- This article is about the 1982 war. For the 1770 diplomatic crisis, see the Falklands Crisis (1770) and for the the 1914 naval battle, see the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
The United Kingdom and Argentina both claim the Falkland Islands. The UK's position is that the Falklanders have not indicated a desire for change, and that there are no pending issues to resolve concerning the islands. The UK bases its position on its continuous administration of the islands since 1833 (except for 1982) and the islanders' "right to self-determination as set out in the UN Charter". Argentine policy maintains that Falkland Islanders do not have a right to self-determination, claiming that in 1833 the UK expelled Argentine authorities (and settlers) from the Falklands with a threat of "greater force" and, afterwards, barred Argentines from resettling the islands. Argentina posits that it acquired the Falklands from Spain when it achieved independence in 1816, and that the UK illegally occupied them in 1833.
In 2009, British prime minister Gordon Brown had a meeting with Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and said that there would be no further talks over the sovereignty of the Falklands. In March 2013, the Falkland Islands held a referendum on its political status, with 99.8 percent of voters favoured remaining under British rule. Argentina does not recognise the Falkland Islands as a partner in negotiations; consequently, it dismissed the Falkland Islands' sovereignty referendum.
The Falkland Islands (/ˈfɔːlklənd/; Spanish: Islas Malvinas, pronounced: [ˈizlaz malˈβinas]) are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles (483 kilometres) east of South America's southern Patagonian coast, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles (12,000 square kilometres), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The islands' capital is Stanley on East Falkland.
Controversy exists over the Falklands' discovery and subsequent colonisation by Europeans. At various times, the islands have had French, British, Spanish, and Argentine settlements. Britain reasserted its rule in 1833, although Argentina maintains its claim to the islands. In April 1982, Argentine forces temporarily occupied the islands. British administration was restored two months later at the end of the Falklands War. Most Falklanders favour the archipelago remaining a UK overseas territory, but its sovereignty status is part of an ongoing dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
The population (2,932 inhabitants in 2012) primarily consists of native-born Falkland Islanders, the majority of British descent. Other ethnicities include French, Gibraltarian and Scandinavian. Immigration from the United Kingdom, the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena, and Chile has reversed a population decline. The predominant (and official) language is English. Under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, Falkland Islanders are British citizens.
The islands lie on the boundary of the subantarctic oceanic and tundra climate zones, and both major islands have mountain ranges reaching 2,300 feet (700 m). They are home to large bird populations, although many no longer breed on the main islands because of competition from introduced species. Major economic activities include fishing, tourism and sheep farming, with an emphasis on high-quality wool exports. Oil exploration, licensed by the Falkland Islands Government, remains controversial as a result of maritime disputes with Argentina.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 mi) long and 1 to 35 km (1 to 22 miles) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of South Georgia. The total land area of the territory is 3,903 square kilometres (1,507 sq mi).
There is no permanent population on the islands. The present inhabitants are the British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists, and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island and at the capital, King Edward Point, as well as museum staff at nearby Grytviken.
The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938.
Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the island. Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Although Fuegians from Patagonia may have visited the Falkland Islands in prehistoric times,the islands were uninhabited at the time of their discovery by Europeans.
Claims of discovery date back to the 16th century, but no consensus exists on whether these early explorers discovered the Falklands or other islands in the South Atlantic. The first recorded landing on the islands is attributed to English captain John Strong, who, en route to Peru's and Chile's littoral in 1690, discovered the Falkland Sound and noted the islands' water and game.
An archipelago in the region of the Falkland Islands appeared on Portuguese maps from the early 16th century. Researchers Pepper and Pascoe cite the possibility that an unknown Portuguese expedition may have sighted the islands, based on the existence of a French copy of a Portuguese map from 1516. Maps from this period show islands known as the Sanson islands in a position that could be interpreted as the Falklands.
Sightings of the islands are attributed to Ferdinand Magellan or Estêvão Gomes of the San Antonio, one of the captains in the expedition, as the Falklands fit the description of those visited to gather supplies. The account given by Pigafetta the Chronicler of Magellan's voyage contradicts attribution to either Gomes or Magellan, since it describes the position of islands close to the Patagonia coast, with the expedition following the mainland coast and the islands visited between a latitude of 49° and 51°S and also refers to meeting "giants" (described as Sansón or Samsons in the chronicle) who are believed to be the Tehuelche Indians. Although acknowledging that Pigafetta's account casts doubt upon the claim, the Argentine historian Laurio H. Destefani asserts it probable that a ship from the Magellan expedition discovered the islands citing the difficulty in measuring longitude accurately, which means that islands described as close to the coast could be further away. Destefani dismisses attribution to Gomes since the course taken by him on his return would not have taken the ships near the Falklands.
