The Falklands War was a conflict between the United Kingdom and Argentina, and it was fought over territory in the southern section of the Atlantic Ocean. The war lasted roughly ten weeks after it began in April 1982. The regions that the nations were fighting over were the Falklands Islands as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Before the war broke out, the UK and Argentina had been involved in a diplomatic row over the ownership of the islands. On one hand, the Argentinean government claimed that the islands were part of its territory, while the UK government claimed that the islands had been part of its territories since the mid-19th century. Even though the conflict is referred to as a war, neither of the nations officially declared war although they did categorize the island as a war zone.
Argentina Involvement in the Falklands War
The Argentine government was the major instigator of the war as it sent its forces into the Falkland Islands as part of a military operation it dubbed Operation Rosario. The Argentine government classified the invasion as part of its efforts to reclaim its land. As part of the process, ARA Santisima Trinidad navy took several members of the Argentine Special Forces to Stanley at the beginning of April. The rest of the Argentinean invasion force arrived on the island aboard the ship ARA Cabo San Antonio. A section of the Argentine forces that landed on the island was under the command of Guillermo Sanchez-Sabarots, an Argentine Lieutenant Commander. One of the main targets of the Argentine forces was the Moody Brook Barracks which was where a group of Royal Marines was stationed. The Argentine army was completely surprised when they found that the barracks were empty as the troops had left to defend government house.
UK Involvement in the Falklands War
Historical evidence indicates that the UK was unprepared for an Argentine invasion of the islands and therefore they had failed to put in place a contingency plan for such an occurrence. The UK government was forced to rely on the forces that could be readily mobilized. The initial response of the UK was to send a nuclear-powered submarine to the islands. The UK government also sent two aircraft carriers and some escort vessels to the island to combat the Argentine forces. Three troops of elite UK commandos were also sent to the islands aboard an ocean liner that the government had requisitioned for use during the war. Several military experts considered it almost impossible for the British government to retake the islands. The most significant challenge facing the British during the war was the huge difference in air power between their air force and the Argentine air force. One of the most important planes during the operation was a Vulcan Bomber that flew for more than 9,200 miles on a single mission. Some of the most influential UK commanders during the war included Julian Thompson and Tony Wilson.
Impact of the Falklands War
The Falklands War was fought from April 2 to June 14, 1982. One of the major results of the war was that several deaths of close to 1,000 people, most of whom were from Argentina. The war also increased the popularity of several politicians such as Margaret Thatcher.