- 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands
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Argentine amphibious forces rapidly overcame the small garrison of British marines at the town of Stanley on East Falkland and the next day seized the dependent territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich group. The 1, Falkland Islanders, mostly English-speaking sheep farmers, awaited a British response. The Falkland Islands, located about miles off the southern tip of Argentina, had long been claimed by the British.
1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands
British navigator John Davis may have sighted the islands in , and in British Navy Captain John Strong made the first recorded landing on the islands. In , the British settled West Falkland but left in for economic reasons. Spain abandoned its settlement in In Argentina declared its independence from Spain and in proclaimed its sovereignty over the Falklands. In , a British force expelled the remaining Argentine officials and began a military occupation.
In , a British lieutenant governor was appointed, and by the s a British community of some 1, people on the islands was self-supporting. In , the wind-blown Falkland Islands were collectively granted colonial status.
For the next 90 years, life on the Falklands remained much unchanged, despite persistent diplomatic efforts by Argentina to regain control of the islands. In , the Falkland Islanders voted in a referendum to remain British, and it seemed unlikely that the Falklands would ever revert to Argentine rule. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the military junta led by Lieutenant General Leopoldo Galtieri was suffering criticism for its oppressive rule and economic management, and planned the Falklands invasion as a means of promoting patriotic feeling and propping up its regime.
Under orders from their commanders, the Argentine troops inflicted no British casualties, despite suffering losses to their own units. Nevertheless, Britain was outraged, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher assembled a naval task force of 30 warships to retake the islands. As Britain is 8, miles from the Falklands, it took several weeks for the British warships to arrive.
After several weeks of fighting, the large Argentine garrison at Stanley surrendered on June 14, effectively ending the conflict. In , the archipelago had long been home to little else besides shepherds, sheep, 10 million penguins and a history of diplomatic disputes. The islands had first been seen by British eyes in the 16th century, were claimed by the U. Meanwhile, Argentina, which became independent from Spain during the period of Spanish control of the Falklands, claimed the right to the land—they had gained the Malvinas, their name for the islands, when Spain left, they argued—even over the objections of many who actually lived on the Islands.
The locals, largely descended from Brits, did not support leaving the shelter of the British crown which held them as a dependency, not an independent member of the commonwealth for then-unstable but nearby rule.
In early April of , the Falklands and, by extension, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands were defended by a few dozen British marines already on the islands when thousands of Argentine troops suddenly swept in. In fighting that lasted mere hours, the South American nation seized the territories from the U. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her government promised that, were the request denied, the islands would be retaken by force.
And, when the British navy arrived in the area—to enforce a blockade and evacuate the invaders—that result began to seem more and more likely.
Our History | Falkland Islands Government
Just plain weird. Nonetheless, the pride of two nations was on the line, and citizens on both sides supported action.
- Learn About the Falklands War.
- The outbreak of conflict.
- How Margaret Thatcher's Tough Reaction to the Falklands Invasion Paid Off - HISTORY;
President Ronald Reagan was unable to mediate a diplomatic solution and, at the end of the month, thousands of Argentine troops prepared for a confrontation. South Georgia was quickly captured, bringing the two sides within striking distance. Military targets in the Falklands were bombed and other nations, including the U.
Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain
The U. Fighting increased, as did patriotic support on both home fronts, even as the costs began to climb.
- Sur la plage de Chesil (Folio) (French Edition).
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- BBC ON THIS DAY | 2 | Argentina invades Falklands.
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As the second month of fighting drew to an end, there was nothing quaint about it. As TIME reported :. Meanwhile, preparations for an all-out war over the Falklands continued. To the skirl of bagpipes, some 3, Scottish, Welsh and Gurkha troops last week boarded the hastily requisitioned Queen Elizabeth 2 to begin a ten-day journey to the South Atlantic.