing?"[85]. He overrode John Nott and Thatcher gave the order for the task force to sail.

After the war, the sale of HMS Invincible to Australia was revoked and the operational status of all three support carriers was maintained. The proposed cutback in the surface fleet was abandoned and replacements for many of the lost ships and helicopters plus more Sea Harriers were ordered. [86] The amphibious assault ships HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless were not decommissioned until 1999 and 2002 respectively, being replaced by HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark''. The Royal Navy confirmed its commitment to a carrier force with the order of two Queen Elizabeth class carriers in 2007.

Weapon export controls

The Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) failed to anticipate a conflict between Argentina and the UK when approving weapon exports to Argentina.


See also: Physical trauma#Time
During the operations, several wounded British soldiers had to spend hours in the cold before receiving medical aid—yet no British soldier died who was evacuated to a medical aid station, a fact confirmed by Dr Rick Jolly, the Chief Medical Officer. Many recovered better than medical opinion of the time considered possible, and subsequent theories have suggested that this was due to the extreme cold. Britain also had medical staff familiar with high velocity gunshot wounds, due to their experiences in the Northern Ireland conflict with the IRA.

The trials of one British patient, Robert Lawrence, MC, were chronicled in a book co-authored by him entitled When The Fighting is Over which was later adapted into a television film. Lawrence was shot at close range by an FN rifle and lost a large percentage of brain matter, but recovered to a degree not thought possible.[87] After the war he became an outspoken critic of the British Army's treatment of Falklands veterans. He remains partially paralysed in the left side of his body.

Public Relations

Pre-war:La Prensa speculated in a step-by-step plan beginning with cutting off supplies to the Islands, ending in direct actions late 1982, if the UN talks were fruitless.
War: Selected war correspondents were regularly flown to Port Stanley in military aircraft to report on the war. Back in Buenos Aires newspapers and magazines faithfully reported on the heroic actions of the largely conscript army and its successes.
Officers from the intelligence services were attached to the newspapers and 'leaked' information, which verified the official communiqués from the government. The glossy magazines Gente and Siete Días swell to sixty pages with colour photographs and eyewitness reports of the Argentine commandos' guerrilla war on South Georgia 6th May and an already dead Pucará pilot's attack on HMS Hermes[88].
The Malvinas course united the Argentines in a patriotic atmosphere, preserving the junta of critics[89] - even the Madres de Plaza de Mayo were exposed to death threats from ordinary people.
HMS Invincible was repeatedly sunk in the Argentine press[90] and 30 April 1982 the Argentine magazine Tal Cual showed UK's PM Thatcher with an eyepatch and the text:Pirate, witch and assassin. Culprit![91].

United Kingdom:
17 newspaper reporters, 2 photographers, 2 radio reporters and 3 television reporters with 5 technicians sailed with the Task Force to the war. The Newspaper Publishers' Association selected them from among 160 applicants, excluding foreign media. Due to the hasty departure, all of them weren't "the right stuff": two journalists on HMS Invincible were interested in nothing but Queen Elizabeth's son Prince Andrew[92].

Merchant vessels had the civilian INMARSAT uplink, which enabled written telex as well as voice report transmissions via satellite. On Canberra there was a facsimile machine which was used to upload 202 pictures from the South Atlantic over the course of the war. The Royal Navy leased bandwidth on US 'Defence Satellite Communications System' satellites for worldwide communications. Television demands a bandwidth 1,000 times greater than telephone, but the MoD was unsuccessful in convincing the US to allocate more bandwidth. Perhaps the enquiry was half-hearted; since the Vietnam War television pictures of casualties and traumatised soldiers were recognised as having negative propaganda value. Videotapes were shipped to Ascension Island, where a broadband satellite uplink was available, resulting in TV coverage being delayed by three weeks[93].

The press was very dependent on the Royal Navy, and was censored on site. Many reporters in the UK knew more about the war than those with the Task Force[94].

