The Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas) was a ten-week undeclared war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982 over two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands and its territorial dependency, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The conflict began on 2 April, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, followed by the invasion of South Georgia the next day. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on 14 June, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.
The conflict was a major episode in the protracted dispute over the territories’ sovereignty. Argentina asserted (and maintains) that the islands are Argentine territory, and the Argentine government thus characterised its military action as the reclamation of its own territory. The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. Falkland Islanders, who have inhabited the islands since the early 19th century, are predominantly descendants of British settlers, and strongly favour British sovereignty. Neither state officially declared war, although both governments declared the Islands a war zone.
The conflict has had a strong effect in both countries and has been the subject of various books, articles, films, and songs. Patriotic sentiment ran high in Argentina, but the unfavourable outcome prompted large protests against the ruling military government, hastening its downfall and the democratisation of the country. In the United Kingdom, the Conservative government, bolstered by the successful outcome, was re-elected with an increased majority the following year. The cultural and political effect of the conflict has been less in the UK than in Argentina, where it has remained a common topic for discussion.
Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Argentina were restored in 1989 following a meeting in Madrid, at which the two governments issued a joint statement. No change in either country’s position regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands was made explicit. In 1994, Argentina adopted a new Constitution, which declared the Falkland Islands as part of one of its provinces by law. However, the islands continue to operate as a self-governing British Overseas Territory. (Wikipedia)
HMS HERMES about to berth at Portsmouth Harbour on her return from the Falkland Islands, 21 July 1982.
HMS HERMES passes HMS VICTORY as she enters Portsmouth harbour on returning from the Falklands on 21 July 1982.
The aircraft carrier HMS HERMES sails out of Portsmouth for the South Atlantic, at the start of the Falklands War, 1982.
HMS HERMES leaves Portsmouth for the South Atlantic, 5 April 1982.
View from HMS HERMES of the vast number of small boats which welcomed the aircraft carrier home from the Falklands and escorted her into Portsmouth Harbour on 21 July 1982.
Surrounded by life rafts launched by her crew, the Argentine cruiser GENERAL BELGRANO sinks after being torpedoed by the British submarine HMS CONQUEROR on 2 May 1982.
THE FALKLANDS CONFLICT, APRIL – JUNE 1982 (FKD 4) The Churchill class nuclear powered submarine HMS CONQUEROR returns to her base at Faslane in Scotland on 3 July 1982 after deployment to the South Atlantic during which she sank the Argentine cruiser GENERAL BELGRANO on 2 May 1982. HMS CONQUEROR was the first nuclear submarine to sink another warship in combat.
Two British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRS 1s in flight. They are from background to foreground: ZA176 and XZ451 both of 801 Naval Air Squadron.
Two British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRS 1s in flight. Nearest to the camera is ZA176 of 801 Naval Air Squadron. The other aircraft is believed to be XZ451 also of 801 NAS.
A formation of Royal Navy Sea Harriers in flight shortly before being deployed during the Falklands Conflict.
THE FALKLANDS CONFLICT, APRIL – JUNE 1982 (FKD 83) A British Aerospace Sea Harrier (ZA177) of No 800 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, piloted by Lt Simon Hargreaves lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship, HMS INTREPID during the Battle for Tumbledown on 13 June 1982. The Harrier was unable to use the SHEATHBILL temporary airstrip on the Falkland Islands and lacked the fuel to return to HMS HERMES. It therefore diverted to HMS INTREPID which had been recommissioned at the start of the Conflict.
HMS PLYMOUTH on fire after being attacked by five Argentine Mirage aircraft on 8 June 1982. The ship was badly damaged but survived.
HMS ARGONAUT on fire in San Carlos Water after being attacked and badly damaged in Argentine air attacks on 21 May 1982.
The sinking of HMS ANTELOPE in San Carlos Water. The explosion of the second Argentine 1000-lb bomb on board the ship broke its back and cause the frigate to sink. A bomb disposal officer had been attempting to defuse the bomb at the time.
