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By 09th Battalion the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment

CONTENTS

1. Introduction

2. Aim

3. History of Falkland Islands

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4. Prelude to the Battle

5. Military Chronology

6. The Unfold of Battle

7. Battle Field Area Evaluation

8. Conduct of the Battle

9. Aftermath of Battle

10. Lessons Learnt

11. Conclusion

INTRODUCTION

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1. All military campaigns definitely bring out valuable military lessons which provide great
influence on the present day war. Falklands war has a unique place in the military history where a
numerically inferior force fought gallantry against the well equipped and hi tech superior enemy. It
was the war that had brought out great heroism, great sacrifice, great tragedy and a lot of harsh
lessons.

2. The Falkland Islands were reportedly discovered in 1592 by the British navigator John Davis.
It situated in the South Atlantic Ocean, East of the Strait of Magellan and North East of the Southern
tip of South America. It consisted with two large and many small Islands in East of Argentina, whose
ownership had long been disputed. Throughout the Nineteenth and Twentieth century, Argentina
maintained their claim on the Islands and after the Second World War; it pursued the matter through
the UN in 1965. The United Nations resolution 2065 called for Britain and Argentina to negotiate.

3. The Falkland Islands constituted a self governing British dependency. Since 1833 the Islands
were continually administered by the UK until April 1982. The vast majority of the Falkland Islands
population was of British ancestry, spoke English and considered them-selves to be British. In early
1982, the President Leopoldo Galtieri, the head of the Argentina’s ruling military junta, authorized the
invasion of the British Falkland Islands. The operation was designed to draw attention away from
human rights and economic issues at home by bolstering national pride and giving teeth to the
nation’s long held claim on the Islands.

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4. The war was triggered by the occupation of South Georgia by Argentina on 19 March 1982
followed by the occupation of the Falklands and ended with Argentina surrendered on 14 June 1982.
The initial invasion was considered by Argentina as reoccupation of its own territory and by Britain
as an invasion of the British dependency. It is the most recent invasion of British territory by a
foreign power.

5. The Falklands war is not seen as a truly major event of either military or Twentieth century
history because of the low number of casualties on both sides and the limited economic importance of
the disputed areas. But it is militarily interesting because, the British fought the war without a land
base at the end of 8000 miles of sea supply line. They won it as much by logistical competence as by
lessons has brought out many lessons in the field.

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AIM
6. The aim of this presentation is to analyze and draw lessons from the Falklands war.

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HISTORY OF FALKLAND ISLANDS

7. Falkland Islands forms a British crown colony in the South Atlantic Ocean, 300 miles East of
Argentina. The main Islands of the group of 100 are East and West Falkland with dependencies to the
South East called South Georgia and South Sandwich groups. The Falkland Islands are inhabited by
people of British origin. Sheep farming is the only occupation on these Islands. Stanley is the capital
city.

8. The history of the Falkland Islands goes back to the sixteenth century when these were
discovered by John Davids. A century later these were named after Lucius Carty Viscount Falkland
one of the heroes of the English Civil West Falkland in 1765. The Spanish bought the former and
seized the later but then yielded West Falkland to the British who promptly abandoned it. The Spanish
subsequently abandoned East Falklands. In 1929 a new colony was established in the name of the
united provinces of Rio de la Plata, successors in title to the Spanish Empire in South America and
predecessors of the Argentine Republic. Britain registered a verbal protest. It had established in 1820
a symbolic presence which was destroyed in 1833 by US, whereupon the British came back, evicted
the few remaining Argentinians and established colony embracing both East and West Falkland.
Argentine persistently challenged the British title which Britain offered on several occasions to
submit to the international Court of Justice, an offer always rejected”. During the World War I, the
Falkland Islands made history when a naval battle fought near these Islands on 08 Dec 1914 the
British defeated the Germans. Then followed a period of about half a century in which nothing
spectacular happened in this part of the world. However the Falkland Islands once again shot into
importance at international level in the late 70s when Argentinian President Leopoldo Galtieri started
talking about the recovery of these Islands from Great Britain.

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PRELUDE TO THE BATTLE


9. In the period leading up to the war, Argentina was in the midst of a devastating economic
crisis and a large scale civil unrest against the repressive military junta that was governing the
country. The Argentine military government headed by the General Leopoldo Galtieri, decided to
play off long standing feelings of nationalism by invading the Falkland Islands, although they never
thought that the Great Britain would militarily respond.

