The Falklands War ( English Falklands War / Crisis , Spanish Guerra de las Malvinas / Guerra del Atlántico Sur ) was a war between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands (also Malwinen ) as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands , which lasted from April to June 1982 . Though surprised by the Argentine attack on the islands, Britain eventually prevailed and the islands remained in British hands, which was what their people wanted. In Argentina, the outcome of the war led to the overthrow of the military junta and the restoration of the democratic system .
Historical ownership claims
Ownership of the islands has long been disputed. In 1600 the Dutchman Sebald de Weert sighted a group of three uninhabited islands. Soon afterwards they were recorded on Dutch nautical charts. In 1690 the English captain John Strong was the first to set foot on the islands and named the strait between the two main islands the Falkland Channel after the head of the Admiralty, Lord Falkland . Only later was "Falkland" used as the name of the entire archipelago. French captains mapped the islands between 1698 and 1712. On their maps, published in 1716 by Frezier in Saint-Malo , they were recorded as "Iles Malouines", referring to the name of the city of St. Malo. In 1764 the Frenchman Louis Antoine de Bougainville founded the first colony, which was sold to Spain by the French crown in October 1766. On April 1, 1767, the colony was formally handed over to the Spaniards, they kept the - Spanish-modified - name of the islands as "Malvinas". In December 1766, however, the British captain (captain of the Royal Navy) John McBride landed on Saunders Island (Spanish Isla Trinidad), then called "Falkland", and left behind a small troop under Captain Anthony Hunt (captain of the army) to secure British claims. The name Falkland was initially to be understood in the singular and did not refer to the neighboring East Falkland (Isla Soledad), the plural "Falklands" was used by the British much later. In November 1769, Captain Hunt's Sloop and a Spanish schooner met in the Falkland Sound . They asked each other to evacuate the Falkland Islands, but no one complied. This led to the Falklands Crisis between Great Britain and Spain, which almost led to a conflict between the two states. In May 1770 the Spanish governor in Buenos Aires , Francisco Bucarelli, dispatched five frigates , which quickly forced the thirteen British stationed by Hunt on June 10, 1770 to give up. An impending war between Great Britain and Spain was averted by a secret declaration of peace on January 22, 1771, in which Spain gave in, but reserved sovereign rights over the Falkland Islands. In a further contract on September 16, 1771, both sides mutually recognized their previous rights in relation to the Falkland Islands and Malvinas. However, the British made no apparent attempt to settle the islands permanently in the following years.
The justification of the Argentine claims to ownership of the Falkland Islands is very complex. However, the claims are mainly based on the fact that Buenos Aires regards itself as the sole legal successor to the former Spanish viceroyalty on the Río de la Plata .
With the dethronement of the previous king and the French takeover in Madrid in 1808, the drive for autonomy in the Spanish colonies in South America intensified. On May 25, 1810, Buenos Aires declared itself autonomous. Only when the reinstated Spanish King Ferdinand VII refused to recognize the autonomy of the South American colonies after the expulsion of the French did the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata declare themselves independent on July 9, 1816. In the following wars, the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in Buenos Aires emphatically claimed all areas that had ever been part of the Spanish viceroyalty on La Plata, including - regardless of the still existing British claims - the Falkland Islands (or Spanish: Islas Malvinas) belonged. This not only led to fighting with Spanish troops, but also to several wars with Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil in the decades that followed. Border disputes with Chile over mutual claims to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego were largely concluded after the Falklands War of 1982 (with Argentina renouncing the islands in the Beagle Channel on November 25, 1984). However, some disputes continue.
The last Spanish garrison on the Malwinen (Falkland Islands) withdrew to Montevideo in Uruguay in 1811 together with the inhabitants of the settlement of Puerto Soledad (Port Louis). After that, the islands were practically uninhabited and were only visited temporarily (mostly to repair ships and take in fresh water) by seafarers and whalers from various nations. The role that David Jewitt played in 1820/21 is controversial today. Jewitt was an American privateer who, as captain of the ship Heroine , was supposed to hunt Spanish ships in 1820 with official permission from the government of Buenos Aires (but attacked ships of other nations several times). When his ship was damaged in a storm, he landed in East Falkland in October 1820, where he met Captain James Weddell , the well-known British navigator and polar explorer, who helped him to make it seaworthy again. After completing the repairs, Jewitt left the islands after about six months (April 1821). According to modern Argentine view, Jewitt took possession of the islands "for Argentina" during this time. However, this claim was not published anywhere (apparently not even in Buenos Aires) or communicated to other governments. The claim only became known more than a year later when newspapers in the US and Europe reported the trial of the captain of the pirate ship Heroine , who was then accused of piracy in Lisbon.
It was not until June 1829 that Buenos Aires formally appointed a governor of the islands. The new governor was Louis Vernet, a Hamburg-born French merchant with a US passport, who came to the Falkland Islands for the first time in 1826 for private economic reasons in order to catch the meanwhile quite numerous feral cattle on the islands with the help of Argentine gauchos to spend on the mainland. For this purpose, he built a settlement there in 1828. In January 1829 Vernet had his claim to large areas in the Falkland Islands for agricultural use officially registered in the British Embassy in Buenos Aires. In April 1829 the embassy formally confirmed his claim and the ambassador informed him that Her Majesty's government was happy to take his settlement under their protection. During the negotiations with the British embassy, however, Vernet had kept silent about the fact that a year earlier, in January 1828, he had had real estate rights confirmed with the Argentine government and had applied for fishing and grazing rights on the Malvines in Buenos Aires in 1823. After the Argentine government had founded the "Comandancia Político y Militar de las Malvinas" (Spanish "Political and Military Command of the Malvines") and appointed Vernet as its first "Commander" with regard to its settlement, the British ambassador protested on November 19, 1829 in a formal note sharply with the Argentine government against this blatant violation of British sovereign rights over the Falkland Islands. Because of the (apparent or actual) "double game" network, its name is rarely mentioned in Argentine representations today, and the South Americans base their claims primarily on David Jewitt, who was only a few months with a wrecked ship on the islands.
In 1831 there was the so-called "Lexington" incident, which was triggered when Vernet had three ships confiscated by US seal hunters in 1829, which had violated fishing and hunting rights granted to him in 1823 by the Argentine government and in 1829 by the British Government guarantees (the Americans - according to Vernet - indiscriminately killed seals and other animals on the islands). Because of this, more than two years later, in December 1831, the USA sent the corvette Lexington , whose crew destroyed the settlement in Vernet's absence and declared the Falkland Islands free (i.e. not belonging to any state), which in Europe also brought interest back to the islands was directed. The US only responded to the Argentine protests against the violation of its sovereignty by pointing out British sovereignty rights that already existed.
Nevertheless, Buenos Aires posted troops on the islands in 1832 with the task of establishing a penal colony there. In November 1832, however, there was a revolt among the prisoners who murdered the commandant of the troops, Captain Jean Etienne Mestivier. Argentina dispatched another ship with soldiers to arrest the murderers. Just three days after their arrival, the British sloop HMS Clio landed , the captain of which, John James Onslow, had the Argentine flag lowered on January 3, 1833 and raised the British flag in order to renew the British claims. Subsequently, the islands had no government authority for over a year (i.e. even after the British ship left, the Argentine government made no attempt to regain the archipelago). It was not until January 10, 1834 that HMS Tyne landed for one of the annual routine visits and, in order to secure the British claims permanently, left behind a young officer who had to set up a British administration as a "resident naval officer" (permanent or acting officer of the Navy). Only after the establishment of further settlements did Great Britain appoint its own governor for the Falkland Islands in 1842. Between 1833 and 1849 the Argentine Confederation renewed its protests several times, which Great Britain rejected on the grounds that they based their claims on the fact that the Falkland Islands were Spanish, but that Spain had ceded the rights to the islands to Great Britain before the independence of South America have, which is why the islands no longer belonged to the viceroyalty.
Between 1843 and 1852 a series of wars broke out between Buenos Aires and provinces north of La Plata and on Parana, which had declared themselves independent, in which Brazil and the two great European powers France and Great Britain were finally involved (→ cf. . also article on the history of Argentina , Brazil , Paraguay , Uruguay and Juan Manuel de Rosas ). In the course of this crisis, the Argentine Confederation under Juan Manuel de Rosas and Great Britain concluded a treaty on November 24, 1849, in which "all" differences were resolved. According to the British view, this also resolved the dispute over the Falkland Islands, which Argentina denies today. However, the Argentine Confederation - and later the Republic of Argentina - made no further claims on the Falkland Islands in the next few decades. On maps printed in Argentina, the islands were either omitted entirely or they were marked as British territory.
The Republic of Argentina, founded in 1862 as the successor state to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and the Argentine Confederation, maintained good relations with Great Britain until the beginning of World War II and only indirectly raised claims to the Falkland Islands during this time. The islands were not mentioned again in an official document until 1941, for the first time since 1849. In the course of this war, the relationship between the two states cooled noticeably, as Argentina remained neutral until the end, despite pressure from London (the declaration of war on Germany did not take place until March 27, 1945).
Negotiations between Argentina and Great Britain (1965–1981)
It was only after the war and the founding of the UN at the beginning of the 1960s that Argentina began to take a more active stance on the Falkland Islands in the context of the discussion about the decolonization of the world. However, the approximately 1,900 inhabitants of the Falkland Islands firmly refused to come under the rule of Argentina. Citing Article 73 of the UN Charter, which puts the self-determination of the inhabitants in the foreground, the then British representative in the UN, Hugh Foot , rejected the Argentine claims to the Falkland Islands in August 1964 before the UN General Assembly. A little later, however, in December 1965, the UN General Assembly demanded in a resolution (UN Resolution 2065) that Great Britain and Argentina should immediately start negotiations on the islands and find a peaceful solution to the problem.
Following the invitation, Great Britain and Argentina began negotiating the future of the islands in 1965. However, no agreement was reached until the outbreak of war 17 years later. The talks failed because several successive Labor governments in London were quite ready to make concessions and give up the islands, just like other British "colonies", but Argentina insisted on unlimited sovereignty, i. In other words, it was not prepared to grant the Falklands autonomous rights, such as the Swedes have on the Åland Islands , which belong to Finland . However, for the British, who always placed the right to self-determination in the foreground, this was an indispensable prerequisite for the transfer of the rights of sovereignty. Talks were temporarily broken after a Peronist group hijacked a plane (a Douglas DC-4 ) in September 1966 and hijacked it to Port Stanley, where they captured two British officials in order to force an immediate surrender of the Falkland Islands to Argentina. To better protect the islands, a small contingent of marine infantry of 45 men was stationed in Port Stanley.
In the negotiations, the Labor government at the time always put the interests of the residents of the Falkland Islands first, but it carefully shielded the negotiations with Argentina from the British public. The inhabitants of the archipelago also learned nothing at all about the negotiations, which is why they began in London in early 1968 to influence the government through the media with the help of conservative MPs. Then in the same year the Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry, Lord Chalfont , visited the Falkland Islands and Argentina. His report reiterated that the people of the Falkland Islands wanted to remain British, but Argentina insisted on their claim, which is why an (armed) conflict could be feared without a solution to the problem. Despite the growing opposition, British Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart and Argentine Foreign Minister Costa Méndez came to a memorandum of understanding this year , in which both sides recognized that the British government was ready "in the best interests" of the people of the Falkland Islands to transfer sovereignty to Argentina at a date yet to be determined.
At that time, the islands' economic situation, which was based primarily on sheep breeding and wool, began to deteriorate. Since the British government and the nine large landowners, who at that time owned most of the islands, tacitly expected that the islands would go to Argentina "within twenty-five years", neither the government nor the private entrepreneurs wanted to invest in the Falkland Islands. By canceling subsidies for the weekly ship connection to Montevideo, which then had to be discontinued, the British government finally succeeded in 1971 in getting the countries to agree to an aviation agreement with Argentina. The Argentine state airline LADE then took over the connection with the mainland, but regarded the flight as a domestic flight and forced travelers to accept a special Argentine identity card that identified the holder as an Argentine citizen of the Malvinas (which the British government tacitly accepted). This point was - at least for a larger part of the Falcon countries - a great nuisance and heightened their distrust of both Buenos Aires and the government in London. At the same time, the British government refused to build roads on the islands, modernize the port of Port Stanley or build an airport on the islands suitable for modern aircraft. The Argentines then took on this task from their defense budget and built the modern Stanley Airport in 1972. In return, between 1973 and 1975, London extended Argentina's rights to supply the islands in several individual agreements, whereby the mostly state-owned companies that were responsible for this increasingly switched to flying the Argentine flag exclusively on the Falkland Islands.
After the Labor Party took over government again in 1974 after a brief conservative interlude, the Foreign Ministry tried to accelerate talks with Argentina in accordance with UN Resolution 2065 on the Falkland Islands. In 1975 the Labor government's newly appointed British ambassador to Argentina, Derek Ashe, made an offer to the then Argentine President Isabel Perón that Argentina should further develop the Falkland Islands economically with generous British help in order to win over the islanders for themselves. The Argentine government, however, distrusted this offer and saw it as just a coldly calculated British delaying tactic. After Ashe subsequently received a series of threatening letters and a car bomb exploded outside the British embassy, killing two people on the guard, he was recalled in 1976 at the request of Argentina.
In order to explain the transfer of sovereignty rights to Buenos Aires (“to make it palatable”) to the Falcon countries, the British government sent Lord Shackleton , the son of the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton , who was close to the Labor Party, to Argentina and the Falkland Islands. However, Buenos Aires refused entry to Lord Shackleton and he had to be brought to the islands by ship from Montevideo. After a lengthy stay on the islands, Lord Shackleton came to a conclusion that was not so good for the Labor Party in his detailed report, which he presented to Prime Minister James Callaghan in June 1976 . In it he stated again not only that the population of the islands wanted to remain British, but also that the islands (contrary to some official reports for the press) did not cost taxpayers a penny. The islands would have generated an average surplus of £ 11.5 million a year between 1951 and 1974. He also listed how this amount could easily be increased by making some investments (he pointed out, among other things, the fishing in the waters around the islands, which had not existed at all before, and the likelihood that the Malwinen Basin off the coast containing petroleum-bearing layers). The State Department viewed the report as a "disaster"; In its reply it reiterated that it would protect the interests of the Falcon countries, but it did not break off talks with Buenos Aires, despite the increasing Argentine provocations from 1976 onwards. To mitigate the strong impression the Shackleton Report had made on the Falcon countries, Prime Minister Callaghan sent his confidante at the State Department, Ted Rowlands , to the Falkland Islands in February 1977 to make it clear to residents that the two strongest economic "trump cards", the Lord Shackleton had cited that fish and oil were in the waters around the islands and therefore could not easily be used against the will of the Argentines. Nevertheless, Rowland did not succeed in convincing the Falklanders either. Since then, the Foreign Ministry has increasingly favored the "lease back" model (modeled on Hong Kong ), but this was rejected by both the Falcon countries and Argentina, which is now increasingly based on immediate and unrestricted sovereignty over the islands in the South Atlantic duration.
Due to the coup d'état in Argentina and the takeover of power by a military junta , which soon cracked down on the opposition in the country with great brutality, the attitudes of many MPs from the Labor and Liberal parties , who wanted to hand over British citizens to the "Argentine torturers" no longer wanted to support. Talks with Argentina continued after the Conservative Party's electoral victory in 1979 and Margaret Thatcher's appointment as Prime Minister, with the new government initially adopting the “lease back” model in order to gain time, but they have since become more British The page became more and more non-binding, so that in Buenos Aires the impression grew that it should be put off forever. With the planned closure of the last British research station on South Georgia and the decommissioning of the ice patrol ship HMS Endurance , which until then had represented British sovereignty in the area of the Antarctic Islands, the British government signaled to the Argentines in late autumn 1981 that it was obviously ready to withdraw completely from the South Atlantic. And in this sense the step was also understood by Argentina (see also the next section).
The Argentine junta's military preparations since 1976
After a coup d'état in March 1976, Argentina was ruled by a military government that murdered numerous opposition members as part of the “ process of national reorganization ” until 1983, the majority of whom simply disappeared without a trace (see: Desaparecidos ). This was justified with the fight against the left guerrillas of the Montoneros , which, however, numbered only a few thousand men. Even before the military came to power, the country suffered from major economic problems, which worsened during their rule.
In October 1977, after Argentina had set up an (armed) research station on the island of Südthule (Southern Thule or Thule Island → Südliche Thuleinseln ; to be found in numerous encyclopedias as Morrell Island , the US name of the island), the British secret service warned of increased military activities in southern Argentina. As a precaution, the British government sent two frigates and a submarine into the South Atlantic (which, however, was not made public and was not noticed by Argentina at all) and declared an (economic) restricted zone 25 nautical miles around the Falkland Islands, but took the occupation of the Island through Argentina otherwise tacitly.
On December 22nd, 1978, the junta started Operation Soberanía (Operation Sovereignty) to militarily occupy the islands on Cape Horn , which were disputed with Chile, and to invade Chile. But it was canceled a few hours later.
The Argentine military had "left guerrillas" to 1978 by a secret dirty war off completely (see also Process of National Reorganization , state terror ), who demanded from 10,000 to 30,000 victims. The Argentine economy was shattered, the inflation rate in 1980 was around 140%. The following year there were two changes of government: first, in March 1981, the relatively liberal General Viola took power and ensured a short period of relative freedom of expression. On November 9th, General Viola fell ill and had to be taken to a military hospital. On December 22, 1981, General Leopoldo Galtieri took over the office of President. Shortly thereafter, negotiations with Great Britain were temporarily postponed at the request of Argentina.
In the opinion of many observers, the Argentine leadership at the time intended to cover up public criticism of the desolate economic and human rights situation with a quick, patriotic "victory" on the Malwinen issue. The pretext was the 150th anniversary of the "illegal occupation of the Falkland Islands by the British". Pressure was exerted at the UN with a subtle hint of military invasion, but the British ignored it. Since the occupation of South Thule Island (1976), which London accepted without protest, the Argentines viewed the British position as a retreat and believed that Great Britain would leave the islands to them without a fight in the event of an invasion. In this belief they were reinforced by the planned withdrawal of the last unit of the Royal Navy permanently stationed in the South Atlantic , the HMS Endurance and the British Nationality Bill of 1981, which restricted the British citizenship of the islanders and declared them to be "Falcon countries".
The new friendship (due to the active support of the anti-Scandinavian Contras in Central America) with the USA, which lifted the arms embargo against Argentina in 1979 ( Jimmy Carter was president at the time; Ronald Reagan was elected his successor at the end of 1980 ) strengthened President Galtieri's conviction that Britain could not wage war in the South Atlantic without US support.
At that time, further Argentine plans provided for military occupation of the islands south of the Beagle Channel after the successful capture of the Falkland Islands. The chief of the Argentine Air Force during the Falklands War, Basilio Lami Dozo , confirmed these plans in an interview with the Argentine newspaper Perfil :
«Para colmo, Galtieri dijo en un discurso:‹ Que saquen el ejemplo de lo que estamos haciendo ahora porque después les toca a ellos. ›»
"To make matters worse, Galtieri said in a speech: 'The [Chileans] should see exactly what we are doing now, because it will be their turn later.'"
«Los planes militares eran, en la hipótesis de resolver el caso Malvinas, invadir las islas en disputa en el Beagle. Esa era la decisión de la Armada… »
“The military plan was to occupy the disputed islands in the Beagle Channel in the event of a solution to the Falklands question. That was the decision of the Navy. "
Also Kalevi Holsti came to this conclusion:
“Displaying the mentality of the Argentine military regime in the 1970s, as another example, there was 'Plan Rosario' according to which Argentina would attack the Malvinas and then turn to settle the Beagle Channel problem by force. The sequence, according to the plan, could also be reversed. "
“An example is the mentality of the Argentine military regime in the 1970s: 'Plan Rosario', according to which Argentina would attack the Malvines and then use force to solve the Beagle Channel problem. The order could also be reversed according to the plan "
The idea had often been expressed in the Argentine press, for example by the reporter Manfred Schönfeld from La Prensa (Buenos Aires) on June 2, 1982 about the course of the war after the Falklands march, when the war was still considered won in Argentina :
"Para nosotros no lo estará [terminada la guerra], porque, inmediatamente después de barrido el enemigo de las Malvinas, debe serlo de las Georgias, Sandwich del Sur y de todos los demás archipiélagos australes argentinos ..."
