Falklands flag in UK.

40 years since Falklands War began

Falklands flag in UK.

Today marks 40 years since the beginning of the Falklands War.

On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces landed on the Falkland Islands and assumed military control, invading South Georgia Island the following day.

The majority of the Falkland Islanders were of British descent and opposed the Argentinian claim – the ensuing conflict lasted from 2 April until 14 June 1982.

Although known as the Falklands War, it was actually undeclared because neither side declared war on the other. 

The UK's response 

The UK launched Operation Corporate – tasked with regaining the British territory in the South Atlantic.

Every year, 14 June marks Liberation Day – commemorating the end of the occupation of the islands by Argentina.

It marks the day UK Armed Forces advanced on the capital, Stanley, and Argentine troops fled.

Liberation Day remembers the more-than-250 British troops who lost their lives during the 10-week conflict.

Watch: Falklands risks becoming forgotten conflict, research suggests.

The UK continues to have a military presence in the Falklands, focused at RAF Mount Pleasant.

In November 2020, the islands were finally declared free of the mines that were laid during the conflict.

The Duke of Cambridge celebrated the news and described it as a "historic moment".

What was the Falklands War about?

Ultimately, the Falklands War was about sovereignty over the archipelago.

It was not a novel dispute, as it had been going on since 1833 when both the UK and Argentina tried to assert sovereignty over the Falklands.

For more than a century there were several attempts at talks (sometimes supported by the United Nations) between the two countries, but they all failed to reach an agreement and the situation escalated in 1982.

Head to our Falklands 40 page, where you can find our memorial wall, as well as more Falklands stories, videos and podcasts. 

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