Falklands War

Falklands War

Overview
The Falklands War also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (UK) over the disputed Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

 and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands, known as the South Sandwich...

. The Falkland Islands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 east of Argentina; their name and sovereignty over them is disputed.

The Falklands War started on Friday, 2 April 1982, with the Argentine invasion and occupation of the Falkland Islands
Occupation of the Falkland Islands
The Military Administration of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was the short-lived, Argentine-controlled government of a long disputed group of islands in the South Atlantic which had been governed by the United Kingdom since the 1833 re-establishment of British rule ...

 and South Georgia.
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Quotations

The Empire Strikes Back.

Newsweek|Newsweek front page (19 April 1982) in reference to the British Empire.
Encyclopedia
The Falklands War also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (UK) over the disputed Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

 and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands, known as the South Sandwich...

. The Falkland Islands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 east of Argentina; their name and sovereignty over them is disputed.

The Falklands War started on Friday, 2 April 1982, with the Argentine invasion and occupation of the Falkland Islands
Occupation of the Falkland Islands
The Military Administration of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was the short-lived, Argentine-controlled government of a long disputed group of islands in the South Atlantic which had been governed by the United Kingdom since the 1833 re-establishment of British rule ...

 and South Georgia. Britain launched a naval task force
Task force
A task force is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology...

 to engage the Argentine Navy
Argentine Navy
The Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the Army and the Air Force....

 and Argentine Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

, and retake the islands by amphibious assault
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

. The conflict ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, and the islands remained under British control. The war lasted 74 days. It resulted in the deaths of 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and the deaths of three civilian Falkland Islanders. It is the most recent external conflict to be fought by the UK without any allied states and the only external Argentine war
Military history of Argentina
The military history of Argentina spans a period of over two centuries. During the course of those years, it broke colonial ties with Spain, waged a civil war to define its organization and wars with Brazil, Paraguay, Britain and France...

 since the 1880s.

The conflict was the result of a protracted historical confrontation
History of the Falkland Islands
The history of the Falkland Islands goes back at least five hundred years, with active exploration and colonisation only taking place in the 18th century...

 regarding the sovereignty of the islands. Neither state officially declared war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

 and the fighting was largely limited to the territories under dispute and the South Atlantic. The initial invasion was characterised by Argentina as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by the UK as an invasion of a British dependent territory. As of 2011, and as it has since the 19th century, Argentina shows no sign of relinquishing its claim. The claim was added to the Argentine constitution
Constitution of Argentina
The constitution of Argentina is one of the primary sources of existing law in Argentina. Its first version was written in 1853 by a Constitutional Assembly gathered in Santa Fe, and the doctrinal basis was taken in part from the United States Constitution...

 after its reformation in 1994.

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 ruling military government, which hastened its downfall; in the United Kingdom, the government of the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 was bolstered. It helped Thatcher's government to victory in the 1983 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1983
The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of Labour in 1945...

, 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. Over time, 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.

Relations between Argentina and UK were restored in 1989 under the umbrella formula which states that the islands' sovereignty dispute would remain aside.

Lead-up to the conflict


In the period leading up to the war, and especially following the transfer of power between military dictators General Jorge Rafael Videla
Jorge Rafael Videla
Jorge Rafael Videla Redondo is a former senior commander in the Argentine Army who was the de facto President of Argentina from 1976 to 1981. He came to power in a coup d'état that deposed Isabel Martínez de Perón...

 and General Roberto Eduardo Viola
Roberto Eduardo Viola
Roberto Eduardo Viola Redondo was an Argentine military officer who briefly served as president of Argentina from March 29 to December 11, 1981 during a period of military rule.-President of Argentina:...

 in late-March 1981, Argentina had been in the midst of a devastating economic crisis
Economy of Argentina
This article provides an overview of the Economic history of Argentina.-Emergence into the world economy:Prior to the 1880s, Argentina was a relatively isolated backwater, dependent on the wool, leather and hide industry for both the greater part of its foreign exchange and the generation of...

 and large-scale civil unrest
Civil disorder
Civil disorder, also known as civil unrest or civil strife, is a broad term that is typically used by law enforcement to describe one or more forms of disturbance caused by a group of people. Civil disturbance is typically a symptom of, and a form of protest against, major socio-political problems;...

 against the military
Military government
Military government can refer to conditions under either Military occupation, or Military dictatorship.-Military Government:Military government is the form of administration by which an occupying power exercises governmental authority over occupied territory.The Hague Conventions of 1907 specify...

 junta
Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

 that had been governing the country since 1976. In December 1981 there was a further change in the Argentine military regime bringing to office a new junta headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri
Leopoldo Galtieri
Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli was an Argentine general and President of Argentina from December 22, 1981 to June 18, 1982, during the last military dictatorship . The death squad Intelligence Battalion 601 directly reported to him...

 (acting president), Brigadier Basilio Lami Dozo
Basilio Lami Dozo
Brigadier General Basilio Arturo Ignacio Lami Dozo was a member of the Argentine Air Force.He participated in the military dictatorship known as the National Reorganisation Process and, along with Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri and Jorge Isaac Anaya, was a member of the Third Military Junta that...

 and Admiral Jorge Anaya
Jorge Anaya
Admiral Jorge Isaac Anaya was a member of the Argentine Navy. He was born in Bahía Blanca, in the province of Buenos Aires...

. Anaya was the main architect and supporter of a military solution for the long-standing claim over the islands, calculating that the United Kingdom would never respond militarily. In doing so the Galtieri government hoped to mobilise Argentines' long-standing patriotic feelings towards the islands and thus divert public attention from the country's chronic economic problems and the regime's ongoing human rights violations. Such action would also bolster its dwindling legitimacy. The newspaper La Prensa
La Prensa (Buenos Aires)
La Prensa is an Argentine daily newspaper.Based in Buenos Aires, it was founded on 18 October 1869 by José C. Paz. La Prensa ranked among the most widely circulated dailies in Argentina in subsequent decades, earning a reputation for conservatism and support for British interests in Argentina...

 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.
The ongoing tension between the two countries over the islands increased on 19 March when a group of Argentine scrap metal merchants raised the Argentine flag
Flag of Argentina
The national flag of Argentina is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. There are multiple interpretations on the reasons for those colors...

 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, ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands
1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands
On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces mounted amphibious landings of the Falkland Islands . The invasion involved an initial defence force organised by the Falkland Islands' Governor Sir Rex Hunt giving command to Major Mike Norman of the Royal Marines, the landing of Lieutenant-Commander Guillermo...

 to be brought forward to 2 April.

Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, despite repeated warnings by Royal Navy captain Nicholas Barker and others. Barker believed that the intention expressed in Defence Secretary John Nott
John Nott
Sir John William Frederic Nott KCB is a former British Conservative Party politician prominent in the late 1970s and early 1980s...

's 1981 review to withdraw the Royal Navy ship , Britain's only naval presence in the South Atlantic, sent a signal to the Argentines that Britain was unwilling, and would soon be unable, to defend its territories and subjects in the Falklands.

Invasion by Argentina


On 2 April 1982, Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 forces mounted amphibious landings of the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

, following the civilian occupation of South Georgia on 19 March, before the Falklands War began. The invasion met a nominal defence organised by the Falkland Islands' Governor
Governor of the Falkland Islands
The Governor of the Falkland Islands is the representative of the British Crown in the Falkland Islands, acting "in Her Majesty's name and on Her Majesty's behalf" as the islands' de facto head of state in the absence of the British monarch...

 Sir Rex Hunt giving command to Major Mike Norman of the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

, the landing of Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 Guillermo Sanchez-Sabarots' Amphibious Commandos Group
Amphibious Commandos Group
The Amphibious Commandos Group is a special operations force of the Argentine Marine Corps, trained to perform quick and objective amphibious reconnaissance, assault raids, and direct action operations. It was created in 1952 by the Vigilance and Security Company of Submarine Bases...

, the attack on Moody Brook barracks, the engagement between the troops of Hugo Santillan and Bill Trollope at Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...

, and the final engagement and surrender at Government House
Government House (Falkland Islands)
Government House in Stanley has been the home of the Falkland Islands' London-appointed Governors since the mid-19th century. The official residence was built in 1845....

.

Initial British response



Word of the invasion apparently first reached Britain via amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

.

The retaking of the Falkland Islands was considered extremely difficult: the main constraint was the disparity in deployable air cover. The British had 34 Harrier
Harrier Jump Jet
The Harrier, informally referred to as the Jump Jet, is a family of British-designed military jet aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations...

 aircraft against approximately 122 serviceable jet fighters, of which about 50 were employed as air superiority fighter
Air superiority fighter
An air superiority fighter is a type of fighter aircraft intended to gain air superiority in a war, by entering and seizing control of enemy airspace. Air superiority fighters are designed to effectively engage enemy fighters, more than other types of aircraft...

s and the remainder as strike aircraft, in Argentina's air forces during the war. The U.S. Navy considered a successful counter-invasion by the British to be 'a military impossibility'.

The United States initially tried to mediate an end to the conflict. However, when Argentina refused the U.S. peace overtures, U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig
Alexander Haig
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. was a United States Army general who served as the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford...

 announced that the United States would prohibit arms sales to Argentina and provide material support for British operations. Both Houses of the U.S. Congress passed resolutions supporting the U.S. action siding with the United Kingdom.