"For us it [the war] will not [end], because as soon as the enemy is swept away by the Malvinas, it must also be [swept away] from [South] Georgia, South Sandwich and all the other southern Argentine archipelagos." "
In December 1978, the Argentine junta had already canceled Operation Soberanía at the last moment. Before the Argentine-Chilean conflict over the Beagle Channel, Jorge Anaya saw an opportunity to establish a military base on the Malvinas that was inaccessible to Chile.
The concrete planning for the "recovery of the Malvinas" began on December 15, 1981, when Vice Admiral Lombardo was asked in the naval base of Puerto Belgrano by Admiral Jorge Anaya (1926-2008), the Commander in Chief of the Navy and member of the junta, he should be for discreetly work out a plan for the recovery of the Malvines in the near future. According to other high officers, the military leadership had been dealing with this problem for a long time; the preliminary planning had already begun before Galtieri became president. In nominal terms, the military plans were initially only intended to support the intensified diplomatic efforts in 1982, which was to be the year of the Malvines. In consultations with Admiral Anaya it was decided during this time to conquer the Falkland Islands / Malwinen within a year.
In mid-January 1982, a special working commission ( Comisión de Trabajo in Spanish ), shielded from the army headquarters in Buenos Aires, took up concrete planning work for “the recovery of the Malvines”. It was assumed that a landing on the Malwinas should not take place before September, i. that is, it should roughly coincide with the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere. By then, as announced by London, the British ice patrol ship HMS Endurance should have left the South Atlantic and by then the Argentine Air Force should receive all fourteen Super Étendard ordered in France and all fifteen AM39 " Exocet " air-to-ship missiles ordered at the same time and have tested. In addition, experience has shown that recruits born in 1982 should have been adequately educated and trained by then. The preparation of the actual landing plans on the islands was entrusted to Rear Admiral Carlos Büsser , the commander of the marine infantry, who for this purpose, among other things, in February and March the 2nd battalion of the marine infantry in southern Patagonia on beaches very similar to those of the Falkland Islands, several Had landing exercises carried out. As early as March 9, the working group presented the finished plan for a troop landing at Puerto Argentino (Stanley) in September to the junta, which approved it after a brief examination.
Military starting position
The Argentine Air Force ( Fuerza Aérea Argentina , FAA for short ) had a large number of modern aircraft and weapons, including Mirage III fighters, Mirage 5 fighter-bombers and older, but still very powerful Douglas A-4 fighter-bombers. It also had the FMA-IA-58-Pucará ground attack aircraft developed in Argentina , which could take off from short and improvised airfields. This was particularly important for a mission on the Falkland Islands, as there was only one airfield with a concrete runway. The FAA also had older English Electric Canberra bombers in its inventory.
However, the Argentine Air Force was specially prepared for a war against Chile or the guerrillas and was therefore more equipped for a fight against ground targets at short distances than for a long-range fight against ships. Therefore Argentina had only two Lockheed C-130s converted into refueling aircraft for the FAA and the Navy. The Mirage were not equipped for air refueling.
In addition, the FAA had only a few reconnaissance planes and air-to-air missiles of French and American production, but most of them were not the most modern versions. The then ultra-modern Exocet AM39 air-to-ship missiles , which could have posed a serious threat to the British fleet, had been ordered in France, but only five of them were available at the start of the war, according to Argentine information. In addition to these Luftwaffe armed forces, there were five modern Dassault Super Étendards of naval aviation, which were equipped for air refueling. Argentina had ordered fourteen of these aircraft, but by the time the war broke out only five had been delivered, which is why one of them had to remain on the ground as a spare parts donor as a result of the arms embargo in the EC countries.
The Argentine Air Force was divided into eight groups (Grupo 1-8), which in turn were divided into two to four squadrons. In some representations, the Escuadrón Fénix (Phoenix Squadron), which consisted of 35 civil aircraft (for transport and for reconnaissance tasks), is referred to as "Grupo 9". The naval aviation (Aeronaval Argentina) was divided into eight aircraft and two helicopter squadrons. The state-of-the-art “Super Étendards” that had just been delivered belonged to the “2 Escuadrilla de Caza y Ataque” (2nd hunting and ground attack squadron). The strength of a group varied between twelve and 32 aircraft. Grupo 3 was largely relocated to the Falkland Islands with its ground attack aircraft of the Pucará type during the war.
The Argentine naval forces consisted of an aircraft carrier combat group , a cruiser combat group , a corvette combat group and four submarines. Some of the destroyers and frigates as well as all modern corvettes were equipped with "Exocet" ship-to-ship missiles of the MM38 type.
For operations in the South Atlantic, the naval forces (Spanish Armada de la República Argentina , ARA) were subdivided into
- The aircraft carrier combat group (Grupo de Tareas 79.1)
- The cruiser combat group (Grupo de Tareas 79.3)
- The cruiser General Belgrano . The cruiser, displacing 13,500 tons, was put into service as Phoenix in 1938 and was later taken over by the Argentines; he had fifteen 152 mm and eight 127 mm guns
- The escort consisted of the two older destroyers Hipólito Bouchard and ARA Piedra Buena , which, however, had been retrofitted with "Exocet" -MM38 missiles
- The combat group also included the fleet supplier Punta Delgada
- The Corvette Combat Group (Grupo de Tareas 79.4)
- The group consisted of the three modern corvettes of the class d'Estienne d'Orves (built in France) with "Exocet" -MM38 missiles:
- Drummond , Granville and Guerrico .
- The Argentine submarine fleet consisted of two submarines from the Second World War and two modern submarines of the submarine class 209 manufactured in the Federal Republic of Germany .
- S-21 and S-22 - former US submarines from World War II (but modernized in the GUPPY program after the war ):
- S-21 Santa Fe was used on the island of South Georgia
- S-22 Santiago del Estero was only as a spare parts supplier for S-21 Santa Fe used
- S-31 and S-32 - the two modern class 209 submarines:
- S-31 Salta was not yet operational due to technical problems
- S-32 San Luis proved very problematic for the Royal Navy as it operated several times near the British aircraft carrier group without the British being able to track it down. Two attempts at attack by the submarine failed due to operating errors on the part of the crew when firing the torpedoes.
The Royal Navy at the time of the outbreak of war was not prepared to be the main force in such a maritime operation in such a remote area. Rather, it was aimed at deployment in a possible third world war within the NATO structure. Since in such a case their main task would have been to secure the transatlantic connection routes, in particular the GIUK gap , against the Soviet Northern Fleet , the main emphasis was placed on anti -submarine defense. Since, according to western estimates, the simultaneous danger of Soviet air attacks in the North Atlantic would have been low, the British ships had only limited anti-aircraft capabilities. At the end of the 1970s, for example, the large aircraft carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Ark Royal , which were expensive to maintain, were decommissioned, as were the corresponding Blackburn Buccaneer carrier aircraft . Due to the high costs, the British government refused to overhaul the Ark Royal, which was only upgraded in 1972 . The decommissioning of the remaining small aircraft carriers had already been decided, HMS Bulwark was decommissioned in 1980 and in 1982 was in too bad a condition to be quickly reactivated; the phasing out of HMS Hermes should follow 1,982th Air support in war should come either from land bases or from US aircraft carriers. An agreement was reached with Australia on the sale of the relatively new HMS Invincible . In the course of the expansion of the submarine-supported missile weapon, the number of surface forces was further reduced. The Royal Air Force was about to decommission the Avro Vulcan in favor of the Panavia Tornado , which was being introduced step by step . In the army , the modernization of the British Army of the Rhine enjoyed priority. In May 1981 Secretary of Defense John Nott published a new white paper with drastic reorganization principles.
Strength of the armed forces involved
Because of the planned occupation of the Falkland Islands and the impending war with Chile, Argentina drew in two recruits at the same time in 1982. Therefore, the Argentine armed forces had a strength of 181,000 men that year, including the paramilitary Nationale Gendarmerie (Spanish "Gendarmería Nacional") and the Coast Guard (Spanish "Prefectura Naval Argentina"), both of which are also units on the Malvinas posted. Argentina thus had a force of more than 200,000 men. When it became clear after the occupation of the islands that Great Britain was by no means willing to accept the annexation of the Falkland Islands, the Argentine armed forces sent parts of three army brigades and a reinforced battalion of the marine infantry to the islands. The Air Force, the National Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard also stationed other units on the islands to support them. However, the British naval blockade then prevented any further reinforcement of the Argentine troops.
In total, around 15,000 to 16,000 Argentines came to the Falkland Islands for a shorter or longer period of time. This number is higher than the number of soldiers who were captured by the British on June 15 in the Falkland Islands (around 12,700), as, among other things, most of the units that occupied the islands in April had returned to the mainland and also in In the weeks before the surrender, a large number of the sick and wounded could still be flown out. The number of Argentine soldiers involved in the war was even higher. Immediately after the war (1983), the Argentine army officially stated that 14,200 soldiers had taken part in the war. By 1999 this number was gradually increased to 22,200 men. The Argentine Association of Falkland Veterans estimated in 2007 "about" 24,000. However, since (at least temporarily) almost the entire Argentine air force and navy were involved in the fighting, which together numbered 55,000 to 60,000 men, this number - which, moreover, has increased slowly over the years - cannot be true. It is probably explained by the fact that only those soldiers are officially recognized as "Falkland veterans" who are permanently in the area of the TOM ("Teatro de Operaciones Malvinas", in German for "Malvinen theater of war") or in the area of the TOAS ("Teatro de Operaciones del Atlántico Sur", in German roughly "South Atlantic theater of war") and took part directly in military operations. All soldiers and conscripts who spent the entire war (because of the threat of war with Chile at the same time) in the Andes along the Chilean border are therefore not counted among the war veterans.
In 1982 the British armed forces comprised around 327,000 men. The ratio of the two armed forces was therefore about 3: 2 in favor of the British. Most of the British armed forces, however, were firmly bound by their tasks in NATO and the Northern Ireland conflict. Therefore, the army command could only fall back on the two brigades of the "UKMF" (United Kingdom Mobile Force, i.e. the mobile intervention reserve). The United Kingdom / Netherlands Amphibious Task Group (UK / NL ATG) also belonged to the mobile reserve. H. the landing ships that the 3rd British Commando Brigade was supposed to bring to the European coast (probably to Norway as planned) in the event of war. With the approval of NATO, the British parts of the mobile reserve were released from their duties in the alliance.
At first it was also of the opinion that the matter could be resolved alone with the 3rd Commando Brigade of the Marine Infantry (around 3,500 men). When it became known in London that Argentina had already brought about 10,000 to 12,000 men to the island, it was decided that the brigade would be supported by two paratrooper battalions of the 5th Brigade, parts of the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF), and other support troops to reinforce. This included in particular artillery and air defense units. Eventually the brigade grew to a total of almost 7,500 men. Since the Argentines had actually already brought more than 12,000 men to the islands, London sent further parts of the 5th Brigade to the South Atlantic. Since the majority of this brigade was already on the way to the South Atlantic, the British leadership looked "across the army" together everything that was still available. Reluctantly, but by necessity, they resorted to two battalions of the Guard (" Welsh Guards " and " Scots Guards ") and placed them under the 5th Brigade. These were stationed in London as representative guard battalions, mostly for ceremonial purposes, and had neither the necessary training nor special training, nor the necessary equipment and clothing for a fight in winter under subarctic conditions. To make matters worse, at the end of April, when the decision was made to forward the brigade, only the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 was available, but it only held 3,200 men, so that about a quarter of the brigade - mainly support troops - had to be left behind. The strength of the British land forces (army and marine infantry) increased to around 11,000 men. In addition there were the ship's crews and naval aviators as well as the units of the air force, whereby a total of almost 30,000 men were involved in the British operation in the South Atlantic (supplemented by around 2,000 civilian seamen from the merchant navy).
In mid-March 1982, the Argentine scrap dealer Constantino Davidoff - probably unintentionally - accelerated events. In 1979 Davidoff bought the closed whaling station in Leith ( Leith Harbor ) on South Georgia (1,300 km southeast of the Falkland Islands) from its previous owners in Edinburgh, Scotland. After a long search for an inexpensive means of transport for the 30,000 tons of scrap metal that had been hoped for there, the Argentine Navy showed itself to be helpful and offered to temporarily rent the fleet transport ship ARA Bahía Buen Suceso at a low price. The ship therefore sailed from its base on Tierra del Fuego to South Georgia in mid-March 1982 , where it (according to the captain of Bahía Buen Suceso) put 40 workers ashore. Since the fleet supply ship usually had a small command of marine infantry on board, the British secret service assumed that soldiers would go ashore with the workers. The four British scientists who first noticed "the 50 or so Argentinians" in Leith on March 19, 1982 saw soldiers there. The Argentine flag waved over Leith and the Argentines refused to get an entry permit for South Georgia at the British research station in Grytviken . Shortly thereafter, a French yacht wrecked by a storm came to Leith, the crew of which soon got into conversation with a lieutenant captain (Spanish Teniente de navío) Alfredo Astiz , who had lived in Paris a few years earlier. This observation, neutral in itself, suggests that soldiers were already among the first group to land in Leith.
The governor of the Falkland Islands, who is also responsible for South Georgia , Sir Rex Masterman Hunt in Stanley, who had been informed by the head of the research station, sent the Antarctic patrol ship HMS Endurance with 22 marines on board to Grytviken on March 20, 1982 after consultation with London , so that they could remove the Argentines from Leith by force if necessary. After a harsh protest by the British government in Buenos Aires, it was promised that all Argentines would leave South Georgia together with Bahía Buen Suceso . Then the order came from London that the HMS Endurance should first drive to Grytviken and await further instructions there. However, when observers in South Georgia reported two days later that Leith was still occupied by the Argentines, the British Foreign Minister Lord Carrington sent a second, even sharper protest note to Buenos Aires on March 23 , in which he also threatened the illegal ones Intruders, if they did not voluntarily leave the place immediately, would be forcibly removed if necessary.
On March 24th, the HMS Endurance reached the research station at Grytviken with the naval command on board. From there, she discovered on March 26th that the armed Argentine Antarctic patrol ship ARA Bahía Paraiso , which belonged to the Argentine Antarctic squadron, was anchored off Leith . The ship, which had been on patrol in the South Orkney Islands, had reached Leith on the evening of March 25th. As usual, soldiers of the marine infantry were on board the ship . There are conflicting reports about their strength; the Argentines speak of “fourteen”, but the British assume that it was, as usual, “forty”. As a result, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defense in London banned the "police action" on the part of the HMS Endurance and instead instructed its captain to patrol off the coast of South Georgia. On March 27, the ARA also left Bahia Paraiso Leith again, but, like the HMS Endurance , now patrolled the coast of the island in parallel. On the evening of March 31st, HMS Endurance was informed by London that an invasion of the Falkland Islands was imminent and ordered back to Port Stanley.
The unexpectedly sharp protest by the British on March 23 sparked an initial spark for the Argentine military leadership . On the same day, those involved in the planning for a landing on the Malvinas were called together. They were given the task of calculating the earliest possible time for a landing. On March 25 Admiral Büsser put in admiralty a greatly shortened version of his landing plan before and cited the earliest time April 1. The plan suffered from the fact that at this time fewer transport ships were available than originally planned, so that not everything could be taken; for reasons of prestige, however, almost the entire Argentine fleet, including its aircraft carrier, was offered to "protect" the small "landing fleet", although it is known that there was no British warship in the South Atlantic apart from the patrol ship HMS Endurance . In addition to the landing ship ARA Cabo San Antonio , the landing group (Task Force 40) only had one additional transport ship - the ARA Isla de los Estados . In order to defeat the 45 British marines in the Falkland Islands, Admiral Büsser had planned more than 900 men. It essentially consisted of the 2nd Battalion of the Marine Infantry, reinforced by an Amtracs battalion (20 Amtracs of the LVTP-7 type), a field artillery battery (six guns), a company of the 1st Marine Infantry Battalion, a Marine Command Company and one Section (twelve men) of the Buzos Tácticos (combat divers), who were supposed to examine the beach where the Amtracs were supposed to go ashore for any hidden mines. The army was only represented by a small advance command of the 25th Infantry Regiment, which was to follow after the occupation of the islands by plane to Stanley to serve as the future garrison of the islands.
The loading of the ships began on March 28th at the naval base in Puerto Belgrano . The landing ship Cabo San Antonio was loaded with 880 soldiers; it was designed for around 400. During the crossing in the storm it therefore lay on its side several times by more than forty degrees and threatened to capsize. On March 31, it was clear that the tight schedule could not be adhered to, so that General García, the commander of the V Army Corps ( Patagonia ) and commander in chief of the armed forces in the "operational area Malvinen" and Rear Admiral Allara, the commander of Task Force 40 (the amphibious group) had to ask President Galtieri to postpone the landing for a day. With his approval, the landing at Stanley was finally set for April 2nd.
With the invasion, which had been planned for a long time, but which was now hastily initiated, the Argentine leadership made several mistakes: it started the landing without initiating diplomatic preparatory work, especially in the UN, as originally planned. Instead of diplomacy, the focus was on creating a fait accompli . Due to the excessive rush, there was no longer any time to prepare better logistically, i. That is, to have the necessary means of transport ready and to ship heavy goods immediately before the British submarines could reach the South Atlantic. As a result, the soldiers who were later brought to the islands as reinforcements could only be partially equipped. The landing also came too early for the Antarctic winter, which if the invasion had been carried out only five to six weeks later, likely would have forced the British to wait until October before making a return move. The invasion came too early because aircraft, ships and submarines that had already been ordered had not yet been delivered and the British had not yet decommissioned their aircraft carriers and dropships, as announced for next year (which made a British counterattack impossible would have made). The unexpectedly sharp British reactions since March 20 and the threat to use force if necessary should have warned the junta that the British government - a conservative since May 1979 under Margaret Thatcher - was by no means prepared to stand idly by an invasion of the archipelago as one would have expected in Buenos Aires after the behavior of London in recent years.
Landing of Argentine troops at Port Stanley
On the night of April 2, the first Argentine troops landed on the Falkland Islands. While the Argentine fleet was already on its way to the Falkland Islands, London and Washington tried - alarmed by intelligence reports - to stop the events. Prime Minister Thatcher sent an urgent telex to the White House asking President Ronald Reagan to intervene in Buenos Aires. After several unsuccessful attempts, he finally reached the Argentine President Galtieri on the phone on April 1 at around 8 p.m. After fifty minutes of conversation, Reagan was forced to acknowledge that Argentina was unwilling to forego action.
The great urgency with which the landing on the islands had been initiated required improvisation, which almost inevitably led to further changes to the original plan. The Argentine air force officer who was in charge of the LADE branch in Stanley reported over the radio that the British garrison had been alerted and the airport had been blocked and would probably also be defended. Therefore, Admiral Büsser had to make further changes during the crossing, which were made more difficult by the fact that the landing forces were distributed over only two ships and that during the storm on the crossing, helicopters on the ships were damaged and therefore unusable. The most momentous change for the company's external image was the "quick elimination" of the governor. Since the department intended for this, a platoon of 40 men from the 25th Regiment, who had practiced the occupation of the governor's building several times (and probably also had blueprints for the building in their luggage), was together with the main group on the landing ship ARA Cabo San Antonio , should they occupy the airport first and clear the runway again as quickly as possible. In their place the Marine Command Company (Spanish Compañía de Commandos Anfibios), which was on the way on the destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad , as it was supposed to land south of Stanley independently of the main group, was to have one of its sections (a group of around 15 men) send to the governor's building to occupy it.
In fact, at 3:30 p.m. on April 1, 1982, British Governor of the Falkland Islands Sir Rex Hunt received a message from London that an Argentine invasion was imminent. He then had the 81 Royal Marines of the "Naval Party 8901" and sailors under the command of Major Mike Norman prepare defensive measures. In order to prevent aircraft from landing, he had the fire department vehicles parked on the runway at Port Stanley airfield. The shallow beaches north of the airport that were suitable for landing were blocked with a few rolls of barbed wire. At 8:15 p.m., the governor announced to the island's population in a radio address that an Argentine landing was imminent. He urged the population to stay home and avoid the area around the airport. The fishing trawler Forrest under Jack Sollis, who had been sent to use radar to look for Argentine dropships off Cape Pembroke (east of Stanley), reported the first radar contacts at around 2:30 a.m. (local time) on April 2.
