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The Falklands Conflict

By Ronald Payne, Christopher Dobson, and John Miller

On 19 March, 1982 a party of Argentine demolition workers landed at Leith Harbour, South Georgia, with a contract to dismantle the island’s long-abandoned whaling station.

The contract was bona fide but the landing was in open defiance of all British customs and immigration requirements. When the authorities at the small settlement at Grytviken demanded they either obtain a visa or leave, the Argentinians refused. Two weeks later Argentine troops successfully invaded the Falkland Islands.

In Britain, an affair that had begun for most people as a small item at the end of a workaday news summary suddenly became more than mere headlines — the world watched aghast as Britain prepared for war.

Here is the full authoritative account: the historical background, the Argentine invasion of April 2nd, the launch of the British task force and the retaking of South Georgia, the sinking of the General Belgrano and HMS Sheffield, plus the full naval and military actions of the British counter-assault. These are backed up by detailed descriptions of the behind-the-scenes diplomatic and political initiatives in London, Washington and at the UN.

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