Falklands War

Published: 1982
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
WASHINGTON: President Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fight a stiff breeze 2/26/1981 as they talk to reporters outside the White House at the conclusion of their Oval office meeting. (UPI Photo/Darryl Heikes)

Nick Charles: Prior to 1982, not too many people heard about the Falkland Islands or even knew where they were located. But in April, the group of islands 400 miles, north east of the southern tip of south America made the headlines. When more than four thousand Argentine troops unexpectedly invaded that territory and began an occupation that wasn't to last very long. Britain broke diplomatic relations with Argentina and sent a naval force to the South Atlantic.

The British sank the Argentine Cruiser General Belgrano and two days later an Argentine missile sank the destroyer HMS Sheffield. The Argentine troops proved to be no challenge for the British, who took over South Georgia Island and then inched their way to Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands. On the 14 th of June 74 days after Argentine troops began their occupation, the Union Jack was raised over Port Stanley. British Prime Minister Thatcher announces surrender of the Argentine garrison to the House of Commons.

Marget Thatcher: “Our forces reached the outskirts of Port Stanley. Large number of Argentine soldiers threw down their weapons. They are reported to be flying white flag over Port Stanley.”

Nick Charles: That night Argentine Commander Mario Manendez signed a formal surrender document ending the war over the Falkland Islands.