By mid-April, the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 had set up the airbase of RAF Ascension Island co-located with Wideawake Airfield (USA) on the mid-Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 British overseas territory of Ascension Island
Ascension Island
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around from the coast of Africa and from the coast of South America, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa...

, including a sizeable force of Avro Vulcan B Mk 2
Avro Vulcan
The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, was a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, operated by the Royal Air Force from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A V Roe & Co designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced,...

 bombers, Handley Page Victor K Mk 2
Handley Page Victor
The Handley Page Victor was a British jet bomber aircraft produced by the Handley Page Aircraft Company during the Cold War. It was the third and final of the V-bombers that provided Britain's nuclear deterrent. The other two V-bombers were the Avro Vulcan and the Vickers Valiant. Some aircraft...

 refuelling aircraft, and McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR Mk 2
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...

 fighters
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 to protect them. Meanwhile the main British naval task force arrived at Ascension to prepare for active service. A small force had already been sent south to recapture South Georgia.

Encounters began in April; the British Task Force was shadowed by Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 aircraft of the Argentine Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

 during their travel to the south. Several of these flights were intercepted by BAE Sea Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar"...

s outside the British-imposed exclusion zone; the unarmed 707s were not attacked because diplomatic moves were still in progress and the UK had not yet decided to commit itself to armed force. On 23 April a Brazilian commercial Douglas DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

 from VARIG
Varig
VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline...

 Airlines en route to South Africa was intercepted by British Harriers who visually identified the civilian plane.

Position of third party countries


The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 received support from:
  • The United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     provided political support voting for United Nations Security Council Resolution 502
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 502
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 502 was a resolution adopted on 3 April 1982. After expressing its concern at the invasion of the Falkland Islands by the armed forces of Argentina, the Council demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities between Argentina and the United Kingdom and a...

     requesting the departure of Argentine troops. They also discreetly provided the United Kingdom with military equipment ranging from submarine detectors to the latest missiles. After failed peace negotiations, the United States publicly supported the UK.
  • France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     provided political support, voting for UN resolution 502. The French also provided dissimilar aircraft training allowing Harrier pilots to train against French aircraft used by Argentina. French and British intelligence also worked to prevent Argentina from obtaining more Exocets on the international market.
  • New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

     sent a frigate to relieve a British ship in the Indian Ocean, thus assisting the Royal Navy to meet its commitments in the South Atlantic.
  • Chile
    Chile
    Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

     gave support to Britain in the form of Intelligence about Argentine military and radar early warning.
  • Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

    , closely aligned to the UK in the NATO alliance, publicly supported the United Kingdom, staunchly denouncing the Argentine government.
  • The European Economic Community
    European Economic Community
    The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

     provided economic support by imposing economic sanctions on Argentina.
  • The Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

     publicly supported the United Kingdom.


Argentina received support from:
  • Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

     and Venezuela
    Venezuela
    Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

     sent aircraft spare parts.
  • Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

     leased two P-95 maritime patrol aircraft.
  • Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    i IAI advisors already in the country continued their work during the conflict.
  • Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

     supplied Strela 2
    Strela 2
    The 9K32 “Strela-2” is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance...

     missiles.
  • Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     provided political support by abstaining from UN Resolution 502, and voting for a cease-fire resolution but the resolution was vetoed by the United Kingdom and United States.

Recapture of South Georgia and the attack on the Santa Fe


The South Georgia force, Operation Paraquet
Operation Paraquet
Operation Paraquet was the code name for the British military operation to recapture the Island of South Georgia from Argentine military control in April 1982 at the start of the Falklands War...

, under the command of Major Guy Sheridan RM, consisted of Marines from 42 Commando
42 Commando
42 Commando Royal Marines is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and a subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

, a troop of the Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 (SAS) and Special Boat Service
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

 (SBS) troops who were intended to land as reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 forces for an invasion by the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

. All were embarked on RFA Tidespring
RFA Tidespring (A75)
RFA Tidespring was a of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. As an "oiler," its main purpose was to refuel other ships. The ship had a long career in the RFA, entering service in the early 1960s, and finally being decommissioned in 1991....

. First to arrive was the Churchill-class submarine
Churchill class submarine
The three Improved Valiant class submarines, sometimes known as the Churchill class, were nuclear powered fleet submarines which served with the Royal Navy from the 1970s until the early 1990s...

  on 19 April, and the island was over-flown by a radar-mapping Handley Page Victor
Handley Page Victor
The Handley Page Victor was a British jet bomber aircraft produced by the Handley Page Aircraft Company during the Cold War. It was the third and final of the V-bombers that provided Britain's nuclear deterrent. The other two V-bombers were the Avro Vulcan and the Vickers Valiant. Some aircraft...

 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
Fortuna Glacier
Fortuna Glacier is a tidewater glacier at the mouth of Cumberland Bay on the island of South Georgia. It flows in a northeast direction to its terminus just west of Cape Best, with an eastern distributary almost reaching the west side of Fortuna Bay, on the north coast of South Georgia. Named in...

. 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.

On 25 April, after resupplying the Argentine garrison in South Georgia, the submarine ARA Santa Fe was spotted on the surface by a Westland Wessex HAS Mk 3
Westland Wessex
The Westland Wessex is a British turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", developed under license by Westland Aircraft , initially for the Royal Navy, and later for the Royal Air Force...

 helicopter from , which attacked the Argentine submarine with depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

s. launched a Westland Wasp HAS.Mk.1
Westland Wasp
The Westland Wasp was a British small first-generation, gas-turbine powered, shipboard anti-submarine helicopter. Produced by Westland Helicopters, it came from the same P.531 programme as the British Army Westland Scout, and was based on the earlier piston-engined Saunders-Roe Skeeter...

 helicopter, and launched a Westland Lynx HAS Mk 2
Westland Lynx
The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants...

. The Lynx launched a torpedo
Torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

, and strafed
Strafing
Strafing is the practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons. This means, that although ground attack using automatic weapons fire is very often accompanied with bombing or rocket fire, the term "strafing" does not specifically include the...

 the submarine with its pintle
Pintle
A pintle is a pin or bolt, usually inserted into a gudgeon, which is used as part of a pivot or hinge.A pintle/gudgeon set is used in many spheres, for example: in sailing to hold the rudder onto the boat; in transportation a pincer-type device clamps through a lunette ring on the tongue of a...

-mounted general purpose machine gun; the Wessex also fired on the Santa Fe with its GPMG. The Wasp from Plymouth as well as two other Wasps launched from fired AS-12
Aerospatiale SS.12/AS.12
The SS.12 and AS.12 are two variants of the same missile: SS for surface-to-surface and AS for air-to-surface. It was designed in 1955-1957 by Nord Aviation, later Aérospatiale...

 ASM
Air-to-surface missile
An air-to-surface missile is a missile designed to be launched from military aircraft and strike ground targets on land, at sea, or both...

 antiship missiles
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

 at the submarine, scoring hits. Santa Fe was damaged badly enough to prevent her from diving. The crew abandoned the submarine at the jetty at King Edward Point
King Edward Point
King Edward Point is a promontory and settlement with port facilities on the northeastern coast of the island of South Georgia. It is located at in Cumberland East Bay...

 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 troops, the Argentine forces surrendered without resistance. The message sent from the naval force at South Georgia to London was, "Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign
White Ensign
The White Ensign or St George's Ensign is an ensign flown on British Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. It consists of a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton....

 flies alongside the Union Jack
Union Flag
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

 in South Georgia. God Save the Queen."
The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, broke the news to the media, telling them to "Just rejoice at that news!"

Black Buck raids


On 1 May British operations on the Falklands opened with the "Black Buck 1" attack (of a series of five) on the airfield at Stanley. A Vulcan bomber from Ascension flew on an 8000 nautical miles (14,816 km) round trip dropping conventional bombs across the runway at Stanley and back to Ascension. The mission required repeated refuelling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

, and required several Victor tanker aircraft operating in concert, including tanker to tanker refuelling. The overall effect of the raids on the war is difficult to determine, and the raids consumed precious tanker resources from Ascension. The raids did minimal damage to the runway and damage to radars was quickly repaired. Commonly dismissed as post-war propaganda, Argentine sources originally claimed that the Vulcan raids influenced Argentina to withdraw some of its Mirage IIIs from Southern Argentina to the Buenos Aires Defence Zone. The effect of this action was, however, watered down when British officials made clear that there would be no strikes on air bases in Argentina.

Of the five Black Buck raids, three were against Stanley Airfield, with the other two anti-radar missions using Shrike
AGM-45 Shrike
AGM-45 Shrike is an American anti-radiation missile designed to home in on hostile antiaircraft radars. The Shrike was developed by the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake in 1963 by mating a seeker head to the rocket body of an AIM-7 Sparrow. It was phased out by U.S...

 anti-radiation missile
Anti-radiation missile
An anti-radiation missile is a missile which is designed to detect and home on an enemy radio emission source. Typically these are designed for use against an enemy radar, although jammers and even radios used for communication can also be targeted in this manner.- Air-to-Ground :Most ARM designs...

s.

Escalation of the air war


The Falklands had only three airfields. The longest and only paved runway was at the capital, Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...