The Royal Navy expected Fleet Street to conduct a World War Two style positive news campaign[95] but the majority of the British media, especially the BBC, reported the war in a neutral fashion[96]. Reporters referred to "the British troops" and "the Argentinian troops" instead of "our lads" and the dehumanised "Argies".[97] The two main tabloid papers, namely The Daily Mirror and The Sun presented opposing viewpoints. The Daily Mirror was decidedly anti-war, whilst The Sun became notorious for its jingoistic and xenophobic headlines including the 20 April headline "Stick It Up Your Junta!"[98] and was condemned for the "Gotcha" headline following the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano''[99][100][101].

Pope John Paul II visits

In May 1982, Pope John Paul II carried out a long-scheduled visit to the United Kingdom. In view of the crisis it was decided that this should be balanced[102] with an unscheduled trip to Argentina in June.[103] It is contended that his presence and words spiritually prepared Argentines for a possible defeat, contrary to the propaganda issued by the Junta.[104] He would return to Argentina in 1987 after democratisation.

Allegations of nuclear deployment

It has been reported that two years after the war, Labour MPs demanded an inquiry[105] into reports that a Resolution class submarine armed with the Polaris SLBMs had deployed to Ascension Island during the operation, ostensibly to prepare for a nuclear strike. The Ministry of Defence is reported to have denied the allegations, and Freedman's Official History does the same.[106]

In 1982, British warships were routinely armed with the WE.177, a tactical nuclear weapon with a variable yield of either 10 kilotons or 0.5 kiloton, which could be used to attack land targets, or as a Nuclear Depth Bomb in an antisubmarine role. The Official History describes the contorted logistical arrangements that led to the removal of the nuclear depth bombs from the frigates, following political alarm in Whitehall. Eventually at least some of the depth bombs were brought back to the UK by an RFA vessel. In December 2003, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner demanded an apology from the British Government for this "regrettable and monstrous" act.[107]

MI6 activity

In his 2002 memoirs Sir John Nott made the following disclosure:

Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.

Falklands veterans' afflictions

Enlarge picture
The South Atlantic Medal, a British military decoration for veterans of the war.
The British Ministry of Defence was accused several times of a systematic failure to prepare service personnel for the horrors of war and to provide adequate care for them afterwards.

There are allegations that the Ministry of Defence has tried to ignore the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which left many sufferers emotionally scarred and unable to work, immersed in social dislocation, alcoholism, and depression. Veterans have suffered prolonged personality disorders, flashbacks, and anxiety sometimes reaching pathological levels.

It was revealed that more veterans have committed suicide since the Falklands War ended than the number of servicemen killed in action[108] The South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA82), which represents and helps Falklands veterans, believes that some 264 veterans had taken their own lives by 2002, a number exceeding the 255 who died in active service, although no estimate is available for the expected number of suicides that would have occurred anyway.

A similar situation afflicts the veterans on the Argentine side, many of whom have similarly suffered from psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and social turmoil.[109] The current Argentine suicide toll is 454, according to an Argentine film (Iluminados por el fuego by Tristán Bauer, 2006) about the suicide of a Falklands veteran.

Cultural impact

There were wide-ranging influences on popular culture in both the UK and Argentina, from the immediate postwar period to the present. The words yomp and Exocet entered the British vernacular as a result of the war. The Falklands War also provided material for theatre, film and TV drama and influenced the output of musicians including (among others) English Post-Punk Band Gang of Four, Joe Jackson, Crass, New Model Army, The Levellers, Steve Dahl, Latin Quarter, and Elvis Costello, whose song "Shipbuilding", sung by Robert Wyatt, reached the British top 40.

Pink Floyd's 1983 album, The Final Cut, deals with Roger Waters' feelings regarding the Falklands War, among other war-related topics.

The Super Furry Animals, song "Piccolo Snare" contains several mentions of the conflict, referring to Skyhawks and Tumbledown.