Already before midnight, between 9:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. (April 1, local time) south of Stanley, the 120-man marine command company landed in the vicinity of Mullet Creek with the help of motor-powered inflatable boats. From there, the bulk of this unit marched in a wide arc over the hills to the Moody Brook barracks of the Royal Marines in order to surprise them while they were asleep, if possible. Separately, one of their sections advanced cautiously across Sapper Hill to the governor's building. After a long march, the company stormed the Moody Brook barracks after 5:30 a.m. and found that it was completely deserted. Then the company made its way back to Stanley. In the meantime the detached section (16 men) had reached the governor's building under the leadership of Corvette Captain (capitán de corbeta) Giachino. It was defended by 31 Royal Marines and 11 sailors from HMS Endurance, as well as a former Marine who lived in Stanley. During the battle for the governor's residential and government complex, which began around 6:30 a.m., Corvette Captain Giachino was fatally wounded and three soldiers who had accidentally broken into an occupied outbuilding were captured there.
Shortly after midnight (around 1:00 a.m.), the section of the Buzos Tacticos disembarked from the submarine Santa Fé , which, as a beach scout, was supposed to investigate the intended landing site for freedom from mines. The men reached Yorke Bay, northwest of the airport, in rubber dinghies. Around 6:00 a.m. in the wide bay of Port William north of Stanley ARA Cabo San Antonio had approached the coast to about three kilometers under cover from several destroyers. At exactly 6:00 a.m., the landing ship opened its bow gate, via which 20 Amtracs and several LARC-Vs drove into the water within a very short time (the Argentines were much more modern equipped in this regard than the British). After about 25 minutes, the first vehicles reached the beach without encountering any resistance. While the first Amtracs occupied the airport with the soldiers of the 25th Regiment on board and had it completely under control by 7:30 a.m., the 2nd Battalion of the Marines drove on to the narrow headland that connects the airport with the main island. This headland, known as "the Neck", is only between 160 and 200 meters wide, which is why the Argentines feared that the British would have set up their main defense position there and only approached the place cautiously. But it was vacant.
A large construction machine stood on the road to the airport about 500 meters from the outskirts of Stanley. When the first vehicle of the vanguard approached this point, a group of the Royal Marines , which were in the first houses, opened fire on the armored troop carriers with machine guns and the FFV Carl Gustaf anti-tank rifle at around 7:15 a.m. Nobody was seriously injured, but the exchange of fire delayed the further advance of the Argentines, who, on the instructions of their battalion commander, Frigate Captain Weinstabl, waited there until the entire battalion had approached. When the battalion developed on both sides of the road and opened fire on the houses with heavy anti-tank weapons, the British soldiers withdrew. Without encountering further resistance, the Argentines then occupied all of Stanley until shortly after 8:00 a.m.
As the armored vehicles approached the governor's building, the governor made contact with the Argentines by calling the LADE (Argentine airline) representative in town. During the negotiations, the first aircraft from the mainland landed at the airport at around 8:45 a.m. and brought further reinforcements to the island. After a few delays, Admiral Büsser finally came to the governor's building himself, where he assured Governor Sir Rex Hunt that he had meanwhile brought more than 800 men ashore. Another fight against his soldiers, who now also have artillery and are already reinforced with an airlift from the continent, is pointless. After a brief consultation with Major Norman, the commander of the Royal Marines, Hunt ordered the soldiers to lay down their weapons at 9:25 a.m. local time. A short time later, at 10:00 a.m., the British flag was lowered at the governor's house and the Argentine flag was raised.
According to Argentine sources, one soldier (Capitán de corbeta Pedro Giachino) died and two were wounded in the battle for Port Stanley, while the British had no casualties. The captured soldiers and sailors, the governor and all other British nationals, as well as any Falcon countries who so wished, were brought back to Great Britain via Montevideo a little later. A few days later, all units of the Argentine marine infantry and the Buzos Tacticos left the islands again.
On the evening of April 2, in Buenos Aires, huge flag-waving crowds gathered in Plaza de Mayo (the square in front of the Presidential Palace) after hearing the news. Britain was shocked by this "Black Friday". Nonetheless, over the next few days, the conservative press in particular celebrated the long heroic resistance of the Royal Marines in the battle for the governor's building and the great losses they had inflicted on the Argentines, almost like a victory. This conviction, along with "the humiliation" from the photos of British soldiers lying flat on their stomachs on the street in Stanley and shown in media around the world over the next few days, strengthened the British Government's view of the violent Not to stand idly by the occupation of the islands.
On March 31, the HMS Endurance received the order in Grytviken to return to Falkland. The 22 marines, led by Lieutenant Mills, who had come to the island by ship, stayed at the BAS ( British Antarctic Survey ) research station, which was located on King Edward Point , a small peninsula off Grytviken. Your task should be to protect the scientists in the research station and at the same time to keep a "watchful eye" on the Argentine metal workers in Leith.
On the evening of April 1, the British also heard the radio address on South Georgia warning of an imminent Argentine invasion, and on April 2, they learned of the Port Stanley landing through the BBC World Service . That morning the soldiers received an order from the Ministry of Defense in London to concentrate in Grytviken and, if necessary, to retreat to the mountains in the event of an Argentine attack. At the same time, the HMS Endurance was ordered back to South Georgia. However, bad weather that day prevented the Argentines from doing anything against the British in Grytviken.
In the early morning of April 3, the Argentines appeared off Grytviken, now reinforced by the Corvette ARA Guerrico , which had come to South Georgia the day before with other marines on board. Since the HMS Endurance was not in Cumberland Bay , the Argentines assumed that there were no British soldiers on South Georgia either. At around 10:00 a.m. (local time), Captain Trombetta, the flag officer (commander) of the Argentine Antarctic Squadron, radioed the members of the research station on the ARA Bahia Paraiso to surrender and assemble on the beach. When they tried to land troops with the help of helicopters, the Royal Marines opened fire on the Argentines in Grytviken with machine weapons and the Carl Gustaf anti-tank rifle . A helicopter was shot down and the Corvette ARA Guerrico was damaged by a hit with the anti-tank rifle and therefore had to retreat beyond the range of the anti-tank weapons, from where it opened fire on the British positions in Grytviken with its 100-millimeter cannon . With the remaining helicopter, a small "Alouette" ( Aérospatiale SA-319 ), the Argentines finally managed to bring a total of more than a hundred soldiers ashore, so that the Royal Marines were finally forced to watch each other after about two hours surrender. After intensive questioning, the British soldiers were released home via Montevideo on April 20.
A British soldier was wounded in the battle for the islands and three Argentines were killed (two in the helicopter crash and a sailor on the Guerrico as a result of the hit with the Carl Gustaf). This meant that the South Sandwich Islands, which Argentina had claimed since 1938, and the island of South Georgia, which Argentina had claimed since 1927, were (temporarily) occupied by the Argentine.
Attempts at a diplomatic solution
Attempts at mediation in the UN and UN resolution 502
The British government was quick to organize diplomatic pressure against Argentina in the United Nations. While the public mood in Britain was ready to support an attempt to retake the islands, international opinion was very divided. The Argentines propagated that Britain was a colonial power trying to recapture a colony from a local power. The British referred to the UN principle of self-determination and declared themselves willing to compromise. The then-incumbent UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar said he was amazed at the compromise offered by the United Kingdom, but Argentina turned it down, basing its ownership claims on events prior to the founding of the UN in 1945. Many UN members were aware that - should such old claims revive - their own borders would not be secure, and so the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on April 3rd ( UN Resolution 502 ), calling for the withdrawal of Argentine troops from the islands and the end of the Encouraged hostilities. On April 10th, the EEC approved trade sanctions against Argentina.
For the United States , the war posed a dilemma : on the one hand, an armed conflict between two western states was not planned “in the middle of the Cold War ”, and they were allied with both sides and both sides expected support from them. Argentina viewed the question of ownership of the islands as a colonial conflict and expected the US to prevent an attempt at "recolonization" in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine . Hence, most of the Latin American countries and Spain supported Argentina's position. Britain, on the other hand, also looked to its main political and military ally to help defend the islands, which it considered legitimate British territory. The mood in the US government was divided: a lack of support or even an active disability Britain would be devastating for the US position within the NATO be since then the reliability of the US assistance commitments in the NATO alliance case be questioned On the other hand, there was - especially the Foreign Office - the great concern that if Great Britain were (openly) supported, the good “special relations” with Latin America that had been built up over decades would suffer (there were also fears that an open war between Great Britain and Argentina could drive this "into the arms" of the Soviet Union). The Falkland Islands themselves did not fall under the scope of the North Atlantic Treaty due to their location in the southern hemisphere , on the other hand, a NATO member was attacked directly here.
Attempts at mediation by the USA and Peru
The US therefore tried to reach a diplomatic solution and prevent a war between its allies. President Ronald Reagan became famous when he said that he could not understand why two allies are fighting over “a few icy rocks”. US Secretary of State Alexander Haig headed a "shuttle diplomacy" mission from April 8 to April 30, but this failed because no mutually acceptable solution could be found. Finally, Reagan declared that he wanted to support Great Britain and announced sanctions against Argentina. So he followed u. a. the vote of US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger , who had taken a pro-British stance early on. American non-interference had become impossible anyway, since Wideawake , the large airport on the British Atlantic island of Ascension , was leased to the Americans and the British claimed the island to be used as a logistical base. The US also supplied anti-aircraft missiles (albeit outdated), and they are said to have supported the British with intelligence information such as decrypted communications from the Argentine armed forces, satellite reconnaissance and communications assistance, which both sides deny. At the same time, ammunition stocks were delivered to or released for the British armed forces by allies, which were subject to lockdown for the defense of Central Europe. However, US departments also sent the Argentines internally several times. Foreign Minister Haig informed u. a. the Argentine government even said that the British were on their way to South Georgia to recapture the island.
All mediation proposals at that time, both those of US Secretary of State Haig between April 8 and 30 and the subsequent one of Peruvian President Fernando Belaúnde Terry from May 2, were essentially based on three steps: (1) Withdrawal of the Argentine occupation forces, ( 2) Takeover of the administration of the Falkland Islands by a neutral intermediary and (3) the transfer of sovereignty to the future owner. Despite all the efforts of the mediators, Buenos Aires insisted on the transfer of unrestricted sovereign rights over the Falkland Islands as soon as possible, while London, citing the Charter of the United Nations, just as categorically refused.
The mission of US Secretary of State Haig ultimately failed because of this decidedly negative attitude by the two governments involved. The new mediation proposal of the Peruvian President of May 2nd did not change anything, especially since his plans differed from the US only in that he only slightly modified the mode of "transferring sovereignty" from Great Britain to Argentina and that instead of one A neutral intermediate instance (such as the UN or the USA) wanted to insert a group of four neutral states. Ultimately, all attempts at mediation resulted in the "intermediate step", i.e. the temporary neutral administration of the archipelago, in such a way that it was acceptable to both sides and without loss of face - although Haig and Belaunde obviously (at least according to the British view) assumed that after a reasonable “interim period” Argentina would transfer sovereignty over the islands. For this reason, the British government was primarily concerned with maintaining the status quo ante as far as possible until a final referendum, while the Argentines, conversely, tried to change it as irreversibly as possible during this neutral "interim period" (for example through immediate free access and the right of residence for Argentine settlers and businesses and the immediate compulsory admission of Argentines to the Legislative Assembly and Administration of the Islands etc.). Although during this process all those involved kept telling the press that the mediation talks were making good progress, both parties to the conflict persisted relentlessly on their core demands, so that the discussions mainly revolved around incidental details, while the key issues were disguised with empty phrases. In addition, Foreign Minister Haig repeatedly signaled to the media and his interlocutors "significant concessions" by the other side, which they had not made and which therefore later revoked, which did not make the talks easier. Nevertheless, outwardly there was still hope that the negotiations would be concluded soon, without any actual progress being recorded. At the end of April, Secretary of State Haig and the US State Department finally had to admit that there was little hope of a mediation.
Initially, the British were hardly involved in the attempt at mediation, which the Peruvian President Belaunde launched on his own initiative early in the morning of May 2nd by calling Argentine President Galtieri and US Secretary of State Haig. While Galtieri remained very skeptical from the start and showed little hope, Haig immediately took up Belaunde's ideas and tried to convince British Foreign Minister Pym, who was in the USA and was just about to fly back to Europe. After the conversation, Haig again signaled the British willingness to compromise and make concessions, which they had not made, which is why London was later forced, bypassing Haig, to intervene directly in Lima and New York (at the UN) through its ambassadors and deny them. The sinking of the cruiser General Belgrano in the late afternoon in the South Atlantic actually ended any compromise, although President Belaunde and the USA continued their efforts until May 5th. The mediation talks in the background continued until May 17, now primarily through UN bodies, but the hardened position of the two conflicting parties could no longer be softened, all the less since it was also demanded that the British would have the newly conquered South Georgia to vacate again.
Margaret Thatcher and the attempts at mediation
Margaret Thatcher suspected that her Secretary of State Francis Pym wanted to bypass her in the US mediation attempts. This is a memorandum from 1982, that of the June 2015 along with other private papers of the children of Margaret Thatcher the British state and the archive Churchill College of Cambridge University was given. Thatcher's private records show that Thatcher was fundamentally dissatisfied with the US mediation efforts and the appearance of its Secretary of State. When Pym brought her a proposal for a solution from the USA on April 24, 1982, she described it as a “complete sell-out”, because she said that would take away the freedom of the islands' inhabitants. Still, Pym insisted on presenting the plan to the entire cabinet. Thatcher managed to convince him to first present the plan to the Argentines, who rejected it. If the US's proposed solution had been successful, it would see its position as prime minister as untenable.
Ten days after Pym's first advance, he brought Thatcher the peace plan that had been negotiated by the Peruvian side with the mediation of the USA. Again he pushed for a proposal in the entire cabinet and was successful. The memorandum of this meeting says that the plan would be acceptable if the residents' right to self-determination were respected, while the generally accepted version of the meeting is that Thatcher said they could not achieve self-determination for the island's residents, the plan but should assume as the best possible result. Pym wrote to the US, authorized by the cabinet, to accept the plan, while Thatcher himself wrote a letter to US President Ronald Reagan , but did not send it, rejecting the proposals. Thatcher herself sent another letter to Reagan very late, demanding minor changes to the proposal. When Thatcher's letter reached Reagan, Reagan had already responded to Pym's acceptance. The renewed proposal became obsolete because the Argentine side rejected it.
Structure of the Argentine Land Forces in the Falkland Islands
Simplified, for the period from May 21st to June 14th:
The commander in chief of the land forces on the Malwinas, the officially so-called "Teatro de Operaciones Malvinas" (operational area of Malwinas), was Major General Osvaldo García, commanding general of the V Army Corps, based in Bahía Blanca (Buenos Aires Province).
Commander in the archipelago
Governor: Brigadier-General Menendez, Puerto Argentino (Stanley)
Chief of Staff: Brigadier-General Beim, Puerto Argentino (Stanley)
- various staff troops
- 1 company of military police
- Puerto Argentino (Stanley) headquarters in total, including the military police, approx. 500 men
- III. Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General Parada) approx. 2,800 men
- IX. Infantry brigade (brigadier general Hence) approx. 1,800 men (only parts of the brigade)
- X. Mechanized Brigade (Brigadier General Jofre) approx. 3,350 men
- 2nd Marines Battalion (one company only; located on Pebble Island)
- 5th Battalion of the Marines
- Marine infantry strength, a total of 1,350 men (together with the associated support troops, including an artillery battery)
Additional support troops and special forces
- 10. Panzer Reconnaissance Department (Spanish Escuadrón de Exploración de Caballería ) (with 12 armored vehicles )
- 2½ divisions (Spanish Grupo , roughly battalion) artillery, with a total of six light (105 mm) and one heavy battery (155 mm).
- 4 divisions of anti- aircraft guns (Spanish Grupo , roughly battalion; two of them belonged to the army and one each to the navy and the air force)
- 4 companies " Special Forces" (Spanish Compañía de Commandos) or commandos (two of them came from the Army and one each from the Gendarmerie (Spanish Gendarméria Nacional ) and the Air Force)
- 1 Army Aviation Battalion (transport helicopters of various types)
- 1 Coast Guard Squadron
- the 3rd Air Support Group (Spanish Grupo 3 de Ataque ) of the Air Force (FAA) stationed 24 ground attack aircraft of the type FMA Pucará on several airfields on the Falkland Islands.
Distribution of the armed forces
Most of these troops were in the area around Puerto Argentino (Stanley). On the isthmus of Darwin / Goose Green and the airfield there were initially around 1,000 men. Around 2,000 men were stationed on the island of West Falkland (mainly at Fox Bay and Port Howard). Otherwise there was only a notable crew on the two islands of Pebble Island (approx. 200 men) and Murell Island (approx. 230-250 men).
British Preparations for War and Organization of the Armed Forces
The Falkland Islands are about 12,000 kilometers as the crow flies from southern England. Even fast warships take at least a fortnight to get there. Therefore, after the Argentine attack became known, it could initially only be a matter of sending a provisional fleet to the South Atlantic in order to build up diplomatic pressure. Since the 1st Flotilla happened to be on maneuvers near Gibraltar, it was sent on the way to the Falkland Islands, although it was not even clear what to do there when it got there. Almost simultaneously, three large nuclear-powered submarines, soon to be followed by others, were sent to the sea area around the Falkland Islands. On April 5, 1982, the two aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible set off. The first troops of the reinforced 3rd Commando Brigade followed on April 9, mainly on the requisitioned passenger ship Canberra .
There were no plans for a possible reconquest of the archipelago, at first it was not even certain whether Great Britain still had the means to force their return. Since the 3rd Commando Brigade, which had been selected for use in the South Atlantic, was supposed to defend northern Norway in the event of a war with the Soviet Union, plans for this case were partly adapted and adapted for a war in the Falkland Islands. For political and financial reasons, the essential instruments such as aircraft carriers, amphibious landing ships and marine infantry had been gradually dismantled for years. The military staff involved did not have any secret service material to inform themselves about the Argentine armed forces, but could initially only look up what after one in publicly accessible sources such as the yearbooks " Jane's Fighting Ships " or " Jane's Aircrafts of the World " first overview led to the increase in the contingent to be dispatched. Since Great Britain hardly had any mobile emergency services, people and material had to be “gathered” all over Great Britain. The navy no longer had enough ships to transport these troops, so additional civilian merchant ships had to be requisitioned and the legal basis for this created. Among them was the well-known passenger ship Queen Elizabeth 2 , which, however, was not requisitioned until April 28th, in order to bring the 5th Brigade, which was later forwarded, to South Georgia on May 12th (where the soldiers were then distributed to several smaller ships, which they passed on brought to Ostfalkland). In total, the government had to commandeer 45 merchant ships and other ships for transport outside the war zone were chartered to transport 9,000 men, 100,000 tons of cargo, 400,000 tons of fuel and 95 aircraft and helicopters to the South Atlantic.
Although signs had increased in late March that Argentina was planning something against the Falkland Islands, Britain was surprised when the invasion took place. Admiral Fieldhouse, the Commander in Chief of the British Fleet, had already asked Rear Admiral Woodward on March 29 to work out a plan for a possible combat operation in the South Atlantic, but the Argentine occupation only three days later left no time to work out plans. As a result, ad hoc improvisation had to be carried out in a hurry, which is why not even the command structure for the operation in the South Atlantic was clearly defined. During the company, this repeatedly led to friction between the commanders deployed there, as their areas of responsibility were not clearly delimited from one another.
At the bases of the British Air Force in Great Britain, a number of Harrier GR.3 combat aircraft - which were originally designed for air-to-ground combat - were equipped with Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and later on civil container ships to the Falkland Islands.
Organization of the British Armed Forces in the South Atlantic
Simplified structure of the task forces
Organization of the British Naval Forces from April 9th to June 1st
Commander in chief of all operations in the South Atlantic was the Commander in Chief of the British Fleet, Admiral Fieldhouse at the headquarters of the British fleet in Northwood (near London).
