The Falklands War

Naval warfare around the Falkland Islands


You have probably heard of ‘The Falklands War’. But, perhaps you are just like me, and do not know too much of it. That’s why this article outlines some major episodes and related events. Hopefully it helps you to get an overview of what the war was about.


The Falklands are a group of British islands that lie off the coast of Patagonia (South America). In the 1840s, Britain laid its claim on this territory, colonized it and appointed a special governor for the area.


To this day, such European colonization is generally woed by Latin Americans. Europe’s conquest into South America is generally seen as a dark page of the contintent’s history: take a look at Bolivarianism for instance. The popularity of this movement illustrates how strong the anti-colonial sentiment is in Latin America.


In 1981, a Junta (military government) seized power in Argentina. The regime was rather impopular with the local population at first. And that is, most likely, why the government commenced the invasion of the Falkland Islands. It enabled them to foster more support of the local people, and to capitalize on the lacking defences at the British island group. The government did not expect Great Britain to go so far as to send an expeditionary force to re-establish control. Yet, despite the Falklands’ remoteness from Great Britain, they turned out to be incorrect.


The Falklands War lasted 10 weeks, and resulted in a British victory. It was a fully-fledged amphibious assault. It included airstrikes, submarine strikes and fighting on land. According to eye-testimonies, the short-lived war included some gruesome fighting. In this video you can witness some of the eye-testimonies of this war yourself:


During the short-lived conflict, Great Britain suffered 255 casualties. 755 were wounded. Argentina suffered 649 casualties and 1657 wounded soldiers.

Whereas the Argentinian Junta lost popularity and was soon replaced by another government, the British government gained massive support for its actions during this war. Margaret Thatcher became known as ‘the Iron Lady’ because she would not amend decisions that had already been made. You can see a portrayal of her character in The Iron Lady (2011), or season 4 of The Crown (2020).

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Jay Samuelson

Jay Samuelson

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