Anniversary of the invasion of the Falklands Islands
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the Falklands Islands, a day when Argentinian forces moved in.
On this day in 1982, 130 members of Argentinian forces moved in to secure the windswept Falkland isles. And with the defence of fewer than 100 British servicemen, they had little trouble in digging in that day. Only a few days later, a defence force was launched from Portsmouth and the war began.
By 14th June of the same year, a total of 907 people had been killed through the air attacks, the sinking of ships surrounding the coast of the islands and the battle on land. Despite the Argentinian losses being considerably higher than Britain’s, more men died whilst trying to clear minefields during the clean-up operation.
The conflict is known for being particularly bitter and bloody, with forces on land engaging in hand-to-hand fighting, using grenades and bayonets that sometimes snapped off in the process. The weather conditions were also hostile, with much of the islands being covered in snow at the time of the war.
The current Argentine government has reignited the Falklands conflict, despite the fact that the inhabitants of the Islands consider themselves British, and have openly protested that they want to stay that way.
David Cameron issued this statement on the anniversary today: “Thirty years ago today, the people of the Falkland Islands suffered an act of aggression that sought to rob them of their freedom and their way of life,” he said.
“Today is a day for commemoration and reflection: a day to remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict – the members of our armed forces, as well as the Argentinian personnel who died.”
Cameron was quick to reiterate his view that it is the Falkland Islanders, and the Falkland Islanders alone, who shall determine their nationality.
“That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago; and that is the principle which we solemnly reaffirm today.”