Subordinate to him:
- Task Group 324.3: the submarines in the South Atlantic under Vice Admiral P. Herbert (in Northwood)
- a total of six large submarines, five of which are nuclear-powered
- Reconnaissance off the Argentine coast and threats to the Argentine fleet
- Task Group 317.8: Carrier Battle Group under Rear Admiral JF Woodward (on HMS Hermes )
- Task Unit 317.0: Amphibious group under Commodore MC Clapp (on HMS Fearless )
- the dropships, troop carriers, and supply ships
- Destroyers and frigates as escort for the landing ships
- Planning, preparation and management of all amphibious operations
- Management and coordination of the supply and supply ships
- After landing: Protection of the landing area (Amphibious Objective Area, AOA), including guidance of warships in Falkland Sound
- Coordination of logistics at the landing area
- Task Unit 317.1: Landing Group under Brigadier General J. Thompson (prior to landing on HMS Fearless )
- the actual landing forces, the reinforced 3rd Commando Brigade (Royal Marines, paratroopers and support troops)
- Task Unit 317.9: South Georgia Group under Captain B. Young (on HMS Antrim )
- Destroyers, frigates, supply ships and the Antarctic Patrol Vessel Endurance
- Planning and leading the reconquest of South Georgia
- On the British island of Ascension, in the middle of the Atlantic and halfway between Great Britain and the Falkland Islands, the British Forces Support Unit (BFSU) was set up as an advanced supply base at the US base (approx. 300 men), in addition to which several squadrons of the RAF (Royal Air Force) were stationed, which mainly consisted of long-range bombers, long-range reconnaissance and transport aircraft as well as numerous tankers. There was also a squadron of F-4 Phantom fighters to protect them. In total, the British brought around 3,500 men to the island in a short time, who could only be housed in tents and had to be supplied with fresh water from the mainland.
Changes from June 1st and land forces
With the arrival of Major General J. Moore and the 5th Brigade in East Falkland on June 1, the British forces in the South Atlantic were reorganized:
- General Moore, as division commander, took charge of all land operations. He was then subordinate to the
- 3rd Command Brigade under Brigadier General Thompson (with five infantry battalions and the associated support troops approx. 7,500 men)
- 5th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General Wilson (with three infantry battalions and the associated support troops approx. 3,500 men)
- The combined division had a total of around 11,000 men.
- The amphibious group was disbanded. The "landing zone" around San Carlos Water was placed as a "transport zone" (Transport Area, TA) under the command of Commodore Clapp, who was now tactically subordinate to Admiral Woodward (but remained practically independent). As COMAW (Commodore Amphibious Warfare), from this point on, Commodore Clapp was not only responsible for protecting the bridgehead, but also for the entire logistics and thus also for supplying the two advanced brigades with ships and helicopters. In addition, he was responsible for all captains of all ships that were in the area of the "transport zone", regardless of whether they belonged to the war or merchant navy.
The maritime exclusion zones
To ensure the safety of neutral sea and air traffic and, above all, the safety of their own armed forces, the two conflicting parties declared maritime "exclusion zones " (CET, Maritime Exclusion Zone ) in April . In this way, for reasons of international law and for political reasons, both sides sought to protect themselves without exposing their armed forces to a surprise attack by the other side. Since modern weapon systems not only have a very long range (which went well beyond the declared zones), but also have a high speed, but at the same time, for political reasons, very great consideration had to be taken to public opinion and international legal regulations, both sides formulated At the same time, rules of conduct for their armed forces, which were repeatedly adapted to the current political situation in the course of the crisis (at least in Great Britain, lawyers from the Foreign Office were always involved in their formulation).
The exclusion zones played an important political and military role several times during the crisis, for example in the later sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano . On April 5, Great Britain publicly declared a zone of 200 nautical miles around the Falkland Islands to be a military exclusion zone, calling on all states to warn civil shipping and aviation accordingly. Argentine ships and aircraft entering this zone would be considered enemy units and "treated" accordingly. On April 23, before the actual armed conflict began on May 1, Great Britain sent Argentina an additional warning via the Swiss embassy that Argentine warships and military aircraft could also be attacked outside the “exclusion zone” if they pose a threat to the British armed forces, which are exercising their right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. This was a clear indication that Argentine warships could also be attacked outside the declared Maritime Exclusion Zone (CET) without warning; and it was understood that way in Argentina.
On April 29, for its part, the Argentine government declared all British civil and military aircraft and ships in a zone within 200 nautical miles of mainland Argentina and within 200 nautical miles of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as hostile and dangerous to consider their armed forces, which is why their ships and planes would have permission to attack any British units they encountered there. The Argentine exclusion zone thus covered a much larger area than the British.
Recapture of South Georgia
The reconquest of South Georgia as early as possible was decided in the first days of April regardless of the open plans for the Falkland Islands (a company was selected on April 4 to be flown ahead to Ascension Island, where it was on April 7th changed to the RFA Tidespring to be brought from there to South Georgia). On the one hand, the approaching Antarctic winter forced us to react quickly, if at all, and on the other hand, the reoccupation was intended to make it clear that the territory of the Antarctic Islands (South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, South Orkney Islands , Southern Shetland Islands ) did not belong to the Falkland Islands either historically or legally. In addition, the Argentines did not appear to have left a major garrison on South Georgia, so likely no serious resistance and major losses were to be expected. When the then British Defense Minister Sir John Nott later stated in interviews that the retaking of South Georgia was primarily intended to fill the news and increase morale, the British government was concerned that the first action by British troops was in could have ended in chaos, so any further attempts to regain the Falkland Islands would probably have had to be abandoned.
After the occupation of South Georgia the Argentines left two small garrisons there, one in Leith and one in Grytviken . Because of the bad weather, they hardly moved outside of these stations, which is why the employees of the British Antarctic Survey ( BAS for short ) and two employees of Independent Television (ITV), who were at the research station on Bird Island (off the western tip of South Georgia) , remained unmolested (they had been informed by radio that the island was now occupied by Argentina). The HMS Endurance observed the Argentines from about 60 NM away, hidden between icebergs, and also kept in contact with the employees of the BAS and ITV.
The task group, which was tasked with the recapture of South Georgia (the operation was called Operation Paraquet ), consisted of several destroyers and frigates under Captain Brian Young, who also had auxiliary and supply ships assigned. It consisted of the destroyer HMS Antrim and the frigate HMS Plymouth with troops from Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) on board and a company of the Royal Marines on the auxiliary ship RFA Tidespring . On April 19, cleared HMS Conqueror , a submarine of the Churchill-class submarine on, the northern coast of South Georgia. On April 20, the island was from a cartography leaders by radar reconnaissance aircraft of the type Handley Page Victor , which on Ascension , flew over was started. No Argentine ships were discovered near the island.
Before the planned invasion of the Royal Marines, the first SAS and SBS reconnaissance troops landed on April 21 . Due to bad weather, they could not reach the planned observation point and had to spend the night on a glacier. After a storm hit the next day, the SAS soldiers asked for help. When trying to rescue them with helicopters, two machines crashed due to whiteouts , and all soldiers could only be rescued with another attempt.
On the afternoon of April 23, a secret service report triggered the British submarine alarm and the operation against South Georgia was interrupted. Captain Young let the RFA Tidespring run back towards the high seas with the troops on board. On the 24th he regrouped the British formation and then waited with four of his ships a few nautical miles east of Cumberland Bay for the arrival of the Argentine submarine, the ARA Santa Fe (ex- USS Catfish (SS-339) of the American Balao -Class ). In the early morning of the 25th, the submarine was located by the on-board helicopters specializing in anti- submarine defense and immediately attacked from the air with machine-gun fire and AS.12 anti-ship missiles and depth charges. It was so badly damaged that it was unable to dive to Grytviken and had to be abandoned immediately.
The British decided to attack quickly. Since the RFA Tidespring and the Marine Infantry Company were again 200 miles away, three improvised teams with a total of 72 soldiers were put together and landed in helicopters south of Grytviken. At Grytviken the soldiers took up positions and HMS Plymouth and HMS Antrim fired 235 rounds in the vicinity of the settlement to demonstrate their firepower. The Argentinians, which included the crew of the stranded submarine, then surrendered. The next day, Leith (in West Cumberland Bay ), which was occupied by Argentine soldiers, was occupied without a fight.
When Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced the reconquest of South Georgia to the media the next day , she was interrupted several times by journalists with critical questions. Annoyed about this, she finally shouted “just rejoice at the news and congratulate our forces and the marines ... rejoice.” This sentence appeared the next day in several newspapers critical of the government, polemically abbreviated as a cry of joy: “Rejoice, rejoice!” , rejoice! ").
Operation Black Buck
From mid-April onwards, the British Air Force had the idea of attacking Argentine Air Force bases on the mainland or Stanley airport with the Vulcan long-range bombers from Ascension Island . While attacks on the mainland were quickly abandoned for political reasons, the plans for Stanley were further developed. The project had two main goals: on the one hand, as large a part of the Argentine Air Force as possible was to be withdrawn north to the Buenos Aires area and held there for the long term, and on the other hand, the Stanley runway was to be hit on or directly next to it made unusable for the use of the Argentine “Mirage” or “Étendard” jet planes. For this purpose, heavy special bombs were used, which, dropped from a great height, only detonated deep in the earth in order to cause extensive earth faults. As a result, asphalt or concrete runways are deformed over a large area in such a way that their restoration is associated with a great deal of effort (since aircraft taking off and landing at very high speeds require long, completely flat runways, it is not enough here, just simply to backfill the bomb crater).
As the Argentine Air Force is known to have more than 200 aircraft, but the two British aircraft carriers only carried 20 " Sea Harriers ", whose suitability as a fighter aircraft was (still) very controversial, these two goals had a high priority in the British High Command. However, difficulties arose initially because the commander of the US base on Ascension refused to allow the British long-range bombers to land. This problem could only be solved when, on April 27, Washington was also convinced that US Secretary of State Haig's peacekeeping mission had no prospect of success.
On May 1, the operation began against the Falkland Islands with the offensive operation Black Buck 1 , the RAF of Ascension from a bomber of the type Avro 698 Vulcan on the airfield carried out at Port Stanley. The Vulcan was designed for medium-range missions in Europe. Therefore, their tank capacity was far from sufficient for a direct flight. The 13,000 km long route there and back made it necessary to refuel several times . The tanker aircraft of the Royal Air Force were converted bombers Victor . Because of its limited range, an elaborate procedure had to be used: In order to get a Vulcan with 21 bombs to its destination, two Vulcan bombers and eleven tankers took off for air refueling, one of which was a bomber and two tankers as a reserve. The tanker planes refueled the bombers and the other tanker planes one after the other and then turned back. The last tanker refueled the attacking Vulcan (actually the reserve machine, after the first choice was reversed) again shortly before the destination and was expected and refueled on the way back by a tanker flying towards it again. The bomber returning from the attack was met by three more aircraft, a converted Nimrod long-range reconnaissance aircraft and two other tanker aircraft. With this enormous logistical effort, the first attack - as expected - only resulted in one bomb hit on the runway at Port Stanley. However, some of the other bombs caused damage to other important parts of the airfield. Thus, this attack initially had only limited tactical success, more important was the political and psychological effect (see also Doolittle Raid ).
Just minutes after Operation Black Buck , nine Sea Harriers from the Hermes carried out an attack by dropping explosive and cluster bombs on Port Stanley and the smaller grass airfield at Goose Green . Both attacks resulted in the destruction of aircraft on the ground and damaged the airfield infrastructure. At Stanley airfield, in addition to the bomb dropped by the Vulcan bomber, three more Sea Harriers bombs hit the runway, making the future deployment of the "Étendards" and "Skyhawks" from the island even less likely. Three British warships also shot at the Port Stanley airfield. That same night, in the shadow of these attacks, SAS and SBS scouts were dropped on the Falklands and reported the positions and movements of the Argentine troops.
Meanwhile, the Argentine Air Force had already launched its own attack on the assumption that British landings were underway or imminent. The Grupo 6 attacked without loss to the British naval forces. Two other aircraft from other forces were shot down by Sea Harriers operating from the Invincible . There was an aerial battle between Harriers and Mirage fighters from Grupo 8 . Both sides did not want to engage in a fight at the optimal altitude of the enemy, until finally two Mirages went lower to attack: One was shot down, the pilot of the second wanted to land in Port Stanley due to lack of fuel, where the plane was driven by his own troops was shot down .
The air strike and the results of the dogfights had strategic implications. The Argentine High Command saw the entire Argentine mainland coast threatened by British attacks and, as expected by the British High Command, therefore actually moved Grupo 8 , the only group of the Argentine Air Force equipped with interceptors , further north, so that the greater Buenos Aires area was still in theirs Range was. The operating time available for the aircraft over the Falkland Islands decreased again considerably due to the longer approach time. The later apparent inferiority of the Mirages compared to the Sea Harriers at low altitude, also due to their arming with older air-to-air missiles , meant that Argentina no longer had air control over the Falkland Islands at the beginning of the war .
The nightly supply flights from the continent with the propeller plane C-130 "Hercules" could be resumed to a lesser extent after the first air raids on May 1st after the craters had been filled. However, the repeated attacks on the airfield meant that from May 1st until the surrender on June 15th only about 70 tons of supplies could be brought to Stanley, which is why the Argentine army was forced on May 18th (before the British landed in the Falkland Islands) to cut the soldiers' food rations. The lack of food had a negative impact on the morale of the young soldiers. Some of the units that were hastily flown in from the mainland were not adequately equipped with winter clothing, so that they suffered particularly from the cold, wet weather of the onset of winter. Since their weatherproof winter clothing no longer made it to the islands, colds and dysentery soon spread to them , which gradually spread to other units.
Sinking of the cruiser General Belgrano
On May 2, the light cruiser General Belgrano , which had been in service as USS Phoenix in 1938 and was sold to Argentina in 1951, was sunk by the nuclear submarine Conqueror (S48). The submarine used Mark VIII ** torpedoes . The development of this underwater weapon dates back to 1925, but because of its reliability and penetrating power it was still used to break through the cruiser's well-known strong armor (the side hull was made of 127 mm armor steel). Of the three torpedoes fired, two hit the cruiser, one of them where there were two spacious dining halls and the large lounges for the free watch directly behind it. According to Captain Bonzo, this detonation probably killed around 85-90% of the total casualties on the spot and the pressure wave tore a 20-meter hole in the main deck. The second torpedo hit the ship just outside the armor just before the stern, where the engine rooms were. As a result, all machines immediately failed, the pumps stopped and the lights went out. For this reason the cruiser could no longer be saved; Therefore, after about 20 minutes, Captain Bonzo gave the order to leave the slowly sinking ship and to go into the life rafts. According to the statements of survivors, this happened without panic and in good order, so that the injured could also be brought on deck, which is probably why most of those who had survived the two explosions could be saved. 323 of the 1093-strong crew died.
One of the two accompanying destroyers, the ARA Hipólito Bouchard , was hit by the third torpedo, but it did not detonate. Therefore, the destroyer escorts immediately began looking for the submarine. When they noticed that something was wrong with the General Belgrano , as the cruiser no longer responded to radio signals, they turned around and rescued the castaways . Because of the nightfall and the strong storm that quickly drove the life rafts apart, it took the whole of May 3rd to find the last raft.
Since the ship was sunk just outside the “total exclusion zone”, a lot of criticism was later raised by opponents of the war, mainly in Great Britain. It became a “cause célèbre” (public point of controversy) for MPs like Sir Thomas Dalyell Loch of the Labor Party, who, shortly after the end of the war, on December 21, 1982, accused the Prime Minister of “coldly and deliberately” orders Sinking the Belgrano given, although she knew full well that an honorable peace was in prospect, in the expectation ... that the torpedoes of the "Conqueror's" [the conqueror] also torpedoed the peace negotiations. "Numerous other opponents of the war followed this view and raised above all revealed that the ship was heading west at the time of the attack, i.e. it was moving away from the Falkland Islands. They accused the British government of deliberately sinking the General Belgrano in order to fail an ongoing mediation attempt by Peru . Between May 1982 and February 1985 alone, the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister had to justify 205 written and 10 oral questions in the British Parliament.
The main response of the British government to the allegations by Dalyell and others was that it had warned Argentina on April 23 that Argentine warships and military aircraft could also be attacked outside the TEZ if they posed a threat to the British armed forces who exercise their right to self-defense. The contradiction in the British public lasted so long primarily because various members of the government had initially provided the media with a series of partly confused and partly contradicting statements, which could only be clarified by a parliamentary committee of inquiry (Select Committee on Foreign Affairs) in 1985 , but still left a great distrust of the government's statements.
This suspicion was further reinforced when in 1984 it became known that the Navigationslogbücher the Conqueror untraceable. The opposition accused the government of deliberately "disappearing" the log books because they recorded the Belgrano's exact position at the time of the sinking. The logbook could have shown that the Belgrano was not in the exclusion zone. After the publication of new files, however, Stuart Prebble suspects that the disappearance of the logbooks is more related to Operation Barmaid, which was just around the corner .
In fact, after the warning of April 23, the Argentine Navy expected attacks on its warships outside the exclusion zone and therefore did not raise any protests against the sinking of the cruiser after the war. Both the captain of the General Belgrano , Héctor Bonzo, and the Argentine government later declared that the sinking was legitimate. The Argentine Admiral Pico wrote in 2005 that the General Belgrano had been on a "tactical mission" against the British fleet, so it was irrelevant whether she was in or outside the exclusion zone.
According to the British Navy, the cruiser General Belgrano was no longer new, but because of its heavy armament it still posed a threat to British ships. Sinking the cruiser was not an isolated act. The movements of the ships of the Argentine Navy were just as coordinated as those of the British fleet. The cruiser was accompanied by two destroyers, Hipólito Bouchard and Piedra Buena , who were equipped with modern Exocet MM38 rockets with a range of around 40 km. The group around the cruiser could change course at any time, and in view of the high speed of warships (the General Belgrano was originally designed for a speed of up to 33 knots, i.e. approx. 60 km / h, but the outdated machinery actually only left more at a maximum of 18.5 knots), she was able to turn either to the Falkland Islands or to the island of South Georgia, which had only been recaptured shortly before and on which only a small garrison was located. The British leadership is convinced that the position of the cruiser group (Grupo de Tareas 79.3) at the time posed a concrete threat. The danger was all the more so since the combat group around the aircraft carrier ARA Veintecinco de Mayo was approaching the British ships from the north , whose aircraft could attack from a great distance. In the vicinity of the Argentine aircraft carrier group (Grupo de Tareas 79.1) was another combat group, which consisted of modern, missile-equipped corvettes (Grupo de Tareas 79.4). In addition, according to intelligence sources, the British suspected the two modern class 209 submarines at or east of the Falkland Islands (where in reality only one of these two submarines was located). The concentration of almost all of the Argentine fleet in the waters around the Falkland Islands indicated an imminent attack. This fear influenced all further decisions. The British fleet command dispatched the nuclear-powered submarine SSN Splendid towards the aircraft carrier and south of the Falkland Islands the SSN Conqueror was placed on the cruiser, which was soon located (the captain of the SSN Splendid had already received permission from London on April 30th to use the To sink the aircraft carrier outside of the TEZ, but its escort pushed the submarine away several times, so that it finally lost contact again). On the night of May 1 and May 2, an Argentine radio message was deciphered, according to which the Argentine fleet command ordered the aircraft carrier group to undertake an attack on the British ships. This order confirmed British fears and eventually led to the War Cabinet's permission to torpedo the cruiser.
In fact, in the early morning hours of May 2, the aircraft carrier had to abandon the attack it had ordered because the weak wind prevented its heavily loaded Douglas A-4 “Skyhawks” from taking off. Therefore, Admiral Lombardo, the Argentine commander in chief of operations in the South Atlantic (Spanish "Teatro de Operaciones del Atlántico sur" - TOAS for short), shortly afterwards, because of the acute submarine danger, ordered all units to return to the shallow waters near the mainland . After receiving this order, the group turned around the cruiser General Belgrano and drove in irregular zigzag movements towards Isla de los Estados (State Island) off the coast of Tierra del Fuego until it was torpedoed . According to the captain of the General Belgrano , Héctor Bonzo, the cruiser group initially had to control the sea route around Cape Horn and at the time of the attack was on the way to a new position, where it should await further orders.
