22 Photographs of the Falklands War

Imperial War Museums

The Falklands War was a ten-week conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom over two British territories off the southern coast of Argentina, the Falkland Islands. On April 2, 1982, the Argentinian military invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and attempted to establish sovereignty over the lands.

The United Nations Security Council asked Argentina to withdraw in an attempt to resolve the conflict with diplomacy. The British responded on April 5, dispatching a task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making their amphibious assault to reclaim the Falklands.

The Argentinian government asserted, and maintains to this day, that the islands are Argentine territory. They believe that the occupation was an act of reclamation. The British government looked at the invasion as an attack on a land that had been a crown territory sine 1841. The inhabitants of the island are mostly descendants of British settlers and favored British sovereignty.

The conflict lasted for 74 days. Argentina surrendered on June 14, 1982.

Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Argentina were restored in 1989 but neither government conceded their claim to the islands. In 1994, Argentina’s claim to the territories was added to their constitution.

In total, 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers, and 3 Falkland Islanders died during the conflict. One Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, aptly described “the Falklands thing, [as] a fight between two bald men over a comb.”

Comander Alfredo Astiz in Falkland war 1982. copyright photo Serge Briez
During the Falklands war, British submarines were the first warships to reach the islands and began to enforce the Exclusion Zone around them.triservice
The aircraft carrier HMS Invincible, part of the British naval task force, silhouetted against the horizon as she sails towards the South Atlantic. Invincible left Portsmouth on 5 April 1982 and arrived at the Falkland Islands in early May. The task force was rapidly assembled following the decision to go to war and comprised 127 ships in total. © Crown copyright. IWM
1) A Sea Harrier takes off from the ski-jump while various missiles, helicopters and vehicles crowd the flight deck of HMS Hermes. Some of the arms include 1000lb GP (General Purpose) bombs, Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Sea Skua air-to-surface missiles. IWM
Men of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment wait on board the ferry MV Norland before the landings at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands, 20 May 1982. The landings, codenamed Operation Sutton, took place on 21-23 May. Around 4,000 British troops went ashore at Port San Carlos, San Carlos and Ajax Bay on East Falkland. © Crown copyright. IWM
The bow and stern sections of HMS Antelope float above the surface in San Carlos Water after the ship began to sink on 24 May 1982, during the Battle of San Carlos. Two bombs were dropped on HMS Antelope by Argentine aircraft, flying at extremely low level, on 23 May. The bombs, which did not explode, lodged in the engine room of the ship. One detonated while it was being defused. The explosion ripped through the ship, which later broke in half and then sank. IWM
Sunk- The General Belgrano was torpedoed by HMS Conqueror with the loss of 323 Argentine lives. dailymail
An Argentinian bomb exploding on board HMS Antelope off the Falklands. walesonline
Men of 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment disembark from a landing craft during the landings at San Carlos. The landings were almost unopposed, but British helicopters and warships in San Carlos Water and Falkland Sound came under Argentine attack. HMS Ardent was hit and sank the next day and several British helicopters were shot down. IWM
British soldiers in the Falklands. Pinterest