The 2007 Movie This Is England deals with the affects of the war on the Skinhead culture in the UK.


This war is also occasionally written as The Falklands/Malvinas War,[110][111][112] recognising the international split over the Islands' name. Other constructs such as Falklands Conflict and Falklands Crisis have also been used. The term Malvinas War has also been used by some minor socialist groups.[113][114]


1. ^ Casualties of the Falklands War MOD website, retrieved 11 January 2006
2. ^ [1]
3. ^ [2] Argentine Government
4. ^ "Que tenía que ver con despertar el orgullo nacional y con otra cosa. La junta —Galtieri me lo dijo— nunca creyó que los británicos darían pelea. Él creía que Occidente se había corrompido. Que los británicos no tenían Dios, que Estados Unidos se había corrompido… Nunca lo pude convencer de que ellos no sólo iban a pelear, que además iban a ganar." ("This was neither about national pride nor anything else.The junta —Galtieri told me— never believed the British would respond. He thought the West World had gone corrupted. That British people did not have God, that the US had gone corrupted… I could never convince him that the British would not only fight back but also win [the war].") La Nación / Islas Malvinas Online. Haig: "Malvinas fue mi Waterloo". Retrieved on September 21, 2006. (Spanish)
5. ^ En Buenos Aires, la Junta comenzó a estudiar la posibilidad de ocupar las Islas Malvinas y Georgias antes de que los británicos pudieran reforzarlas
6. ^ [3]]
7. ^ Argentina for Falklands Sovereignty Prensa Latina Latin America New Agency accessed 21 June 2007
8. ^ Constitución Nacional La Nación Argentina ratifica su legítima e imprescriptible soberanía sobre las Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur y Sandwich del Sur y los espacios marítimos e insulares correspondientes, por ser parte integrante del territorio nacional
9. ^ [4]
10. ^ 1982: Marines land in South Georgia. BBC. Retrieved on 20 June, 2005.
11. ^ "..to get twenty-one bombs to Port Stanley is going to take about one million, one hundred thousand pounds of fuel - equalled[sic] about 137,000 gallons. That was enough fuel to fly 260 Sea Harrier bombing missions over Port Stanley. Which in turn meant just over 1300 bombs. Interesting stuff!" page 186 in Sharkey Ward: Sea Harrier over the Falklands, 1992, Cassell Military Paperbacks, ISBN 0-304-35542-9
12. ^ "Propaganda was, of course, used later to try to justify these missions: 'The Mirage IIIs were redrawn from Southern Argentina to Buenos Aires to add to the defences there following the Vulcan raids on the islands.' Apparently the logic behind this statement was that if the Vulcan could hit Port Stanley, the[sic] Buenos Aires was well within range as well and was vulnerable to similar attacks. I never went along with that baloney. A lone Vulcan or two running in to attack Buenos Aires without fighter support would have been shot to hell in quick time."-"Mirage IIIs were in evidence near the islands on several occasions during the conflict, either escorting the Neptune reconnaissance missions or on 'interference' flights that attempted to draw CAP attention away from air-to-ground attacks."-"Suffice it to say that you didn't need more than one or two Mirage IIIs to intercept a Vulcan attack on Buenos Aires"-"It would have taken much more than a lone Vulcan raid to upset Buenos Aires" pages 247-48 in Sea Harrier over the Falklands
13. ^ Sir Lawrence Freedman: Official History of the Falklands Campaign, 2005
14. ^ A.C.G.Welburn: The Application of False Principles and the Misapplication of Valid Principles page 25 in 'Australian Defence Force Journal No. 124 May/June 1997'
15. ^ Max Hastings, Simon Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands (1983) ISBN 0393301982, p144
16. ^ Edward Fursdon: Falklands Aftermath, "The Argentinians had temporarily backfilled the five large craters, enabling them to continue to fly in C-130 Hercules transports" - the other craters were from Harrier raids; note that C-130 Hercules aircraft are designed to land on very rough semi-prepared airstrips.
