1 1981 Argentina is changing military dictators in late March, the country is in the middle of a devastating economic crisis and there is large scale civil unrest (country has money problems and lots of crime as a result). In December there was another change of leadership to a General Leopoldo Galtieri who became the acting president! A Brigadier and an Admiral devised a plan to win over the argentine people, the plan was a military solution to invade the Falkland's Islands off their coast line! Although the Falklands belongs to the British the Argentine people have long thought it is rightfully theirs. The plan was calculated at the time when Great Britain was also in great economic distress... The British couldn't possibly respond with a military strike! They are too far away and its only a small island! Admiral Jorge Anaya Planned the strike on the Falkland's nd April Argentine Forces mounted an amphibious landings on the Falklands Islands (by water) the invasion met a nominal defence organised by the Falklands Islands Governor Sir Rex Hunt. Who gave command to a Major Mike Norman of the Royal Marines. After a proud fight between our Royal Marines and the invading Argentine Invasion force the surrender of British Forces finally took place at Government House! 1982 Whitehall (MINISTRY OF DEFENCE LONDON) received confirmation that the Falklands had fallen to an Argentine Invasion Force and was now fully under Argentine control. The British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in agreement with Parliament decided to send a Royal Naval Task Force from our homeland to the Falklands to take the islands back, HMS Splendid and HMS Spartan two submarines that responded to an issue in South Georgia were ordered to sail south to the Falklands and RAF (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Stores Ship was dispatched from the Western Mediterranean to support HMS Endurance on the 26th March another submarine HMS Superb left Gibraltar and it was assumed by the media that she was also heading south to the Falklands. This was designed to panic Argentine Sources that the British Forces has deployed a nuclear submarine. April 3rd an emergency meeting between the Prime Minister and the Naval Chief of Staff concluded that Britain COULD AND SHOULD send a task force to regain the Falklands. This was also backed in an emergency session in the House of Commons the following day!
2 1982 6th April the British Government set up a War Cabinet to provide day to day oversight to the Falkland's crisis. The United States of America supported the british as they were concerned that Argentina would become allies with the Soviet Union (another conflict brewing) The French however supplied the Argentine Forces with the latest Exocet Missiles during the conflict although overtly France backed the UK! 1982 British Task Force was rapidly made up from whatever the British could find, HMS Conqueror set sail from France, Margret Thatcher the two aircraft carriers HMS Invincible & BRITISH PRIME MINISTER HMS Hermes. Upon its return from a world cruise the SS Canberra was requisitioned (used for the war effort) and set sail 3 days later with 3 COMMANDO BRIGADE aboard. The Queen Elizabeth 2 was also requisitioned and that took the 5th Infantry Brigade. The task force in its entirety was made up from 43 Royal Navy Vessels, 22 Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ships and 62 Merchant Ships. All those ships were only protected by limited air cover from the Hermes and Invincible, a total of 42 air craft (Harriers) were all that was available to protect the ships from an Air Strike. The Argentine Forces had approximately 122 serviceable air craft so the odds were in the Argentine favour. With all of this the Argentines saw a counter attack to the invasion to be an impossibility Under the Command of Major Guy Sheridan RM, Royal Marines from 42 Commando, began OPERATION PARAQUET took place to recapture South Georgia (Attack on Santa Fe). Royal Marines and a Troop of Special Air Service Personnel (SAS) and Special Boats Service personnel (SBS) on the 21st April the first landings with SAS took place but because of the bad weather and two helicopters crashing in the fog further attacks were halted. On the 25th April Argentine Submarine ARA Santa Fe was spotted on the surface after resupplying at an Argentine Garrison by a Westland Wessex Mk3 Helicopter. The helicopter attacked the submarine with depth charges, HMS PLYMOUTH launched a Westland Wasp Mk1 Helicopter and HMS BRILLIANT launched a Westland Lynx Mk2 Helicopter the Lynx Helicopter launched a Torpedo and shot at the submarine with its general purpose machine gun. The other helicopters also attached with AS-12 ASM ANTI SHIP MISSILES. All scoring hits. The submarine was damaged enough to stop her from diving, the crew abandoned ship at the jetty at Kind Edward Point on South Georgia. PICTURE (RIGHT) IS ARA SANTA FE THE DESTROYED SUBMARINE
3 1982 1st MAY ARA Admiral Belgrano was an Argentine Naval Light Curser was sunk by HMS Conqueror by direct orders from the Prime Minister in London, 323 hands were lost when HM Submarine Conqueror torpedoed the light curser and sunk it. The ship was feared as it was possible that it could pincer the carrier group and war is war, the British had to eliminate the threat. Although this action had mixed feelings back home. Newspaper The Sun headline On 4 May, two days after the sinking of Belgrano, the British lost the Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield to fire following an Exocet missile strike from the Argentine 2nd Naval Air Fighter/Attack Squadron. Sheffield had been ordered forward with two other Type 42s to provide a long-range radar and mediumhigh 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.
