So guys, lets talk about the 1982 Falklands War. Grab your popcorn!
The Falklands War or the Falklands crisis was an armed military conflict that took place in 1982 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Argentine Federation. In this conflict, Britain aimed at reconquering Falklands and Argentine forces aimed at holding the invasion of Falklands that took place on 2nd of April, 1982.
Duration: 2nd April- 14th June 1982
Belligerents: United Kingdom of Great Britain vs Argentina
Results: Brirish Victory
- As Argentina was under military leadership from 1976. 1982, like every year was a time of economic crisis for Argentina. Argentina’s economy was struggling for a long time. There was lack of trust of people over the military leaders controlling the government. As the economic crisis was creating unrest in the people, Argentine military leaders and Argentina’s then President and General Leopoldo Galtieri were busy fulfilling their own interests.
- As the unrest grew, Argentine people began conducting strikes and protests. With this, their leaders got worried over the stability of Military Government. One way to distract people was going at WAR!
- The Falkland Islands as the Britain knew it, and Islas Malvinas as the Argentinians and Spanish knew was a very unpopular island. These Islands were claimed by the Spanish, French and Brits until the early 20th century. Britain finally got hold of these islands by the end of 1841From then it was a British Colony. But the Argentines still claimed the island as theirs.
- Argentine Leaders saw war with Britain over Falklands as the perfect way to distract Argentine people. They thought that if their Military could capture Falklands, they would become heroes in the eyes of the public.
- This led to the Argentine invasion of Falklands.
- The conflict began on 2nd April 1982, when Argentina invaded Falkland Islands and its capital Port Stanley. This was followed by the invasion of South Georgia Islands.
- The then British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher, ordered a British Task force of over 100 ships and ordered an Maritime exclusion zone around the Falklands.
- British Task Force set sail to Falklands on 5th April. Royal Navy used Ascension Islands in South Atlantic Ocean as their Forward Operating Base (FOB).
Campaign for Superiority in air and seas
- Fierce fighting took place in the island region for over a month. British Task Force aimed to gain the superiority in the seas first. Sea battles accounted for some of the largest losses of life.
- On 2nd May, a British Nuclear Submarine HMS Conquerer sank an Argentine Light Cruiser ARA General Belgrano. As a result, 323 Argentine personnel aboard the ship lost their lives. As the Argentine Navy lacked anti-submarine technology, the whole Argentine Fleet was withdrawn except for a diesel powered submarine. This fulfilled the Task Force’s objective of controlling the seas.
- The next objective was to control the skies. Argentine Air force carried out constant raids on British Ships. On 4th May, two days after sinking ARA General Belgrano , two Argentine Super-Etendards carried out a raid on HMS Sheffield and sunk it with an exocet missile.
- As the Argentine Air Force controlled the skies, the British Task Force sent its Sea- Harriers from two British Aircraft Carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes. As weeks went on with fierce air battles, British forces successfully captured San Carlos.
- From there, highly trained British Royal Marine Commandos went on capturing rest of the east Falklands with minimum resistance from Argentine Army.
- As the British Forces moved on to capture the west Falklands, the biggest ground battle of the entire war, the Battle of Goose Green took place. This battle was 14 hours long. It resulted in a decisive British Victory. 900 Argentine soldiers surrendered in this battle.
- After the Battle of Goose Green, Argentine Forces offered much less resistance. Few more battles took place after Battle of Goose Green. These were some battles following to the invasion of Falkland’s Capital city of Port Stanley. 5000 reinforcements from the 5th infantry Brigade arrived after the battle of Goose Green.
- On the 14th of June, when British soldiers pushed the Argentine Soldiers out of Port Stanley, the Falklands War came to an end.
- This 2 months long war claimed hundreds of lives on both sides.
- On the Argentine side, 649 personnel were killed and 1657 personnel were wounded. 11,313 Argentine soldiers were taken Prisoners Of War (POWs) by the British Forces.
- On the British side, 255 soldiers were killed, 775 soldiers were wounded and 115 were captured by the Argentine Forces.
- As of ships, Britain lost 2 destroyers, 2 frigates, 1 landing ship, 1 landing craft and 1 container ship. Argentine Navy Lost 1 cruiser, 1 submarine, 4 cargo vessels, 2 patrol boats and 1 naval trawler.
- As of aircraft, Britain lost 24 helicopters, 10 fighters and 1 bomber. Argentina lost 25 helicopters, 35 fighters, 2 bombers, 4 cargo aircraft, 9 trainer aircraft and 25 counter-insurgency aircraft.