10. In the modern period, Great Britain Argentina dispute can be dated from 1965, when
Argentina placed the matter of Falklands sovereignty before the United Nations. The General
Assembly of the United Nations asked both parties to solve the issue through parleys and peaceful
means. Meetings in this regard took place nearly every year, but without any worthwhile results.

11. In 1971, a survey speculated that there was a large quantity of oil around Falkland Islands.
This caused excitements in the minds of Argentinians. They concluded the agreement with Britain
for providing fuel, postal facilities and scholarships for the Falklands. As the British did not object to
above proposals, the Argentinians took it as a sign that the British were ready to leave Falklands.

12. In March 1982, due to the political turmoil, inflation and critical economic situation of the
Argentinians government, there was a dire necessity of diverting public attention from the internal
situation of the country. Hence, for their very survival the Argentinians government decided to
capture Falklands by force and thus increase its popularity by solving the long sovereignty issue with
the British.

13. The British decision to withdraw ‘HMS Endurance’ from the South Atlantic and not to
replace. It was also interpreted by the Argentinians as evidence that the British were withdrawing.
Concurrently, Argentinians Foreign Minister was badly informed by her Embassy in London that the
British were militarily weak and her Navy was virtually non-existent. This was the final factor, which
encouraged the Argentinians to invade Falklands. On 2 April, Argentinians President Leopoldo
Galtieri ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands, triggering the Falklands war.

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MILITARY CHRONOLOGY

a. 2 April Argentina invades the Falkland islands.

b. 3 April Argentina invades South Georgia; UN passes Security Council


Resolution 502; first RAF transport aircraft deploy to ascension island.

c. 5 April First task force ships sail from the United Kingdom.

d. 12 April 200 mile maritime exclusion zone comes into effect.

e. 23 April The Government warns Argentina that any approach by Argentine


War-ships or military aircraft which could amount to a threat to the task
force would be dealt with appropriately.

f. 25 April British Forces recapture South Georgia. Submarine Santa Fe attacked


and disabled.

g. 30 April Total exclusion zone comes into effect.

h. 1 May First attack on Falklands by Vulcan, Sea Harriers and warships; first
Argentine aircraft shot down.

i. 2 May General Belgrano sunk by HMS Conqueror.

j. 4 May HMS Sheffield hit by Exocet missile; later sinks.

k. 7 May The Government warns Argentina that Argentine warships and military
Aircrafts over 12 miles from the Argentine coast a would be regarded as
hostile and liable to be dealt with accordingly.

l. 21 May 3 Commando Bridge established beach head at San Carlos; HMS


Ardent lost, some 15 Argentine aircraft destroyed.
.
m. 24 May 18 Argentine aircraft destroyed: some damages to ships.

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n. 25 May HMS Coventry lost and Atlantic Conveyor hit by Exocet (sinks 28
May) 8 Argentine aircrafts destroyed.

o. 28 May 2 PARA recapture Darwin and Goose green.

p. 30 May 45 Commando secure Douglas settlement; 3 PARA recapture Teal inlet;


42 Commando advance on Moment Kent and Mount Challenger.

q. 1 June 5 Bridge land at San Carlos.

r. 8 June RFAs Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram hit at Fitzroy ; 10 Argentine air
crafts destroyed.

s. 11/12 June Mount Harriet, Two Sisters and Mount Longdon secured ; HMS
Glamorgan hit by shore based Exocet damaged but seaworthy.

t. 13/14 June Tumbledown Mountain, Wireless Ridge and Mount William secured,
General Menendez surrenders.

u. 20 June South Thule secured.

v. 25 June Mr. Hunt, Civil Commissioner, returns to port Stanley.

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THE UNFOLD OF BATTLE

14. a. INVASION BY ARGENTINA

(1) On 2 April 1982 Argentine forces mounted amphibious landings of the


Falkland Islands, following the civilian occupation of South Georgia on 19 March
before the Falklands War began. The invasion met a nominal defense organized by the
Falkland Islands' Governor Sir Rex Hunt giving command to Major Mike Norman of
the Royal Marines.

b. INITIAL BRITISH RESPONSE TO THE INVASION

(1) Word of the invasion apparently first reached Britain via amateur radio. The
retaking of the Falkland Islands was considered extremely difficult. The main
constraint was the disparity in deployable air cover, the British having 34 Harrier
aircraft against Argentina's 220 jet fighters. The United States initially tried to mediate
an end to the conflict. However, when Argentina refused the US peace overtures, US
Secretary of State Alexander Haig announced that the United States would prohibit
arms sales to Argentina and provide material support for British operations. Both
Houses of the US Congress passed resolutions supporting the US action siding with the
United Kingdom.