4 British special forces operations Given the threat to the British fleet posed by the Etendard-Exocet combination, plans were made to use SAS troops to attack the home base of the five Etendards at Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego. The operation was codenamed "Mikado". The operation was later scrapped, after acknowledging its chances of success were limited, and replaced the use of C-130s with a plan to lead HMS Onyx to drop SAS operatives several miles offshore at night for them to make their way to the coast aboard rubber inflatable's and proceed to destroy Argentina's remaining Exocet stockpile. 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 from its target and the mission was cancelled. The pilot flew to Chile, landed south of Punta Arenas, and dropped off the SAS team. The helicopter's crew of three then destroyed the aircraft, surrendered to Chilean police on 25 May, and were repatriated to the UK after interrogation. The discovery of the burnt-out helicopter attracted considerable international attention. Meanwhile, the SAS team crossed and penetrated deep into Argentina, but cancelled their mission after the Argentines suspected an SAS operation and deployed some 2,000 troops to search for them. The SAS men were able to return to Chile, and took a civilian flight back to the UK. 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 Pucará light ground-attack aircraft and T-34 Mentors. The raid destroyed several aircraft. Landing at SAN CARLOS (KNOWN AS BOMB ALLEY) During the 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. The 4,000 men of 3 Commando Brigade were put ashore as follows: 2nd Battalion, 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), 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment (3 Para) from the amphibious ship HMS Intrepid were landed at Port San Carlos (Green Beach) and 45 Commandofrom RFA Stromness were landed at Ajax Bay (Red Beach). Notably the waves of eight LCUs and eight LCVPs were led by Major Ewen Southby-Tailyour, who had commanded the Falklands detachment NP8901 from March 1978 to Commando on the ocean liner SS Canberra was a tactical reserve. Units from the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, etc. and armoured reconnaissance vehicles were also put ashore with the landing craft, the Round table class LSL and mexeflotebarges. Rapier missile launchers were carried as underslung loads of Sea Kings for rapid deployment.
5 By dawn the next day they had established a secure beachhead from which to conduct offensive operations. From there Brigadier Julian 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 defences was demonstrated in the sinking of HMS Ardent on 21 May, HMS Antelope on 24 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. The loss of all but one of the Chinook helicopters being carried by the Atlantic Conveyor was a severe blow from a logistics perspective. Also lost on this day was HMS Coventry, a sister to Sheffield, whilst in company with HMS Broadsword after being ordered to act as decoy to draw away Argentine aircraft from other ships at San Carlos Bay. HMS Argonaut and HMS Brilliant were badly damaged. However, many British ships escaped being sunk because of weaknesses of the Argentine pilots' bombing tactics described below. To avoid the highest concentration of British air defences, Argentine pilots released ordnance from very low altitude, and hence their bomb fuzes did not have sufficient time to arm before impact. The low release of the retarded bombs (some of which had been sold to the Argentines by the British years earlier) meant that many never exploded, as there was insufficient time in the air for them to arm themselves. A simple free-fall bomb will, during a low altitude release, impact almost directly below the aircraft which is then within the lethal fragmentation zone of the resulting explosion. A retarded bomb has a small parachute or air brake that opens to reduce the speed of the bomb to produce a safe horizontal separation between the two. The fuze for a retarded bomb requires a minimum time over which the retarder is open to ensure safe separation. The pilots would have been aware of this, but due to the high concentration levels required to avoid SAMs and Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA), as well as any British Sea Harriers, many failed to climb to the necessary release point. The Argentinian forces solved the problem by fitting an improvised retarding devices, allowing the pilots to effectively employ low-level bombing attacks on 8 June. In his autobiographical account of the Falklands War, Admiral Woodward blamed the BBC World Service for disclosing information that led the Argentines to change the retarding devices on the bombs. The World Service reported the lack of detonations after receiving a briefing on the matter from a Ministry of Defence official. He describes the BBC as being more concerned with being "fearless seekers after truth" than with the lives of British servicemen. Colonel 'H'. Jones levelled similar accusations against the BBC after they disclosed the impending British attack on Goose Green by 2 Para. Thirteen bombs hit British ships without detonating. Lord Craig, the retired Marshal of the Royal Air Force, is said to have remarked: "Six better fuses and we would have lost although Ardent and Antelope were both lost despite the failure of bombs to explode. The fuzes were functioning correctly, and the bombs were simply released from too low an altitude. The Argentines lost 22 aircraft in the attacks.
6 BATTLE OF GOOSE GREEN 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 Darwinand Goose Green, which was held by the Argentine 12th Infantry Regiment. After a tough struggle that lasted all night and into the next day, the British won the battle; in all, 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 prisoner. The BBC announced the taking of Goose Green on the BBC World Service before it had actually happened. It was during this attack that Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones, the CO (Commanding Officer) of 2 Para was killed at the head of his battalion while charging into the well-prepared Argentine positions. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. With the sizeable Argentine force at Goose Green out of the way, British forces were now able to break out of the San Carlos beachhead. On 27 May, men of 45 Cdo and 3 Para started a loaded march across East Falkland towards the coastal settlement of Teal Inlet.
7 Fall of Stanley On the 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. Units of 3 Commando Brigade, supported by naval gunfire from several Royal Navy ships, simultaneously attacked in thebattle of Mount Harriet, Battle of Two Sisters, and Battle of Mount Longdon. 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. During this battle, 13 were killed when HMS Glamorgan, straying too close to shore while returning from the gun line, was struck by an improvised trailer-based Exocet MM38 launcher taken from the destroyer ARA Seguí by Argentine Navy technicians. On the same day, Sgt Ian McKay of 4 Platoon, B Company, 3 Para died in a grenade attack on an Argentine bunker, which earned him a posthumous Victoria Cross. After a night of fierce fighting, all objectives were secured. Both sides suffered heavy losses. The 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 CVRT support from The Blues and Royals, captured Wireless Ridge at the Battle of Wireless Ridge, with the loss of 3 British and 25 Argentine lives, and the 2nd battalion, Scots Guards captured Mount Tumbledown at the Battle of Mount Tumbledown, which cost 10 British and 30 Argentine lives. With the last natural defence line at Mount Tumbledown breached, the Argentine town defences of Stanley began to falter. In the morning gloom, one company commander got lost and his junior officers became despondent. Private Santiago Carrizo of the 3rd Regiment described how a platoon commander ordered them to take up positions in the houses and "if a Kelper resists, shoot him", but the entire company did nothing of the kind.  A ceasefire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore the same day.