Destefani also attributes an early visit to the Falklands by an unknown Spanish ship, although Destefani's firm conclusions are contradicted by authors who conclude the sightings refer to the Beagle Channel.
When English explorer John Davis, commander of the Desire, one of the ships belonging to Thomas Cavendish's second expedition to the New World, separated from Cavendish off the coast of what is now southern Argentina, he decided to make for the Strait of Magellan in order to find Cavendish. On 9 August 1592 a severe storm battered his ship, and Davis drifted under bare masts, taking refuge "among certain Isles never before discovered". Davis did not provide the latitude of these islands, indicating they were 50 leagues away from the Patagonian coast (they are actually 75 leagues away).Positional errors due to the longitude problem continued to be a problem till the late 19th century, when accurate chronometers were first produced, although Destefani asserts the error here to be "unusually large".
In 1594, they may have been visited by English commander Richard Hawkins, who, combining his own name with that of Queen Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen", gave a group of islands the name of "Hawkins' Maidenland". However, the latitude given was off by at least 3 degrees and the description of the shore (including the sighting of bonfires) casts doubts on his discovery. Errors in the latitude measured can be attributed to a simple mistake reading a cross staff divided into minutes meaning the latitude measured could be 50° 48'. The description of bonfires can also be attributed to peat fires caused by lightning, which is not uncommon in the outer islands of the Falklands in February.
In 1925, Conor O'Brian analysed the voyage of Hawkins and concluded that the only land he could have sighted was Steeple Jason Island. The British historian Mary Cawkell also points out that criticism of the account of Hawkins discovery should be tempered by the fact it was written 9 years after the event; Hawkins was captured by the Spanish and spent 8 years in prison.
On 24 January 1600, the Dutchman Sebald de Weert visited the Jason Islands and called them the Sebald Islands (in Spanish, "Islas Sebaldinas" or "Sebaldes"). This name remained in use for the entire Falkland Islands for a long time; William Dampier used the name Sibbel de Wards in his reports of his visits in 1684 and 1703, while James Cook still referred to the Sebaldine Islands in the 1770s. The latitude that De Weert provided (50° 40') was close enough as to be considered, for the first time beyond doubt, the Falkland Islands.
English Captain John Strong, commander of the Welfare, sailed between the two principal islands in 1690 and called the passage "Falkland Channel" (now Falkland Sound), after Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount Falkland (1656–1694), who as Commissioner of the Admiralty had financed the expedition and later became First Lord of the Admiralty. From this body of water the island group later took its collective name.
The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, and was named Roche Island on a number of early maps.
It was sighted by the commercial Spanish ship León operating out of Saint-Malo on 28 June or 29 June 1756. At one time it was confused with Pepys Island, which was "discovered" by Dampier and Cowley in 1683 but later proved to be a phantom island.
The Falklands remained uninhabited until the 1764 establishment of Port Louis on East Falkland by French captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville, and the 1766 foundation of Port Egmont on Saunders Island by British captain John MacBride. Whether or not the settlements were aware of each other's existence is debated by historians. In 1766, France surrendered its claim on the Falklands to Spain, which renamed the French colony Puerto Soledad the following year. Problems began when Spain discovered and captured Port Egmont in 1770. War was narrowly avoided by its restitution to Britain in 1771.
Both the British and Spanish settlements coexisted in the archipelago until 1774, when Britain's new economic and strategic considerations led it to voluntarily withdraw from the islands, leaving a plaque claiming the Falklands for King George III. Spain's Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata became the only governmental presence in the territory. West Falkland was left abandoned, and Puerto Soledad became mostly a prison camp. Amid the British invasions of the Río de la Plata during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, the islands' governor evacuated the archipelago in 1806; Spain's remaining colonial garrison followed suit in 1811, except for gauchos and fishermen who remained voluntarily.
Captain James Cook circumnavigated the S. Georgia and its related islands in 1775 and made the first landing. He claimed the territory for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and named it "the Isle of Georgia" in honour of King George III. Seal hunting at South Georgia began in 1786 and continued throughout the 19th century.
Thereafter, the archipelago was visited only by fishing ships; its political status was undisputed until 1820, when Colonel David Jewett, an American privateer working for the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, informed anchored ships about Buenos Aires' 1816 claim to Spain's territories in the South Atlantic. Since the islands had no permanent inhabitants, in 1823 Buenos Aires granted German-born merchant Luis Vernet permission to conduct fishing activities and exploit feral cattle in the archipelago. Vernet settled at the ruins of Puerto Soledad in 1826, and accumulated resources on the islands until the venture was secure enough to bring settlers and form a permanent colony. Buenos Aires named Vernet military and civil commander of the islands in 1829, and he attempted to regulate sealing to stop the activities of foreign whalers and sealers.