(2) By mid April, the Royal Air Force had set up an airbase at Wide-awake on the
mid-Atlantic British overseas territory of Ascension Island, including a sizable force of
Avro Vulcan B Mk 2 bombers, Handley Page Victor K Mk 2 refueling aircraft, and
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR Mk 2 fighters to protect them. Meanwhile the main
British naval task force arrived at Ascension to prepare for active service. A small
force had already been sent south to recapture South Georgia.

c. RECAPTURE OF SOUTH GEORGIA AND THE ATTACK ON THE SANTA FE

(1) The South Georgia force Operation Paraquet, under the command of Major
Guy Sheridan RM, consisted of Marines from 42 Commando, a troop of the Special
Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) troops who were intended to land
as reconnaissance forces for an invasion by the Royal Marines. All were embarked on
RFA Tidespring. First to arrive was the Churchill class submarine HMS Conqueror on
19 April and the island was over-flown by a radar mapping Handley Page Victor on 20
April.

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(2) On 25 April, after the submarine ARA Santa Fe was spotted on the surface by a
Westland Wessex HAS Mk 3 helicopter from HMS Antrim which attacked the
Argentine submarine with depth charges.

d. BLACK BUCK RAIDS

(1) On 1 May British operations on the Falklands opened with the "Black Buck 1"
attack (of a series of five) on the airfield at Stanley. A Vulcan bomber from Ascension
flew on an 8,000 nautical mile round trip dropping conventional bombs across the
runway at Stanley and back to Ascension. The flights required several Victor tanker
aircraft operating in concert including tanker to tanker refueling. The overall effect of
the raids on the war is difficult to determine, and the raids consumed precious tanker
resources from Ascension. The raids did minimal damage to the runway and damage to
radars were quickly repaired.

e. ESCALATION OF THE AIR WAR

(1) The Falklands had only three airfields. The longest and only paved runway was
at the capital, Stanley and even that was too short to support fast jets. Therefore the
Argentines were forced to launch their major strikes from the mainland. The effective
loiter time of incoming Argentine aircraft was low.

(2) The first major Argentine strike force comprised 36 aircraft and was sent on 1
May in the belief that the British invasion was imminent or landings had already taken
place. Only a section of Grupo 6 (flying IAI Dagger aircraft) found ships, which were
firing at Argentine defences near the islands. The Daggers managed to attack the ships
and return safely. This greatly boosted morale of the Argentine pilots, who now knew
they could survive an attack against modern warships, protected by radar ground
clutter from the Islands and by using a late pop up profile.

(3) Meanwhile, other Argentine aircraft were intercepted by BAE Sea Harriers
operating from HMS Invincible. A Dagger and a Canberra were shot down.
Argentinean Air Force Mirage III EA. Their lack of aerial refueling capability
prevented them from being used effectively over the islands in the air to air role.

(4) Combat broke out between Sea Harrier FRS Mk 1 fighters of No 801 Naval Air
Squadron and Mirage III fighters of Group 8. Both sides refused to fight at the other's

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best altitude, until two Mirages finally descended to engage. One was shot down by an
AIM-9L Sidewinder air to air missile (AAM), while the other escaped but was
damaged and without enough fuel to return to its mainland air base. The plane made
for Stanley, where it fall victim to friendly fire from the Argentine defenders.

(5) As a result of this experience, Argentine Air Force staff decided to employ A-4
Sky hawks and Daggers only as strike units, the Canberras only during the night, and
Mirage IIIs as decoys to lure away the British Sea Harriers

(6) Stanley was used as an Argentine strongpoint throughout the conflict. The few
RN Sea Harriers were considered too valuable by day to risk in night time blockade
operations, and their Blue Fox radar was not an effective look down over land radar.

