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20 Februari 2014


 HMS Cardiff anchored off Port Stanley-by Griffiths911

Britain has today paid homage to its fallen heroes on the 30th anniversary of the day that Argentine forces made an amphibious assault on the Falkland Islands.

To mark the event a single candle was lit to burn for 74 days (the length of the war) in Staffordshire’s National Memorial Arboretum’s Millennium Chapel where widows of those that gave their lives gathered to remember them.

This comes at a time when Argentine political interest is once again focussed on whipping up a domestic fervour for Argentine control of the islands.

The Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has recently been ratchetting up the tension by such actions as preventing UK cruise liners from docking in Argentina. There have also been attempts to bring the rest of South America along with her for the ride.

Thank goodness then that the UK government has today come out very strongly against any such Argentine claims.

Writing in the Telegraph William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, robustly defended the rights of the Falkland Islanders to determine their own futures and said that Argentina had recently been attempting to coerce the islanders into submission and that the UK would though defend their sovereignty.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has also said that there would be no compromise over the Falkland Islands and paid tribute to the armed forces that were involved in re-taking the islands.
He also said that while remembering the 255 UK service personnel and three Falkland Islanders who lost their lives we should also remember the 649 Argentines who fell during the 74 day conflict.

In a statement the Prime Minister said:
Thirty years ago today the people of the Falkland Islands suffered an act of aggression that sought to rob them of their freedom and their way of life.
Today is a day for commemoration and reflection:  a day to remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict – the members of our Armed Forces, as well as the Argentinian personnel who died.
Today, we salute the heroism of the Task Force which set sail to free the islands.
We are rightly proud of the role Britain played in righting a profound wrong. And the people of the Falkland Islands can be justly proud of the prosperous and secure future they have built for their islands since 1982.
Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future.

“That was the fundamental principle that was at stake thirty years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly re-affirm today.
Many people would argue that Britain could not re-take the islands should they be invaded. But just as many say that Argentina is, at present, in no way capable of repeating such an operation.

But things change. So we should keep a weather eye on the interests of the Falkland Islanders in the future. We must be wary of the siren calls in decades to come, as Argentina’s economy improves (as it doubtless will) and its military builds once again, that the money the UK spends on defence in the region could be better spent in Britain. Be in no doubt this will happen; especially when the UK looks to expensive decisions over aircraft carriers and the like.

The only thing that should ever sway Britain away from this need should be the wishes of the islanders themselves. And the Argentines are not doing a very good job at the moment of making allies on the islands.  )


In the very early morning on April 2, 1982, the Argentinean command troops landed in East Falkland coast near Port Stanley and attacked and seized the British mariner base. The resistance of the British mariners could be shortly broken. That day, the Argentinean command troops were immediately able to control Port Stanley without any significant resistance. On the same day, the Argentinean troops were also landing in South Georgia near Grytviken.

On April 8, 1982, the British government declared “The 200 Miles War Zone” around the Falklands and would be enacted effectively from April 12, 1982. The British Government also declared that by then the British submarines had already been available in Falklands territory and would respond to every Argentinean military activity.

The first battle between Argentinean and British troops occurred on April 25. That day, the British command troops seized back South Georgia from Argentina. At the offshore of Grytviken, the Argentinean submarine “Santa Fe” was attacked vehemently by the British helicopters of Wessex, Wasp and Lynx types. Santa Fe was badly damaged and got sunk.

On May 1, 1982, the British began attacking the Falklands. The first attack was opened by direct air raid, conducted by a group of Vulcan bomber planes. These fighter planes took off from Wideawake Air Base in Ascensions Islands belonging to the British near the African coast. A group of these Vulcan planes had to fly more than nine hours before coming to their target, namely the air base in Port Stanley. This direct air raid was given the code name " Black Buck”, and succeeded in dropping not less than 21 bombs at the weight of 1000 pounds.

This operation was actually not so successful and very costly, since there was only one bomb hitting the runway. However, the impact it created was so great, since it gave a warning to the Argentinean government and people, that the British was able to destroy the targets in Argentinean mainland if needed. The “Black Buck”  was also recorded as the longest/farthest non-stop direct air raid in the air battle history.

In the afternoon on May 2, the British Submarine HMS Conqueror shot two torpedoes of Mark VIII to an Argentinean Cruiser Ship “General Belgrano”. In 40 minutes General Belgrano sank. The attack to General Belgrano killed more than 360 crew. Everything seemed so smooth and good for the British. They attacked the air base in Port Stanley, seized South Georgia and sank General Belgrano, and hit the other three Argentinean battle ships. All weaponry systems of the British functioned properly and victim and loss suffered were very small.

However, the situation changed drastically when on May 4, 1982, HMS Sheffield was hit by the AM-39 Exocet launched by the Argentinean fighter plane Super-Etendard. The hit of this missile caused such a big fire on HMS Sheffield, 20 people died and 24 others got severely injured. The surviving crew tried to extinguish the fire, but finally HMS.Sheffiled sank six days afterwards.

The counter attack was conducted by the British by landing its command troops to seize back the Calderon Air Base on May 15. This attack caused a big loss for Argentina, among others destroying 11 planes being parked, the Argentine radar installation and ammunition warehouse.