Against this military background, which is largely confirmed by Argentine accounts, the British government denied (and denies) any connection with the Peruvian peace initiative, which, according to Prime Minister Thatcher, it only learned about after the ship was already sunk. Regardless of this, the exclusion zones, in accordance with international law, were declared primarily to warn neutral ships and to keep them out of the war zone. Warships enjoy no protection with such declarations, not even if they are outside the declared exclusion zones. With the beginning of the bombing of the airport in Stanley the day before, the "open war" had begun - also clearly recognizable for Argentina.
After the cruiser was sunk, the Argentine Navy withdrew the ships to their bases. The Argentine aircraft carrier, which posed the greatest threat, was also ordered back to its base. To attack the British ships, the Argentines relied only on their land-based warplanes as the war progressed. The supply of the Argentine troops in the Falkland Islands was then only via C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, which landed at night.
The next day, the British tabloid The Sun published its famous headline "Gotcha" (Eng. "Caught") in its first editions, but this was changed and relativized after it became clear how many Argentine seamen had died.
More battles at sea
Further attacks on ships were carried out by airplanes and are therefore presented in the context of air operations.
SAS commando operation on Pebble Island
The only 20 "Sea Harriers" on the two aircraft carriers, the number of which has also been decreasing due to the losses that have occurred since May 2nd, did not succeed in ensuring superiority in the air . The fact that the British aircraft carriers had to stay outside the range of the "Super Étendards" stationed on the mainland, which were equipped with Exocet missiles, made it even more difficult to ensure air superiority. The British were very concerned that the complicated computer-controlled anti-aircraft missile systems - such as " Sea Dart " or " Sea Wolf " - by no means delivered what they had promised in tests under ideal conditions. Even more unpleasant was the fact that, since the sinking of the General Belgrano, the Argentine naval and air forces have not left their bases, apparently in order to save all their clout for the expected amphibious landing. Therefore, General Thompson, the commander of the 3rd Commando Brigade, urged the aircraft carrier group to take more active action, which Admiral Woodward refused in order not to endanger the valuable aircraft carriers, without which a landing would not be possible at all. At the suggestion of Thompson, a commando operation was then planned against an Argentine air base on Pebble Island , on which ground attack planes were stationed and on which small propeller planes from the continent often landed, the range of which did not extend to the airfield in Stanley.
A little later, on the night of 12./13. May, the SAS sent a reconnaissance troop, which had previously landed with helicopters on West Falkland, with Klepper folding boats on Pebble Island. After carefully exploring the strength and positioning of the Argentine troops, landed on the night of 14./15. In addition to the base, the D Squadron of the SAS with three large helicopters of the type " Sea King " on Pebble Island and destroyed - also with the help of the guns of the accompanying warships HMS Broadsword and HMS Glamorgan - the Argentine base and eleven aircraft and helicopters.
In addition, the carrier aircraft repeatedly attacked Argentine positions in the interior of East Falkland, where the Argentines had stationed the helicopters for their mobile operational reserve. The destruction of the helicopters increasingly restricted the freedom of movement of the Argentines who wanted to transport troops to the landing sites by helicopter in the event of a British landing.
Landing in the Falkland Islands on May 21, 1982
Construction of the bridgehead in the San Carlos Bay
After the last hopes for a negotiated solution finally failed in the UN in mid-May, the War Cabinet in London decided on May 18 to grant permission to land. At that time, the military leadership of Great Britain had decided to land in San Carlos Bay (English mostly San Carlos Water) in the north-west of East Falkland, and determined the final plans for the landing operation. The bay was chosen by the planning staff of the Amphibious Group because on the one hand the landing craft in the relatively narrow bay seemed safe from submarine and aircraft attacks and on the other hand it was sufficiently far away from Stanley to be safe from immediate Argentine counter-attacks . In addition, reconnaissance troops brought ashore found that the Argentines had not occupied the land around the bay. Only a few days (on May 15) before the planned landing, the Argentines brought a company of soldiers from Goose Green to Port San Carlos, from where they set up an observation post equipped with light guns and mortars on Fanning Head, the promontory north of the bay , because from there you could see both the entrance to Falkland Sound and that of San Carlos Water. In order to secure the landing of the troops in the bay, the British had to overpower this observation post, which was manned by 20 men, by an SBS command of around 30 men the night before the landing .
On May 21st, the recapture of the islands began with an amphibious landing. To distract and deceive the Argentine leadership, the Navy and SAS launched diversionary attacks south of Port Stanley and at Goose Green that night. Shortly after midnight, under cover of darkness, the landing craft entered the Falklandsund , where the troops boarded the landing craft. At 4:40 a.m. local time, the first troops landed with landing craft almost simultaneously in three places in San Carlos Bay (marked in green, blue and red on the attached map) and occupied the surrounding hills from there. Only then did the twelve ships of the landing fleet anchor in the bay, including the large passenger ship Canberra . The combat group's warships equipped with guided missiles secured the entrance to the Falkland Sound against air raids and submarines during this time. After a short time the five battalions of the 3rd Commando Brigade were brought ashore and a field hospital was set up in an abandoned cooling factory in Ajax Bay (on the west side of San Carlos Water), where it remained stationed for the rest of the war. With the sunrise, the 105 mm guns and Rapier air defense systems could also be brought into position with the help of helicopters . The construction of the Rapier systems was delayed, however, because their highly sensitive electronics had suffered from the long sea transport, so that they were not yet operational during the first air raids by the Argentines.
Having become careless due to the landing without resistance, the helicopter pilots who brought the heavy material from the ships to shore flew to the foremost positions after a short time without paying attention to the necessary safety measures. Here, east of Port San Carlos, several machines were caught in the fire of the Argentines who were retreating from there, who shot down two Aérospatiale SA-341/342 Gazelle helicopters with their automatic weapons and seriously damaged another helicopter. Three crew members died in the process. Most of the Argentine soldiers who were quartered in Port San Carlos then withdrew over the mountains to the Douglas settlement on Teal Inlet (on the fjord-like bay in the north of East Falkland), from where they were transported by helicopter to Port Stanley.
Before the Argentine command, which had been completely taken by surprise by the British landing, withdrew from Port San Carlos shortly after 8 a.m., it reported its observations in the bay via radio to the Argentine base in Goose Green. After smaller planes ( Pucará and Aermacchi ) from Goose Green and Stanley had confirmed the observation, the Argentine planes launched their attack on the landing fleet on the mainland, for which they had been waiting since May 1st. At around 10:35 a.m., the first planes attacked the warships in the Falklandsund. In order to fly under the British radar and the associated anti-missile shield, the Argentine planes crossed West Falkland in the first few days, mostly in low flight, and then naturally attacked the first British ships they saw, which were the warships in Falkland Sound. As a result, the ships of the landing fleet, which were still fully loaded at the time, could be unloaded almost unmolested in San Carlos Bay. In addition, the Argentines often flew their attacks even below the mast height of the British ships with daring maneuvers, but this meant that the fuse in the detonators of their bombs, which usually hit their target less than a second after being triggered, did not yet work so that they did not detonate on impact. Therefore, quite a few bombs penetrated the narrow warships without detonating, leaving little damage and a few wounded on the British side. Other bombs got stuck in the hulls of the ships and could later (except for one) be defused by demolition masters. For this, the British managed to shoot down an Argentine plane (a Grupo 6 " Dagger "). The D Squadron of the SAS also managed to shoot down a Grupo 3 Pucará over the Sussex Mountains with a FIM-92 Stinger .
In the afternoon the Argentines (air force and naval aviators) flew a number of other attacks in which the HMS Argonaut was damaged (three dead). The frigate HMS Ardent , which was alone in the middle of Falkland Sound on the way back from the diversionary attack at Goose Green, was attacked several times in a row and received seven hits (22 dead). As fire spread on board, the Ardent had to be abandoned; burned out, she sank the next day. That afternoon, however, the Argentines lost nine aircraft (four "Dagger" from Grupo 6 and five "Skyhawk" from Grupo 4 and the naval aviators), all of which only after dropping their bombs on the way back from "Sea Harriers" with Sidewinder rockets were shot down. At the end of the first day, almost all of the frigates that patrolled the landing ships as mobile air raids in the Falkland Sound were damaged by the air raids; Nevertheless it was possible to land 3,000 soldiers and 1,000 tons of material and secure the bridgehead.
Argentine air strikes until May 25th
Two days after the Belgrano was sunk , a patrol aircraft of the Argentine Navy Air Force (COAN) discovered parts of the British fleet. On May 4th, two COAN Super Étendards took off from the Río Grande Air Force Base on Tierra del Fuego , each armed with an Exocet. After an in-flight refueling by a C-130 Hercules shortly after take-off, they went low, climbed for radar measurements and fired the missiles from 30 to 50 km away. One missed HMS Yarmouth , the other hit the Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield . The warhead of the Exocet unexploded, but the rest of fuel put the ship on fire. Due to the destruction of the fire extinguishing system, the ship had to be abandoned hours later and sank after six days. 20 sailors died. Meanwhile, the other two destroyers were withdrawn from their unsafe positions. The British military would have been vulnerable to attack.
After the sinking, there were plans for a commando action by the SAS against the FAA unit in Río Grande, which was equipped with Exocet missiles. According to initial plans, SAS soldiers were even supposed to land on the airfield with C-130 transport aircraft, destroy the missiles and planes and then kill the pilots. The plan was later modified. The soldiers were supposed to be brought to the coast in a submarine and then flee to Chile after the mission. However, the plan was not carried out after a helicopter that was supposed to drop a reconnaissance team was discovered and then had to make an emergency landing near Punta Arenas .
The feared Argentine air strikes after the landing of ground troops on May 21 did not materialize. Bad weather prevented the planes from taking off on the mainland. The Argentine air force and naval aviators were not able to resume their attacks until the afternoon of the day after next, i.e. on May 23. That day, the Antelope sank after being hit by a bomb that did not explode immediately on impact. The bomb detonated the night after the ship was cleared and two demolition masters tried to remove the detonators. Multiple hits on other ships again demonstrated the blatant weakness of the “close-range air defense” of the new British frigates, which were hardly equipped with anti-aircraft guns in favor of anti-aircraft missiles. The previously highly valued automatic missile defense systems were all disappointing. Reliable protection was only provided by the "Sea Harrier" of the two aircraft carriers that constantly circled over West Falkland.
In the morning hours of May 24th, the British tried again to make Stanley airport unusable with an air raid, but this ultimately failed again. From noon the Argentine planes attacked the landing fleet, where they tried for the first time to hit the landing and supply ships in the San Carlos Bay. The landing ships Sir Galahad , Sir Lancelot and Sir Bedivere were hit, but in none of the three cases did the bombs detonate, so that they could later be defused by demolition experts. The Argentines, however, lost a "Dagger" (Grupo 6) and a "Skyhawk" (Grupo 5) again that day.
On May 25, their national holiday, the Argentines planned a decisive blow against the two British aircraft carriers whose position they had determined with the help of reconnaissance planes and radar in the Falkland Islands. For this purpose, the two far advanced British outpost ships to the northwest of Pebble Island should first be "switched off", whose role as radar early warning and guide ships for the "Sea Harrier" they had now recognized. Through several staggered attacks, they finally succeeded in bombing the destroyer Coventry , killing 19 sailors, and damaging the frigate Broadsword (the helicopter was destroyed). At the same time, two "Super Étendards" of naval aviators, equipped with Exocet missiles, took off northward from Río Grande on Tierra del Fuego. After they had been refueled in the air northwest of the Falkland Islands, they attacked the British battle group, in the middle of which the two aircraft carriers Hermes and Invincible were, from the north , completely surprising . Warned by their radar in good time, all warships shot metal strips into the air with special launchers (“ chaff ”) in order to deceive or deflect the missile's seeker head. As a result, none of the Exocet missiles hit a warship, but after flying through these clouds, the radar-controlled seeker selected the Atlantic Conveyor , which was traveling individually at the time, and set it on fire (twelve dead), so that it sank three days later. This ship, which was supposed to enter San Carlos Bay the following night, had loaded helicopters, equipment for the construction of a runway and tents for 4,500 men for the further course of the battle. The Argentines lost three "Skyhawks" that day (and thus much fewer than the British believed in 1982). Two Grupo 4 Skyhawks were shot down over San Carlos Bay, and another Grupo 5 machine was accidentally shot down by the Argentine flak on its return flight over Goose Green.
That Argentina was armed with modern French weapons was a great burden on the British; the French were their closest allies in Europe. France, too, was embarrassed to see armaments manufactured in France causing great damage to one of its closest allies. In relation to the population, France was then the largest arms exporter in the world.
Years later, an adviser to the then French President François Mitterrand reported that after the Exocet attack, Thatcher had forced the latter to give the British armed forces codes with which the missiles could be made electronically unusable. Thatcher had threatened to let submarines fire nuclear missiles at Buenos Aires. Mitterrand then enabled the British to sabotage the Exocets.
Battle for Goose Green
The airfield in Goose Green , around 25 km south of the town of San Carlos, was not only the closest Argentine base to the British bridgehead, it also represented the largest enemy troop concentration outside the island's capital, Stanley. The staff of the 3rd Commando Brigade was therefore already planning one An attack on Goose Green the day after landing. Initially, it was only planned to destroy the airfield - or the aircraft - and then wanted to withdraw again. With a general break out of the landing zone, General Thompson should, according to the original orders, wait until the 5th Brigade had also arrived there (if only because the unloading of the supply ships was slow without the usual port facilities such as cranes) . However, it was already clear after a few days that the fierce Argentine air strikes and the ongoing losses of ships in the Falkland Sound made it necessary to change the original plan and leave the landing zone earlier. This step should now be initiated at the latest with the help of the additional helicopters that the container ship Atlantic Conveyor was supposed to bring to the island. After that, the troops should be dropped off with the help of the large transport helicopters of the " Chinook " type as close as possible to the island's capital, Stanley.
This plan also had to be abandoned on May 25th after the ship was sunk and the additional helicopters were lost. Therefore, the staff of the 3rd Commando Brigade decided that some of the battalions had to cross the island on foot, which would probably take several days (the heavy equipment was to be brought in later with the remaining helicopters). In order to expose the British base in San Carlos Bay and the storage facilities already established there to flank attacks from Goose Green, which were not possible during this critical phase, this nearby Argentine base had to be captured first. When in 1982 several press interviews asserted that "the main purpose of the attack on Goose Green was to raise the morale of British troops," this point was at best a side issue. From a military point of view, conquering the enemy base so close to one's own base of operations was essential if Thompson was not to leave a considerable part of his troops behind to protect them as he advanced on Stanley. Since Thompson, who was still bound by General Moore's April 12 order, hesitated to break out, the British High Command at Northwood finally ordered the breakout. This order was made all the more emphatic when it was learned through leaked US intelligence reports that the Argentines were planning to land paratroopers from the mainland in Goose Green. For security reasons (i.e. to rule out possible interception of the radio message), Thompson was not informed of this point, which is why the general subsequently expressed himself critical of the order several times.
The 2nd Battalion of the Paratrooper Regiment (usually just called "2 Para" for short) was on the southern edge of the landing zone, which is why Thompson had planned it on May 23 for the attack on Goose Green. Since the 3rd Commando Brigade was already preparing the occupation of Mount Kent with the help of helicopters and at the same time initiated the advance of two battalions over Teal Inlet, only limited attention was paid to the attack on the isthmus and the airfield of Goose Green. For example, only half a battery of 105 mm howitzers (i.e. three guns) and very little ammunition were allocated to the attack, which during the night only came through the - also light - 4.5 inch gun (114 mm) of the frigate HMS Arrow were reinforced. Due to the loss of the helicopters on the Atlantic Conveyor, the soldiers had to carry all of the heavy material (grenade launchers and Milan rockets and their ammunition) on their backs, as the brigade's staff assumed (without making an attempt) that the path was for Vehicles not passable.
The Argentines were willing to vigorously defend the place, because the isthmus of Darwin / Goose Green was tactically important on the one hand and the second largest airfield on the island was located here on the other. According to observations by the SAS, the British estimated the strength of the Argentine garrison at around 1,000 men. Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones , the commander of the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion, was nevertheless convinced that his (around) 500 paratroopers would be able to take on the attack on their own. In fact, there were around 1,100 Argentines in Goose Green on May 27 (including the helicopter-flown reinforcements from Mount Kent and the approximately 210 soldiers of the Argentine Air Force). They had Pucará planes stationed at Goose Green on the airfield after the invasion to provide ground combat support. In addition, good and strongly fortified defensive positions were built. The troops had three 105-mm guns and 35-mm anti-aircraft guns. On the British side, about 720 men were deployed, including support troops (such as artillery) and an additional company of marine infantry (of the 42nd Commando Battalion), which was hurriedly flown from San Carlos to the isthmus towards the evening of May 28th.
On the evening of May 26th, the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion set out to march to Camilla Creek House north of Goose Green. Due to careless statements from government circles, the BBC reported the planned attack on Goose Green on the BBC World Service the next day . The Argentinians thus warned flew additional troops from their reserve from Mt. Kent to Goose Green. In a British air raid on Goose Green airfield on May 27, an RAF Harrier GR.3 was shot down, but the pilot survived and was rescued by a British helicopter two days later.
On the night of May 28, shortly after midnight, the paratroopers attacked the Argentine outposts, which had positioned themselves at the entrance to the isthmus. According to orders, they withdrew slowly from there, trying to delay the British advance as long as possible. Accordingly, it was already broad daylight (contrary to British plans) when the paratroopers finally reached the narrowest part of the isthmus north of Darwin and the main Argentine position. There the British attack came to a halt in the fire of the Argentine machine guns (approximately between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). The defenders were supported by multiple attacks by Pucarà fighter planes, which dropped napalm bombs once , and also shot down one of the British scout helicopters that brought ammunition and transported the wounded away. Only after a heavy fight in which the commander of the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion fell ( see below ), the British were finally able to gain the upper hand, after they had succeeded after 1 p.m. along the beach on the west side of the isthmus to bypass Argentine position. By evening (around 5:30 p.m.) the paratroopers advanced slowly to the outskirts of Goose Green. Just before sunset destroyed two Harrier GR.3 with BL755 - cluster bombs , the Argentine guns, with the large fireballs of explosions briefly triggered a panic among the Argentine soldiers. With 114 falconers trapped in a barn in Goose Green, Major Keeble, the British commander who now led the battalion, decided not to fight again so as not to endanger the prisoners in the dark. It was not until the next morning that he sent two captured Argentines to Goose Green with an invitation to surrender. After a period of reflection, the Argentine commander, with the permission of General Menéndez, consented to surrender (on May 29 at around 11:30 a.m.) as his units were completely surrounded - and he greatly overestimated the number of British soldiers.
Result and consequences
17 soldiers died on the British side, including the battalion commander Jones, who had initially led the attack. 37 soldiers were wounded. Jones fell while attacking an Argentine machine-gun position, which temporarily held down the attack of the battalion and caused heavy losses there. Since there was no reserve available in his immediate vicinity, the commander decided to attack this position himself with his staff group of the mobile battalion command post. Jones was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross , Britain's highest military award for superior valor in the face of the enemy. Around 50 Argentinians lost their lives in the fighting and around 90 were wounded. The number of unwounded Argentine prisoners was 961.
The successful and swift capture of Goose Green had a noticeable negative impact on the morale of the Argentine troops. The relatively high losses meant that the British only started all further attacks at night in order to reduce the repelling effect of the enemy automatic weapons on the open grasslands. With the help of helicopters in Goose Green, the Argentines deployed all of their mobile reserves that they had concentrated in a camp on Mount Kent. For the British, this had the unexpected effect of being able to occupy Mount Kent practically at the same time without encountering any resistance. The occupation of the isthmus opened up another, southern route for British troops along the coast of Choiseul Sound and Bluff Cove to Stanley. When British troops took this route, it reinforced the impression that the Argentine High Command in Stanley - which already existed there - that the British main attack on the island capital would probably be carried out from the south and thereby drew the attention of the Argentines from the northern British advance across the island via Douglas Settlement and Teal Inlet to Mount Kent.