, and even that was too short to support fast jets. Therefore, the Argentines were forced to launch their major strikes from the mainland, severely hampering their efforts at forward staging, combat air patrol
Combat air patrol
Combat air patrol is a type of flying mission for fighter aircraft.A combat air patrol is an aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, over the force protected, over the critical area of a combat zone, or over an air defense area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile...

s and close air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

 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 (A-4 Skyhawks, IAI Daggers
IAI Nesher
The Israel Aircraft Industries Nesher is the Israeli version of the Dassault Mirage 5 multi-role fighter aircraft...

, English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

s, and Mirage III
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

 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 BAE Sea Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar"...

s operating from . A Dagger (piloted by Osvaldo Ardiles
Osvaldo Ardiles
Osvaldo César Ardiles , often referred to in Britain as Ossie Ardiles, is a football coach, pundit and former midfielder who won the 1978 World Cup as part of the Argentine national team...

' cousin José) and a Canberra were shot down.


Combat broke out between Sea Harrier FRS Mk 1 fighters of No. 801 Naval Air Squadron and Mirage III
Dassault Mirage III
The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade...

 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
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

 (AAM), while the other escaped but was damaged and without enough fuel to return to its mainland air base. 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
Escuadrón Fénix
The Phoenix Squadron was a special unit of the Argentine Air Force formed during the 1982 Falklands War - History :...

, 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, 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
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

 (SAM) systems (Franco-German Roland
Roland (air defence)
The Roland is a Franco-German mobile short-range surface-to-air missile system. The Roland was also purchased by the U.S. Army as one of very few foreign SAM systems....

 and British Tigercat
Sea Cat missile
Sea Cat was a British short-range surface to air missile system intended to replace the ubiquitous Bofors 40 mm gun aboard warships of all sizes. It was the world's first operational shipboard point-defence missile system and was designed so that the Bofors guns could be replaced with minimum...

) and Swiss-built Oerlikon 35 mm twin anti-aircraft cannons
Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon
The Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon is a towed anti-aircraft gun made by Oerlikon Contraves . The system was originally designated as 2 ZLA/353 ML but this was later changed to GDF-001...

. Lockheed Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 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.

The only Argentine Hercules shot down by the British was lost on 1 June when TC-63 was intercepted by a Sea Harrier in daylight when it was searching for the British fleet north-east of the islands after the Argentine Navy retired its last SP-2H Neptune
P-2 Neptune
The Lockheed P-2 Neptune was a Maritime patrol and ASW aircraft. It was developed for the United States Navy by Lockheed to replace the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon, and being replaced in turn with the Lockheed P-3 Orion...

 due to airframe attrition.

Various options to attack the home base of the five Argentine Etendards at Río Grande were examined and discounted (Operation Mikado
Operation Mikado
Operation Mikado was the code name of a military plan by the United Kingdom to use Special Air Service troops to attack the home base of Argentina's five Etendard strike fighters at Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego during the 1982 Falklands War....

), subsequently five Royal Navy submarines lined up, submerged, on the edge of Argentina’s 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) territorial limit to provide early warning of bombing raids on the British task force.

Sinking of ARA General Belgrano


Two separate British naval task forces (one of surface vessels and one of 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
Light cruiser
A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck...

 ARA General Belgrano
ARA General Belgrano
The ARA General Belgrano was an Argentine Navy light cruiser in service from 1951 until 1982. Formerly the , she saw action in the Pacific theater of World War II before being sold to Argentina. After almost 31 years of service, she was sunk during the Falklands War by the Royal Navy submarine ...

. The nuclear-powered
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

  sank the Belgrano on 2 May. 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. The losses from Belgrano totalled nearly half of the Argentine deaths in the Falklands conflict and the loss of the ARA General Belgrano hardened the stance of the Argentine government.

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, with the exception of the conventional submarine ARA San Luis
ARA San Luis
The ARA San Luis is a Type 209 diesel-powered submarine of the Argentine Navy. Built in Germany, San Luis has a displacement of 1,285 tonnes and was introduced to the ARA in 1978. She was struck in 1997 after an incomplete overhaul.- History :...

, returned to port and did not leave again for the duration of hostilities. The two escorting destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s and the battle group centred on the aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo
ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2)
The ARA Veinticinco de Mayo was an aircraft carrier in the Argentine Navy from 1969 to 1997. The English translation of the name is the Twenty-fifth of May, which is the date of Argentina's May Revolution in 1810....

 both withdrew from the area, ending the direct threat to the British fleet that their pincer movement
Pincer movement
The pincer movement or double envelopment is a military maneuver. The flanks of the opponent are attacked simultaneously in a pinching motion after the opponent has advanced towards the center of an army which is responding by moving its outside forces to the enemy's flanks, in order to surround it...

 had represented.

In a separate incident later that night, British forces engaged an Argentine patrol gunboat, the ARA Alferez Sobral
ARA Alferez Sobral (A-9)
ARA Alferez Sobral is an aviso in Argentine Navy service since 1972. She had previously served in the US Navy as .-US Navy service:...

. At the time, the Alferez Sobral was searching for the crew of the Argentine Air Force English Electric Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

 light bomber shot down on 1 May. Two Royal Navy Lynx
Westland Lynx
The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants...

 helicopters fired four Sea Skua
Sea Skua
The Sea Skua is a British lightweight short-range air-to-surface missile designed for use from helicopters against ships. It is primarily used by the Royal Navy on the Westland Lynx helicopter, although Kuwait uses it in a shore battery and on their Umm Al Maradem fast attack craft.The British...

 missiles at her. Badly damaged and with eight crew dead, the Sobral managed to return to Puerto Deseado
Puerto Deseado
Puerto Deseado, originally called Port Desire, is a city of about 15,000 inhabitants and a fishing port in Patagonia in Santa Cruz Province of Argentina, on the estuary of the Deseado River....

 two days later, but the Canberra's crew were never found.

Sinking of HMS Sheffield


On 4 May, two days after the sinking of Belgrano, the British lost the Type 42 destroyer
Type 42 destroyer
The Type 42 or Sheffield class, are guided missile destroyers used by the British Royal Navy and the Argentine Navy. The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971, and today three ships remain active in the Royal Navy and one in the Argentinian Navy...

  to fire following an Exocet
Exocet
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...

 missile strike from the Argentine 2nd Naval Air Fighter/Attack Squadron
2da Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque
The 2da Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque is the main strike unit of the Argentine Naval Aviation, the air branch of the Argentine Navy.-Seal:...

. Sheffield had been ordered forward with two other Type 42s to provide a long-range radar and medium-high altitude missile picket
Picket (military)
In military terminology, a picket refers to soldiers or troops placed on a line forward of a position to warn against an enemy advance. It can also refer to any unit performing a similar function...

 far from the British carriers. She was struck amidships, with devastating effect, ultimately killing 20 crew members and severely injuring 24 others. The ship 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
Total Exclusion Zone
The Total Exclusion Zone was an area declared by the United Kingdom 30 April 1982 covering a circle of from the centre of the Falkland Islands...

 on 10 May.

The incident is described in detail by Admiral Sandy Woodward
Sandy Woodward
Admiral Sir John Forster "Sandy" Woodward GBE, KCB is a British Admiral who commanded the British Naval Force in the South Atlantic during the Falklands War.-Naval career:...

 in his book One Hundred Days, Chapter One. Woodward was a former commanding officer of Sheffield.

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
South Atlantic tropical cyclone
South Atlantic tropical cyclones are unusual weather events that occur in the southern hemisphere. Strong wind shear and a lack of weather disturbances favorable for tropical cyclone development make any hurricane-strength cyclones extremely rare...

. The destruction of Sheffield had a profound impact on the British public, bringing home the fact that the "Falklands Crisis", as the BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 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
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 troops to attack the home base of the five Etendards at Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego
Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego
-External links:* * * *...

. The operation was code named "Mikado
Operation Mikado
Operation Mikado was the code name of a military plan by the United Kingdom to use Special Air Service troops to attack the home base of Argentina's five Etendard strike fighters at Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego during the 1982 Falklands War....

". 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
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 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. Ironically, the Rio Grande area would be defended by four full-strength battalions of Marine Infantry of the Argentine Marine Corps
Naval Infantry Command
The Argentine Marine Corps, officially Comando de la Infantería de Marina or COIM , but better known as Infantería de Marina de la Armada de la República Argentina or IMARA , is the land warfare amphibious branch of the Argentine Navy and one of its four operational commands.Argentine Marines have...

 of the Argentine Navy, some of whose officers were trained in the UK by the SBS
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

 years earlier.

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. However they would have tried to pursue British forces even into Chilean territory if they were attacked.