17. ^ "And what was achieved? A crater in the runway that was filled in within twenty-four hours, and possibly a 30 mm gun radar knocked out." Sea Harrier over the Falklands
18. ^ "The photographs showed another bomb crater on Port Stanley airfield runway. This had been created by the Argentine Air Force unit who had begun to simulate bomb craters using bulldozers to build piles of mud which could be removed at night allowing aircraft to land." 16th May 1982 in [5]
19. ^ Max Hastings:"The Battle for the Falklands" on page 203 in the San Carlos chapter (21st May):"Meanwhile, a single Aeromacchi[sic] - almost certainly the first Fleet Air Arm[sic] (Argentine COAN) reconnaissance aircraft flying from Port Stanley - attacked the...."
20. ^ Paul Rogers (2000). Losing Control: Global Security in the Twenty-first Century. Pluto Press. ISBN 0-7453-1909-2. 
21. ^ Commodore Ruben Oscar Moro La Guerra Inaudita, 2000 ISBN 987-96007-3-8
22. ^ [6]
23. ^ Gordon Smith, Battle Atlas of the Falklands War 1982 by Land, Sea and Air, lulu.com, 2006, URL retrieved 21 February 2007
24. ^ Correspondent profile - bbc.co.uk, undated, retrieved on 21 February 2007
25. ^ the claim is made in his book La Defensa de Puerto Argentino - The Argentine Fight For The Falklands, Martin Middlebrook, pp.94-95
26. ^ ...all blatant lies, designed to cover up the Argentine set backs of the day - The Argentine Fight For The Falklands, Martin Middlebrook, pp.94-95
27. ^ the Argentine claim that two Sea Harrier were shot down ... was patently fictitious - Falklands Air War, Chris Hobson and Andrew Noble
28. ^ Sharkey Ward (2003). Sea Harrier Over The Falklands. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-35542-9. 
29. ^ [7]
30. ^ [8]
31. ^ [9]
32. ^ [10]
33. ^ [11] article about the Fauske II station (in Norwegian)
34. ^ Thatcher in dark on Belgrano sinking
35. ^ telegraph.co.uk SAS 'suicide mission' to wipe out Exocets
36. ^ Middlebrook, The Argentine Fight for the Falklnds p. 75
37. ^ La Infantería de Marina de la Armada Argentina en el Conflicto del Atlántico Sur, ISBN 987-433-641-2
38. ^ [12]
39. ^ Bomb Alley — Falklands Island 1982.
40. ^ Charles ends Falklands tour on sombre note, BBC News.
41. ^ Captain Hart Dyke, Commanding Officer of HMS Coventry[13]
42. ^ Sandy Woodward (2003). One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-0071-3467-3. 
43. ^ Battle Atlas of the Falklands War 1982 — British ships lost & damaged.
44. ^ Scotsman.
45. ^ Royal Navy.
46. ^ Sandy Woodward (2003). One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-0071-3467-3. 
47. ^ Commodore Ruben Oscar Moro La Guerra Inaudita, 2000 ISBN 987-96007-3-8
48. ^ [14] David Aldea, The Argentine Commandos on Mount Kent
49. ^ Julian Thompson, No Picnic, p. 93, Casssell & Co, 2001
50. ^ Rick Jolly, The Red & Green Life Machine, page 124
51. ^ An interview with CL (R) Ing. Julio Pérez, chief designer of Exocet trailer-based launcher (Spanish) ]
52. ^ Max Hastings & Simon Jenkins, The Battle For The Falklands, p. 307
53. ^ Google Map Buenos Aires War Memorial
54. ^ list
55. ^ list
56. ^ list
57. ^ list
58. ^ list
59. ^ list
60. ^ list
61. ^ list
62. ^ Para
63. ^ SAS
64. ^ rest of army
65. ^ list
66. ^ list
67. ^ [15]
68. ^ [16]
69. ^ Lawrence Freedman: "The campaign itself, Operation Corporate, is now estimated to have cost about £1.5 billion. The cost of replacing lost equipment is put at £1,278 million. The largest single item in this figure is £641 million for four new Type 22 frigates...to replace Sir Galahad is put at £69 million, and new aircraft account for another £116 million." - Britain & the Falklands War, 1988
70. ^ Hugh Bicheno. Razor's Edge: The Unofficial History of the Falklands War. ISBN. 
71. ^ The Brazilian foreign policy and the hemispheric security. Retrieved on 2007-05-22.