Battle for Port Stanley
Breakout from the landing zone
The attack on the island's capital Stanley was launched at the same time as the battle for Goose Green. Starting with the night of 24./25. May the D-Squadron of the 22nd SAS flown to Mount Kent by helicopter (around 70 km from Port San Carlos and 18 km from Stanley), from which Stanley could already be seen in the distance. Initially, only individual troops were brought there to sound out the situation. In the following nights these were gradually strengthened and they began there with the development of a position on the west side of the mountain. On the night of May 30th, the first parts of the 42nd Command Battalion followed - also by air. Since the 26./27. On May 8th, two battalions (the 3rd Paratrooper Battalion and the 45th Commando Battalion) marched at the same time, heavily loaded, the approximately 70 kilometers on foot from Port San Carlos via Teal Inlet to the east to occupy the mountains that adjoined Mount Kent (except some " band wagons " (ie Swedish Bandvagn of the type Bv202) were only accompanied by a few farmers who had offered to transport grenade launchers, anti-tank weapons and ammunition on the trailers of tractors). On June 1, the 3rd Paratrooper Battalion reached Mount Estancia north of Mount Kent and a little later the marines of the 45th Commando Battalion followed. It was only after the troops had settled on the hill west of Stanley that helicopters brought guns and other heavy equipment from San Carlos Bay to their positions.
Meanwhile, on the night of May 31st and June 1st, the British 5th Brigade landed with another 3,500 soldiers in San Carlos Bay. After the Brigade's Gurkhas battalion relieved the troops in Goose Green, the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion was flown to Bluff Cove and Fitzroy on the coast south of Stanley on June 3. The island's capital was thus surrounded by a large area and the British had already regained control of most of the island.
After the loss of most of their helicopters, the Argentine leadership could do little to counter the advance of British troops, which led through an area without solid roads, on the Falkland Islands. Apart from a few operations by the Argentine command companies 601 and 602, which led to some, but only very brief, skirmishes along the advance routes south of Teal Inlet, the British advance to the area around Mount Kent was practically without a fight.
Bluff Cove and Fitzroy: Bombing Sir Galahad
The capture of Goose Green had opened up a second route to Stanley for the British, and General Moore, who assumed command of the land forces after the reinforcements arrived, made it a point to ensure that both brigades were equally involved in the attack. After the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion had already "requisitioned" helicopters in Bluff Cove, the rest of the 5th Brigade also had to be brought there. Since the few existing helicopters were barely sufficient to supply the brigades, the two guard battalions of the 5th Brigade ( Welsh Guards and Scots Guards ) had to be brought with a landing ship from San Carlos around the southern tip of the island to Bluff Cove. In order to minimize the threatened losses from submarines or air strikes, the troops were distributed over several individual ship transports and over several nights.
The fighting of the first week had not only weakened the Argentine air force in numbers, but many of the remaining aircraft were damaged by the British defensive fire that first had to be repaired. In addition, after June 1, the weather was so bad at times that no air strikes were possible. As a result, the Argentines were only able to resume their actions on June 4th with a single air raid by six "daggers" on British positions on Mount Kent. This was also the reason why the newly arrived troops and their commanders of the 5th Brigade did not recognize the great danger posed by the Argentine aircraft.
On the night of June 7th and 8th, two companies of the "Welsh Guards" (about 220 men) were to be brought together with a field hospital from San Carlos to the east side of the island as the last troop transport. The aim was to land the field hospital in Fitzroy, while the two companies had Bluff Cove as their destination. Among other things, due to bad weather, the voyage of the ship, whose captain had express orders, was delayed not to go further than Port Pleasant Bay (i.e. as far as Fitzroy). Therefore it was already bright day before the field hospital could be unloaded there. Since there were no port facilities in the bay, everything had to be brought ashore with the help of landing boats or Mexeflotes (motorized pontoons). Shortly after the ship's arrival, naval officers repeatedly asked the guards who were pushing below deck to leave the ship because of the impending air hazard. Even so, they stayed on board on the grounds that they had to be taken to Bluff Cove and not Fitzroy (it is a 10 to 12 km walk from Fitzroy to Bluff Cove) and they did not want to lose their luggage or theirs Disconnect equipment. When a major of the Royal Marines of the 5th Brigade finally ordered the two guard companies to wait ashore in order to be taken to Bluff Cove in a landing craft after the ship was unloaded, the commanding officer of the field hospital (a lieutenant colonel and accidentally senior army officer on board) took this order and insisted that the unloading of the field hospital be a priority.
From Mount Harriet, Argentine observation posts could see the mastheads of the ships at Fitzroy through binoculars. This observation sparked the last major Argentine combined air strike of the war. Initially, some of the Argentine aircraft flew to the British landing zone around San Carlos in order to distract the British air defense and the "Sea Harriers" by attacking the ships lying there. The frigate Plymouth was hit by four bombs in the Falkland Sound, which did not detonate. The actual attack flew south of it five "Skyhawks" to Fitzroy, where they bombed the poorly protected ships in the harbor at 13:00 (local time) (the ships should have been back in San Carlos long ago). Two bombs that did not detonate hit RFA Sir Tristram , killing two men. Three bombs that detonated hit the still fully occupied RFA Sir Galahad . As a result of the explosions and the rapidly spreading flames, 47 men died on the Sir Galahad (39 of them from the Welsh Guards alone). A total of 115 men were injured in the attack (75 of them slightly).
Three "Skyhawks" of Grupo 5, who dodged the meanwhile fierce defensive fire at Fitzroy in the evening, sank a British landing craft on their way back in Choiseul Sound, which was traveling with vehicles from Goose Green to Bluff Cove. A little later they themselves fell victim to the Sidewinder rockets of the approaching "Sea Harriers".
Attack on Port Stanley
After the British had secured their positions around Stanley, they opened the offensive on the island's capital. The attack began on the night of 11/12. June with the simultaneous storm on the range of hills, which was formed from Mount Longdon, Mount Harriet and the Two Sisters (a mountain with two peaks). A battalion each had to fight for one of the mountains, and their scout troops had been exploring the Argentine positions for days. General Thompson's ambitious plan stipulated that the 3rd Parachute Battalion would storm Mount Longdon, the 42nd Commando Mount Harriet and the 42nd Commando Two Sisters. Then the hills Wireless Ridge and Mount Tumbledown behind were to be conquered that same night. This would have taken the British right to the outskirts of Stanley. As before the fight for Goose Green, the staff of the 3rd Commando Brigade underestimated the resistance of the Argentines. Only Mount Harriet, the last to be attacked, fell quickly. The two peaks of the Two Sisters and Mount Longdon, on the other hand, could be occupied at dawn. A greater number of prisoners could be taken at Mount Harriet. So the recapture of Stanley had to be postponed for the time being.
At dawn on June 12th, the HMS Glamorgan , which had supported the night infantry attack on Mount Harriet with its on-board cannon, wanted to return to the aircraft carrier group. Although the British knew at that time that the Argentines set up a mobile launch pad for anti-ship missiles of the type MM38 "Exocet" every night on the coast east of Stanley, the ship tried to return to the aircraft carrier before sunrise and was caught in the area covered by Exocet. Warned by the on-board radar, the ship just managed to turn the stern of the approaching Exocet so that only the helicopter deck was hit. As a result of the detonation of the rocket and the subsequent fire, 13 crew members died and 15 were injured (the "Exocet" on the Glamorgan claimed roughly as many victims in a few seconds as the storm on Mount Longdon in six hours). Nevertheless, the crew managed to extinguish the fire after a short time and return under the protection of the carrier group.
On June 12, General Moore postponed the attack on Mount Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge for one day. Instead, a series of Argentine and British air raids on the positions of the other side took place that day, including the RAF flew the last long-range bomber attack ( Black Buck VII) from the island of Ascencion to Stanley airport. The next day, June 13th, the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion prepared to storm Wireless Ridge, an extension of the peninsula in Port Stanley Bay, at the foot of which was the Moody Brook barracks of the British island crew. The British artillery bombarded the Argentine positions around Stanley. To the south of it, the Scot Guards prepared to attack Mount Tumbledown and behind them the Gurkhas, to attack Mount William, which lies diagonally behind it, immediately after its fall. These attacks should also take place under cover of darkness.
Similar to June 11, on June 13, the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards began its attack shortly after 10 p.m. (local time) on Mount Tumbledown, the strongest point on the opposing front. Already earlier, shortly after 9 p.m., the 2nd Paratrooper Battalion under its new commander, Lieutenant Colonel Chaundler, supported by artillery and ship guns, advanced from the north towards Wireless Ridge. While Mount Tumbledown was being defended by the recognized Argentine 5th Marine Battalion, individual companies from various regiments lay on the Wireless Ridge. While Mount Tumbledown was defended tenaciously, as expected, so that the mountain was not fully occupied until the next morning around 10 a.m., the paratroopers made rapid progress further north. Shortly after midnight they passed the highest point of the hill and then only stopped because they were now being shot at from the higher Mount Tumbledown, which was still in Argentine hands. It was not until 6 o'clock in the morning (June 14) that General Thompson gave permission to advance to the Moody Brook Barracks (at the western end of the inner bay of Stanley) - and thus only “a few hundred meters “To the outskirts of Stanley. The advance of the British into Moody Brook led to the only Argentine counterattack of this war, which, only half-heartedly carried out, ended in an escape after just a few minutes.
The rapid failure of the counterattack and the appearance of the first British troops so close to the city probably triggered the “psychological breakdown” of the Argentine resistance. A little later, the Argentine Marines gave up their resistance on the eastern slope of Mount Tumbledown and withdrew to the city. From the mountain top, the British were able to observe Argentine retreats everywhere in the course of the morning. So General Moore now ordered the general advance. That afternoon, paratroopers and marines approached Stanley on foot from the west. At around 3 p.m., helicopters carrying soldiers from the 40th Commando Battalion accidentally landed on Sapper Hill, a hill about 100 meters high just south of the city. The helicopters, which were supposed to land much further west at Mount William, almost touched down between Argentine troops, who fled into the city after a brief exchange of fire. When the first soldiers of the 45th Commandos appeared there some time later from the west, who had orders to storm the hill, it was only after a few shots that it was clear that Sapper Hill was already occupied by its own troops. With that the last fighting of the war came to an end. At that time, negotiations were already taking place in the city about a surrender of the Argentine troops in the Falkland Islands.
End of war
Armistice in the Falkland Islands
On the night of June 14th, the Argentine governor of the Malvinas, General Menéndez, and the commander of the X Brigade, General Joffre, agreed that with the fall of Mount Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge, the situation in Stanley would be unsustainable. Therefore, they ordered troops that had taken positions east and south of the island capital on the coast (to ward off landings) to the west, but this only led to the short Argentine counterattack in the early morning at Moody Brook. After several attempts to call, Menéndez finally reached President General Galtieri in Buenos Aires at around 9:30 a.m. After describing the current situation, Menéndez suggested that Argentina should accept UN resolution 502 (i.e. accept the withdrawal of Argentine troops), but Galtieri refused. When Galtieri asked him to attack instead of retreating, he hung up with the remark that he obviously did not know what was going on on the Malvinas. Then, according to General Menéndez, he accepted the British offer to talk.
As early as 6 June, the British had sent the Argentine administrative officers who controlled it a daily offer of talks via the medical radio network that connected the Stanley hospital to all settlements on the islands. They did not respond, but did not switch off the network either. On the morning of June 14th, the British again offered talks "for humanitarian reasons". Shortly after 1 p.m., the Argentine officer responsible for civil administration answered and offered to talk about a ceasefire. After several hours of negotiations, shortly before 9 p.m. (local time), the Argentine governor of the Malvinas and commander-in-chief of all troops on the archipelago, Mario Menéndez, and Major General Jeremy Moore, the commander of the British land forces in the Falkland Islands, signed a ceasefire that not only included the included troops around Stanley, but included all soldiers on all islands of the archipelago. (In order to reach this last point, the words "unconditional surrender" were omitted, which Menéndez attached great importance to, even if it was ultimately one.) The armistice came into force with the signing (in fact, Stanley had been inactive since Afternoon the guns). Due to the information on the time according to different time zones, both June 14th and 15th are given in the media as the day the war ended. The official (nominal) time of signature is stated on the document: June 14, 2359Z (11:59 p.m. Zulu ).
On June 20, the British also occupied the South Sandwich Islands, where on the island of Southern Thule Argentina (illegal according to the British view) a research station had already been established in 1976 and the Argentine flag raised. On that day, the British government unilaterally declared the hostilities over.
The conflict lasted 72 days. 253 British people (including 18 civilians) and 655 Argentines lost their lives, 323 of them on the cruiser General Belgrano (18 civilians were also among the Argentine victims). During the armistice negotiations on June 14, General Menéndez spoke of more than 15,000 soldiers under his command, but a recount later revealed no more than 11,848 unwounded prisoners of war. As early as June 20, all prisoners (except about 800) were repatriated. General Menéndez was among those withheld. When the Argentines announced on July 3 that they would release Flight Lieutenant Glover - the only British prisoner of war to be shot down over West Falkland on May 21 - the remaining prisoners of war were also brought home by July 14.
On June 18, President Galtieri resigned and was replaced by General Reynaldo Bignone.
On July 27, 1982 General Menéndez was dismissed from all military positions.
On September 15, 1982, Argentina and Great Britain lifted all mutual financial sanctions.
The Argentine government was not involved in the Stanley ceasefire negotiations or in the repatriation of prisoners of war. The British unilaterally declared the war over. Therefore, Argentina did not and does not consider itself defeated - and for this reason the country renewed its title to the Falkland Islands during the UN General Assembly in New York on October 3, 1982.
A victory parade took place in London on October 12, 1982. Prime Minister Thatcher previously awarded medals to around 1,250 soldiers.
On October 17, 1982, Great Britain stationed a new air surveillance squadron (Flight 1435) with four F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft in Port Stanley. The Phantoms were replaced in 1992 by the more modern Tornado F.3 , which were replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon in 2009 .
A resolution tabled by Argentina in the UN General Assembly on November 4, 1982, among other things supported by the USA, to resume British-Argentinian negotiations on the future of the archipelago caused disappointment in the British government and is considered the first diplomatic defeat in the conflict.
On January 7, 1983, the commemoration day of the British occupation of the islands in 1833, Prime Minister Thatcher visited the islands, where around 6,000 soldiers are to remain as a permanent troop presence. British banks, with government approval, granted Argentina a £ 170 million loan in late January 1983.
On February 28, 1983, Great Britain began with the expansion of Port Stanley Airport and from June 28, 1983 with the construction of a new air force base south of Port Stanley, which was completed from 1985 under the name RAF Mount Pleasant .
Argentina returned to democracy on December 9, 1983.
On October 19, 1989, after lengthy talks in Madrid, which only came about after Spanish mediation, the two conflicting parties (officially) declared the war to be over. But only a little later, in April 1990, Argentina declared the Falkland Islands and all of their subsidiary areas (i.e. all the British Isles in the Antarctic Territory) to be an integral part of the then newly founded Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego ( Tierra del Fuego ). To this day, the conflict over the islands has therefore not been resolved.
In 2017, following a rapprochement between the new Macri government and the United Kingdom, the identification of 123 unnamed Argentine soldiers in the Darwin cemetery began. The ICRC is in charge of the project and the costs are shared equally between the two countries.
The Falklands War illustrated the vulnerability of ships in the open sea, both from missiles and from submarines. As a result, warships were increasingly built using flame-retardant materials and new types of fire extinguishing systems ( halons as extinguishing agents, etc.). The Exocet missiles became a bestseller all over the world. The British ships did not have a close-range defense system; such systems were immediately introduced or developed by almost all naval forces in the years after the Falklands War.
The war also resulted in numerous conclusions for the armed forces operating on land. On the British side in particular, anti-tank handguns and anti-tank guided weapons such as the MILAN were used with success against field fortifications by the Argentines. Four light armored vehicles FV101 Scorpion and FV107 Scimitar of the British reconnaissance troops had proven themselves in supporting the infantry .
Due to one-sided press reports in Europe and the USA, the Argentine troops were portrayed rather negatively in the first presentations after the war. According to these reports, units were used on the Argentine side that were not used to comparable climatic conditions. Their resilience and operational capability were clearly restricted as a result. The Argentine associations were mostly conscripts from the hot and humid inland. The British units consisting of professional soldiers from the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines , however, were able to train in Scotland and Norway. Only the Argentine 5th Marine Battalion was considered prepared for use in the dry and cold climate zone.
In fact, only three of the twelve Argentine infantry battalions that were deployed in the Falkland Islands came from the "hot and humid" northern Argentine province of Corrientes. The remaining units came mainly from the major cities of the province of Buenos Aires, and four of the battalions came from Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (including the two battalions of the marine infantry), whose climatic conditions correspond to those of the Falkland Islands. The personal equipment of the soldiers was adapted to the climatic conditions on the islands (it is noticeable that the young soldiers from the warm north, who mainly came from rural areas, got along better with life outdoors or in tents than a large number of the urban military personnel from the colder south). The official report from one of the British brigade commanders (Wilson) therefore states: “The enemy was neither incompetent nor fearful. He was not ill-equipped, nor was he starving. The use of his planes was very bold. The positions of his defensive positions were well chosen and they were very well laid out. He fought very skillfully and with great courage. Some of his units resisted almost to the last man. ”This description is corroborated in most of the detailed accounts that war participants later wrote of individual battles.
The inhospitable climatic conditions at the beginning of the southern winter on the Falkland Islands, however, put the armed forces on both sides to the test. For the first time since the Winter War and the subsequent operations of the Wehrmacht in Finland during World War II from 1941 onwards, infantry battles were again conducted in the sub- polar climatic zone . Special features of this climatic zone are, in addition to high wind speeds in the poorly covered area, the cold and the soil moisture, which reduce the protective effect of combat boots made of leather. So occurred on the British side for the first time after World War again cases of trench foot on the Grabenfuß . For this reason, boots were subsequently PTFE - membrane (including Gore-Tex called) developed because as otherwise appropriate footwear only rubber boots were available. Lessons could be gained for the clothing and field equipment as well as the arming of the infantry. This includes the introduction of wind and moisture protection clothing with vapor diffusion-open PTFE membrane.
The British standard rifle L1 A1 SLR , a variant of the self-loading FN FAL without sustained fire, proved to be no longer sufficient. No night vision device could be fitted for night combat and it had no telescopic sight.
Lessons could also be gained for the training and psychology of a soldier and his combat readiness within the small combat community through cohesion . Differences in training were particularly evident between the paratroopers and members of the guards regiments. Since then, an integral part of the training there has been mentally but also physically demanding training, including abseiling exercises.
Further lessons could be gained in the medical service and in self and comrade help. Due to the climate and the weather - the cold leads to a contraction of the veins, the creation of an infusion via a peripheral or central venous access is not possible for an inexperienced and untrained soldier if injured - a rectal volume replacement was carried out via a flexible plastic catheter. Initial experience with cryogens in the form of natural hypothermia was gained in the care of the wounded. Blood loss and subsequent physical shock were thereby minimized. At the same time, the soldiers as a whole, but especially the wounded, had to be protected from hypothermia . Despite these experiences, leading research in the USA is only now concerned with this "first aid" of a multiple trauma injured person using cryogens in order to keep them stable until full care in a hospital.
On both the British and Argentine sides, however, most of the casualties and wounded are not the result of skirmishes between the two armies, rather they were for the most part victims of air strikes on the ships that were hit by bombs or missiles (the British suffered a total of about half of all casualties at sea; even the army has a little more than half of its casualties from the bombing of Sir Galahad ). The relatively high number of civilian seafarers who lost their lives during the conflict also reflects the enormous importance of the navy and shipping on both sides. On the British side, 45 requisitioned and chartered merchant ships were involved, transporting more than half a million tons of supplies (including about 400,000 tons of fuel). Argentina, on the other hand, was very quickly cut off from the sea supply to the islands by the British submarines, which is why the very last units hastily brought to the Malvinas could only be brought there with some of their equipment by airplanes, where they ultimately could Defense more handicapped than yours to use.
