The Falklands War: A Brief History and Causes

TLDR The Falklands War began in 1982 when the Argentine military invaded the Falkland Islands, which had been under British control since 1833. The war was fueled by a combination of factors including historical territorial disputes, Argentine junta's desire for a colonial war, British defense cuts, and a failed diplomatic plan to establish a relationship between Argentina and the Falkland Islanders.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 On the morning of April 2nd, 1982, the Falklands National Radio Station was taken over by Argentines, leading to a dramatic series of events that marked the beginning of the Falklands War.
04:49 The Falkland Islands, located off the coast of Argentina, were discovered by the British in the late 17th century and have changed hands multiple times, ultimately ending up with Spain before they were abandoned during the Napoleonic Wars.
08:39 In 1833, the British established permanent control over the Falkland Islands, which were previously claimed by Argentina, and despite some Argentine resentment, the relationship between Argentina and Britain during the 19th century was similar to that of an informal colony, with Argentina having strong links to British business interests and cultural influences.
13:03 The Falkland Islands are seen as a geopolitical appendix with no real purpose, serving as remnants of a prehistoric tale, and while the islands have been British for almost 150 years and the islanders are against any union with Argentina, the Falklands have become a symbol for Argentina to cast off British influence and resentment.
17:42 The Argentine junta in the 1970s was presiding over a dirty war against their own people, torturing and killing dissidents, and they were an ideal choice for a colonial war in the 1980s due to their terrible reputation and lack of experience in combat.
22:15 The Argentine armed forces initially wanted to go to war with Chile, but due to their American backing, they chose to invade the Falklands, seeing Britain as a country in chaos and vulnerable to attack.
26:48 The decision to scrap the ice patrol ship, Endurance, by Mrs. Thatcher's government was seen as a signal of weakness to Argentina and effectively served to green light the invasion.
31:04 Lord Carrington, the British Foreign Secretary, believed that Argentina would not invade the Falkland Islands, but a plan was devised in 1980 to persuade the Falkland Islanders to have a relationship with Argentina, which involved Argentina gaining sovereignty over the islands but renting them out to Britain for administration, however, the plan was rejected by the islanders.
35:06 The Argentine Navy plans to invade the Falkland Islands when the weather is bad and the British defense cuts are in effect, and they also mount a separate stunt on the island of South Georgia to take scrap metal and seize the island, but their behavior draws the attention of the British Antarctic Survey.
39:23 The Argentine military decides to invade the Falkland Islands earlier than planned due to the British finding out about their operation in South Georgia, leading to a rushed invasion on March 28th, catching the British by surprise.
43:51 Rex Hunt receives a telegram from London informing him that an Argentine task force will gather off Cape Pembroke early the next morning, leading him to take immediate action to prepare for the invasion.
Categories: History

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