f. SINKING OF BELGRANO

(1) Two separate British naval task forces (surface vessels and submarines) and the
Argentine fleet were operating in the neighborhood of the Falklands, and soon came
into conflict. The first naval loss was the World War II vintage Argentine light cruiser
ARA General Belgrano. The nuclear powered submarine HMS Conqueror sank the
Belgrano on 2 May. Three hundred and twenty three members of Belgrano's crew died
in the incident. Over 700 men were rescued from the open ocean despite cold seas and
stormy weather. The losses from Belgrano totaled just over half of the Argentine
deaths in the Falklands conflict and the loss of the ARA General Belgrano hardened
the stance of the Argentine government.

g. SINKING OF HMS SHEFFIELD

(1) On 4 May, two days after the sinking of Belgrano, the British lost the Type 42
destroyer HMS Sheffield by strike from 2nd Naval Air Fighter/Attack Squadron.
Sheffield had been ordered forward with two other Type 42s to provide a long-range
radar and medium high altitude missile picket far from the British carriers. She was
struck amidships with devastating effect ultimately killing 20 crew members and
severely injuring 24 others. The ship was abandoned several hours later gutted and
deformed by the fires that continued to burn for six more days. She finally sank outside
the Maritime Exclusion Zone on 10 May.

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h. SAS OPERATIONS

(1) Given the threat to the British fleet posed by the Extended Exocet combination,
plans were made to use Special Air Service troops to attack the home base of the five
Etendards at Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego. The operation was code named "Mikado".
The aim was to destroy the missiles and the aircraft that carried them and to kill the
pilots in their quarters. Two plans were drafted and underwent preliminary rehearsal. A
landing by approximately fifty five SAS in two C-130 Hercules aircraft directly on the
runway at Rio Grande and infiltration of twenty four SAS by inflatable boats brought
within a few miles of the coast by submarine. Neither plan was implemented.

(2) An SAS reconnaissance team was dispatched to carry out preparations for a
seaborne infiltration. A Westland Sea King helicopter carrying the assigned team took
off from HMS Invincible on the night of 17 May but bad weather forced it to land
50 miles (80 km) from its target and the mission was aborted. The pilot flew to Chile
and dropped off the SAS team before setting fire to his helicopter and surrendering to
the Chilean authorities. The discovery of the burnt out helicopter attracted considerable
international attention at the time. On 14 May the SAS carried out the raid on Pebble
Island at the Falklands, where the Argentine Navy had taken over a grass airstrip for
FMA IA 58 Pucara light ground attack aircraft and T-34 Mentors. The raid destroyed
the aircraft there.

i. LANDING AT SAN CARLOS BOMB ALLEY

(1) During night on 21 May the British Amphibious Task Group under the
command of Commodore Michael Clapp (Commodore, Amphibious Warfare
COMAW) mounted Operation Sutton, the amphibious landing on beaches around San
Carlos Water, on the north western coast of East Falkland facing onto Falkland Sound.
The bay, known as Bomb Alley by British forces, was the scene of repeated air attacks
by low flying Argentine jets.

(2) The 4,000 men of 3 Commando Brigade were put ashore as follows. 2nd
battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) from the RORO ferry Norland and 40
Commando (Royal Marines) from the amphibious ship HMS Fearless were landed at
San Carlos (Blue Beach), 3 Para from the amphibious ship HMS Intrepid were landed
at Port San Carlos (Green Beach) and 45 Commando from RFA Stromness were
landed at Ajax Bay (Red Beach). Notably the waves of 8 LCUs and 8 LCVPs were led

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by Major Ewen Southby Tailyour who had commanded the Falklands detachment only
a year previously. 42 Commando on the ocean liner SS Canberra was a tactical
reserve. Units from the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers etc. and tanks were also put
ashore with the landing craft, the Round table class LSL and mexeflote barges. Rapier
missile launchers were carried as under slung loads of Sea Kings for rapid deployment.

(3) By dawn the next day they had established a secure beachhead from which to
conduct offensive operations. From there Brigadier Thompson's plan was to capture
Darwin and Goose Green before turning towards Port Stanley. Now with the British
troops on the ground the Argentine Air Force began the night bombing campaign
against them using Canberra bomber planes until the last day of the war (14 June).At
sea the paucity of the British ships' anti-aircraft defenses was demonstrated in the
sinking of HMS Ardent on 21 May, HMS Antelope on 21 May and MV Atlantic
Conveyor (struck by two AM39 Exocets) on 25 May along with a vital cargo of
helicopters, runway building equipment and tents. Also lost on this day was HMS
Coventry, a sister to HMS Sheffield, whilst in company with HMS Broadsword after
being ordered to act as decoy to draw away Argentinean aircraft from other ships at
San Carlos Bay. HMS Argonaut and HMS Brilliant were badly damaged.