An SAS reconnaissance team was dispatched to carry out preparations for a seaborne infiltration. A Westland Sea King
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

 helicopter carrying the assigned team took off from HMS Invincible on the night of 17 May, but bad weather forced it to land 50 miles (80.5 km) from its target and the mission was aborted. The pilot flew to Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 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 14 May the SAS carried out the raid on Pebble Island
Raid on Pebble Island
The Raid on Pebble Island took place on 14-15 May 1982 during the Falklands War. Pebble Island is part of the Falkland Islands.-Background:Immediately after the Argentines had seized the Falkland Islands they established a small airbase on Pebble Island using the local airstrip on which were based...

 at the Falklands, where the Argentine Navy had taken over a grass airstrip map for FMA IA 58 Pucará
FMA IA 58 Pucará
The FMA IA 58 Pucará is an Argentine ground-attack and counter-insurgency aircraft. It is a low-wing two-turboprop-engined all-metal monoplane with retractable landing gear, manufactured by the Fábrica Militar de Aviones.-Development:...

 light ground attack aircraft and T-34 Mentor
T-34 Mentor
The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor is a propeller-driven, single-engined, military trainer aircraft derived from the Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza. The earlier versions of the T-34, dating from around the late 1940s to the 1950s, were piston-engined. These were eventually succeeded by the upgraded T-34C...

s. The raid destroyed the aircraft there.[6 Pucaras, 4 T-34 Mentor and 1 Short Skyvan]

Landing at San Carlos—Bomb Alley




During the night on 21 May the British Amphibious Task Group under the command of Commodore Michael Clapp (Commodore, Amphibious Warfare – COMAW) mounted Operation Sutton
Operation Sutton
During the 1982 Falklands War, Operation Sutton was the British landings on the shores of San Carlos Water, at Ajax Bay and Port San Carlos, near the San Carlos on East Falkland. During the night 3 Commando Brigade along with attached units of the Parachute Regiment were landed from the liner SS...

, the amphibious landing on beaches around San Carlos Water
San Carlos Water
Not to be confused with the San Carlos River.San Carlos Water is a bay/fjord on the west coast of East Falkland, facing onto the Falkland Sound.-Name:...

, on the northwestern coast of East Falkland
East Falkland
East Falkland the largest of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, has an area of and a coastline long. Most of the population of the Falklands live in East Falkland, almost all of them living in the northern half of the island...

 facing onto Falkland Sound
Falkland Sound
The Falkland Sound is a sea strait in the Falkland Islands. Running south west - north east, it separates West and East Falkland.-Name:The sound was named by John Strong in 1690 for Viscount Falkland, the name only later being applied to the archipelago and its two largest islands...

. The bay, known as Bomb Alley by British forces, was the scene of repeated air attacks by low-flying Argentine jets.

The 4,000 men of 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

 were put ashore as follows: 2nd battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) from the RORO
RORO
Roll-on/roll-off ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels...

 ferry Norland and 40 Commando (Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

) from the amphibious ship were landed at San Carlos (Blue Beach), 3 Para from the amphibious ship were landed at Port San Carlos
Port San Carlos
Port San Carlos is located on the northern bank of the inlet known as Port San Carlos, off San Carlos Water on the Western coast of East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands...

 (Green Beach) and 45 Commando from RFA Stromness
RFA Stromness (A344)
RFA Stromness was a fleet stores ship which served the Royal Fleet Auxiliary until sold to the United States Military Sealift Command in 1983.-Construction:...

 were landed at Ajax Bay
Ajax Bay
Ajax Bay is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, It is on the north west coast, on the shore of San Carlos Water, a few miles from Port San Carlos. It was mainly a refrigeration plant, and was developed by the Colonial Development Corporation in the 1950s, which was also...

 (Red Beach). Notably the waves of 8 LCU
Landing Craft Utility
The Landing Craft Utility is a type of boat 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....

s and 8 LCVP
LCVP
The Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel or Higgins boat was a landing craft used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins of Louisiana, United States, based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes...

s were led by Major Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour OBE is an author, sailor, and retired Royal Marine who served for 32 years in the Royal Marines retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel specialising in amphibious vessels from all the NATO countries...

 who had commanded the Falklands detachment only a year previously. 42 Commando on the ocean liner SS Canberra
SS Canberra
SS Canberra was an ocean liner, which later operated on cruises, in the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland at a cost of £17,000,000. The ship was named on 17 March 1958, after the federal capital of Australia, Canberra...

 was a tactical reserve. Units from the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery , is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.-History:...

, Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

 etc. and tanks were also put ashore with the landing craft, the Round table class
Round Table class landing ship logistics
The Round Table class is a ship class of Landing Ship Logistics , also known as the "Sir" class, are designed for amphibious warfare missions, in support of the major amphibious ships. They have both bow and stern doors leading onto the main vehicle deck, making them roll-on/roll-off, combined with...

 LSL
Landing Ship Logistics
The Landing Ship Logistic is a term used by the United Kingdom 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...

 and mexeflote
Mexeflote
The Mexeflote is a landing raft used by the British Royal Logistic Corps to move goods and vehicles between ship and shore. It was first used by British military in the 1960s, and remains in use at present...

 barges. Rapier missile
Rapier missile
Rapier is a British surface-to-air missile developed for the British Army and Royal Air Force. Entering service in 1971, it eventually replaced all other anti-aircraft weapons in Army service; guns for low-altitude targets, and the English Electric Thunderbird, used against longer-range and...

 launchers were carried as underslung loads of Sea King
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

s for rapid deployment.

By dawn the next day they had established a secure beachhead from which to conduct offensive operations. From there Brigadier Thompson
Julian Thompson
Major General Julian Howard Atherden Thompson, CB, OBE is a military historian and former Royal Marines officer who, as a brigadier, commanded 3 Commando Brigade during the Falklands War.-Military career:...

's plan was to capture Darwin
Darwin, Falkland Islands
Darwin is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland, lying on Choiseul Sound, on the east side of the island's central isthmus, north of Goose Green...

 and Goose Green
Goose Green
Goose Green is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland in the Falkland Islands. It lies on Choiseul Sound, on the east side of the island's central isthmus, south-southwest of Darwin. With a population of about 70, it is the second largest settlement of the Falkland Islands.Goose Green has a shop...

 before turning towards Port Stanley.
Now, with the British troops on the ground, the Argentine Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

 began the night bombing campaign against them using Canberra
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

 bomber planes until the last day of the war (14 June).
At sea, the paucity of the British ships' anti-aircraft defences was demonstrated in the sinking of on 21 May, on 24 May, and MV Atlantic Conveyor (struck by two AM39 Exocets) on 25 May along with a vital cargo of helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s, runway-building equipment and tents. 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 , a sister to , whilst in company with after being ordered to act as decoy to draw away Argentine aircraft from other ships at San Carlos Bay. and were badly damaged. However, many British ships escaped terminal damage because of the Argentine pilots' bombing tactics.

To avoid the highest concentration of British air defences, Argentine pilots released ordnance from very low altitude, and hence their bomb fuze
Fuze
Fuze Beverage, commercially referred to as just Fuze , is a manufacturer of teas and non-carbonated fruit drinks enriched with vitamins. Currently the brand consists of five vitamin-infused lines: Slenderize, Refresh, Tea, Defensify, and Vitalize...

s did not have sufficient time to arm before impact. The low release of the retarded bombs (some of which had been sold to the Argentines by the British years earlier) meant that many never exploded, as there was insufficient time in the air for them to arm themselves. A simple free-fall bomb will, during a low altitude release, impact almost directly below the aircraft which is then within the lethal fragmentation zone of the resulting explosion. A retarded bomb has a small parachute or air brake that opens to reduce the speed of the bomb to produce a safe horizontal separation between the two. The fuze for a retarded bomb requires a minimum time over which the retarder is open to ensure safe separation. The pilots would have been aware of this, but due to the high concentration levels required to avoid SAMs and AAA, as well as any British Sea Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar"...

s, many failed to climb to the necessary release point. The problem was solved by the improvised fitting of retarding devices
Gravity bomb
An unguided bomb, also known as a free-fall bomb, gravity bomb, dumb bomb, or iron bomb, is a conventional aircraft-delivered bomb that does not contain a guidance system and hence, simply follows a ballistic trajectory....

, allowing low-level bombing attacks as employed on 8 June.

In his autobiographical account of the Falklands War, Admiral Woodward blames the BBC World Service
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

 for these changes to the bombs. The World Service reported the lack of detonations after receiving a briefing on the matter from a Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 official. He describes the BBC as being more concerned with being "fearless seekers after truth" than with the lives of British servicemen. Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 '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 hit British ships without detonating. Lord Craig
David Craig, Baron Craig of Radley
Marshal of the Royal Air Force David Brownrigg Craig, Baron Craig of Radley, GCB, OBE , is a retired Royal Air Force officer and member of the House of Lords...

, the retired Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Marshal of the Royal Air Force is the highest rank in the Royal Air Force. In peacetime it was granted to RAF officers in the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff, and to retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, who were promoted to it on their last day of service. Promotions to the rank have ceased...

, is said to have remarked: "Six better and we would have lost" although Ardent and Antelope were both lost despite the failure of bombs to explode. The fuzes were functioning correctly, and the bombs were simply released from too low an altitude. The Argentines lost 22 aircraft in the attacks.[21/27 May: 9 Dagger, 5 A-4C, 3 A-4Q, 3 A-4B & 2 Pucara ]

Battle of Goose Green


From early on 27 May until 28 May, 2 Para, (approximately 500 men) with artillery support from 8 (Alma) Commando Battery (Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery , is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.-History:...

), approached and attacked Darwin
Darwin, Falkland Islands
Darwin is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland, lying on Choiseul Sound, on the east side of the island's central isthmus, north of Goose Green...

 and Goose Green
Goose Green
Goose Green is a settlement in Lafonia on East Falkland in the Falkland Islands. It lies on Choiseul Sound, on the east side of the island's central isthmus, south-southwest of Darwin. With a population of about 70, it is the second largest settlement of the Falkland Islands.Goose Green has a shop...