The British tried to seize back the Falklands by land raid through Port San Carlos Bay located in between two Falkland islands, with the targets of Port Louis, Fox Bay and Goose Green. The amphibian raid conducted on May 21 succeeded in seizing the aforesaid targets and 50 Argentinean solders were killed. The helicopter Sea King started its task to drop weapons, supplies and ammunition to support the troops’ further movement inland.

Knowing the movement of British troops, the Argentineans increased its air raid to the British ships and also to the locations of the British troops. More than 72 intakes of the air raid were carried out, and caused damages on HMS Ardent and HMS Argonaut. Later on it was found out that the bombardments of the Argentinean air raid were not effective since the majority of the bombs dropped had no detonators. The British troops landed through the Amphibian Raid were at the sum of 520 personnel, and several days afterwards this number was increased to 5000 personnel.

Till the next days, on May 23 and 24, Argentina still increased its air raid to the British ships. Argentina succeeded in sinking down HMS Antelope, and attacked HMS Sir Galahad and HMS Sir Lancelot; but these two last ships were able to escape from the Argentine air raid. In conducting the raid to these ships, Argentina lost 8 of its planes after being shot down by the British Harriers. Here in this battle, it was proven that the Sea-Wolf missiles owned by the British were not effective to deal with the skillful maneuver of the Argentinean pilots.

On May 25, Argentina celebrated its Independence Day. Coincidentally on the same day, Argentina detected the movements of big ships North of East Falkland Coast. Two Super Extendard fighter planes were sent each carrying one AM-39 Exocet missile. One missile was shot and successfully hit the Atlantic Conveyor, a big transport ship carrying 10 helicopters and a big deal of ammunition to support the troops inland.

The destruction of ( HMS ) Atlantic Conveyor and all of its weaponry equipment constituted a very big loss for the British. Almost at the same time, the Argentinean Skyhawks attacked HMS Conventry, HMS Broadsword and HMS Brilliant. HMS Conventry got a great attack and got sunk in 20 minutes, and about 20 crew died. HMS Broadword and HMS Brilliant again were hit by the bombs without detonators, so that these two ships escaped from destruction.

On May 28, the campaign of land war was started by the British. More or less 450 British command troops moved approaching Goose Green defended by approximately 1800 Argentinean soldiers. The air shelter was provided by Harriers fighter planes and helicopters. The assistance of the ship shootings from HMS Antrim were proven very effective and succeeded in destroying the Argentinean defense in Goose Green.

From May 7 to June 7, the British Special Command Troops succeeded in controlling the high places at the hills of Mount Kent and Mount Challenger. These two hills were the keys for strategic spots to attack Port Stanley, only at the distance of 10 miles. At the same time, three battalions of troops were successfully landed by using helicopters from HMS Intrepid, and immediately moved to seize the Fitzroy and Bluff Cove regions defended by Argentina. By then, more or less 8000 troops of the British Army had already been available in the Falklands.

In the afternoon on June 8, the special command troops ‘Scots Guards’ and ‘Welsh Guards’ landed by helicopters through HMS Sir Galahad and HMS Sir Tristam succeeded in controlling Bluff Cove. In this Bluff Cove battle, they were attacked by two Mirages and four Skyhawks of Argentina, that succeeded in killing 51 soldiers and more than 46 personnel were wounded.

On June 12, the attack to Port Stanley began. One battalion of troops were parachuted to seize Mount Longdon hill at a distance of approximately five miles from Port Stanley. This troop landing was proceeded by continuous bombardments from HMS Avenger, to the defense location of the Argentinean troops in Port Stanley. At the same time, HMS Yarmouth carried out bombardments to the defense positions of Argentina four miles in the South of Mount Harriet and Goat Ridge, the positions of which they intercepted the British command troops.

On those positions, the Argentinean troops were destroyed and finally surrendered. From those two defense locations successfully seized by the British troops, the command troops moved to seize the region of Two Sisters. The attack to Two Sisters was supported by bombardments from HMS Glamorgan that had already occupied the positions several miles from Port Stanley. HMS Glamorgan was hit by Argentine Exocet missile shot from the land and got damage and 13 of its crew were killed. The shooting of this exocet missile was once encountered by the “Anti Missile Sea Cat”, but the Argentinean Exocet remained hitting its target. Though suffered from damage, HMS Glamorgan was still able to operate.
The last attack was conducted in the early morning on June 14. One regiment of British troops succeeded in seizing Wireless Ridge with the support of Scimiter and Scorpion tanks. The last defense posts of the Argentinean troops, namely Tumbledown Mountain, Dapper Hill and Mount Williams were successfully controlled by the British after vehement attack lasting for 6 hours.
In the afternoon on June 14, the Commandant of Argentinean Troops in Port Stanley, Major General Benjamin Menendez, neglecting the order from Buenos Aires to gather the remaining power and to carry out the counter attack vehemently, even unconditionally, surrendered to the Commandant of British Troops, Mayor General Moore. The sum of 9800 Argentinean Troops in the Falklands laid down their arms, and the Falklands conflict ended. (   )

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