Falklands War

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The Falklands War was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The United Kingdom had held the Falklands since 1831, but in support of a long-standing territorial claim, Argentina invaded on 2 April. The British government of Margaret Thatcher despatched a naval task force which succeeded in taking back control of the islands on 14 June; 649 Argentine and 258 British forces were killed in the war, along with three Falkland Island civilians.


  • The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb.
  • I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out, and I counted them all back. Their pilots were unhurt, tearful and jubilant, giving thumbs up signs.
    • Brian Hanrahan, BBC News, 1 May 1982.
    • Reporting from on board HMS Hermes aircraft carrier on an air raid on Goose Green.
  • In the course of its duties within the Total Exclusion Zone around the Falkland Islands, HMS Sheffield, a type 42 destroyer, was attacked and hit late this afternoon by an Argentine missile. The ship caught fire, which spread out of control. When there was no longer any hope of saving the ship, the ship's company abandoned ship. All who abandoned her were picked up.
    • Ian McDonald, statement at an MOD press conference John Witherow, "Argentine missile destroys HMS Sheffield", The Times, 5 May 1982, p. 1. This was the first British ship to be sunk; 20 sailors were killed. McDonald's slow and deliberate delivery was noted.
  • The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Newsweek front page (19 April 1982) in reference to the British Empire.
  • What really thrilled me, having spent so much of my lifetime in Parliament, and talking about things like inflation, Social Security benefits, housing problems, environmental problems and so on, is that when it really came to the test, what's thrilled people wasn't those things, what thrilled people was once again being able to serve a great cause, the cause of liberty.
  • What an unlikely pair of antagonists! The British have always fought, to be sure. No nation on Earth can be taken seriously in historical circles unless it has had at least one war with the British; it's like not having an American Express card. And yet the very idea of Britain in a contemporary war is a shock. Britain, one feels, fights in history books and not on TV.
    • Gene Wolfe, "A Few Points About Knife Throwing", Fantasy Newsletter (1983), as reprinted in Gene Wolfe, Castle of Days (1992)

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