72. ^ [17] ''Caspar Weinberger who was the Defence Secretary at the time ... His staunch support later earned him a British Knighthood. He provided the United Kingdom with all the equipment she required during the war. Ranging from submarine detectors to the latest missiles. All this was done very discreetly.''
73. ^ "'Hice todo lo posible para que Argentina perdiera'", Rio Negro SA, 2005-09-01. Retrieved on 2007-05-22. (Spanish) 
74. ^ Nora Femenia (1996). National Identity in Times of Crises: the scripts of the Falklands-Malvinas War. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. ISBN 1-56072-196-0. 
75. ^ [18]
76. ^ [19]
77. ^ [20]
78. ^ Keegan, Sir John, The Price of Admiralty: the Evolution of Naval Warfare Penguin (Non-Classics), 1990, ISBN-10 0140096507, pages 324-325
79. ^ Falklands victory 'a close run thing'
80. ^ (Jon Cooksey, 3 PARA MOUNT LONGDON, page 44)
81. ^ chapter 1: Forgotten Islands in Max Hastings:Battle for the Falklands. 1983
82. ^ [21] Invincible Class Aircraft Carriers
83. ^ chapter 5: Task Force in Max Hastings:Battle for the Falklands:"In the previous decade, the very existence of the marines had come into question." and "both the assault ships Fearless and Intrepid were at that time threatened with sale to foreign powers"
84. ^ chapter 1: Forgotten Islands in Max Hastings:Battle for the Falklands
85. ^ Falklands 25 - Official Commemorative Publication, 2007, Newsdesk Communications LTD, ISBN 1-905435-44-4
86. ^ chapter 7: Conclusion in Antony Preston:Sea Combat of the Falklands - the Lessons That Must Be Learned ISBN 0-00-218046-4
87. ^ Lawrence, Robert and John Lawrence, When the Fighting Is Over: A Personal Story of the Battle for Tumbledown Mountain and Its Aftermath.
88. ^ Jimmy Burns: The land that lost its heroes, 1987, Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 0-7475-0002-9
89. ^ Even opposers of the military government supported Galtieri; Ernesto Sábato: "Don't be mistaken, Europe; it is not a dictatorship that is fighting for the Malvinas, it is the whole Nation."
90. ^ Robert Harris: GOTCHA!, the Media, the Government and the Falklands Crisis, 1983, Faber & Faber, ISBN 0-571-13052-6
91. ^ [22] <pirata, Bruja y asesina. ¡Culpable!>
92. ^ "that two journalists on Invincible were interested in no issue other than what Prince Andrew, a helicopter pilot as well as the Queen's son, was up to" - Sir Lawrence Freedman: Official History of the Falklands Campaign, 2005
93. ^ Sir Lawrence Freedman: Official History of the Falklands Campaign, 2005
94. ^ Sir Lawrence Freedman: Official History of the Falklands Campaign, 2005
95. ^ "You must have been told you couldn't report bad news ...You were expected to do a 1940 propaganda job." in Robert Harris: GOTCHA!, the Media, the Government and the Falklands Crisis, 1983, Faber & Faber, ISBN 0-571-13052-6
96. ^ Hastings, Max, The Battle for the Falklands, 1983
97. ^ [23]
98. ^ Robert Harris: GOTCHA!, the Media, the Government and the Falklands Crisis,1983, Faber & Faber, ISBN 0-571-13052-6
99. ^ [24] A new Britain, a new kind of newspaper, the Guardian, Monday February 25, 2002 (retrieved on 7 September 2007)
100. ^ [25] Forty years of The Sun (retrieved on 7 September 2007)
101. ^ [26] British Library Website on the "Gotcha" headline (retrieved on 7 September 2007)
102. ^ [27] The twenty-fifth anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Great Britain
103. ^ Reuters, June 1982, Archbishop Says Pope's Visit To Argentina Is Nonpolitical
105. ^ Margaret Thatcher Threatened to Use Nukes During Falkland Islands War News Max, November 21, 2005
106. ^ [29] Falklands: “The Sphinx and the curious case of the Iron Lady’s H-bomb” (memoirs of Mitterrand’s psychoanalyst), The Sunday Times, November 2005
107. ^ Argentina demands UK nuke apology, CNN News, December 7, 2003
108. ^ Falklands Veterans suicide tollBBC News, retrieved 12 January 2007
109. ^ [30]
110. ^ The Falklands/Malvinas War
111. ^ Warrior Nation - Images of War in British Popular Culture 1850-2000
112. ^ Justice and the Genesis of War
113. ^ The Malvinas War Revisited
114. ^ World Socialist Web Site


