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1982 Invasion of the Falkland Islands

In 1982, Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, signifying the beginning of the Falklands War.

1982 Invasion of the Falkland Islands

The Falklands War was a conflict between Argentina and the UK over the British Overseas Territories of Falklands Island and South George and the South Sandwich Islands. The war lasted 74 days and was fought from April 2, 1982, and ended on June 14, 1982, with the surrender of the Argentine. The conflict began with the Argentine invasion and occupation of the Falklands Islands and claiming sovereignty over them. The conflict had a severe effect on both Argentina and the UK with Argentina suffering 649 casualties and the UK suffering 255 casualties. The relationship between the two countries has since been restored following the Madrid meeting in 1989, although neither country has changed their positions regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Falklands Forces Involved in the Invasion

The governor of Falkland, Rex Hunt, was informed of a possible invasion from Argentina on April 1, 1982. The governor summoned senior Royal Marine officers to discuss the option of defending the islands. Major Norman was tasked with the command of the 66 Marines due to his experience. The Marines were reinforced by 25 Falkland Defense Forces with Major Phil Summer as the commanding officer of the FIDF.

Operation Rosario

The Argentine operation began on April 1, 1982, with the ARA Santa Fe disembarking special naval forces. Operation Rosario began with the exploration of Port William on March 31, 1982, with the landing of 14 members of the diverse tactical group on the night of April 1, Santa Fe containing 84 Special Forces troopers and a small party landed at Mullet Creek. The party set towards the Moody Brook Barracks where the Argentine Marines suspected to be housing sleeping Royal Marines. The Argentine forces destroyed the barracks with the sound of grenades catching the attention of the Royal Marines. The Government House was captured early morning on April 2 just before the amphibious landing at York Bay. Major Norman, who was commanding the Royal Marine, surrendered his troops to the Argentine after the Government House had been captured. On April 3, 1982, the Argentine Marines managed to capture South George Island.

British Response to the Invasion

Governor Hunt had a telex conversation with the Ministry of Defense operatives in London informing them of the Argentine invasion of Falklands. A crisis meeting was quickly called by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that discussed the possibility of the British recapturing the Islands. The operation to retake the islands was named Operation Corporate and a task force was also formed to ensure that the operation was carried out efficiently and within the shortest time possible. The UK also drafted a resolution to the UN Security Council condemning the hostilities and asking an immediate withdrawal of the Argentine from the islands. The UNSC adopted the resolution on April 4, 1982. The UK also received support from the European Economic Community which imposed economic sanctions on Argentina. The US provided military weapons to the UK to counter the Argentine’s heavy military. Although several countries supported the British and condemned the actions of the Argentine, some of the countries opted to mediate the crisis.

Consequences of the Invasion

The invasion of the Falkland Islands quickly escalated into a 10-week war which known as the Falklands War. It led to 907 casualties. There was a considerable loss of material and military equipment for both countries. However, the Islanders benefited from the Invasion by acquiring full British citizenship with their lifestyle improved by the British investment on the islands.

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