, which was held by the Argentine 12th Infantry Regiment. After a tough struggle that lasted all night and into the next day, the British won the battle; in all, 17 British and 47 Argentine soldiers were killed. In total 961 Argentine troops (including 202 Argentine Air Force personnel of the Condor airfield) were taken prisoners.

The BBC announced the taking of Goose Green on the BBC World Service
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

 before it had actually happened. It was during this attack that Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones
H. Jones
Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert Jones VC OBE, , known as H. Jones, was a British army officer and posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross...

, the commanding officer of 2 Para was killed at the head of his battalion while charging into the well-prepared Argentine positions. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

.

With the sizable Argentine force at Goose Green out of the way, British forces were now able to break out of the San Carlos
San Carlos, Falkland Islands
San Carlos is a settlement in northwestern East Falkland, lying south of Port San Carlos on San Carlos Water. It is sometimes nicknamed "JB" after a former owner, Jack Bonner.-History:...

 bridgehead. On 27 May, men of 45 Cdo and 3 Para started a loaded march
Loaded march
A loaded march is a rapid march over distance carrying weight. The ability to complete loaded marches is a core military skill in many countries...

 across East Falkland
East Falkland
East Falkland the largest of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, has an area of and a coastline long. Most of the population of the Falklands live in East Falkland, almost all of them living in the northern half of the island...

 towards the coastal settlement of Teal Inlet
Teal Inlet
Teal Inlet is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, on the south shore of Salvador Water. It is overshadowed by Jack's Mountain...

.

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 commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

s (602nd Commando Company and 601st National Gendarmerie Special Forces Squadron) to Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...

. This operation was known as Operation AUTOIMPUESTA (Self-Determination-Initiative).

For the next week, the Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 (SAS) and Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre
Mountain Leader Training Cadre
The Mountain Leader Training Cadre is a training element of the British Royal Marines which provides instruction in Mountain Warfare, Arctic warfare, cold weather survival and operations, and cliff assault...

 of 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

 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 XZ963, 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. Pook was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against...

.

The Argentine Navy used their last AM39 Exocet missile attempting to attack on 30 May. There are claims the missile struck, however the British have denied this, some citing that shot it down.

On 31 May, the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre
Mountain Leader Training Cadre
The Mountain Leader Training Cadre is a training element of the British Royal Marines which provides instruction in Mountain Warfare, Arctic warfare, cold weather survival and operations, and cliff assault...

 (M&AWC) defeated Argentine Special Forces at the Battle of Top Malo House
Battle of Top Malo House
The Skirmish at Top Malo House was fought on 31 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 Marines placed under...

. A 13-strong Argentine Army Commando detachment (Captain José 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 (656.2 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
Union Flag
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

. One wounded Argentine soldier, Lieutenant Horacio Losito, commented that their escape route would have taken them through Haddow's position.

Major Mario Castagneto's 601st Commandos tried to move forward on Kawasaki motorbikes and commandeered Land Rovers
Land Rover Series
The Land Rover Series I, II, and III are off-road vehicles produced by the British manufacturer Land Rover that were inspired by the US-built Willys Jeep...

 to rescue 602nd Commando Company on Estancia Mountain. Spotted by 42 Commando of the Royal Marines, they were engaged with 81mm mortars
L16 81mm Mortar
The United Kingdom's L16 81 mm mortar is the standard mortar used by the British armed forces. It originated as a joint design by UK and Canada. The version produced and used by Australia is named the F2 81mm Mortar, whilst the version used by the U.S...

 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.

The Argentine operation also saw the extensive use of helicopter support to position and extract patrols; the 601st Combat Aviation Battalion
601 Assault Helicopter Battalion
The 601 Assault Helicopter Battalion is a helicopter unit of the Argentine Army.This battalion is the main helicopter unit of the Argentine Army Aviation and is based on Campo de Mayo, Buenos Aires. The unit is composed by Bell UH-1H and Aerospatiale Puma helicopters. It is organised in two...

 also suffered casualties. At about 11.00 am on 30 May, an Aerospatiale SA-330 Puma
Aérospatiale Puma
The Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter. The Puma was originally manufactured by Sud Aviation of France.-Development:...

 helicopter was brought down by a shoulder-launched Stinger surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

 (SAM) fired by the SAS
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 in the vicinity of Mount Kent. 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."

Bluff Cove and Fitzroy



By 1 June, with the arrival of a further 5,000 British troops of the 5th Infantry Brigade, the new British divisional commander, Major General Jeremy Moore
Jeremy Moore
Major General Sir John Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC & Bar 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.-Military career:...

 RM, had sufficient force to start planning an offensive against Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...

.

During this build-up, the Argentine air assaults on the British naval forces continued, killing 56. Of the dead, 32 were from the Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

 on RFA Sir Galahad
RFA Sir Galahad (1966)
RFA Sir Galahad was a Round Table class landing ship logistics vessel belonging to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She was first managed for the British Army by the British-India Steam Navigation Company, before being transferred in 1970 to the RFA, part of the British fleet, .-Design and...

 and RFA Sir Tristram
RFA Sir Tristram (L3505)
RFA Sir Tristram is a Landing Ship Logistics of the Round Table class. She was launched in 1966, and accepted into British Army service in 1967. As with others of her class, she was transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1970...

on 8 June. 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
Simon Weston
Simon Weston OBE is a former British Army soldier who became well known throughout the United Kingdom for his recovery and charity work after suffering severe burn injuries during the Falklands War.-Early life:...

.

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
Westland Scout
The Westland Scout was a general purpose military light helicopter developed by Westland Helicopters. It was closely related to the Westland Wasp naval helicopter.-Design and development:...

 helicopters. Telephoning ahead to Fitzroy, they discovered the area clear of Argentines and (exceeding their authority) commandeered the one remaining RAF Chinook
RAF Chinook
The Boeing Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter operated by the Royal Air Force. A series of variants based on the United States Army's Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the RAF Chinook fleet is the largest outside the United States...

 helicopter to frantically ferry another contingent of 2 Para ahead to Fitzroy
Fitzroy, Falkland Islands
Fitzroy is a settlement on East Falkland. It is divided into Fitzroy North and Fitzroy South.It is named after Robert FitzRoy who sailed with Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle, andis on the inlet known as Port Pleasant....

 (a settlement on Port Pleasant) and Bluff Cove
Bluff Cove
Bluff Cove Bluff Cove Bluff Cove (Spanish: Bahia Agradable or Hoya Fitzroy is a sea inlet and settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, on its east coast...

 (a settlement confusingly, and perhaps ultimately fatally, on Port Fitzroy).

This uncoordinated advance caused planning nightmares for the commanders of the combined operation, as they now found themselves with a 30 miles (48.3 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
San Carlos Water
Not to be confused with the San Carlos River.San Carlos Water is a bay/fjord on the west coast of East Falkland, facing onto the Falkland Sound.-Name:...

 in the Landing Ship Logistics
Landing Ship Logistics
The Landing Ship Logistic is a term used by the United Kingdom 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...

 (LSL) Sir Tristram and the landing platform dock
Amphibious transport dock
An amphibious transport dock, also called a landing platform/dock , is an amphibious warfare ship, a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Several navies currently operate this kind of ship...

 (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 a Mexeflote (a powered raft) for as long as it took to finish.

Political pressure from above to not risk the LPD forced Commodore Clapp to alter this plan. Two lower-value LSLs would be sent, but without suitable beaches on which to land, Intrepids landing craft
Landing craft
Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

 would need to accompany them to unload. A complicated operation across several nights with
Intrepid and her sister ship Fearless
HMS Fearless (L10)
HMS Fearless was a Royal Navy ship which served from 1965 until 2002. One of two from the Landing Platform Dock class she was based in HMNB Portsmouth and saw service around the world over her 37 year life...

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 6 June and was joined by Sir Galahad at dawn on 7 June. Anchored 1200 feet (365.8 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 alternative was for the infantrymen to march via the recently repaired Bluff Cove bridge (destroyed by retreating Argentine combat engineers
Combat engineering
A combat engineer, also called pioneer or sapper in many armies, is a soldier who performs a variety of construction and demolition tasks under combat conditions...

) to their destination, a journey of around seven miles (11 km).

On Sir Galahads stern ramp there was an argument about what to do. The officers on board were told they could not sail to Bluff Cove that day. They were told they had to get their men off ship and onto the beach as soon as possible as the ships were vulnerable to enemy aircraft. It would take 20 minutes to transport the men to shore using the LCU and Mexeflote. They would then have the choice to walk the 7 miles to Bluff Cove or wait until dark to sail there. The officers on board said they would remain on board until dark and then sail. They refused to take their men off the ship. They possibly doubted that the bridge had been repaired due to the presence on board Sir Galahad of the Royal Engineer Troop whose job it was to repair the bridge. The Welsh Guards were keen to rejoin the rest of their Battalion who were potentially facing the enemy without their support. They had also not seen any enemy aircraft since landing at San Carlos
San Carlos, Falkland Islands
San Carlos is a settlement in northwestern East Falkland, lying south of Port San Carlos on San Carlos Water. It is sometimes nicknamed "JB" after a former owner, Jack Bonner.-History:...

 and may have been over confident in the air defences. Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour OBE is an author, sailor, and retired Royal Marine who served for 32 years in the Royal Marines retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel specialising in amphibious vessels from all the NATO countries...

 gave a direct order for the men to leave the ship and go to the beach. The order was ignored.