  • Barnett, Anthony. IRON BRITANNIA Why Parliament waged its Falklands war. Allison & Busby, 1982. ISBN 0-85031-493-3
  • Dalyell, Tam, MP. One Man's Falklands. Cecil Woolf, 1982. ISBN 0-900821-65-5.
  • Dalyell, Tam, MP. Thatcher's Torpedo. Cecil Woolf, 1983. ISBN 0-900821-66-3.
  • Femenia, Nora National Identity in Times of Crises: the scripts of the Falklands-Malvinas War. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 1996. ISBN 1-56072-196-0.
  • Franks et al. Falkland Islands Review, Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors. HMSO, January 1983. Cmnd. 8787.
  • Freedman, Sir Lawrence. Official History of the Falklands Campaign: Vols 1 & 2. Frank Cass, 2005. ISBN 0-7146-5206-7 and ISBN 0-7146-5207-5.
  • Gavshon, Arthur and Rice, Desmond. The Sinking of the Belgrano. Secker & Warburg, 1984. ISBN 0-436-41332-9.
  • Harris, Robert. GOTCHA! The Media, the Government and the Falklands Crisis. Faber and Faber, 1983. ISBN 0-571-13052-6.
  • Kon, Daniel. Los Chicos de la Guerra, The Argentine conscripts' own moving accounts of their Falklands War (English translation). New English Library 1983. ISBN 0-450-05611-2.
  • McManners, Hugh, Forgotten Voices of the Falklands, Ebury Press, 2007, ISBN 9780091908805
  • Middlebrook, Martin. The Argentine Fight for the Falklands. Pen & Sword Military Classics, 2003. ISBN 0-85052-978-6
  • Norton-Taylor, Richard. The Ponting Affair. Cecil Woolf, 1985. ISBN 0-900821-73-6.
  • Ponting, Clive. The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the Belgrano Affair. Sphere Books, 1985. ISBN 0-7221-6944-2
  • Sunday Times Insight Team. The Falklands War. Sphere Books, 1982. ISBN 0-7221-8282-1.
  • Tinker, Lieut. David, R.N. A Message from the Falklands, The Life and Gallant Death of David Tinker, Lieut. R.N. from his Letters and Poems. Penguin, 1982. ISBN 0-14-006778-7.
  • Thornton, Richard C. 'The Falklands Sting''. Brassey's, 1998. ISBN 1-57488-155-8.
  • Underwood, Geoffrey. Our Falklands War, The Men of the Task Force Tell Their Story. Maritime Books, 1983. ISBN 0-907771-08-4.

