On 2nd April 1982 Argentinian forces invaded the British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands.
had claimed sovereignty over the islands for many years and their ruling
military junta didn’t believe that Britain would attempt to regain the islands
Despite the huge distance involved – the Falklands were 8,000 miles away in the South Atlantic – Britain, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, undertook the extraordinary feat of assembling and sending a task force of around 120 warships and rapidly refitted merchant ships to the Falklands carrying over 9,000 soldiers and sailors.
The task force reached the Falklands in early May. On 2nd May, the Royal Navy submarine HMS Conqueror sank the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano, with the loss of over 300 of her crew. After this incident, Argentinian ships remained in port.
However, the Argentinian air force still posed a significant threat. The Royal Navy lost several warships to attacks from Argentinian aircraft, which were armed with missiles. Its Fleet Auxiliary ships were attacked at Fitzroy and the supply ship Atlantic Conveyor was also sunk.
British forces landed on the islands on 21st May. After a series of engagements against a well dug-in but ill-trained conscripted Argentinian Army, they began the battle for Stanley, the islands’ capital on 11th June.
The Argentinian forces surrendered on 14th June 1982, with a loss of 650 troops.
Our gratitude goes out to each and every man and woman of the British task force who took part in this war. Thank you.
Almost 260 British personnel gave their lives during this war, and many more came away injured. Veterans at Ease has worked with some of these soldiers, sailors and airmen – Because Military Minds Matter.
Not every injury is obviously visible