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 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
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 helicopters hovering in thick smoke to winch survivors from the burning landing ships. British casualties were 48 killed and 115 wounded. Three Argentine pilots were also killed. However, Argentine General Mario Menendez
Mario Menéndez
Mario Benjamin Menéndez was an Argentine governor of the Falkland Islands. He also served in the Argentine Army. He surrendered Argentine forces to Britain during the Falklands War.-Pre-Falklands War:...

, commander of Argentine forces in the Falklands, was told that 900 British soldiers had died. He expected that the losses would cause enemy morale to drop and the British assault to stall.

Fall of Stanley



Notable battles:
  • Battle of Mount Harriet
    Battle of Mount Harriet
    The Battle of Mount Harriet was an engagement of the Falklands War, which took place on the night of 11/12 June 1982 between British and Argentine forces. It was one of three battles in a brigade-size operation on the same night.-Forces:...

  • Battle of Mount Longdon
    Battle of Mount Longdon
    The Battle of Mount Longdon was an engagement of the Falklands War between British and Argentine forces, which took place on 11–12 June 1982, resulting in the British victory and their occupation of a key position around the besieged Argentine garrison....

  • Battle of Wireless Ridge
    Battle of Wireless Ridge
    The Battle of Wireless Ridge was an engagement of the Falklands War which took place on the night of 13 June and 14 June 1982, between British and Argentine forces during the advance towards the Argentine-occupied capital of the Falklands Stanley. Wireless Ridge was one of seven strategic hills...

  • Battle of Mount Tumbledown
    Battle of Mount Tumbledown
    The Battle of Mount Tumbledown was an engagement in the Falklands War, one of a series of battles that took place during the British advance towards Stanley.-Overview:...

  • Battle of Two Sisters
    Battle of Two Sisters
    The Battle of Two Sisters was an engagement of the Falklands War during the British advance towards the capital Stanley that took place from 11 to 12 June 1982.-Composition of forces:...



On the night of 11 June, 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 Mount Harriet
The Battle of Mount Harriet was an engagement of the Falklands War, which took place on the night of 11/12 June 1982 between British and Argentine forces. It was one of three battles in a brigade-size operation on the same night.-Forces:...

, Battle of Two Sisters
Battle of Two Sisters
The Battle of Two Sisters was an engagement of the Falklands War during the British advance towards the capital Stanley that took place from 11 to 12 June 1982.-Composition of forces:...

, and Battle of Mount Longdon
Battle of Mount Longdon
The Battle of Mount Longdon was an engagement of the Falklands War between British and Argentine forces, which took place on 11–12 June 1982, resulting in the British victory and their occupation of a key position around the besieged Argentine garrison....

. Mount Harriet was taken at a cost of 2 British and 18 Argentine soldiers. At Two Sisters, the British faced both enemy resistance and friendly fire, but managed to capture their objectives. The toughest battle was at Mount Longdon. British forces were bogged down by assault rifle, mortar, machine gun, artillery fire, sniper fire, and ambushes. Despite this, the British continued their advance.

During this battle, 13 were killed when , straying too close to shore while returning from the gun line, was struck by an improvised trailer-based Exocet
Exocet
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...

 MM38 launcher taken from the destroyer ARA Seguí by Argentine Navy technicians. On this day, Sgt Ian McKay of 4 Platoon, B Company, 3 Para died in a grenade attack on an Argentine bunker, which earned him a posthumous Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

. After a night of fierce fighting, all objectives were secured. Both sides suffered heavy losses.

The night of 13 June saw the start of the second phase of attacks, in which the momentum of the initial assault was maintained. 2 Para with CVRT
Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)
The Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance  —or CVR—is a family of armoured fighting vehicles s in service with the British Army and others throughout the world...

 support from The Blues and Royals, captured Wireless Ridge at the Battle of Wireless Ridge
Battle of Wireless Ridge
The Battle of Wireless Ridge was an engagement of the Falklands War which took place on the night of 13 June and 14 June 1982, between British and Argentine forces during the advance towards the Argentine-occupied capital of the Falklands Stanley. Wireless Ridge was one of seven strategic hills...

, at a loss of 3 British and 25 Argentine dead, and the 2nd battalion, Scots Guards captured Mount Tumbledown at the Battle of Mount Tumbledown
Battle of Mount Tumbledown
The Battle of Mount Tumbledown was an engagement in the Falklands War, one of a series of battles that took place during the British advance towards Stanley.-Overview:...

, which cost 10 British and 30 Argentine lives.

With the last natural defence line at Mount Tumbledown breached, the Argentine town defences of Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...

 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
Kelpers
Kelpers is a nickname given to Falkland Islanders because the islands are surrounded by large seaweeds called kelp.This term is no longer used as commonly as it once was . Instead most prefer "Falkland Islanders" or even "Bennies".The term is used to describe the population in Argentine research...

 resists, shoot him", but the entire company did nothing of the kind.

A cease fire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore the same day.

Surrender of Corbeta Uruguay


On 20 June the British retook the South Sandwich Islands, (which involved accepting the surrender of the Southern Thule
Southern Thule
Southern Thule is a collection of the three southernmost islands in the South Sandwich Islands: Bellingshausen, Cook, and Thule . Southern Thule is British territory, though claimed by Argentina. The island group is barren, windswept, bitterly cold, and uninhabited. It has an extenzive EEZ rich...

 Garrison at the Corbeta Uruguay
Corbeta Uruguay
Corbeta Uruguay was an Argentine military outpost established in November 1976 on the island of Thule, Southern Thule, in the South Sandwich Islands. The base was established by order of the then-military junta governing Argentina as a way to back up its territorial claims on British territory in...

base) and declared hostilities to be over. Argentina had established Corbeta Uruguay in 1976, but prior to 1982 the United Kingdom had contested the existence of the Argentine base only through diplomatic channels.

Casualties




In total 907 were killed during the 74 days of the conflict:
  • Argentina – 649
    • Ejército Argentino
      Argentine Army
      The Argentine Army is the land armed force branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and the senior military service of the country.- History :...

       (Army) – 194 (16 officers, 35 NCOs and 143 conscript privates)
    • Armada de la República Argentina
      Argentine Navy
      The Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the Army and the Air Force....

       (Navy) – 341 (including 321 in Belgrano
      ARA General Belgrano
      The ARA General Belgrano was an Argentine Navy light cruiser in service from 1951 until 1982. Formerly the , she saw action in the Pacific theater of World War II before being sold to Argentina. After almost 31 years of service, she was sunk during the Falklands War by the Royal Navy submarine ...

       and 4 naval aviators)
      • IMARA
        Naval Infantry Command
        The Argentine Marine Corps, officially Comando de la Infantería de Marina or COIM , but better known as Infantería de Marina de la Armada de la República Argentina or IMARA , is the land warfare amphibious branch of the Argentine Navy and one of its four operational commands.Argentine Marines have...

         ( Marines ) – 34
    • Fuerza Aérea Argentina
      Argentine Air Force
      The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

       (Air Force) – 55 (including 31 pilots and 14 ground crew)
    • Gendarmería Nacional Argentina
      Argentine National Gendarmerie
      The Argentine National Gendarmerie is the gendarmerie and corps of border guards of Argentina.The Argentine National Gendarmerie has a strength of 12,000....

       (Border Guard) – 7
    • Prefectura Naval Argentina
      Argentine Naval Prefecture
      The Argentine Naval Prefecture, in Spanish Prefectura Naval Argentina or PNA, is a service of the Argentine Interior Ministry charged with protecting the country's rivers and maritime territory...

       (Coast Guard) – 2
    • Civilian sailors – 16
  • United Kingdom – A total of 255 British servicemen and 3 female Falklands Island civilians were killed during the Falklands War.
    • Royal Navy
      Royal Navy
      The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

       – 86 + 2 Hong Kong laundrymen (see below)
    • Royal Marines
      Royal Marines
      The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

       – 27 (2 officers, 14 NCOs and 11 marines)
    • Royal Fleet Auxiliary
      Royal Fleet Auxiliary
      The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the British Ministry of Defence. The RFA enables ships of the United Kingdom Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment...

       – 4 + 4 Hong Kong laundrymen
    • Merchant Navy
      Merchant Navy
      The Merchant Navy is the maritime register of the United Kingdom, and describes the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews. Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency...

       – 6 + 2 Hong Kong sailors
    • British Army
      British Army
      The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

       – 123 (7 officers, 40 NCOs and 76 privates)
    • Royal Air Force
      Royal Air Force
      The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

       – 1 (1 officer)
    • Falklands Islands civilians – 3 women killed by friendly fire
      Friendly fire
      Friendly fire is inadvertent firing towards one's own or otherwise friendly forces while attempting to engage enemy forces, particularly where this results in injury or death. A death resulting from a negligent discharge is not considered friendly fire...