The sinking of HMS ANTELOPE in San Carlos Water. Argentine 500lb bombs explode on board HMS ANTELOPE on the night of 23-24 May 1982. Two bombs had been dropped by an Argentine aircraft flying at extremely low level on HMS ANTELOPE during the day of 23 May. The bombs, which did not explode, lodged in the engine room of the ship. One detonated while it was being defused. The explosion broke the back of the ship which sank.
The bow and stern sections of HMS ANTELOPE in San Carlos Water in the Falkland Islands after the ship was sunk by Argentine air attack on 24 May 1982.
The sinking of the Royal Navy frigate HMS ARDENT. Close up showing the stern of HMS ARDENT on fire after being attacked for the second time in San Carlos Water by the Argentine Air Force on 21 May 1982. No fewer than five bombs had struck ARDENT’s hangar and flight deck area and 22 lives were lost.
The sinking of the Royal Navy frigate HMS ARDENT. HMS ARDENT on fire, with HMS YARMOUTH alongside, after being attacked for the first time in San Carlos Water by the Argentine Air Force on 21 May 1982. The ship had been struck by two 1,000lb bombs and 22 lives lost. HMS YARMOUTH attempted to assist with firefighting and then evacuated the crew (who can be seen lining the side of the ship.
Survivors of HMS ARDENT wearing “once-only” survival suits, on the flight deck of HMS YARMOUTH after abandoning ship in San Carlos Water on 21 May. HMS ARDENT had been damaged in two Argentine air attacks.
The abandoned HMS ARDENT in San Carlos water after two Argentine air attacks. HMS YARMOUTH (left) pulls away from ARDENT after taking off her crew.
A low aerial view of HMS ARDENT at anchor in San Carlos Water after being damaged in the stern by the first of two Argentine air attacks by A4-Q Skyhawks of the Argentine Navy’s 3rd Fighter Attack Squadron. In this attack, two 500lb bombs exploded in the Ship’s hangar, destroying the Westland Lynx helicopter and Seacat missile launcher. A third bomb lodged in the After Auxiliary Machinery Room without exploding. Although not disabled at the time of this photograph, the subsequent air attack brought the Ship to a halt. HMS ARDENT sank on 22 May.
Damage to the hangar and after superstructure of HMS ARDENT sustained in two attacks in Falkland Sound by A4-Q Skyhawks of the Argentine Navy’s 3rd Fighter Attack Squadron in San Carlos Water on 21 May 1982. In the first attack, two 500-lb bombs exploded in the Ship’s hangar, destroying the Westland Lynx helicopter and Seacat missile launcher and a third lodged in the After Auxiliary Machinery Room without exploding. In the second attack, two more direct hits on the Ship’s stern caused the fires to spread out of control and brought her to a halt. Twenty two lives were lost during the attack. HMS ARDENT sank on 22 May.
Lieutenant Commander N D Ward AFC RN, Commanding Officer of No 801 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm on board HMS INVINCIBLE. The photograph is believed to have been taken on 21 May after Lt Cmdr Ward shot down an Argentine Mirage. He is seen here wearing his flying helmet.
A Royal Navy gunner mans a deck mounted 7.62mm General Purpose machine gun for use against low-level Argentine air attack in San Carlos Water. He is wearing an anti flash hood and gauntlets as protection against the possibility of fire.
Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade raise the Union Jack on landing at San Carlos beachhead during Operation SUTTON on 21 May 1982.
The San Carlos landings on 21 May 1982. Two Royal Marines of 40 Commando keep watch at dawn, armed with a 7.62mm General Purpose machine gun, on board the P & O liner CANBERRA. HMS FEARLESS is in the background.
Sergeant “Sharkey” Ward of 40 Royal Marine Commando prepares a meal on a hexamine stove in a slit trench at San Carlos
View from SS CANBERRA in San Carlos Water with a Westland Sea King HC.4 on the flight deck. HMS FEARLESS is in the background.