Falkland Island Review Committee
After the end of the war, in October 1982 the Falkland Island Review Committee carried out a British investigation under the direction of Lord Franks into the events surrounding the beginning of the Falklands War. In the secret investigation, Margaret Thatcher admitted that the Argentine attack on the archipelago came as a surprise to the British government. The government would not have expected this step, which was classified as “stupid” ( English for stupid). British intelligence agencies had thought it possible that Argentina would attack the islands since 1977, but it was not until March 26, 1982 that the Department of Defense presented a plan to defend the area. In her diary, the Prime Minister expressed her shock at the possibility of not being able to repel an attack mentioned in the plan, but she still considered the invasion unlikely. The moment when she received intelligence information on March 31 that an Argentine attack was imminent, she described in October 1982 as the worst moment of her life.
Peter Carington , who resigned as British Foreign Secretary on April 5, 1982, supported Margaret Thatcher's statements that he too believed an attack to be ruled out.
On January 18, 1983, the government submitted the official final report, the Falkland Islands Review (also known as the Frank's Report ) to Parliament. The report said the government had done nothing to provoke Argentina into attacking the Falkland Islands. The government was also acknowledged that it could not have foreseen the attack. Nevertheless, it was recommended to improve the collection and analysis of intelligence information. The opposition described the report's conclusions as "washing away" and hiding the real results.
The Argentine military junta , which was exposed to strong internal pressure due to a severe economic crisis, had used the annexation of the Falkland Islands for domestic political goals. The war therefore had an internal political impact on Argentina. The defeat of the country forced President Leopoldo Galtieri to resign on June 18 after violent demonstrations in the country. Galtieri was replaced by General Reynaldo Bignone . The country returned to democracy on December 9, 1983 .
In the long term, the debacle ended the regular interference of the Argentine military in politics and discredited it in front of society. In Comodoro Rivadavia , seat of the Argentine jurisdiction for the war zone, 70 officers and NCOs were charged with inhumane treatment of soldiers during the war.
Argentina's defeat put an end to the military alternative to resolving the Beagle conflict , until then the hawks' preferred option in the Argentine government, and later led to the signing of the 1984 treaty between Chile and Argentina .
The war between Argentina and Great Britain ended with the capture of the invading forces without a formal peace treaty . Argentina never withdrew its claim to the Falkland Islands; Until today (March 2013) every Argentine government renews the claim of the country to the archipelago. Every year Argentina renews its claim to the islands before the UN's decolonization committee. In the weeks around the 30th anniversary of the start of the war in April 2012, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner , a left- wing populist in the Peronist tradition of her country, once again intensified the tone of voice towards Great Britain.
The journalist Jürgen Krönig wrote on this topic in 2012 in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit :
“To fend off a renewed invasion of Argentina, an expensive military presence has been maintained on the Falkland Islands for thirty years, including 1,300 soldiers, seamless radar surveillance, four ultra-modern Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets , which regularly go up to patrol flights, and a brand new one with all technical harassment equipped frigate . All of this costs £ 200 million a year - money that could be used elsewhere. "
In Argentina, soldiers were celebrated as heroes at the beginning of the war , but shortly after the war ended, many saw them as failures. Many of the war veterans feel disrespected by the country's official politics.
According to the Argentine government, the exploration of oil deposits near the Falkland Islands by companies with a British license has exacerbated the conflict. President Kirchner complained: "Our natural resources - fish and oil reserves - are being plundered."
In a referendum on March 10 and 11, 2013, the residents of the Falkland Islands voted with 99.8% in favor of maintaining the status quo as a British overseas territory. The Argentine government described the referendum as a "legally worthless maneuver".
Losses and war costs
- 258 killed (including 8 Chinese civil servants and 3 Stanley residents), 777 wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen
- 2 destroyers : Sheffield , Coventry
- 2 frigates : Ardent , Antelope
- 1 landing ship : Sir Galahad
- 1 container ship : Atlantic Conveyor
- 1 landing craft: Foxtrot 4 (landing craft 4 of the Fearless )
- 10 Harrier fighter jets , including 6 Sea Harrier (2 shot down by air defense, 4 lost in accidents) and 4 Harrier GR.3 (2 shot down by air defense, 1 lost in accident, 1 irreparably damaged in emergency landing)
- 24 helicopters (13 were lost with their ships)
War costs : approximately £ 2.5 billion.
- 649 dead (including 18 civilian seamen) and 1,068 wounded soldiers, seamen and airmen
- 1 cruiser : General Belgrano
- 1 submarine : Santa Fe (damaged and abandoned)
- 2 patrol boats : Río Iguazú and Islas Malvinas (captured)
- 3 freighters: Río Carcarañá , Bahía Buen Suceso , Isla de los Estados
- 1 spy trawler: narwhal
- 1 civil tanker: Yehuin (captured)
- 75 aircraft (14 captured)
- 25 helicopters (15 captured)
War costs: unknown
Medical consequences of war
In 2001, politically motivated action groups emerged in the UK claiming that the number of combat victims on either side was fewer than the number of returned veterans who took their own lives for suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Several studies had shown that about a fifth of soldiers developed symptoms of PTSD after the war, but this rarely leads to an “abnormal life” later on. The neutrality of such studies, which often come to different results, is controversial, especially since the numerical basis on which they are based is usually small. A group of 2,000 veterans, including a number of soldiers who had been in the Falkland Islands, claimed in 2002 that there was inadequate medical or psychological care for severe post-traumatic stress disorder after the war. Her case against the Department of Defense reached the High Court in 2003, which dismissed the allegations as exaggerated and unproven. During the court hearing, the ministry was able to prove that after the war all those suffering from PTSD who wished it had been treated as an inpatient with the “best possible methods at that time” (“in line with contemporary best practice”). The judge then left no doubt that, in his opinion, some very seriously ill people had not been treated well, but he found no signs of systematic neglect by the ministry of those suffering from PTSD, which is why he dismissed the lawsuit.
Earlier in 2001, other action groups in Argentina and Great Britain had claimed that within 20 years of the end of the war, the number of Argentine veterans who committed suicide because of PTSD had risen to 125. However, the different groups reported quite different figures for both Argentina and Great Britain, but increasing over time, which they justified by saying that reliable statistics were not available. A 2003 report by the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy alleged that 300 veterans killed themselves. In 2013, the British magazine Dailymail wrote that the SAMA (South Atlantic Medal Association), an organization representing veterans of the Falklands War, claimed that 264 British Falklands War veterans had killed themselves. That number would exceed the number of British dead, 255. But even the good British statistics do not provide more accurate figures. In a report by Deutschlandfunk dated April 1, 2006, according to a sick person, the number of suicides by veterans of the Argentine army was exactly “454”, which exceeds the number of those killed in action. However, as in the other cases, no concrete statistical basis was given and no comparisons were made with the “normal” suicide rate in the civilian population or in other armies around the world.
Discussion of nuclear weapons on board British ships
In April 1982 some of the British ships set off for the South Atlantic directly from their patrols in the North Atlantic, where they had to monitor submarines of the Soviet Navy equipped with ballistic ICBMs. Therefore it was already clear at this point that it was very likely that some of the ships were armed with nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, in the 1990s, this fact was portrayed as “secret information” and “sensation” in the press critical of the government. The left-liberal Guardian in particular demanded clarification about nuclear weapons at the time. After multiple refusals by the British government, the newspaper sued for the right to information and won after years of litigation. On December 5, 2003, the UK Ministry of Defense confirmed that several ships had carried nuclear weapons on board during the war. However, the use of the weapons was ruled out from the start. In addition, none of these ships entered South American waters. Argentine President Néstor Kirchner called on December 7, 2003 for an official apology from Great Britain that his country had been inappropriately threatened and endangered by British nuclear weapons. British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the time , however, rejected this request as inappropriate.
In June 2005 the British government officially confirmed that the frigates HMS Broadsword and HMS Brilliant had tactical MC (600) nuclear weapons on board at the beginning of the war, which were developed for use primarily against Soviet submarines equipped with nuclear ICBMs in the Atlantic had been. These are not “atomic bombs” in the general sense, as the press sometimes portrayed, but a kind of “depth charge”, or rather, self-targeting anti-submarine torpedoes with a long range and a large effective radius, specifically were directed against the deep-diving large Soviet underwater ships. The weapons could not have been used sensibly against Argentina. For security reasons and to avoid a violation of international law (i.e. the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco , which declared South America a "nuclear-weapon-free zone"), these weapons were transferred to the aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes during the voyage to the South Atlantic and subsequently reloaded to the supply vessels RFA Fort Austin , RFA Regent and RFA Resource , which remained outside the territorial waters of the Falkland Islands (and thereby formally did not violate the Tlatelolco Treaty).
- The novel, codenamed Viper (2006) describes a reconquest of the islands by Argentina.
- The BBC Television -Fernsehfilm Tumbledown (1988) with Colin Firth in the lead role is about the fate of a veteran of the Falklands War.
- In the feature film This Is England (2006) the main character, twelve-year-old Shaun, loses his father in the Falklands War.
- The Argentine films Malvinas, alerta roja (1985) and Malvinas, la mirada de una ciudad (2008) deal with the subject of the Falklands War.
- The music album The Final Cut - A Requiem for the Post War Dream (1983) by Pink Floyd deals with the social aspects of war and the Thatcher era .
- In the 1985 song Brothers in Arms by the British rock band Dire Straits , Mark Knopfler created an anti-war song under the impression of war, from the perspective of a dying soldier.
- The Argentine film Illuminated by Fire (2005) deals with the traumatization of Argentine soldiers as a result of the Falklands War.
- List of Falkland Islands
- History of the Falkland Islands
- Timeline of the Falklands War
- Operation Journeyman
In general, it can be said that the event was of course extensively edited, especially by British authors (many of them soldiers). A few Argentine authors have also published (in Spanish). In the German-speaking area there are only very few publications that deal with the war in terms of military history.
- Gerhard Altmann: Farewell to the Empire. The internal decolonization of Great Britain 1945–1985. Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-89244-870-1 .
- Duncan Anderson: The Falklands War 1982. (Essential Histories Volume 15), Oxford 2002, ISBN 978-1-84176-422-1 .
- Mike Curtis: "Close Quarter Battle." London 1998, ISBN 0-552-14465-7 .
- Wolfgang Etschmann: 25 years ago: The war over the Falkland Islands - an atypical war. In: Troop Service , Volume 296, Issue 2, 2007.
- Lawrence Freedman: The Special Relationship, Then and Now: United States & UK. ( Memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: Foreign Affairs Vol. 85, Nº. 3 (May / June, 2006), , pp. 61-73.
- Lawrence Freedman: The Official History of the Falkland Campaign. 2 volumes, Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2007, ISBN 978-0-415-41912-3 and ISBN 978-0-415-41911-6 .
- Max Hastings, Simon Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. London 1983, ISBN 0-7181-2228-3 .
- Ulrich Israel: The air war by sea around the Falkland Islands 1982. In: Wolfgang Sellenthin (Ed.): Fliegerkalender der DDR 1984. Military publishing house of the GDR , Berlin 1983, pp. 49-61.
- Rainer Lambrecht: The war in the South Atlantic. Military publishing house of the GDR, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-327-00023-9 .
- Martin Mahle: The commander left alone. M + V-Verlag, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-86991-664-4 , or The lonesome Commander , ibid, ISBN 978-3-86991-663-7 .
- Alexander Ombeck: Perception through images - The Falkland- Malvinas conflict in the British press of the nineties. Saarbrücken 2008, ISBN 978-3-8364-7279-1 .
- Victoria Strachwitz: The Falklands War as a media event: armed forces, politics and media in interplay. Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-8244-4600-6 .
- The Sunday Times Insight Team: The Falklands War. Sphere Books Limited, 1982
- Admiral Sir John Forster "Sandy" Woodward, Patrick Robinson: One Hundred Days: Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander . HarperCollins, 1992. ISBN 0-00-215723-3 . Second edition: HarperCollins, 2003, ISBN 0-00-713467-3 . Third edition: HarperCollins, 2012, ISBN 0-00-743640-8 .
- Falklands War website
- Argentina's unresolved past. Deutschlandfunk
- How I experienced the Falklands conflict - contemporary witness report, memorial workshop Norderstedt
- Falklands 1982 - Contemporary witness report, Norderstedt memorial workshop
References and comments
- The contract reads “… his said Catholick Majesty [the king of Spain], to restore to his Britannick Majesty the possession of the port and fort called Egmont, cannot nor ought in any wise to affect the question of the prior right of sovereignty of the Malouine islands, otherwise called Falkland's Islands. ”(Translation from the French original: Goebel: The Struggle for the Falkland Islands. New York, 1927, pp. 358–359) This passage is somewhat ambiguous and is therefore different from both sides interpreted (see also R. Dolzer: The international legal status of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the course of time. (1986); Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 56ff).
- detailed summary of the dispute in: Freedman: The Official History of the Falkland Campaign. Vol. 1, 2005, pp. 1-20
- At the Congress of Tucumán (Encyclopedia Americana (1970), sv Argentina)
- However, the islands of South Georgia, South Thule, South Sandwich Islands and South Orkney Islands, which were only attached to the Falkland Islands by the government in London after 1964, were never part of the Spanish viceroyalty on La Plata.
- A. Curtis Wilgus: Latin America. 1943
- So the demarcation in Campo de Hielo Sur is not yet complete.
- Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, p. 8
- an older frigate that used to belong to the French Navy
- Since twelve different governments have been in power in succession in Buenos Aires since the new constitution of 1819 and the situation on La Plata only stabilized again with the takeover of Commodore Rivadavia, the interests of those in power at that time were mostly directed towards completely different things than on the small islands in the Atlantic (Pölitz: The State Systems of Europe and America since 1783. Vol. 3, Period 1814–1825, 1856, pp. 381–387)
- A detailed anonymous report published in 1825 (by Thomas Lore?) "Five Years' Residence in Buenos Ayres during the years 1820–1825" mentions (on p. 139) the capture of Captain Jewitt with the Heroine , which led to its capture the Portuguese Navy ended, but nothing of a public proclamation of the "Take possession of the Malvines". The ship did not belong to the government in Buenos Aires, but to private "investors" who promised rich booty, but suffered heavy losses because of its collection by the Portuguese Navy.
- The captain of the ship had meanwhile been replaced by another American named Mason. With this statement, Mason wanted to prove that he had acted, so to speak, on the official Argentine order and was not simply “an ordinary pirate” (Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, p. 9).
- Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, p. 10
- That is, he had some huts built for his gauchos and their animals (Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, pp. 10-13)
- According to other sources, he applied for a British concession to the British consulate for the first time in 1826 and he maintained contact with the British until he was expelled by the Americans in 1831 (Jason Lewis and Alison Inglis of Stanley, Falkland Islands: falklands.info ( Memento from April 1, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) accessed December 17, 2011).
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falkland Campaign. 2005, Vol I, p. 6
- In recent German and English literature, the title is usually transferred as "Gouverneur".
- Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, pp. 13-15
- with this accusation, the British later refused to return to the Falkland Islands
- Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, p. 18
- “Convention between Great Britain and the Argentine Confederation, for the Settlement of existing Differences and the re-establishment of Friendship”, on November 24, 1849 in Buenos Aires ( British and Foreign State Papers , Vol. XXXVII, 1862, p. 7 –19; Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, p. 23)
- In the preamble it says literally “to putting an end to the all existing differences, and of restoring perfect relations of friendship”. Article 1 repeats: “[to] putting an end to the differences which have interrupted the political and commercial relations between the 2 countries…” and Article VII: “Under this Convention perfect friendship between Her Britannic Majesty's Government and the Government of the Federation, is restored to its former state of good understanding and cordiality. "
- Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, pp. 22-34
- The Falkland Islands were only occasionally drawn on maps as Argentine territory after 1900 in Argentina. The two governments avoided any public discussion on the matter. (Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 58ff)
- Pascoe, Pepper: Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands / Malvinas. 2008, p. 23
- Both the USA and Great Britain assumed that Argentina had sympathy for Italy and the Nazi state (Curtis Wilgus: Latin America. 1943, p. 317)
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 61
- Charter of the United Nations in German translation. ( Memento of February 7, 2015 in the Internet Archive ; PDF) United Nations , p. 17; Retrieved August 22, 2011.
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 15 f.
- documents-dds-ny.un.org (PDF) accessed on January 7, 2012
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 17
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 18ff
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 43.
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 22ff
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 24ff
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 72
- The visit of Lord Shackleton came shortly after the expulsion of the British Ambassador Ashe
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 29.
- published in July 1977
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 29; also: Jason Lewis and Alison Inglis of Stanley, Falkland Islands: falklands.info ( April 1, 2010 memento in the Internet Archive ), accessed January 5, 2012
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. I, 2005, p. 49
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 72 f.
- Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, p. 30
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 78ff
- The exact number is controversial - in the literature and on the Internet there are figures between 7,000 and over 30,000. In 1983 an article about Argentina in the news magazine Der Spiegel mentioned the number 15,000: Open wound . In: Der Spiegel . No. 53 , 1983, pp. 70-71 ( online ). In 1983, the “Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Southern Latin America” spoke of 7,291 people who had “disappeared” between 1976 and 1982 (Fischer Weltalmanach '84 (1983), p. 137). The “National Commission of the Disappered” (CONADEP) came some time later to “just under 11,000” (Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 52). It remains unclear whether the victims of the left-wing terrorist groups were included in the compilations or not.
- MercoPress, Montevideo. Review of the 2011 book by the Argentinian journalist and politician Juan Yoffre "1982" en.mercopress.com . Retrieved January 10, 2012
- Después de Malvinas, iban a atacar a Chile. (No longer available online.) Diario Perfil , November 22, 2009, archived from the original on November 25, 2009 ; Retrieved April 2, 2017 (Spanish).
- Óscar Camilión: Memorias Políticas . Editorial Planeta, Buenos Aires, 1999, p. 281.
- Kalevi Holsti : The State, War, and the State of War. Cambridge Studies in International Relations, 1996, ISBN 0-521-57790-X , p. 160.
- All articles published by Manfred Schönfeld in “La Prensa” from January 10, 1982 to August 2, 1982 can be found in Manfred Schönfeld: La Guerra Austral . Desafío Editores SA, 1982, ISBN 950-02-0500-9
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 1ff
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 3-6
- Dr. James S. Corum: Argentine Airpower in the Falklands War: An Operational View. (No longer available online.) Air & Space Power Journal, archived from the original on Jan. 2, 2014 ; Retrieved August 20, 2011 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- The Boeing B 707 of the Escuadrón Fénix flew several times to Ascencion at the beginning of the conflict in order to monitor British shipping traffic with its radar (inter alia Woodward: one hundred days. 1997, passim).
- according to the inventory lists at Ethell and Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, p. 229ff; Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 304-309
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 126, 132, 294
- Günther Stiller on August 8, 2007 in the Hamburger Abendblatt , The target photo that made a US admiral angry , last accessed on November 6, 2013. It states: “The submarine 'San Luis' operating under the Argentine flag fired only 7000 meters away eight torpedoes, including four German wire-guided projectiles of the type SST-4, on the British aircraft carrier 'Invincible' and its escort ships. Despite favorable conditions, not a single torpedo hit. It turned out that the inexperienced technicians on board the submarine had not realized that two wires in the fire control system had been incorrectly attached. After the torpedoes were shot down, their careers could no longer be corrected. According to British Commander Admiral 'Sandy' Woodward, his formation should have withdrawn immediately after the loss of one of his two aircraft carriers. The Argentines, on the other hand, kept quietly commenting on the misses for years with the words: 'A mechanic lost the war over the Malvines!' "
- Rainer Lambrecht: The war in the South Atlantic: the Argentine-British confrontation around the Falkland Islands, Malwinen 1982. 2nd edition, Military Publishing House of the GDR, 1989, ISBN 3-327-00023-9 , p. 29
- d. In other words, born in 1962 was not dismissed, but at the same time born in 1963 was called up
- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI): The Falkland / Malvinas Conflict. 1983, p. 9; Gavshon, Rice: The Sinking of the Belgrano. 1984, p. 41
- Various yearbooks for 1981 already indicate a peace force of 175,000 men for the Argentine armed forces. Accordingly, the specification “200,000 men” is to be regarded with certainty as the lower limit.
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 282; this number includes the prisoners in West Falkland, South Georgia and South Thule
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 347
- Fundación Veteranos de Guerra de las Islas Malvinas ( fundacionmalvinas.org.ar - last accessed on November 5, 2011).