The waters proved treacherous and a number of vessels were wrecked there, such as Earl Spencer, in late 1801. British arrangements for the government of South Georgia were established under the 1843 British Letters Patent.
Vernet's venture lasted until a dispute over fishing and hunting rights led to a raid by the American warship USS Lexington in 1831, when United States Navy commander Silas Duncan declared the dissolution of the island's government.
Buenos Aires attempted to retain influence over the settlement by installing a garrison, but a mutiny in 1832 was followed the next year by the arrival of British forces who reasserted Britain's rule. The Argentine Confederation (headed by Buenos Aires Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas) protested Britain's actions, and Argentine governments have continued since then to register official protests against Britain. The British troops departed after completing their mission, leaving the area without formal government. Vernet's deputy, the Scotsman Matthew Brisbane, returned to the islands that year to restore the business, but his efforts ended after, amid unrest at Port Louis, gaucho Antonio Rivero led a group of dissatisfied individuals to murder Brisbane and the settlement's senior leaders; survivors hid in a cave on a nearby island until the British returned and restored order. In 1840, the Falklands became a Crown colony, and Scottish settlers subsequently established an official pastoral community. Four years later, nearly everyone relocated to Port Jackson, considered a better location for government, and merchant Samuel Lafone began a venture to encourage British colonisation.
Stanley, as Port Jackson was soon renamed, officially became the seat of government in 1845. Early in its history, Stanley had a negative reputation due to cargo-shipping losses; only in emergencies would ships rounding Cape Horn stop at the port. Nevertheless, the Falklands' geographic location proved ideal for ship repairs and the "Wrecking Trade", the business of selling and buying shipwrecks and their cargoes. Aside from this trade, commercial interest in the archipelago was minimal due to the low-value hides of the feral cattle roaming the pastures. Economic growth began only after the Falkland Islands Company, which bought out Lafone's failing enterprise in 1851, successfully introduced Cheviot sheep for wool farming, spurring other farms to follow suit. The high cost of importing materials, combined with the shortage of labour and consequent high wages, meant the ship repair trade became uncompetitive. After 1870, it declined as the replacement of sail ships by steamships was accelerated by the low cost of coal in South America; by 1914, with the opening of the Panama Canal, the trade effectively ended. In 1881, the Falkland Islands became financially independent of Britain. For more than a century, the Falkland Islands Company dominated the trade and employment of the archipelago; in addition, it owned most housing in Stanley, which greatly benefited from the wool trade with the UK.
In 1882–1883, a German expedition for the First International Polar Year was stationed at Royal Bay on the southeast side of the island. The scientists of this group observed the transit of Venus and recorded waves produced by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.
1941 to The Falklands WarEdit
Time line of ownershipEdit
- Native Fuagans- Prehistoric (?).
- Portugal- Portuguese maps from the early 16th century prove they knew of then, but they did not land or claim them, based on the existence of a French copy of a Portuguese map from 1516.
- Ferdinand Magellan or Estêvão Gomes of the San Antonio (sighted and saw Tehuelche(?) Amarindins)- Magellan's voyage.
- English- (landing) Cavendish's second expedition to the New World.
- English- (landing) 9 August 1592.
- English- (landing) 1594.
- Dutch- (Jason Islands) 1600,
- British- (Anchored at Falkland Sound at Bold Cove)- 1690.
- British (Falkland Sound sighted)- 1690.
- British (sighted)- 1684.
- British (sighted)- 1703.
- British (sighted)- Some time during the 1770s.
- British (S. Georgia sighted)- 1675.
- British (S. Georgia sighted)- 1683.
- Spanish (S. Georgia sighted)- 1756.
- British (S. Georgia sighted and claimed)- 1775.
- French (E. Falkland)- 1764.
- British (Saunders Island)- 1766.
- Spain (E. Falkland)- 1766.
- British (Saunders Island)- 1771.
- Spanish (Saunders Island)- 1771.
- British (Saunders Island)- 1771.
- Spain (E. Falkland)- 1783.
- Spanish gauchos and fishermen who remained voluntarily (E. Falkland)- 1811.
- West Falkland (Puerto Soledad prison camp)- During the -Napoleonic Wars.
- United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (Spain's territories in the South Atlantic)- 1816.
- German-born United Provinces of the Río de la Plata merchant Luis Vernet (permission to conduct fishing activities and exploit feral cattle in the archipelago. He also re built Puerto Soledad)- 1823.
- United States Navy commander Silas Duncan (Declared the dissolution of the Falklands's government)- 1831.
- American (Falklands)- 1831.
