1982: The Falklands War.
In the period leading up to the Falklands War, and especially following the transfer of power between military dictators General Jorge Rafael Videla and General Roberto Eduardo Viola in late-March 1981, Argentina had been in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and large-scale civil unrest against the military junta that had been governing the country since 1976. In December 1981 there was a further change in the Argentine military regime bringing to office a new junta headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri (acting president), Brigadier Basilio Lami Dozo and Admiral Jorge Anaya, who was the main architect and supporter of a military solution for the long-standing claim over the islands, calculating that the United Kingdom would never respond militarily. By invading the islands, the Galtieri government hoped to mobilise Argentines' long-standing patriotic feelings towards the islands and thus divert public attention from the country's chronic economic problems and the regime's ongoing human rights violations. The ongoing tension between the two countries over the islands increased on 19 March when a group of Argentine scrap metal merchants (actually infiltrated by Argentine marines) raised the Argentine flag at South Georgia, an act that would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war. The Royal Navy ice patrol vessel HMS ENDURANCE was dispatched from Stanley to South Georgia in response, subsequently leading to the invasion of South Georgia by Argentine forces on 3 April. The Argentine military junta, suspecting that the UK would reinforce its South Atlantic Forces, ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands to be brought forward to 2 April. Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, despite repeated warnings that this might occur. It is widely believed that the Defence Secretary's plans to withdraw the HMS ENDURANCE, Britain's only naval presence in the South Atlantic, sent a signal to the Argentines that Britain was unwilling, and would soon be unable, to defend its territories and subjects in the Falklands. These pictures are published for pleasure/information/research purposes only and are not for sale or copy under any circumstances. Information in captions has been researched as thoroughly as possible but it accuracy cannot be guaranteed.Read More