How a major British military screw-up secured a win in the Falklands War against Argentina


The Falklands War or Guerra de las Malvinas (2 April 1982 – 14 June 1982, a total of 72 days) was a war between the U.K. and Argentine over two territories: the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The conflict ended with the Argentine surrender and returning the islands under British control.

Neither side declared war to each other, although both sides felt entitled to the territories. Both countries declared the Islands as a war zone and the hostilities were almost exclusively confined to the disputed territories.

Argentina declares, even to this day, that the archipelagos are Argentine territory, and that the military actions were justified as a reclamation of its own territories. The British viewed it as an invasion of territories that had been a Crown colony since 1841. Most of the settlers favoured the U.K. as they were descendants of British settlers.


British casualties: 255 killed and 775 wounded; Argentine casualties: 649 killed, 1,657 wounded, and 3 civilians killed by British shelling.

The screw-up:

On May 28 the British decided to attack Goose Green to secure a strategic point to reinvigorate the campaign but the upcoming attack was announced on the BBC spoiling the element of surprise for the Brits. Although the Argentinian commanders saw the broadcast, they concluded that no such attack would take place and never proceeded to reinforce the positions. However, the Brits continued with the attack and caught the Argentinian defence by surprise, managing to win an important battle which led to the final victory.


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