On 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic. Three days later, the United Kingdom dispatched a naval task force to reclaim them. British troops went ashore on East Falkland on 21 May and fought a series of battles that pushed Argentine forces back to the Falkland Islands' capital, Stanley. On 14 June, Argentina surrendered.

Here are 30 photographs from the Falklands Conflict of 1982.


1. Task force

The aircraft carrier HMS Invincible, part of the British naval task force, silhouetted against the horizon as she sails towards the South Atlantic. Invincible left Portsmouth on 5 April 1982 and arrived at the Falkland Islands in early May. The task force was rapidly assembled following the decision to go to war and comprised 127 ships in total.


2. Weapons training

Weapons training for members of the Royal Marines during the voyage to the South Atlantic, 1982. Around 9,000 personnel, 5,000 tonnes of equipment and 70 aircraft were transported to the Falkland Islands.


3. HMS Sheffield

A casualty from HMS Sheffield is rushed by stretcher to Sick Bay on board HMS Hermes. HMS Sheffield was hit by an Argentine air-launched Exocet missile on 4 May and sank the same day. Twenty members of the crew lost their lives. Two days previously, British nuclear-powered submarine HMS Conqueror had torpedoed and sunk the Argentine vessel ARA General Belgrano in a controversial strike. At the time of the attack, in which 323 Argentinians died, the Belgrano was outside the Total Exclusion Zone.


4. Sea Harrier

A Sea Harrier takes off from the ski-jump while various missiles, helicopters and vehicles crowd the flight deck of HMS Hermes. Some of the arms include 1000lb GP (General Purpose) bombs, Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Sea Skua air-to-surface missiles.


5. Waiting to land

Men of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment wait on board the ferry MV Norland before the landings at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands, 20 May 1982. The landings, codenamed Operation Sutton, took place on 21-23 May. Around 4,000 British troops went ashore at Port San Carlos, San Carlos and Ajax Bay on East Falkland.


6. Camouflaged marine

A Royal Marine of 3 Commando Brigade helps another to apply camouflage face paint in preparation for the San Carlos landings on 21 May 1982.


7. San Carlos Landings

Men of 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment disembark from a landing craft during the landings at San Carlos. The landings were almost unopposed, but British helicopters and warships in San Carlos Water and Falkland Sound came under Argentine attack. HMS Ardent was hit and sank the next day and several British helicopters were shot down.


8. Paratrooper

After landing at San Carlos, a heavily laden paratrooper of 2 Parachute Regiment heads south for Sussex Mountain on 21 May 1982. From there the Battalion attacked Goose Green.
© IWM FKD 856 A heavily laden paratrooper of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment heads south for Sussex Mountain on 21 May 1982.

After landing at San Carlos, a heavily-laden paratrooper of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment heads south for Sussex Mountain on 21 May 1982. From there the battalion attacked Goose Green.


9. HMS Antelope

The bow and stern sections of HMS Antelope float above the surface in San Carlos Water after the ship began to sink on 24 May 1982, during the Battle of San Carlos. Two bombs were dropped on HMS Antelope by Argentine aircraft, flying at extremely low level, on 23 May. The bombs, which did not explode, lodged in the engine room of the ship. One detonated while it was being defused. The explosion ripped through the ship, which later broke in half and then sank.


10. On patrol

A Royal Marine of 40 Commando on patrol near San Carlos, May 1982.


11. Under arrest

Lieutenant Commander Dante Camilette of the Argentine Marines under arrest, 27 May 1982. He had been found observing British warship movements from a concealed position above San Carlos Water.


12. Darwin

A Royal Navy Westland Sea King HC.4 of 825 Naval Air Squadron takes off after transporting J Company, 42 Commando, Royal Marines from Port San Carlos to Darwin, East Falkland on 28 May 1982. At 2.30am on 28 May, British troops launched their attack on Argentine positions at Darwin and Goose Green. Although outnumbered, the British took both objectives after day-long fighting.


13. Goose Green

Captured Argentine prisoners are marched away from Goose Green under guard. Around 600 men of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment took part in the fighting at Goose Green and Darwin on 28 May. Over 900 Argentine prisoners were captured and around 200 Argentine soldiers lost their lives at Goose Green.


14. Open country

Men of 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment advance across open country from Teal Inlet towards Estancia House on 30 May 1982. 3 Para had secured Teal Inlet the previous day and now continued their advance on Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands.


15. Under cover

A 105 mm L118 light gun of 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery sited under camouflage netting between Fitzroy and Bluff Cove on East Falkland, June 1982. During the war, 29 Commando Regiment provided vital artillery support for assaulting British troops.