See also

External links

"Desire the right"
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Capital Stanley

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"Desire the right"
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Capital Stanley

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"Leo Terram Propriam Protegat"   (Latin)
"Let the Lion protect his own land"
or "May the Lion protect his own land"
"God Save the Queen"
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Casus belli is a modern Latin language expression meaning the justification for acts of war. Casus means "incident", "rupture" or indeed "case", while belli means "of war".
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"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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The term status quo ante bellum comes from Latin meaning literally, as things were before the war. The term was originally used in treaties to refer to the withdrawal of enemy troops and the restoration of prewar leadership.
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The National Reorganization Process (in Spanish, Proceso de Reorganización Nacional, often simply El Proceso) was the name used by its leaders for the right-wing military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983 (in Argentina it is simply known as
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Leopoldo Galtieri

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Nationality Argentinean
Profession Military

Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli (July 15, 1926 - January 12, 2003) was an Argentinian general and the
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En unión y libertad   (Spanish)
"In Union and Freedom"
Himno Nacional Argentino
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"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Leopoldo Galtieri

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Succeeded by

Nationality Argentinean
Profession Military

Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli (July 15, 1926 - January 12, 2003) was an Argentinian general and the
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Ernesto Horacio Crespo (born 1932) is an Argentine retired Brigadier General(Lieutenant General) and former Chief of Staff of the Argentine Air Force.

In 1982, Crespo, who was the commander of the Fourth Air Force Brigade at the time, was commanded to create,
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Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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The Right Honourable Gordon Brown, MP.


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Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) served as British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 until 1990, being the first and to date only woman to hold either post.
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John David Elliott Fieldhouse, Baron Fieldhouse, GCB, GBE (12 February 1928 – 17 February 1992) was a high ranking officer in the Royal Navy.

Naval career

John Fieldhouse started his career at Britannia Royal Naval College in 1941.
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Sir John Forster "Sandy" Woodward GBE KCB (born May 1, 1932) is a British Admiral who joined the Royal Navy in 1946 at age thirteen. He became a submariner, and received his first command, the Valiant-class nuclear hunter-killer submarine Warspite in 1969.
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Major General Sir John Jeremy Moore, KCB, OBE, MC and Bar (5 July 1928 – 15 September 2007) was the commander of the British land forces during the Falklands War in 1982. Moore received the surrender of the Argentine forces on the islands.
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The Argentine Naval Prefecture, in Spanish Prefectura Naval Argentina or PNA, is a military service of the Argentine Interior Ministry charged with protecting the country's rivers and maritime territory.
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The Landing Ship Logistic (LSL) is a term used by the UK armed forces to describe the Round table class landing ship used for support of amphibious warfare missions. These ships are operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
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Landing Craft Utility (LCU) are used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. They are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers.
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Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.
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A. 21:30 1 April - The Type 42 destroyer ARA Santisima Trinidad begins loading marines of the Amphibious Commandos Group into 21 small inflatable motor boats. These set out for Mullet Creek but sail too far north and are caught up in beds of Kelp, which cause problems for
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Raid on Pebble Island took place on 14-15 May 1982 during the Falklands War. Pebble Island is part of the Falkland Islands.


Immediately after the Argentines had seized the Falkland Islands they established an airbase on Pebble Island using the local airstrip at
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The coastal ship ARA Monsunen, after sailing out from Fox bay, is tracked by the British frigates HMS Brilliant and HMS Yarmouth under orders of capturing her.
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Battle of Top Malo House was fought on the 31st May 1982 during the Falklands War, between 1st section Argentine Special Forces from 602 Commando Company and a patrol formed from staff and students of the British Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre, a training unit of the Royal
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Battle of Mount Harriet
Part of Falklands War

Date June 11 - June 12, 1982
Location Mount Harriet, Falkland Islands

Result British victory
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