Falkland Islands War 1982

When Great Britain went to war with Argentina to reclaim the Falkland Islands in 1982.

255 of  servicemen and three civilians were killed during the conflict.

United Kingdom lost 123 Army personnel, 88 Royal Navy seamen and eight members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 27 Royal Marines, eight Merchant Navy sailors and one Royal Air Force officer. Seven ships and 34 aircraft were also lost in the fierce fighting.

Three female islanders were killed by ‘friendly fire.’

Argentina’s military government had snatched the islands by force on 2 April, taking advantage of a reduction in Britain’s military force in the South Atlantic to seize the territory which had been under British rule since 1833.

Britain responded with a combined naval and ground force which set sail for the islands on 5 April.

Between then and 14 June, when Argentine commander Brigade General Mario Menéndez surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore , the two sides fought over inhospitable terrain with a heavy loss of life for both countries.

Two of the soldiers killed, paratroopers Lt Col H Jones 2 Para and Sergeant Ian McKay 3 Para, were both awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

The Royal Navy suffered mass fatalities during attacks on several of its ships, including HMS Sheffield, HMS Ardent, HMS Coventry and HMS Glamorgan, while the Army and Royal Fleet Auxiliary lost men on board the Sir Galahad.

Losses on the Argentinian side saw 649 killed. The total death toll of the short but bloody conflict was 907, with the wounded approaching 2,000.

On the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Falklands, former prime minister Margaret Thatcher said: “Fortune does, in the end, favour the brave, and none are braver than our armed forces.

“We could never at any stage be sure what the outcome of the Falklands War would be. But of two things I could be sure – first that our cause was just, and second that no finer troops could be found in the world than those of our country.”