The British Task Force under Argentine air attack in San Carlos Water in the Falkland Islands, 21 May 1982. MV NORLAND is straddled by bombs as she prepares to head for open water after disembarking men of 2nd Parachute Regiment.
A Royal Marine of 40 Commando on patrol near San Carlos.
Three landing craft from HMS FEARLESS, containing Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade, head through rough seas for BLUE Beach at San Carlos on 21 May 1982. HMS FEARLESS is in the background with two Sea King helicopters on her flight deck. Delays meant that the landing operations mostly took place in daylight.
Two Royal Marines of 40 Commando defend the landing site at San Carlos with a Browning .5″ machine gun. A landing craft from HMS INTREPID is in the background.
A Scorpion light tank of the Blues and Royals setting off on patrol near San Carlos, with a young Falkland Islander riding in the turret as a passenger, probably to provide the crew with local knowledge.
Two Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade “blacked up” and ready to board a landing craft at the start of Operation SUTTON, the landings at San Carlos Bay.
Landing craft from HMS INTREPID approach the beach at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands to land British troops, 21 May 1982.
Royal Navy Sea King Helicopters transport troops up to Darwin from San Carlos on the Falkland Islands, 28th May 1982.
Burial of Argentine dead at Darwin.
Two Royal Navy Westland Sea King HAS.2s with an Army Air Corps Gazelle at Fitzroy.
Surrendered Argentine weapons at Port Stanley. A picture of the Madonna is taped to the butt of a discarded Argentine rifle.
Captured Argentine prisoners are marched away from Goose Green under guard.
An Argentine prisoner of war, one of the many who surrendered at Goose Green, cooks a meal on elementary equipment in the sheep shearing shed which was converted to a temporary holding area for Argentine prisoners .
Men of 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment wait on board the ferry NORLAND before the landings at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands, 20 May 1982.
After landing at San Carlos, a heavily laden paratrooper of 2 Parachute Regiment heads south for Sussex Mountain on 21 May 1982. From there the Battalion attacked Goose Green
Soldiers of 5 Infantry Brigade disembark at a jetty from one of HMS INTREPID’s landing craft at San Carlos Water in the Falkland Islands, 1 June 1982.
Troops of 5 Infantry Brigade come ashore at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands, 2 June 1982.
5 Infantry Brigade lands at San Carlos on 2 June 1982. In the foreground, men dig in. In the background troops march to their dispersal areas and a Sea King helicopter delivers a truck by air. Storage containers line a prefabricated metal roadway.
5 Infantry Brigade assemble on the beachhead at San Carlos.
Fires smoulder on Hill 60 near Goose Green, Darwin, following the engagement between 2 Parachute Regiment and Argentine forces on 28 May 1982.
Lance Corporal Drew Sheehan and Lance Corporal Garry Bingley of 2 Parachute Regiment undertake live firing practice with a 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun on improvised Anti Aircraft mountings from the deck of MV NORLAND as it approaches the Falkland Islands. Corporal Bingley, who served with D Company, was killed at Goose Green on 28 May after charging an Argentine machine gun position near Coronation Ridge. He was awarded a posthumous Military Medal.
Argentine prisoners, carrying their kit, walk out to the airfield at Port Stanley, where a temporary prisoner of war camp was set up by British forces after the Argentine surrender.
Argentine rifles piled beside the road leading to the airfield at Port Stanley after being surrendered.
The Falkland Islands Company jetty at Port Stanley after the Argentine surrender. A mixture of British and Argentine vehicles are parked in the background.
Naval Party 8901, the Royal Marine garrison of the Falkland Islands evicted by the Argentine invaders, with the Falkland Islands flag outside Government House, Port Stanley, after the Argentine surrender, June 1982.
