Killed someone... didn’t keep count
THE FALKLANDS War was a desperate diversion tactic by an Argentinian military junta presiding over imminent economic collapse.
Scrabbling to divert public attention from a looming recession, struggling acting president Leopoldo Galtieri agreed with Admiral Jorge Anaya’s plan to invade the Falklands, or Malvinas.
At various times there have been French, British, Spanish and Argentine settlements on the islands, although the UK re-established its rule in 1833. Anaya’s idea was to stir up long-held Argentine patriotic feelings towards the islands in the hope it would switch attention from the junta’s chronic money problems and human rights violations.
But the Argies made one vital mistake – they thought the Brits would surrender immediately and certainly not involve our armed forces.
The ongoing tension between the two countries increased on March 19, 1982, when a group of Argie scrap metal merchants raised the Argentine flag at South Georgia. It would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war.
Britain was initially taken by surprise by the full scale April 2 attack on the South Atlantic islands, despite warnings by Royal Navy captain Nicholas Barker and others.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dispatched a Task Force to retake the islands.
The resulting war lasted 74 days. It ended with Argentine surrender on June 14, 1982 – returning the islands to British control.
In all, 649 Argentine and 255 British military personnel – along with three Falkland Islanders – lost their lives.
Now, 30 years on from the invasion, this is the story of those involved in the conflict in their own words.