j. BATTLE OF GOOSE GREEN

(1) From early on 27 May until 28 May 2 Para (approximately 500 men) with
artillery support from 8 (Alma) Commando Battery (Royal Artillery) approached and
attacked Darwin and Goose Green which was held by the Argentine 12th Infantry
Regiment. After a tough struggle that lasted all night and into the next day 17 British
and 47 Argentine soldiers were killed. In total 961 Argentine troops (including 202
Argentine Air Force personnel of the Condor airfield) were taken prisoners. With the
sizeable Argentine force at Goose Green out of the way, British forces were now able
to break out of the San Carlos bridgehead. On 27 May, men of 45 Commando and 3
Para started a loaded march across East Falkland towards the coastal settlement of Teal
Inlet.

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k. SPECIAL FORCES ON MOUNT KENT

(1) Meanwhile, 42 Commando prepared to move by helicopter to Mount Kent


.Unknown to senior British officers, the Argentine generals were determined to tie
down the British troops in the Mount Kent area and on 27 May and 28 May they sent
transport aircraft loaded with Blowpipe surface to air missiles and commandos
Company and Special Forces Squadron to Stanley. This operation was known as
Operation AUTOIMPUESTA. It is mining self Determination or Initiative.

(2) For the next week, the Special Air Service and Mountain and Arctic Warfare
Cadre of 3 Commando Brigade waged intense patrol battles with patrols of the
volunteers' 602nd Commando Company under Major Aldo Rico, normally 2IC of the
22nd Mountain Infantry Regiment. Throughout 30 May, Royal Air Force Harriers
were active over Mount Kent. One of them Harrier XZ 963 flown by Squadron Leader
Jerry Pook in responding to a call for help from D Squadron, attacked Mount Kent's
eastern lower slopes and that led to its loss through small arms fire. Pook was
subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

(4) On the 31 May the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre
(M&AWC) defeated Argentine Special Forces at the Battle of Top Malo House. A 13-
strong Argentine Army Commando detachment found itself trapped in a small
shepherd's house at Top Malo.

(5) The Argentine operation also saw the extensive use of helicopter support to
position and extract patrols, the 601st Combat Aviation Battalion also suffered
casualties. At about 1100 hrs on 30 May, an Aerospatiale SA-330 Puma helicopter was
brought down by a shoulder launched Stinger surface to air missile (SAM) fired by the
SAS in the vicinity of Mount Kent. Six National Gendarmerie Special Forces were
killed and eight more wounded in the crash.

l. THE FALL OF STANLEY

(1) On night of 11 June, after several days of painstaking reconnaissance and


logistic build up, British forces launched a brigade sized night attack against the
heavily defended ring of high ground surrounding Stanley. After 3 Para took Port
Stanley, units of 3 Commando Brigade, supported by naval gunfire from several Royal
Navy ships, simultaneously assaulted in the Battle of Mount Harriet, Battle of Two
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Sisters, and Battle of Mount Long don. Mount Harriet was taken at a cost of 2 British
and 18 Argentine soldiers. At Two Sisters, the British faced both enemy resistance and
friendly fire, but managed to capture their objectives. The toughest battle was at Mount
Longdon. British forces were bogged down by assault rifle, mortar, machine gun,
artillery fire, sniper fire and ambushes. Despite this, the British continued their
advance.

(2) Night of 13 June saw the start of the second phase of attacks, in which the
momentum of the initial assault was maintained. 2 Para with tank support captured
Wireless Ridge at the Battle of Wireless Ridge, at a loss of 3 British and 25 Argentine
dead, and the 2nd battalion, Scots Guards captured Mount Tumbledown at the Battle of
Mount Tumbledown, which cost 10 British and 30 Argentines dead.

(3) With the last natural defense line at Mount Tumbledown breached, the
Argentine town defenses of Stanley began to falter. In the morning gloom, one
company commander got lost and his junior officers became despondent. A cease fire
was declared on June 14 and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley,
Brigade General Mario Menendez surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore the
same day.

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BATTLE FIELD AREA EVALUATION


15. Falkland Islands situated 300 miles East of Argentina and 8000 miles from Great Britain. It
consists of over 776 smaller Islands spread over 4700 square miles of which the main once are the
East Falkland (2550 square miles) and West Falkland (1750 square miles). The East and West
Falkland Islands are separated by narrow Falkland Sound about 20 miles wide. These Islands lie to
the East of Argentina, towards its Southern tip further the East are South Georgia and South Sandwich
Islands.