- An official certificate can only be issued by the Argentine Ministry of Defense.
- The area of the Falkland Islands from South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- the area directly on the Atlantic coast south of the 42nd parallel
- As a result, however, a not inconsiderable part of the navy and air force, whose bases were to the north of it, are not included - nor are many supply and support units that were located in the areas mentioned at the time, but were not directly involved in combat have been.
- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI): The Falkland / Malvinas Conflict. 1983, p. 9; Gavshon, Rice: The Sinking of the Belgrano. 1984, p. 41 (according to R&F: The British Army. 1984, p. 4, the strength was 323,000 men)
- Clapp, Soutby-Tailyour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 3f
- The second battalion was only forwarded later in a North Sea ferry, when more detailed intelligence reports were available about the troop strength of the Argentines on the Falkland Islands
- SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Squadron)
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 349
- To which besides the two paratrooper battalions also a battalion Gurkhas (the 7th battalion Gurkha Rifles) belonged
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 204-207, 351; Van der Bijl, Andea: 5th Infantery Brigade in the Falklands. 2003, passim
- Villar: Merchant Ships at War. The Falklands Experience. 1984, p. 49 and p. 173; Since, according to various sources, 3,500 men went ashore in San Carlos Bay on June 1st, the ship was obviously "overloaded" (compilation of these troops at Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 351)
- Royal Navy (the Kriegsmarine, including naval aviation) and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (the support fleet)
- the squadrons of the Royal Air Force with the ground support aircraft "Harrier" GR.3 and the strategic bomber squadrons that operated from the island of Ascension.
- Merchant Navy, d. H. the civilian seamen on the merchant and passenger ships requisitioned for the war
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 8ff
- at least they saw people in uniform. According to the captain, however, these were workers, some of whom were wearing military clothing.
- whose head was also representative of the administration and representative of British sovereignty on the island
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 95
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 9ff
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 10
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 12
- z. Partly because they were like the ARA Bahia Paraiso and the ARA Bahía Buen Suceso in South Georgia, z. In part because they were in the shipyard for routine inspections or because they were otherwise indispensable
- actually there were twice as many at the moment, as the quota was routinely supposed to be changed every spring; because of the tensions surrounding South Georgia, the group to be relieved had not yet left.
- So the name for the vehicles built in the USA at the time; it was later changed to AAV7 in the USA.
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 13-20
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 19
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 21
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 13
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 118
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, p. 109f (probably East Coast Time in Washington; identical to the local time in Stanley)
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 121
- In a series of British representations that appeared immediately after the war, this unit is incorrectly referred to as "Buzos Tacticos" (for more details: Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 26)
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 27–31
- so the official name of the normally 45-man strong garrison of the Falkland Islands
- that had been left behind by HMS Endurance to make way for Marines to be brought to South Georgia
- Carsten Volkery: Falklands War: "They roared and waved their guns around" . In: one day . March 31, 2012
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, pp. 19-24; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 4-6
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 30
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 120-123; Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 32-36
- in English representations “Commander”
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 36ff
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, pp. 35-39; Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 36ff
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 8
- many British representations doubt this information
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 38-42
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 11
- Eddy, Linklater, Gillman: Falkland. The war at the gates of Antarctica. 1984, pp. 125f; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 12ff
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 235-238.
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 129-157, 319ff, 757; Gavshon, Rice: The Sinking of the Belgrano. 1984, pp. 186-216 (Appendices 2-6); Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, pp. 99-113
- these should then also count as "false countries" when voting
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 157-181
- Since Belaunde took the mediation in the morning on his own initiative and initially only telephoned Buenos Aires and then Washington, but did not call London, the British Prime Minister only found out about this initiative when the order for the submarine Conqueror had already been dispatched
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 321-335, pp. 761f
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 351-380.
- Margaret Thatcher's Falklands Memoir. On: Margaret Thatcher Foundation.Retrieved June 19, 2015
- Thatcher memoirs detail PM's anger at foreign secretary over Falklands. In: The Guardian , June 18, 2015, accessed June 19, 2015
- the compilation mainly follows Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, especially p. 348ff and Middlebrook: Argentine Figtht for the Falklands. 2009, especially pp. 292–309
- Commander of the IX. Infantry brigade, whose troops located on the islands were subordinate to the other two brigades
- was appointed Chief of Staff by General Menendez; the parts of his brigade located on the islands were assigned to the III. and X. Brigade distributed
- The two units of the gendarmerie and the air force, however, only had pull strength
- Shortly before the attack by the British troops on May 28, this number rose to a little over 1,100 men, cf. below under "Attack on Goose Green"
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 50
- HMS Conqueror , HMS Spartan and HMS Splendid
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands, 1985. 2008, p. 16
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands, 1985. 2008, p. 13
- Woodward: one hundred days. 1997, p. 78
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 52-57
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 732
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands, 1985. 2008, p. 2
- the problem is addressed several times in the memoirs of Clapp, Woodward and Thompson and in the accounts that appeared shortly after the war; Summary: Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 29-33
- Compilation mainly from Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 29-33; with joint use of: Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007; Brown: The Royal Navy and the Falklands War. 1987; Clapp, Southby-Taylour: Amphibious Assault: Falklands. The Battle of San Carlos Water. 2007
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 203-206
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 32f
- Mahle: The Left Commander 2012 and The Lonesome Commander 2012
- Clapp, Soutby-Tailyour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, pp. 191ff, 202ff
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, passim, especially pp. 85-89, pp. 289-299
- The center of the circle was in Falkland Sound, between the two main islands: 51 ° 41 ′ south and 59 ° 39 ′ west
- "would be treated as hostile and appropriate force would be used accordingly"
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 263
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 277
- M Company, 42nd Commando Battalion, Royal Marines
- Clapp, Southby Daily Tour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 48; Vaux: March to the South Atlantic. 2007, p. 15ff
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 29-33, pp. 226-249
- The Falklands was ( Memento April 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- youtube.com 8 Bells Lecture | Rear Adm. Chris Parry: Falklands War and the Importance of Naval Corporate Memory March 16, 2016
- Falkland Islands - The recapture of South Georgia. (No longer available online.) Royal Air Force, archived from the original on Aug. 6, 2011 ; Retrieved August 20, 2011 .
- However, other ships were also involved in the operation
- HMS Antrim , HMS Brilliant , HMS Plymouth , HMS Endurance
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 246-251
- composed of the parts of the marine infantry, the SAS and the SBS on board the ships involved
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 252f
- cit. in Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 253
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 279f
- Woodward: one hundred days. 1997, p. 133
- More planes were added later to make up for the losses.
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 282
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 284f
- Andrew A. King: The Falkland Islands Campaign of 1982: A Case Study And Lessons For The United States Today. , 1995
- The British pilots deliberately avoided the high altitudes, where the Mirages were far superior to them, and the Argentine pilots, on the other hand, were also forced to avoid these altitudes because of the British anti-aircraft missiles on the ships, which were specially designed for high altitudes .
- 20 Years of the Falklands War. airpower.at, accessed on August 23, 2011 .
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 425ff
- Woodward: one hundred days. 1997, p. 150
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 109-113; Gavshon, Rice: The Sinking of the Belgrano. 1984, pp. 100-106
- In the first press reports mostly there was talk of 368 victims; the number given here corresponds to the official Argentine information (Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 115).
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 113f
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 743
- Gavshon, Rice: The Sinking of the Belgrano. 1984, p. 102
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 743-753
- Hansard of the House of Commons meeting on November 7, 1984 (excerpt), available at hansard.millbanksystems.com (accessed October 12, 2012)
- Neil Tweedie, HMS Conqueror's biggest secret: a raid on Russia , on telegraph.co.uk , October 12, 2012 (accessed: October 12, 2012)
- General Belgrano: ¿Crimen o accción de combate?
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 275
- Clapp, Southby Daily Tour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 90
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 290
- At this point in time, an attack on the aircraft carrier Veintecinco de Mayo had already been cleared, but the submarine that was “aimed” at him had lost contact with it again and could no longer track him down because he was attacked by U. Boat defense helicopters and other anti-submarine measures were repeatedly pushed aside (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 292 f.). The decision-making process in London took more than nine hours; meanwhile the cruiser's position had changed.
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 99-103.
- on the overview map as time t2
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 295
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 97.
- Diana Gould in the English-language Wikiquote
- This also motivated Foreign Minister Francis Pym , who was in Washington at the time, to agree to the expansion of the rules of engagement (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 293) )
- Giles Tremlett: Falklands was almost spread to Gibraltar. The Guardian , July 24, 2004, accessed August 22, 2011 .
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 441ff
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 434ff
- Clapp, Southby Daily Tour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 120
- Thompson: 3rd Commando Brigade in the Falklands. 2008, p. 47ff; Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falklands War 1982. 1987, pp. 190ff
- The Falklands was ( Memento from July 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- Falkland Islands - The SAS raid on the airfield at Pebble Island - 14th May 1982. (No longer available online.) Royal Air Force, archived from the original on January 4, 2007 ; Retrieved August 20, 2011 .
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 460
- For this reason, the commando action against the Argentine air base on Pebble Island took place on May 14th
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 143f
- McManners: Falklands Commando. 1984, pp. 128-147
- see map "Movements of British units in East Falkland"
- Thompson: 3rd Commando Brigade in the Falklands. 1985 (2008), pp. 62-72
- Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands, 2009. pp. 147f
- Falkland Islands - D Day - The British Task Force lands at San Carlos - 21st May 1982. (No longer available online.) Royal Air Force, archived from the original on August 18, 2011 ; Retrieved August 20, 2011 .
- the Argentine name for the Israeli Nesher
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, pp. 108-113
- San Carlos Air Battles - Falklands War 1982
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, pp. 117-126; Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 132-135, pp. 151-155
- SAS 'suicide mission' to wipe out Exocets
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 436ff
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, passim, especially pp. 130-135, 234-247; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 739-742
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, pp. 135-142
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, pp. 143-156; 240; Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 136-139
- Falkland is not a Verdun . In: Der Spiegel . No. 23 , 1982, pp. 123–124 ( online - June 7, 1982 , Spiegel interview with French General Georges Buis).
- Jon Henley : Thatcher 'threatened to nuke Argentina'. In: The Guardian , November 22, 2005
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 82 ff.
- 14 (Land-) Harriers who were on board had already flown ashore on a provisional strip of land near San Carlos (Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falkland War 1982. 1987, p. 243)
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 88
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, pp. 78-91; Woodward, Robinson: One Hundred Days. 1997, pp. 290-306
- The Falklands was ( Memento from July 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- General Moore was at this time on Queen Elizabeth 2 on the way to the South Atlantic and could therefore not be consulted
- fact, Admiral Fieldhouse in Northwood had already advised Thompson in explanations of the general instruction of May 12th to take Darwin as early as possible - if possible before the 5th Brigade arrives - in order to quickly gain freedom for further operations. This was done in a polite form: "I will welcome that", but the content is clear (Clapp, Southby-Daily Tour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 107).
- At the request of General Menendez, the Argentine governor of the Malwinas, this was actually seriously considered, but then abandoned again for fear of the British aircraft (Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, 157–161; in the new edition of his memoirs, Thompson emphasizes that he would see some things differently from today's perspective; Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, passim, more detailed in the foreword XVIff).
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 83
- In his memoirs, Thompson admits that he should have assigned another battalion and more artillery to support the attack (Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 105)
- the 12th Infantry Regiment, reinforced by two companies; an Argentine "regiment" corresponds to a British or German battalion (Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, 162; Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 300f)
- without taking into account the crew of the Arrow ; of a ratio of 3: 1 to the disadvantage of the British, as it was said in the first enthusiastic press reports, can therefore not be spoken of (Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, p. 160ff)
- Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falklands War 1982. 1987, p. 229
- the only use of napalm during this war
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, pp. 162f; Thompson: 3rd Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 99
- Most of the residents of Darwin and Goose Green, as well as some of the city's residents deported there from Stanley by the Argentine authorities.
- local time = 13:30 GMT
- Brief description of the battles: Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 157-189; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 571-584; Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 177-197; Thompson: 3rd Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, pp. 88-106. Very detailed military description of the battle: Fitz-Gibbon, Not Mentioned in Despatches, 2001
- Various sources name between 45 and 55 dead. According to official British reports, “about 50 Argentines” (“some 50 bodies”) were buried in Goose Green; the other numbers can also be found there (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 581)
- Contemporary media reports initially assumed that the number of prisoners was significantly higher (up to 1600), but these were only based on visual estimates
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, pp. 104-107
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 107
- forerunner of type Bv 206; primarily as a "staff car". The bulk of the brigade's "band wagons" were in NATO depots in Norway.
- as a rule until the next settlement
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, pp. 109-125
- The 5th Brigade actually comprised a little over 4,000 men; However, these could not be completely transported to the South Atlantic, as there was space for less than 3,500 men on the Queen Elizabeth 2 (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 216f)
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 583-597
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 191-198
- At that time temporarily subordinated to the 5th Brigade
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 198-207; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 597-610; Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falklands War, 1982. 1987, pp. 296-312
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 594
- Clapp, Southby Daily Tour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 245
- The exact processes on board are controversial; Because of the contradicting statements of those involved, they could no longer be clearly reconstructed in later investigations (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 608–612; Clapp, Southby-Tailyour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007 , Pp. 248–254)
- In the first urgent press releases of the reporters who were present in large numbers at the invitation of Brigadier General Wilson to a press conference in Fitzroy, there were talk of well over 200 fatalities, which at first caused disbelief in London, although it was immediately clear to everyone involved that this number was not at all could agree (Clapp, Southby-Tailyour: Amphibious Assault Falklands. 2007, p. 250)
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, pp. 189-197; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 610-615
- Ethell, Price: Air War South Atlantic. 1983, p. 196f; Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 612f
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 624f (in his memoirs - Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, pp. 146–171 - General Thompson ignores the brigade's plans and confines himself to the intentions of his battalion commanders to represent).
- Good general presentation: Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 618-636; summary images: Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 210-280; Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falklands War, 1982. 1987, pp. 329-350; Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2009, pp. 231–248 (from an Argentine perspective); Thompson: 3rd Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, pp. 146-171
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 623f; Woodward: one hundred days. 1997, pp. 326-328
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 638
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 636-640
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 641-647
- Strictly speaking 2200 meters to the outskirts, but there were already some individual buildings in between
- Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 179
- so the conviction of General Thompson (Thompson: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 179f)
- On the attached map, however, entered as "Welsh Guards". Since two companies of the Welsh Guards had lost all their equipment during the air raid in Fitzroy when Sir Galahad was sunk , they were replaced by two companies of the 40th Commandos, which had previously protected the base of operations of the San Carlos Bay. Therefore they are subsumed under Welsh Guards in some representations, but continue to be “40. Commando ”.
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 652f; Thompson: 3rd Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic. 2008, p. 184
- Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falklands War, 1982. 1987, p. 376
- here probably Argentine time, d. H. 10:30 am local time in Stanley
- representation of the conversation in Turolo, Malvinas - Testimonio de su Gobernador, 1983; quote here. after the verbatim rendering in Middlebrook: Task Force. The Falklands War, 1982, 1987. pp. 376-378
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 657
- The general's helicopter flight to Stanley was delayed due to a snow storm.
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 656-659
- The times are given in the representations according to four different time zones (Greenwich Mean Time, British (summer) time, Falkland local time, Argentine time) and some authors switch between the time zones without explicitly specifying the time just mean. British orders (almost) always use "NATO time"; H. Greenwich Mean Time. That is why quite a few “brief descriptions” almost entirely dispense with specific dates.
- d. H. 11:59 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 659)
- Fifteen Merchant Navy seamen and civilian employees and three residents of Stanley (Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 781)
- Seafarers in the merchant navy on the four sunk Argentine merchant ships, as well as two civilians on the General Belgrano (Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2007, p. 283)
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 665
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 666f
- Typhoons Arrive in Falklands ( Memento from February 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- UN Resolution A / RES / 37/9: Question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). (PDF) United Nations, accessed August 22, 2011 .
- The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, sv Falkland War (1994 edition)
- Werner J. Marti: Names for the nameless after 35 years , NZZ, June 19, 2017
- youtube.com The Falklands War 1–3.
- The 2nd Battalion of the Marine Infantry was brought back to the mainland after the successful landing in April
- These battalions were the last to be brought to the Falkland Islands. One of these battalions (stationed on West Falkland) was not involved in the fighting; the other two were in Goose Green and Mount Harriet and the Two Sisters, respectively, where they excelled above average.
- Bicheno: Razor's Edge. 2007, pp. 112-115 and P. 347ff; Middlebrook: Argentine fight for the Falklands. 2009, p. 298ff.
- in particular the lined coats and boots of the Argentine soldiers were considered better than the corresponding British equipment
- Quotation from the official battle report by General Wilson; quoted in Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 736
- cf. Bicheno: Razor's Edge. (2007); Bramley: Excursion to Hell. (1991); Bramley: Two Sides of Hell. (1994); Fitz-Gibbon: Not Mentioned in Despatches. (2001); McManner: The Scars of War. (1993); Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. (2009)
- by Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 781ff
- Only these units, which were hastily brought to the Malvinas with only part of their equipment, are meant when the "poorly equipped Argentine troops" "from the tropics" are mentioned. They were units of the III. Brigade from the province of Corrientes in northern Argentina, which were flown to the Falkland Islands and there were divided among the other brigades, but hardly took part in the fighting and therefore (only) had to complain about seven casualties in air raids. Overall, however, the units from Corriente were no worse than the other associations (cf. compilation in Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands. 2007, p. 298)
- Peter Biles, Falklands invasion 'surprised' Thatcher at BBC News December 28, 2012, accessed December 28, 2012. The investigation minutes were published in December 2012 after a 30-year embargo
- Q&A: The Franks Report on BBC News, April 27, 2004, accessed December 28, 2012
- Confirman el juzgamiento por torturas en Malvinas. In: Clarin , Buenos Aires, June 27, 2009 (Spanish)
A history of Chile, 1808–1994 by Simon Collier and William F. Sater, Cambridge University Press, here , p. 364:
- Argentina's defeat by Great Britain in the brief Falklands War (April – June 1982) - during which Chile gave discreet and totally unpublicized assistance to the British - dispelled the prospect of further military adventures from that quarter.
- Mark Laudy: The Vatican Mediation of the Beagle Channel Dispute: Crisis Intervention and Forum Building . ( Memento of May 29, 2008 in the Internet Archive ; PDF) si.edu, p. 306: “What ultimately changed that situation and facilitated the eventual settlement of the dispute was the Falkland Islands War and the subsequent return to democratic government in Buenos Aires . "
- dradio.de February 11, 2012: Argentina 30 years after the Falklands War (by Victoria Eglau)
- Argentina wants to involve the UN in the Falklands conflict. - The tensions between the former war opponents Great Britain and Argentina are growing. President Kirchner now wants to address the international community . Zeit Online , February 2012
- London's expensive Atlantic enclave . Zeit Online , April 2012
- Argentina's disregarded veterans . Zeit Online , October 2011
- spiegel.de, accessed on March 12, 2013
- Argentina began in June 2017 to identify the 123 so far not identified by name Argentine fallen among them, who were buried in the Darwin cemetery, by DNA analysis. see: Argentina starts work to identify Falklands war dead . In: The Guardian, June 21, 2017, accessed June 21, 2017
- Gillan: Falkland was veterans have high suicide rate , Guardian, June 6, 2001 theguardian.com
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 737-739
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, p. 738
- Article in the Dailymail
- Peter B. Schumann: Argentina's unresolved past. Deutschlandradio , April 1, 2006.
- The reported number of suicides is by no means unusually high in comparison with the “normal” suicide rate of the Argentine civilian population (1999: 14.6 per year per 100,000), the strength of the army in 1982 and the period of 24 years.
- This point is mentioned as early as the 1980s in several representations that appeared shortly after the war and in memoirs
- Falklands ships had nuclear arms , BBC News. December 5, 2003.
- Argentina seeks nuclear apology , BBC News. December 7, 2003.
- and not, as the press occasionally reads, free-fall bombs of the type WE.177 that can be dropped by aircraft
- Freedman: The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II, 2007, pp. 59-64
- Operation Corporate - The carriage of nuclear weapons by the Task Group assembled for the Falklands campaign . ( Memento of February 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ; PDF) Ministry of Defense, 2005.
- The Falklands War in Argentine Film