The Falklands War: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Falklands War.

  • The UK and Argentina fought the Falklands War in 1982. The Falkland Islands are a small chain of islands under British rule, in the Atlantic Ocean near Argentina, about 13,000 km from Britain.
  • The war started when Argentina invaded the islands on April 2nd, 1982. The ownership of the islands has long been in question, with Argentina claiming ownership since the 19th century.
  • Most South American countries supported Argentina’s claim to the islands and the invasion. However, Colombia and Chile were on the side of the UK.
  • Britain responded to the invasion by sending a fleet of 120 ships to the remote islands. The fleet included HMS Invincible, and almost 9,000 soldiers and sailors.
  • The Atlantic Conveyor was sunk by a missile and was the first British ship to be sunk in combat since World War II. Another ship, the Atlantic Causeway had a ski jump installed so that planes could take off.
  • One of the most important events in the Falklands War was the sinking of the Argentine ship HMS Belgrano on May 2nd. Although several hundred sailors died, over 700 men were rescued from the sinking ship.
  • During the Falklands War, Argentina planted an estimated 25,000 mines on the islands, many of which are still there. However, no residents or penguins have ever been killed by a mine.
  • The British troops recaptured Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, from Argentina in June, 1982. Almost 9,000 Argentine soldiers surrendered, leading to the end of the Falklands War.
  • Almost 650 Argentine troops and 260 British were killed. There are memorials to those killed in the war on the islands, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London and in the Portsmouth naval base.
  • Britain’s victory in the war made Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher very popular. In 1983, full British citizenship was given to the Falkland Islands residents.

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