13 June 1982

Battles of Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge, during the Falklands War.

The Falklands War, also known as the Falklands Conflict or the Guerra de las Malvinas in Spanish, was a military conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom that took place in 1982. It was fought over the control of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands, which are a group of small islands located in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The roots of the conflict can be traced back to a long-standing territorial dispute between Argentina and the UK over the Falkland Islands. Argentina had claimed sovereignty over the islands since the 19th century, considering them an integral part of its territory. However, the UK maintained control over the islands and considered them a British overseas territory.

On April 2, 1982, Argentine forces, under the military junta led by General Leopoldo Galtieri, invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, aiming to assert their territorial claim. The British government, led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, viewed the invasion as a violation of international law and an attack on British territory. In response, the UK launched a military operation to retake the islands.

The British task force, consisting of naval vessels, submarines, and aircraft, set sail for the South Atlantic. The conflict involved both naval and air battles, as well as ground combat on the islands. The British forces faced significant logistical challenges in launching an operation thousands of miles away from home, but they managed to successfully retake the islands after intense fighting.

The war lasted for approximately 74 days, with the final Argentine surrender taking place on June 14, 1982. The conflict resulted in the deaths of 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three civilian Falkland Islanders. The sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano by a British submarine caused the highest number of casualties in a single incident during the war.

The Falklands War had significant political ramifications for both Argentina and the UK. In Argentina, the defeat led to the downfall of the military junta and the return to civilian rule. It also sparked a sense of nationalism and renewed interest in reclaiming the islands. In the UK, the victory boosted the popularity of the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher and reaffirmed British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

Since the war, the sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the UK over the Falkland Islands has persisted, although diplomatic efforts have been made to find a peaceful resolution. The islands remain under British administration and are largely inhabited by people of British descent, but Argentina continues to assert its claim to the territory.