CONDUCT OF THE BATTLE

CAPTURE OF FALKLANDS BY ARGENTINA

16. The immediate incident, which triggered the war was that on 19 March 1982, a small band of
Argentina scrap merchants looking for metal invaded in South Georgia, 1300 miles off the coast of
Argentina and hoisted the Argentina flag and sang the national anthem. This annoyed some 14
British scientists in the area. As a result 40 British marines were rushed to the place about the “HMS
Endurance” but the Argentinian did not withdraw. Instead of that they sent an Aircraft Carrier Task

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Force and launched “Operation Sovereignty” with 400 men for invasion of Falklands on 2 April.
Opposing them, there were only 84 British marines in Falklands and South Georgia who were under
the orders of British Governor surrendered.

ARGENTINA DEFENCE PLAN

17. By capturing Falklands islands, Argentina had extended its frontiers by about 100 miles into
the Ocean and had acquired the strategic importance, but did not have the resources to defend it. Both
the East and West Falklands were occupied with speed. Defense positions were dug, Radar,
Antiaircraft guns and Missiles deployed and troops assigned to task. The deployment of the troops
was as follows:
a. Port Stanley - 4 x Battalions (900 men each).
b. Darwin/Goose Green - 1 x Battalion.
c. Mon Bay - 1 x Battalion.
d. South Georgia - 40 x Argentine Marines.

18. The deployment was suitable for peacetime garrison duties and not for the operations. About
100 men were sent to watch every conceivable landing sites. No thought was given to delaying
actions on key bottle necks on various routes. Although that was a strong defense there were no plans
for launching counter attacks, shifting of troops from one sector to another and occupation of counter
penetration positions.

RECAPTURE OF FALKLANDS BY BRITISH

19. As the result of South Georgia and Falklands captured by Argentina, the British severed
relations with Argentina. United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on 3 April,
demanding the withdrawal of Argentinean forces from Falklands immediately, but Argentina ignored
it. British assembled a task force of 40 Warships including ‘Hermes’ and ‘Invincible’ aircraft carriers
with 3 Commando Brigade and dispatched them to Falklands on 5 April 1982. British also declared
200 miles around Falklands as “Maritime Exclusion Zone” on 12 April.

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20. Some of the fighter ships of the British, reached South Georgia and captured it by landing
some soldiers of Special Boat Squadron (SBS) on 25 April. Argentine submarine was also badly
damaged. Approximately 15 Argentinian soldiers surrendered to British in this operation. A British
helicopter attacked a submarine in the vicinity of Georgia and damaged it. They also captured 50
members of the crew. The early capture of Georgia gave the Britain great psychological advantage
and much needed staging area in the vicinity of Falklands.

21. During the last week of April 1982 the British landed personnel of Special Boat Squadron
(SBS) and Special Air Services (SAS) for carrying out reconnaissance for major landing of British
troops on Falklands for subsequent operations. After that on 1 May 1982, the British Air launched a
heavy attack on Port Stanley, which virtually destroyed Argentina’s ability to re supply its troops,
believed to be 900 at that time.

22. On 2 May the British nuclear submarine fired Tiger Cat Missile on Argentina’s biggest cruiser
“General Belgrano”. This gave a serious blow to Argentinean Navy, which had withdrawn many of
its ships to ports in Argentina.

23. On 3 May the Britain also sank an Argentinean patrol boat. On same day Argentina sank the
most modern British destroyer “Sheffield”. After that on 9 May the British were successful in
damaging 5 tanks and also damaged 2 Argentinian fishing trawlers, presumably carrying out
reconnaissance. Three days later British troops raided Argentinian logistic base at Pebble Island
located in the Northern part of West Falkland. The raid was a success, which resulted in destruction
of many aircrafts in the base, thus depriving Argentinian of local air support.

24. From 20 May to 25 May, the British continuously conducted several attacks which resulted
Argentine to loose 23 air crafts in San Carlos area. During the same period British lost 4 ships
including Ship Antelope, British Convenor and Atlantic Conveyor.