16. Keeping watch

A Rapier FSB 1 surface to air missile battery operator defending task force ships in San Carlos Water keeps watch for Argentine aircraft, June 1982. Twelve Rapier FSB1 launchers were deployed during the Falklands War but saw very poor performance against low-flying aircraft flying away from the launcher. Fourteen kills were claimed, but later reports revealed just one confirmed aircraft was shot down in the whole war.


17. Scorpion tank

A FV101 Scorpion light tank of B Squadron, the Blues and Royals, June 1982. With its very light footprint, the Scorpion was one of the few British vehicles capable of operating in the rough Falklands terrain. Two troops of B Squadron served in the Falklands. They operated the only armoured vehicles used by the British during the campaign, totalling four Scorpions, four Scimitars and one Sansom.


18. Silhouette at sunset

A soldier of 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment silhouetted against the sunset at Windy Gap, East Falkland.


19. Damage control

Damage control parties fight the fires on board RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Sir Galahad at Bluff Cove, near Fitzroy after an Argentine air attack on 8 June 1982. Both Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram were badly hit in the attackSir Galahad was struck by several bombs, which set the ship alight. Many on board were badly injured and 48 men were killed as a result, 38 of whom were members of the Welsh Guards. HMS Plymouth was also damaged in an Argentine air attack that day. Sir Galahad was towed out to sea and sunk by HMS Onyx on 25 June 1982 and is now an official war grave.


20. Machine gun

A Gurkha of 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkhas Rifles mans a 7.62 mm machine gun on an anti-aircraft mounting as defence against Argentine air attack, probably in the Bluff Cove area, 8 or 9 June 1982. The battalion was the only Gurkha unit to take part in the Falklands War.


21. 40 Commando

One of the most recognisable images from the Falklands War, this shows Royal Marines from 40 Commando Anti-Tank Troop marching towards Port Stanley. They are in amongst a column of 45 Commando, the unit to which they were attached. Royal Marine Peter Robinson, with the Union Flag attached to the aerial of the radio he is carrying, brings up the rear. On 21 May, 40 Commando were one of the first units ashore in the San Carlos Landings.


22. Mountain battles

42 Commando, Royal Marines, moves off Mount Harriet during the mountain battles, 11 June 1982. On 11 June, the British launched a series of attacks on the high ground west of Stanley, the Falkland Islands' capital. Mount Harriet, Mount Longdon and Two Sisters were all captured from Argentine forces by the next morning. Sergeant Ian McKay of 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, earned a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery during the Battle of Mount Longdon.


23. Argentine soldier

A dead Argentine soldier, possibly of Regimento de Infanteria 4 (4th Infantry Regiment), on Mount Harriet, near Port Stanley. On the night of 11-12 June 1982, B and C Companies of this regiment defended Mount Harriet against British attack and suffered 23 casualties.


24. Battle for Tumbledown

As part of the second phase of attacks on the high ground near to Stanley, Mount TumbledownMount William and Wireless Ridge were captured by the British on the night of 13-14 June. This photograph shows a casualty of the Scots Guards being rushed by stretcher to a Gazelle helicopter for evacuation on Goat Ridge, 13-14 June 1982. The 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards carried out the assault on Tumbledown.


25. Soldiers at Fitzroy

Heavily-laden British soldiers of 11 Platoon, D Company, 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment wait to embark in a helicopter at Fitzroy during the Falklands War. The three pictured are, left to right, Private Dave Parr, Lance Corporal Neil Turner and Private Terry Stears. This is the last known photograph of Private Parr, who was killed shortly afterwards during the assault on Wireless Ridge on the night of 13-14 June. He had earlier been shot during the Battle of Goose Green.


26. Argentine surrender

With Stanley surrounded, the Argentine commander, General Mario Menendez surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore, Commander of the British Forces on the Falkland Islands, on the evening of 14 June 1982. Here, men of 7 Platoon, G Company, 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards celebrate the news on Mount Tumbledown.


27. Raise the flag

Royal Marines of 40 Commando raise the British flag on West Falkland after the Argentine surrender.


28. Argentine prisoners

Argentine prisoners wait to hand in their weapons and other equipment at Port Stanley after the surrender. Most are carrying blankets.


29. Homecoming

Aerial view of the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes at Portsmouth Harbour on its return from the Falklands on 21 July 1982. Hermes is surrounded by small boats which sailed out to welcome it home and large crowds can be seen on the quayside.


30. Memorial service

A naval officer on the Cunard liner Countess laying a wreath into the water during a memorial service for those killed in the Falklands War, April 1983. More than 500 widows, children and parents of the 255 Britons killed in the Falklands War undertook a four-day tour of battlefields and war graves between 10 and 13 April 1983.

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