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16 Maret 2013


In Falklands War, the naval strategy of avoiding the strong sides and attacking the weak ones was also applied by both parties in war. British, although in possession of more superior sea power comparing with Argentine, carried out the projection of its power from sea to the land with its first target was the weak side possessed by Argentine.

On April 25, 1982, or 23 days after the Argentine invasion to Falklands, British landed its command troops not in Falklands, but at Grytviken Coast in South Georgia. South Georgia consists of many small islands located  at the South East of Falklands, comprising among others  South Sandwich islands and Shag-Clerke coral islands. Its distance from East Falklands is more than 1000 miles, and is more than 1300 miles from the closest land of Argentine.Image courtesy of
In such a far and remote position, South Georgia constituted the weak side and was very difficult to be defended by Argentine, since this territory was beyond the reach of its air plane operation. In addition, the delivery of logistics and other supporting aids was also difficult and containing high risks, since the sea had already been “controlled” by British. Such a condition caused the spirit of Argentinean troops assigned to defend South Georgia drastically dropped.

           You must be successful in a battle if you attack the undefended places.

           You can proceed without any hindrance if you go ahead towards the weak side of your enemy.

In the first battle between the British command troops and the Argentinean troops, British could easily break the defense of Argentine. The Commandant of Argentinean troops, Colonel Alfredo Artiz, on the first day of battle directly surrendered unconditioned, and together with his troops become the prisoners of British. On the same day, the Argentinean submarine Santa Fe was vehemently attacked by the British choppers of Wessex, Wasp and Lynx types and got sunk outside the Grytviken Coast of South Georgia.
The re-control over South Georgia made British in possession of the advanced base for all elements of its sea forces mobilized to Falklands. And considering that the sea force of British was more superior comparing to that of Argentine, among others the presence of  the nuclear submarines, the destroyer ships of Tribal Class, and Light Carrier used as the mobile base for the reliable fighter planes V/STOL Harrier GR-3 and Sea Harrier, automatically British could properly carry out “Command of The Sea” as well as “Sea Control” in Falklands waters.
Image courtesy of
However, British also realized the power relied on by Argentine, namely its reliable fighter planes could not be deemed insignificant. As already been known, Argentine had the fighter planes of  Mirage III and Super Etendard with its supersonic flying speed reaching Mach 2; whereas the V/STOL Harrier GR-3 and Sea Harrier of  Naval Version had the subsonic flying speed. Theoretically on paper, the Argentinean planes were more superior. 

Moreover, Argentine had Air-to-Surface Missile (ASM) AM-39 Exocet which was the latest version of  Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) of MM-38 Exocet. The characteristics of AM-39 Exocet after being launched from the plane, it would slide down till reaching the elevation of 6 feet above the sea level, then fly at the speed of almost reaching Mach 1 toward the target. Its range reaches 35 miles, more superior than its previous version reaching only up to the distance of 26 miles. Considering the aforesaid subjects, the plan of seizing Falklands again would certainly have a very big risk if it was not accurately calculated, including the efforts to deceive the enemy. Seizing Falklands, no other choice, had to be conducted through the landing operation. And in an operation of landing the troops in a territory controlled by the enemy always has a very high risk, since the enemy will certainly defend it vehemently.
After the success in controlling South Georgia, on May 1, British carried out the air raid to the airbase in Port Stanley, and on May 15 landed its command troops to seize the Calderon Airbase, located in the northern part of West Falklands. The battle in Calderon took place violently. British succeeded in destroying 11 Argentinean planes available at the base, the radar installation, and exploded the ammunition warehouses. The British Sea Harrier fighter planes and helicopters also succeeded in sinking three Argentinean transport ships and destroyed two other ships. On the other hand, British also suffered sufficiently a big loss. Not less than 10 British planes and helicopters were shot down by Argentine, and there was also an accident due to bad weather. Finally British succeeded in controlling the Calderon Airbase, and it meant reducing the risk of further troop landing to be conducted in a bigger scale.
Jane's Defence Weekly - July 17, 2013 - Single CopyFor Argentine, the only chance to strike the enemy on its weak side was by the time when the enemy would land their troops in Falklands. The moment of such landing was the time when the enemy in vulnerable condition to be attacked. The question was where and when would British land its troops. Tactically, the eastern coast of

East Falklands was easier to be landed and also closer to the main target, Port Stanley. It was this reason that Argentine tried to reinforce its defense in east coast, among others by placing the launching pad for its Land-Launched Exocet Missiles to encounter the British ships approaching the coast.
Factually, British chose the landing place by means of Amphibian Raid through Falkland Sound Strait, with the target to control Fox Bay in East Falkland, Goose Green and Port Louis in West Falkland.
Precisely as predicted before, Argentine would centralize its air raid during the amphibian landing. Therefore, British increased the operation of its ships and planes to give the air cover during such landing. This effort was sufficiently successful, since the landing by means of helicopter crossing conducted by British was still accomplished despite of the violent air raid by Argentine.
On the first day of landing on May 21, about 500 command troops were successfully landed. Several days afterwards, this amount increased to 5000 personnel. During the aforesaid Amphibian Raid, British lost two of its battle ships, HMS Ardents and HMS Antelope, after getting severe damage and sunk due to bombardment from the air. On the contrary, more than 15 Argentinean fighter planes were shot down to pieces by antiaircraft missiles launched from the British ships.
The quick response of British to the invasion conducted by Argentine, and the absence of support and sympathy from Falklands people had become the factors influencing the drop of combating morality of the Argentinean troops. That was possibly influenced by the statement of General Leopoldo Galtieri who tended arrogant and underestimated British, “British is now led by two women, who have no heart to involve their children to go to war.”



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