25. After securing the bridgehead, largely assisted by the naval forces the responsibility for
recapture of Falklands passed to British Army troops. The British who had by now a brigade group in
the bridgehead started the advance towards Port Stanley on night 26 May, on two axis that was
Southern Axis of port San Carlos, Goose Green, Stanley and Northern Axis of San Carlos, Douglas
Teal inlet Stanley, with a battalion each. The British force advancing on Southern axis after lighting a
pitched battle of 12 hours, captured Goose Green on 29 May. The British and Argentinian both
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suffered heavy casualties. The force advancing on northern axis secured Doughas and Teal Inlet by
29 May.

26. After the failure of appeals to surrender, the British decided to capture Port Stanley by force.
On the night of 11 June, 3 Commando Brigade launched attack and captured area of high ground
West of Stanley. In this hand to hand fight British lost 25 men and had 62 wounded. The final attack
was launched by two British brigades on the night of 13 June. They captured all the tactical important
high grounds around Port Stanley by the morning of 14 June. By midday, Argentinians had suffered
heavy casualties which they were highly demoralised and raised white flag on their positions. After
two hours meeting between opposing generals, the cease-fire was arranged and more than 10,600
Argentineans on Falklands surrendered to the British troops. There were lots of damages to both
sides.
Ser Argentina British
1. Ships sunk 1 6
2. Submarine Sunk 1 -
3. Ship Damaged 2 13
4. Cruiser 1 -
5. Miscellaneous craft 3 -
6. Aircraft lost to enemy action 117 12
7. Aircraft lost/damaged on board ships - 13
8. Aircraft Lost Accidently - 12
9. Helicopters Losses 14 17
10. Personnel Killed 654 250
11. Personnel Injured 1336 777
12. Cost of War $ 1.85 Billion $3 Billion
AFTERMATH OF THE BATTLE

27. The aftermath of the 1982 Falklands war between the Great Britain and Argentina brought the
impact upon the world geopolitics, the local political culture in Argentina and the British, military
thoughts and the lives of those who were directly involved in the war. Diplomatic relations between
the Great Britain and Argentina were not restored until 1989 under a formula which put the issue of
sovereignty.

ARGENTINA

28. The Argentine loss the war lead to ever larger protests against the military regime and is
credited with giving the final push to drive out the military government. General Galtieri was forced
to resign and elections were held on 30 October 1983 and the new President, Raul Alfonsin, took

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office on 10 December 1983. In the long term the debacle concluded the periodical intervention of
the Argentine military in the politics since the 1930s.

29. In 2009, Argentine authorities ratified the decision made by authorities in, charging 70
Officers and Corporals with inhuman treatment of POWs during the war. It has testimony from 23
people about a soldier who was shot death by an Argentine soldier, four other former combatants who
starved to death, and at least 15 cases of conscripts who were staked out on the ground. Under the
secretary of human rights, there are claims that false testimonies were used as evidence in accusing
the Argentine troops and Vessels in 2010

BRITISH

30. The Falklands war was considered as a great victory for the British. The months following the
war brought out the popularity of the Conservative Government. The war did however caused several
members of the government to resign, including the Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, the most
recent time that the British government minister resigned openly in response to failures such as Air
power, number of casualties of British troops and unexpected damages of ships and crafts during the
Falklands war.

31. Britain had been beset by uncertainty and anxiety about its international role, status and
capability. Former Priminister Margret Thatcher was returned to power with an increased
Parliamentary majority with the successful conclusion of the war, and felt empowered to press ahead
with the economic readjustments of ‘Thatcherism’.
32. The second major effect was the reaffirmation of the special relationship between the United
States and United Kingdom. Both Reagan and Weinberger who were the Secretary of Defense under
President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1987, were appointed Honorary Knights Commander of the
Order of the British Empire for their contribution in the war.

33. In 2007, the British government expressed regrets over the deaths on both sides in the war.
Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying "In the struggle against evil”. It can be all today drawn
hope and strength" from the Falklands victory, while former Argentinean President Nestor Kirchner
claimed that Great Britain won a colonial victory, but she further vowed that the Islands would “One
day return to Argentine sovereignty”. Argentina still claims the Falkland Islands. Mrs. Kirchner
repeated her plea for Britain to fulfill ‘International law’ by sitting down to negotiate the sovereignty
of the Falklands.
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THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

34. The Falkland Islands remained a self governing British Overseas territory, but shortly after the
war the British Nationality Act 1983 granted the Islanders, the British citizenship, strengthening the
link between the Islanders and the British. The economy also benefited indirectly from British
military investment and directly from development of fisheries. The future of the Falkland Islanders'
link to the British has been more certain as a result of the war, and the Islands' government remains
committed to self determination and British sovereignty.