Transport in Port Stanley shortly after the Argentine surrender. British and Argentine vehicles pass on the road while Royal Navy Sea King helicopters hover overhead.
Destruction in Port Stanley, photographed after the Argentine surrender. The police station at Port Stanley was struck by an AS 12 missile fired by a British Wessex HU 5 helicopter of No 845 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm on 12 June 1982. The missile had been aimed at the Town Hall which was being used by General Menendez, Commander of Argentine forces in the Falkland Islands, and his staff. This photograph was one of many confiscated from Argentine prisoners by 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines Intelligence Section.
An Argentine armoured car abandoned in the snow at Port Stanley during the Falklands winter which set in shortly after the Argentine surrender.
British troops at Fitzroy.
View of Fitzroy Cove with RFA SIR GALAHAD burning in the distance.
RFA SIR GALAHAD on fire in Fitzroy Cove after an Argentine air attack. Thirty three Welsh Guardsmen were killed in the attack. The ship was later towed into deep water and sunk as a war grave.8 June 1982.
Damage control parties fight the fires on board RFA SIR GALAHAD at Fitzroy after the Argentine air attack of 8 June.
Lifeboats carrying soldiers of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards from the blazing RFA SIR GALAHAD after the devastating Argentine air attack at Fitzroy in the Falkland Islands, 8 June 1982.
The remains of the damaged RFA SIR TRISTRAM (left) alongside RFA SIR GERAINT after the devastating Argentine air attack at Fitzroy on 8 June 1982.
An Argentine IAI Dagger passes low over RFA SIR BEDIVERE in San Carlos Water on 24 May 1982.
A Rapier surface-to-air missile battery watches out for Argentine aircraft at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands, June 1982.
A Royal Marine with a Blowpipe surface to air missile defends the landing site at San Carlos.
A Royal Marine of 3 Commando Brigade helps another to apply camouflage face paint in preparation for the San Carlos landings on 21 May 1982.
Argentine soldiers buy postcards at a souvenir shop in Stanley, on the Falkland Islands, shortly after their invasion, on April 13, 1982.
Argentine military personnel of the 601 Company take their position in the Strait of San Carlos during the Falklands War, in this May 1982 photo.
On May 25, 1982, Argentine Army General Mario Benjamin Menendez, who ruled as governor for the 73 days of the Falklands War, addresses his troops in Darwin.
During the 1982 Falklands War, the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano sinks amid orange life rafts holding survivors in the South Atlantic Ocean, after being torpedoed by the British nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine HMS Conqueror on May 1, 1982. While Argentine and Chilean ships managed to rescue 770 men, 323 were killed in the attack.
Argentine soldiers carrying military supplies shortly after invading the Falkland Islands, on April 13, 1982.
In Buenos Aires, tens of thousands of Argentinians gather at Plaza de Mayo to show their support for President Leopoldo Galtieri during the Falklands War on April 10, 1982.
Argentine army soldiers read newspapers in Port Stanley during the Falklands War, in this April 1982 photo.
Argentine “Air Macchi” fighter-bombers take part in operations over the Falkland Islands on May 21, 1982.
An Argentine Hercules C-130 military aircraft flies to Puerto Argentino during the Falklands War in this May, 1982 photo.
Two Argentine soldiers run along Ross Road in Port Stanley to take cover from a bombing alert during the Falklands War, on May 4, 1982.
An Argentine army officer walks next to a British war plane that was shot down during the Falklands War in Darwin in this May, 1982 photo.
Hundreds of people jam Calle Florida in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 21, 1982 to read the latest newspaper in the window of a store. The crowd was especially large when war news from the Falklands became available.
The surviving crew of Argentine Navy patrol boat, Alferez Sobral, stand at attention in the city of Puerto Deseado on the Argentine mainland, during a ceremony honoring their companions killed when their boat was attacked by Britain’s HMS Coventry, on May 4, 1982.
Argentine soldiers take position in Port Howard, Falkland Islands, in May of 1982.