The Falkland Islands
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The Falklands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean east of Argentina, whose ownership had long been disputed.
On 2 April, General Galtieri ordered the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands, triggering the Falklands War.
Though initially surprised by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, Britain launched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and air force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. After heavy combat, the British eventually prevailed and the islands remained under British control, although as of 2005, Argentina has still not relinquished its claim to the Falkland Islands.
During the night of May 21 the British made an amphibious landing on beaches near San Carlos Water, on the northern coast of East Falkland, putting the 4000 men of 3 Commando Brigade, including 2nd and 3rd battalions of the Parachute Regiment (2 and 3 Para), ashore from the amphibious ships and the liner Canberra: 2 Para and 40 Commando landing at San Carlos beach; 45 Commando at Ajax bay; 3 Para at Port San Carlos. By dawn the next day they had established a secure bridgehead from which to conduct offensive operations. From there Brigadier Thompson's plan was to capture Darwin and Goose Green before turning towards Port Stanley.
By June 1, with the arrival of a further 5000 British troops of 5 Inf Brigade landed at San Carlos from Canberra, Norland and RFA Stromness having transferred from the liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 at South Georgia, new British divisional commander, Major General JJ Moore RM, had sufficient force to start planning an offensive against Port Stanley.
During this build-up the Argentine air assaults on the British naval forces continued, killing 48, including 32 Welsh Guardsmen on the RFA Sir Galahad and the RFA Sir Tristram on June 8. Many others suffered serious burns. These troops were still on the ships because of the loss of the helicopters on the Atlantic Conveyor. This meant that they had had to be transferred around the islands by ship. Unfortunately, and tragically, the commanders of the landing force ignored the advice of naval commanders to disembark at the earliest opportunity.
On June 14 the commander of the Argentine garrison in Port Stanley, Mario Menendez, surrendered to Major General JJ Moore Royal Marines. 9800 Argentine troops were made POWs and were repatriated to Argentina on the liner Canberra. On June 20 the British retook the South Sandwich Islands, (which involved accepting the surrender of the Southern Thule Garrison at the Corbeta Uruguay base) and declared the hostilities were at an end.
The war lasted 74 days, with 255 British and 655 Argentine soldiers, sailors, and airmen, killed.
Recapture of South Georgia
The South Georgia force, Operation Paraquet, under the command of Major Guy Sheridan RM, consisted of marines from 42 Commando, a troop of Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) troops who were intended to land reconnaissance forces for an invasion by the Royal Marines embarked on RFA Tidespring. First to arrive was the Churchill class submarine HMS Conqueror on the 19th, and the island was overflown by a radar-mapping Handley Page Victor on the 20th. The first landings of SAS troops took place on the 21st, but the weather was so bad that their landings and others made the next day were all withdrawn after several helicopters crashed in fog on Fortuna Glacier.
On the 23rd a submarine alert was sounded and operations were halted, with the Tidespring being withdrawn to deeper water to avoid interception. On the 24th the British forces regrouped and headed in to attack the submarine, the ARA Santa Fe, locating it on the 25th and damaging it enough that the crew decided to abandon it. With the Tidespring now far out to sea and an additional defending force of the submarine's crew now landed, Major Sheridan decided to gather the 75 men he had and make a direct assault that day. After a short forced march the Argentine forces surrendered, making it official the next day.
RFA Tidespring later carried the Argentinean prisoners of war back to Ascension for later repatriation to Argentina.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.