35. The Falkland Islanders subsequently had full British citizenship restored in 1983. Their
lifestyle was improved by investments of Britain made after the war and the liberalization of
economic measures that had been stalled through fear of angering Argentina. In 1985, a new
constitution was enacted promoting self government, which has continued to devolve power to the
Islanders.

LESSONS LEARNT
36. The lessons drawn after analyzing the Falklands war are mentioned below:

a. A balanced maritime force is necessary while formulating development strategy for the
Armed Forces.

b. To ensure better coordination and cohesion there is needed for tri services coordination
in training at all levels of command and during operations.

c. The greatest lesson which comes out of the conflict is the failure of intelligence to
correctly gauge enemy intention. British were unprepared when Argentina invaded
Falklands. Similarly Argentina made miscalculation and under estimation of the
reaction and strength of the British.

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d. Reliable layered defense against modern weapons is required for naval task forces.

e. Falklands operations were highlighted importance of physical and mental toughness


attributable to high standard of training.

f. Logistics, supported by local industry, played a vital role in sustaining the required
operational tempo during the war. The Flakland war proved that, without sound
logistic support a military operation is unlikely to succeed. The British faced enormous
logistical problems for the simple reason that the Flaklands are 8000 miles away from
the British. Ammunition, fuel, food, spare parts, medical supplies and everything had
to flow along a supply chain 8000 miles long and arrive at the time and place it was
needed.

g. War is an unexpected event in the world.

h. Contingency procurement plans before and during the war are critical to make up
operational deficiencies.

i. The campaign also highlights that command of the sea is relative and not an absolute
thing. The British had workable Command of the Sea; however, the Argentine air arm
challenged the control of the airspace.

j. A single miscalculation be strategic, tactical or diplomatic may cost a country very


dearly.

k. Poor command and control and inter service jealousy may lead to disaster at war.

l. The British have implied that proper training, leadership and high level of morale are
essential factor for successful military oprations.

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CONCLUSION

37. Falklands war was the first major naval war after the World War II. The long time conflict
between the Great Britain and Argentina for sovereignty of the Falklands culminated in the last major
naval warfare of the Nineteenth century. This war has shown us the application of many modern
naval weapons. The modern technological advancement has made the ships much more fighting
efficient. At the same time, the Anti-Ship Missile System has made the surface platforms vulnerable
against enemy missile attack. The importance of shore and carrier based air crafts are reaffirmed in
this war.

38. The British troops fought with professional skill and singleness of purpose against heavy odds
of long distance, cold and bad weather and very rugged countryside. On the other hand, apart from
the Argentine pilots, the common soldiers did not demonstrate any will to fight and suffered extreme
hardships for their country. Their leadership at strategic and tactical level lacked skill, spirit and had
no understanding of the principles of the war.

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39. The victory of Briefs over Argentina provided a much needed boost to its national
confidence and reaffirmed its international position. Despite its defeat Argentina still claims the
Falkland Islands. Falklands war has shown us a glimpse of modern day major warfare. There are
many lessons to be drawn from the Falklands war which are applicable to future military operations in
the world.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

WEB SITES

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftermath of the Falklands War.


2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/falklands.
3. http://www.naval-history.net/NAVAL1982FALKLANDS.htm.
4. http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwar1/p/wwifalklands.htm.
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands War.
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands.
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands War.
8. http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars1900s/p/falklands.htm.
9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine ground forces in the Falkland.
10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/falklands.
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Books

1. Lawrence Freedman, Britain and the Falklands War.


2. RAF Air Power Doctrine, AP-3000 (2nd Edition).
3. Derek Oakley, The Falkland Military Machine, Kent, UK, 1989.
4. Gordon Smith, Battles of the Falkland War, New Delhi, 1989.
5. Jasjit Singh, Air Cdre(Retd), Air Power in Modern Warfare.
6. John A Warden, The Air Campaign, First Pergamon Bressy’s Printing, USA, 1989.
7. John Pimlott, British Military Operations, London, 1984.
8. Roy Braybrook, Battle for the Falklands (3) Air Forces.
9. Lon O Nordeen, Air Power in the Missile Age, 1985.

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