- Argentine Confederation (Falklands)- 1831.
- Argentine military mutineers- 1832.
- Scotsman Matthew Brisbane (He returned to the Falklands to restore the local business)- 1833.
- Rebel gaucho Antonio Rivero (Port Louis)- 1833.
- British (Falklands)- 1840.
- British (S. Sandwich Islands) 1908.
- Argentina (Falklands and S. Georgia)- 1982.
- British (Falklands and S. Georgia)- 1982.
Argentine ecanomic and political issuesEdit
British ecanomic and political issuesEdit
1982 Falklands War was a Anglo-Argentine war that
|Date .||2 April – 14 June 1982.||2 April – 14 June 1982.|
|Location .||Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and surrounding sea and airspace.||Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and surrounding sea and airspace.|
|Belligerents.||UK. Suported by Chile, USA, France, W. Germany and Norway.||Argentina.|
|Commanders and leaders||Margaret Thatcher, Sir Terence Lewin, Sir John Fieldhouse, Sandy Woodward, Jeremy Moore, Julian Thompson and Tony Wilson.||Leopoldo Galtieri, Jorge Anaya, Basilio Lami Dozo,Juan Lombardo,Ernesto Crespo and Mario Menéndez.|
|Cost in US$|
|WMD\NCB weapons used?||No.||No.|
|Civilian dead||3 Falklands.||0.|
Supporting roles in the warEdit
The war was an unexpected event in a world strained by the Cold War and the North–South divide. The response of some countries was the effort to mediate the crisis and later as the war began, the support (or criticism) based in terms of anti-colonialism, political solidarity, historical relationships or realpolitik.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 502, which passed with ten votes in support, one against (Panama) and four abstentions (China, the Soviet Union, Poland and Spain). The Soviet Union did have several interests in the South Atlantic and Antarctic region, but chose not to intervene in the war. The United States was also concerned by the prospect of Argentina turning to the Soviet Union for support and initially tried to mediate an end to the conflict.
President Regan ensured that U.S. provided the United Kingdom with military equipment ranging from submarine detectors and satellite images to hi-tech radios and the latest missiles. They even agreed to a request by the UK government to borrow the Sea Harrier-capable amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) if the British lost an aircraft carrier. France was upset by Argentina's needless use of military force and provided dissimilar non-export variant aircraft training so Harrier pilots could train against the French aircraft used by Argentina, while Argentina's French training was at best off topic.
The French and British intelligence services co-operated to prevent Argentina from obtaining more Exocet missiles on the international market. West Germany informally gave some supplies to the UK. The satellite signal interception station at Fauske (Fauske II), Norway was vital in giving the British intelligence information regarding Argentinian fleet locations during the 1982 Falklands War.
The satellite signal interception station at Fauske (Fauske II), Norway was vital in giving the British intelligence information regarding Argentinian fleet locations during the 1982 Falklands War.
Portugal informally offered help in the form of access to the Azores if needed.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Robert Muldoon, announced that he would make HMNZS Canterbury, a Leander-class frigate, available for use where the British thought fit to release a Royal Navy vessel for the Falklands.
Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece and Turkey offered no help to the UK despite being part of NATO.
The 5th Naval Infantry Battalion (Spanish Batallón de Infantería de Marina 5, abbreviated to BIM-5) is a battalion of the Argentine Marines.
Commanded by Marine Commander Carlos H. Robacio, BIM-5 took part in the defence of Mount Tumbledown in the 1982 Falklands War. Although made up by conscripts, the unit's core of highly-professional NCOs and commissioned officers, along with a well-developed training and logistics system, rendered BIM-5 a tough unit that fought well in defense during the Battle of Mount Tumbledown. Different Argentine authorities have repeatedly decorated BIM-5's colors, with the French awarding Marine Admiral Robacio the French Légion d'Honneur and the Argentine government awarding him the Argentine Nation to the Valour in Combat Medal.
Mount Tumbledown, Mount William, and Sapper Hill lie west of Stanley. They were held by BIM-5, a reinforced, cold weather trained and equipped, marine battalion. During preparations for movement to the Falklands, the Marine battalion was brought up to full strength of a light brigade with a company of the amphibious engineer company and a battery of the 1st Marine Artillery Regiment. The 5th Marines were further strengthened by three Tigercat SAM batteries of the 1st Marine Anti-Aircraft Regiment, deployed along Stanley harbor, and a heavy machine-gun company of Headquarters Battalion.
A what if...Edit
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- South America
- ARA San Luis (S-32)
- ARA General Belgrano
- HMS Hermes (R12)
- HMS Invincible (R05)
- SS Atlantic Conveyor
- New Zealand Foreign Affairs Review, Volume 32 p. 44, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1982.