Of the 86 Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 personnel, 22 were lost in , 19 + 1 lost in , 19 + 1 lost in and 13 lost in . Fourteen naval cooks were among the dead, the largest number from any one branch in the Royal Navy.

Thirty-three of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

's dead came from the Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

, 21 from the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, 18 from the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, 19 from the Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 (SAS), 3 from Royal Signals and 8 from each of the Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

 and Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

. The 1st battalion/7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles
7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles
The 7th Gurkha Rifles started as a regiment of the British Indian Army, before being transferred to the British Army following India's independence.-Formation:...

 lost one man killed.

Two more British deaths may be attributed to Operation Corporate
Operation Corporate
Operation Corporate was the codename given to the 1982 British military involvement in the Falkland Islands during the Falklands War. The commander of task force operations was Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse. Operations lasted from 1 April 1982 to 20 June 1982....

, bringing the total to 260:
  • Captain Brian Biddick from SS Uganda underwent an emergency operation on the voyage to the Falklands. Later he was repatriated by an RAF medical flight to the hospital at Wroughton where he died on 12 May.
  • Paul Mills from HMS Coventry suffered from complications from a skull fracture sustained in the sinking of his ship and died on 29 March 1983; he is buried in his home town of Swavesey.


There were 1,188 Argentine and 777 British non-fatal casualties.

Further information about the field hospitals and hospital ships is at Ajax Bay
Ajax Bay
Ajax Bay is a settlement on East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, It is on the north west coast, on the shore of San Carlos Water, a few miles from Port San Carlos. It was mainly a refrigeration plant, and was developed by the Colonial Development Corporation in the 1950s, which was also...

 and List of hospitals and hospital ships of the Royal Navy. On the Argentine side beside the Military Hospital at Port Stanley, the Argentine Air Force Mobile Field Hospital
Argentine Air Force Mobile Field Hospital
The Argentine Air Force Mobile Field Hospital is a field hospital operated by the Argentine Air Force. It is one of three health centers of its kind worldwide .- Description :...

 was deployed at Comodoro Rivadavia
Comodoro Rivadavia
Comodoro Rivadavia is a city in the Patagonian province of Chubut in southern Argentina, located on the San Jorge Gulf, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, at the foot of the Chenque Hill. Comodoro Rivadavia is the most important city of the San Jorge Basin....

.

Red Cross Box


Before British offensive operations began, the British and Argentine governments agreed to establish an area on the high seas where both sides could station hospital ships without fear of attack by the other side. This area, a circle 20 nautical miles in diameter, was referred to as the Red Cross Box (48°30′S 53°45′W), about 45 miles (72.4 km) north of Falkland Sound
Falkland Sound
The Falkland Sound is a sea strait in the Falkland Islands. Running south west - north east, it separates West and East Falkland.-Name:The sound was named by John Strong in 1690 for Viscount Falkland, the name only later being applied to the archipelago and its two largest islands...

). Ultimately, the British stationed four ships (HMS Hydra
HMS Hydra (A144)
HMS Hydra was a Royal Navy deep ocean hydrographic survey vessel, the third of the original three of the Hecla class. The ship was laid down as yard number 2258 on 14 May 1964 at Yarrow Shipbuilders, at Scotstoun on the River Clyde and launched on 14 July 1965 by Mary Lythall, wife of the then...

,
HMS Hecla
HMS Hecla (A133)
HMS Hecla was the lead ship of the Hecla class, an oceangoing survey ship type in the Royal Navy. She was ordered in the mid 1960s, along with her sisters ships and . A fourth ship, , was completed in the early 1970s. The ship served for thirty years in this role, and various others, before...

 and HMS Herald
HMS Herald (H138)
HMS Herald was a Hecla-class ocean survey ship that served with the Royal Navy during both the Falklands War and Gulf War. She was built by Robb Caledon Shipbuilders in Leith, Scotland....

, and the primary hospital ship Uganda), within the box, while the Argentinians stationed three (Almirante Irizar
ARA Almirante Irízar (Q-5)
The ARA Almirante Irízar is a large icebreaker of the Argentine Navy. The ship is currently out of service since 2007, when a fire broke out in the auxiliary generator compartment...

, Bahia Paraiso and Puerto Deseado
ARA Puerto Deseado (Q-20)
The ARA Puerto Deseado is an oceanographic survey ship in service in the Argentine Navy. She has a reinforced hull in order to operate in waters around Antarctica.-History:...

).
The hospital ships were actually non-warships converted to serve as hospital ships. The three British naval vessels were survey vessels and Uganda was a passenger liner. Almirante Irizar was an icebreaker, Bahia Paraiso was an Antarctic supply transport and Puerto Deseado was a survey ship. The British and Argentine vessels operating within the Box were in radio contact and there was some transfer of patients between the hospital ships. For example, the British hospital ship S.S. Uganda on four occasions transferred patients to an Argentinian hospital ship. The British naval hospital ships operated as casualty ferries, carrying casualties from both sides from the Falklands to Uganda and operating a shuttle service between the Red Cross Box and Montevideo.

Throughout the conflict officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 (ICRC) conducted inspections to verify that all concerned were abiding by the rules of the Geneva Convention. On 12 June some personnel transferred from the Argentine hospital ship to the British ships by helicopter. Argentine naval officers also inspected the British casualty ferries in the estuary of the River Plate
Río de la Plata
The Río de la Plata —sometimes rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth, and occasionally rendered [La] Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the river and estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River on the border between Argentina and...

.

Memorials



As well as memorials on the islands, there is a memorial to the British war dead in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

, London. There is a memorial at Plaza San Martín
Plaza San Martín (Buenos Aires)
Plaza San Martín is a park located in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Situated at the northern end of pedestrianized Florida Street, the park is bounded by Libertador Ave. , Maipú St. , Santa Fe Avenue , and Leandro Alem Av....

 in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 for the Argentine war dead, another one in Rosario, and a third one in Ushuaia
Ushuaia
Ushuaia may refer to the following:*Ushuaia, a city in Argentina.**Ushuaia Department, an administrative division**Ushuaia River**Ushuaia International Airport**Colegio Nacional de Ushuaia, National School of Ushuaia....

.

During the war, British dead were put into plastic body bag
Body bag
A body bag is a non-porous bag designed to contain a human body, used for the storage and transportation of corpses. Body bags can also be used for the storage of corpses within morgues. Before purpose-made body bags were available, cotton mattress covers were sometimes used, particularly in...

s and buried in mass graves. After the war, the bodies were removed with 14 reburied at Blue Beach Military Cemetery
Blue Beach Military Cemetery at San Carlos
Blue Beach Military Cemetery at San Carlos is a British war cemetery in the Falkland Islands holding the remains of 14 of the 260 British casualties killed during Falklands War in 1982...

 and 64 returned to Britain. Argentine dead were reburied at the Argentine Military Cemetery
Argentine Military Cemetery
The Argentine Military Cemetery, , is a military cemetery on East Falkland that holds the remains of 237 Argentine combatants killed during the 1982 Falklands War...

 west of the Darwin Settlement. The United Kingdom offered to send the bodies back to Argentina, but Argentina refused, knowing that the remains would ensure a continuing Argentine presence on the islands.

Minefields



There are still 117 uncleared minefields on the Falkland Islands and UXO
Unexploded ordnance
Unexploded ordnance are explosive weapons that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded.While "UXO" is widely and informally used, munitions and explosives of...

s are scattered all over the battle fields due to the soft peat ground. No human casualties from mines or UXO have been reported in the Falkland Islands since 1984, and no civilian mine casualties have ever occurred on the islands. The UK reported six military personnel were injured in 1982 and a further two injured in 1983. Most military accidents took place while clearing the minefields in the immediate aftermath of the 1982 conflict or in the process of trying to establish the extent of the minefield perimeters, particularly where no detailed records existed.

Aftermath


This brief war brought many consequences for all the parties involved, besides the great loss of human life and materiel
Materiel
Materiel is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management....

.

In the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher won the time and support she required for her economic measures (which tackled inflation but sent unemployment to its highest postwar levels) to take effect, national pride received a big boost of confidence and assurance, the Royal Navy proved its value once more. The success of the Falklands campaign was widely regarded as the factor in the turnaround in fortunes for the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 government, who had been trailing behind the SDP-Liberal Alliance
SDP-Liberal Alliance
The SDP–Liberal Alliance was an electoral pact formed by the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Party in the United Kingdom which was in existence from 1981 to 1988, when the bulk of the two parties merged to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, later referred to as simply the Liberal...

 in the opinion polls for months before the conflict began, but after the success in the Falklands the Conservatives returned to the top of the opinion polls by a wide margin and went on to win the following year's general election
United Kingdom general election, 1983
The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of Labour in 1945...

 by a landslide.

Subsequently, Defence Secretary Nott's proposed cuts to the Royal Navy were abandoned.

The islanders subsequently had full British citizenship restored in 1983, their lifestyle was improved by investments Britain made after the war and the liberalisation of economic measures that had been stalled through fear of angering Argentina. In 1985, a new constitution was enacted promoting self-government, which has continued to devolve power to the islanders.

The war for Argentina also had an effect in the form of avoiding a possible war
Beagle conflict
The Beagle Conflict was a border dispute between Chile and Argentina over the possession of Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands and the scope of the maritime jurisdiction associated with those islands that brought the countries to the brink of war in 1978....

 with Chile and, more importantly, the return of democracy with the 1983 first free general elections since 1973
Argentine general election, 1983
The Argentine general election of 1983 was held on 30 October and marked the return of Democracy after the 1976's dictatorship self-known as National Reorganization Process...

. It had a major social impact, destroying the military's image as the moral reserve of the nation that they had maintained through most of the 20th century.

Argentina



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 confirming the official communiqués from the government. The glossy magazines Gente
Gente (magazine)
Gente is a popular and long-running Italian celebrity gossip magazine. It is published by Hachette Filipacchi Médias....

 and Siete Días swelled to sixty pages with colour photographs of British warships in flames – many of them faked – and bogus eyewitness reports of the Argentine commandos' guerrilla war on South Georgia (6 May) and an already dead Pucará pilot's attack on HMS Hermes (Lt. Daniel Antonio Jukic had been killed at Goose Green during a British air strike on 1 May). Most of the faked photos actually came from the tabloid press. One of the best remembered headlines was "Estamos ganando" ("We're winning") from the magazine Gente, that would later use variations of it.

The Argentine troops on the Falkland Islands could read Gaceta Argentina—a newspaper intended to boost morale among the servicemen. Some of its untruths could easily be unveiled by the soldiers who recovered corpses.

The Malvinas course united the Argentines in a patriotic atmosphere that protected the junta from critics, and even opponents of the military government supported Galtieri; Ernesto Sabato
Ernesto Sabato
Ernesto Sabato , was an Argentine writer, painter and physicist. According to the BBC he "won some of the most prestigious prizes in Hispanic literature" and "became very influential in the literary world throughout Latin America"...

 said: "Don't be mistaken, Europe; it is not a dictatorship who is fighting for the Malvinas, it is the whole Nation. Opponents of the military dictatorship, like me, are fighting to extirpate the last trace of colonialism." The Madres de Plaza de Mayo were even exposed to death threat
Death threat
A death threat is a threat of death, often made anonymously, by one person or a group of people to kill another person or groups of people. These threats are usually designed to intimidate victims in order to manipulate their behavior, thus a death threat is a form of coercion...

s from ordinary people.

HMS Invincible was repeatedly sunk in the Argentine press, and on 30 April 1982 the Argentine magazine Tal Cual showed UK's PM Thatcher with an eyepatch and the text: Pirate, witch and assassin. Guilty!

Three British reporters sent to Argentina to cover the war from the 'other side' were jailed until the end of the war.

United Kingdom



Seventeen newspaper reporters, two photographers, two radio reporters and three television reporters with five technicians sailed with the Task Force to the war. The Newspaper Publishers' Association selected them from among 160 applicants, excluding foreign media. The hasty selection resulted in the inclusion of two journalists among the war reporters who were interested only in Queen Elizabeth II's son Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO , is the second son, and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

, who was serving in the conflict.

Merchant vessels had the civilian Inmarsat
Inmarsat
Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites...

 uplink, which enabled written telex and voice report transmissions via satellite. SS Canberra
SS Canberra
SS Canberra was an ocean liner, which later operated on cruises, in the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland at a cost of £17,000,000. The ship was named on 17 March 1958, after the federal capital of Australia, Canberra...

 had a facsimile machine
Fax
Fax , sometimes called telecopying, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material , normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device...

 that was used to upload 202 pictures from the South Atlantic over the course of the war. The Royal Navy leased bandwidth on the US Defense Satellite Communications System
Defense Satellite Communications System
The Defense Satellite Communications System provides the United States with military communications to support globally distributed military users. DSCS will be replaced by the Wideband Global SATCOM system. A total of 14 DSCS III satellites were launched between the early 1980s and 2003. Two...

 for worldwide communications. Television demands a thousand times the data rate of telephone, but the Ministry of Defence was unsuccessful in convincing the US to allocate more bandwidth. TV producers suspected that the enquiry was half-hearted; since the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 television pictures of casualties and traumatised soldiers were recognised as having negative propaganda value. However the technology only allowed uploading a single frame per 20 minutes – and only if the military satellites were allocated 100% to television transmissions. Videotapes were shipped to Ascension Island, where a broadband satellite uplink was available, resulting in TV coverage being delayed by three weeks.

The press was very dependent on the Royal Navy, and was censored
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 on site. Many reporters in the UK knew more about the war than those with the Task Force.

The Royal Navy expected Fleet Street
Fleet Street
Fleet Street is a street in central London, United Kingdom, named after the River Fleet, a stream that now flows underground. It was the home of the British press until the 1980s...

 to conduct a World War Two style positive news campaign but the majority of the British media, especially the BBC, reported the war in a neutral fashion. These reporters referred to "the British troops" and "the Argentinian troops" instead of "our lads" and the dehumanised "Argies". The two main tabloid papers presented opposing viewpoints: The Daily Mirror was decidedly anti-war, whilst The Sun
The Sun (newspaper)
The Sun is a daily national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and owned by News Corporation. Sister editions are published in Glasgow and Dublin...

became notorious for its jingoistic and xenophobic headlines, including its 20 April headline "Stick It Up Your Junta!", and was condemned for the "Gotcha" headline following the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano
ARA General Belgrano
The ARA General Belgrano was an Argentine Navy light cruiser in service from 1951 until 1982. Formerly the , she saw action in the Pacific theater of World War II before being sold to Argentina. After almost 31 years of service, she was sunk during the Falklands War by the Royal Navy submarine ...

.

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
Yomp
Yomp is Royal Marines slang describing a long distance march carrying full kit.British Army slang for the same thing is 'tab'. The term 'tab' has its roots in an acronym, being an abbreviation of Tactical Advance to Battle...

and Exocet
Exocet
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...

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.

See also

  • Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War
    Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War
    This is a list of the ground forces from Argentina that took part in the Falklands War . For a list of ground forces from the United Kingdom, see British ground forces in the Falklands War.- Operation Rosario :...

  • British ground forces in the Falklands War
    British ground forces in the Falklands War
    This is a list of the ground forces from the United Kingdom that took part in the Falklands War. For a list of ground forces from Argentina, see Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War- Land Forces :...

  • Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War
    Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War
    This article describes the composition and actions of the Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War . For a list of naval forces from the United Kingdom, see British naval forces in the Falklands War.-Background:...

  • British naval forces in the Falklands War
    British naval forces in the Falklands War
    This is a list of the naval forces from the United Kingdom that took part in the Falklands War. For a list of naval forces from Argentina, see Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War.-Royal Navy:CommandIn Northwood, London:...

  • Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute
  • Re-establishment of British rule on the Falklands (1833)
  • Beagle conflict
    Beagle conflict
    The Beagle Conflict was a border dispute between Chile and Argentina over the possession of Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands and the scope of the maritime jurisdiction associated with those islands that brought the countries to the brink of war in 1978....

     between Chile and Argentina in 1978
  • Operation Soberanía
    Operation Soberanía
    Operación Soberanía was the codename of a planned Argentine military invasion of Chile to be carried out on 22 December 1978 due to the Beagle conflict dispute. The invasion was halted at the last minute and did not take place....

     Argentine Military Planning against Chile
  • British logistics in the Falklands War
    British logistics in the Falklands War
    According to Admiral Sandy Woodward, who commanded the British fleet during the Falklands War, the British Army, Royal Air Force, the Ministry of Defence and the Secretary of State for Defence, as well as the United States Navy, all “initially suspected the operation was doomed.” The logistical...

  • Argentine air forces in the Falklands War
  • British air services in the Falklands War
    British air services in the Falklands War
    This is a list of the units, aircraft and casualties of the British air services in the Falklands War. The numbers in bold are the number of aircraft used in the war, the numbers in brackets are the number of lost aircraft. For a list of air forces from Argentina, see Argentine air forces in the...

  • Operation Algeciras
    Operation Algeciras
    Operation Algeciras was an ill-fated Argentine plan to sabotage a Royal Navy warship in Gibraltar during the Falklands War. The premise being that if the British military felt vulnerable in Europe, they would decide to keep some vessels in Europe rather than send them to the Falklands.A commando...

     – A failed plan conceived by the Argentine military to send some Montoneros
    Montoneros
    Montoneros was an Argentine Peronist urban guerrilla group, active during the 1960s and 1970s. The name is an allusion to 19th century Argentinian history. After Juan Perón's return from 18 years of exile and the 1973 Ezeiza massacre, which marked the definitive split between left and right-wing...

     to sabotage the British military facilities in Gibraltar
    Gibraltar
    Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

    .
  • Linda Kitson
    Linda Kitson
    Linda Kitson is a British artist. She is best known for her work as an official war artist during the Falklands Conflict.-Early life:Kitson studied at St Martins School of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she specialised in illustration...

     - Kitson was the official war artist
    War artist
    A war artist depicts some aspect of war through art; this might be a pictorial record or it might commemorate how "war shapes lives." War artists have explored a visual and sensory dimension of war which is often absent in written histories or other accounts of warfare.- Definition and context:A...

     accompanying troops during the Falklands conflict. She created over 400 drawings, many of which can be viewed at the Imperial War Museum
    Imperial War Museum
    Imperial War Museum is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. The museum was founded during the First World War in 1917 and intended as a record of the war effort and sacrifice of Britain and her Empire...

    in London.

External links