Islas Malvinas

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A Chronology of events during the Falklands Conflict of 1982

[fuente : >>]

9th January British Ambassador to Argentina lodges formal protest against unauthorised landing on South Georgia on 20 December 1981 by Argentine scrap-metal merchant Constantino Davidoff
12th January Argentine Joint Armed Forces committee beings planning military invasion of Islands
24th January Junta’s plans to capture Islands revealed in a series of articles in La Prensa newspaper
2nd February Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a private letter to a Conservative Party activist makes clear that she regards the Royal Marine presence in Stanley as sufficient to prevent an Argentine invasion
3rd February Britain renews its formal protest at Davidoff’s unauthorised landing
9th February Thatcher confirms retirement of HMS Endurance
25th February Deputy foreign minister Richard Luce begins sovereignty talks with his Argentine counterpart Ernesto Ros in New York
1st March British and Argentine deputy foreign ministers issue a joint communique praising the ‘cordial and positive spirit’ of sovereignty discussions held in New York
2nd March Argentine foreign minister rejects the communique and says that Argentina reserves the right to ‘employ other means’ if Britain keeps refusing to cede sovereignty
3rd March MP Julian Amery asks if ‘all necessary steps are in hand to ensure the protection of the Islands against unexpected attack’ but receives an evasive reply
5th March Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington refuses to send a submarine to patrol off the Islands and South Georgia
6th March Hercules aircraft operated by Argentine military airline LADE, supposedly on a mail run to an Antarctic base, lands at Stanley Airport, falsely claiming a fuel leak, and carrying several senior Argentine officers whom the local LADE commandant takes on a tour of Stanley and its environs
8th March Thatcher asks the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence for contingency plans in case of an Argentine blockade or invasion of the Islands
19th March Davidoff sends 40 workmen on naval vessel Bahia Buen Suceso to dismantle Leith whaling station on South Georgia – the workmen fail to ask permission to land from the British Antarctic Survey base at Grytviken and upon arrival hoist the Argentine flag – Britain lodges a formal protest
20th March Thatcher sends Endurance and 24 Royal Marines from Stanley to South Georgia
23rd March Bahia Buen Suceso and 30 workmen sail from Leith
24th March Endurance arrives at Grytviken but earlier instructions to remove Argentine workmen are rescinded;
Argentine naval vessel Bahia Paraiso puts a large quantity of stores ashore at Leith together with a marine detachment under the command of Captain Alfredo Astiz
26th March Argentine government says it will give all necessary protection to the workmen on South Georgia;
British intelligence source in Buenos Aires warns that an Argentine invasion of the Islands is imminent but the British government dismisses the warning;
Argentine navy set out on scheduled manoeuvres with the Uruguyan fleet;
Argentine junta brings forward its invasion plans (‘Operation Rosario’) from a national holiday on 25 May or July 9 because of the South Georgia crisis and the worsening economic turmoil and civil unrest;
British Ministry of Defence advises the government against a military response
27th March Argentine missile boats Drummond and Granville sail south to join Bahia Paraiso
28th March Argentina restates its claim to the Falkland Islands and Dependencies, tells Britain there will be no negotiations on South Georgia, cancels leave for military and diplomatic personnel, sends stores and equipment to the naval bases of Puerto Belgrano and Comodoro Rivadavia, and being overflights of Stanley;
5 Argentine warships are sighted near South Georgia;
Britain begins contingency planning for the sending of a task force to the Islands;
Carrington asks US Secretary of State Alexander Haig to intercede with the junta in an attempt to avoid military action
29th March Joint Intelligence Committee reports an invasion seems imminent
Thatcher orders 3 nuclear submarines south to the Islands;
British submarine Spartan sails south to the Islands from Gibraltar;
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Austin sails south to provide support for Endurance;
New Royal Marine detachment arrive Stanley aboard research ship John Biscoe
30th March Daily Telegraph reports that a nuclear submarine is sailing south;
Former Prime Minister James Callaghan informs Parliament that in 1977 in response to Argentine pressure Britain secretly sent a nuclear submarine and two warships to the South Atlantic;
Carrington says a diplomatic solution is being pursued
31st March Junta takes final decision to invade the Islands on 2 April;
Violent anti-government riots occur across Argentina;
British intelligence source warns that the Argentine fleet is at sea heading towards the Islands;
Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Sir Henry Leach advises a crisis meeting headed by Thatcher that Britain could and should send a task force if the islands are invaded;
Governor Rex Hunt is informed Britain believes Argentina is planning a submarine landing on the Islands as a means of increasing pressure over South Georgia;
Britain’s US ambassador Sir Nicholas Henderson visits Haig in Washington and persuades him to take matters seriously;
Thatcher telegraphs American President Ronald Reagan asking him to warn the Argentines off;
Royal Marines commander Brigadier Julian Thompson is alerted to the crisis
1st April British submarine Splendid sails from Faslane;
UN Security Council meets at Britain’s request and calls for restraint and avoidance of force;
Reagan warns Argentine junta leader General Galtieri not to take military action;
Governor Hunt is informed at 3.30pm FI time that Britain now believes a full invasion is planned and summons an immediate meeting of government heads of department;
At 7.15pm FI time Governor Hunt in a radio broadcast warns Islanders of the impending invasion and mobilises the Royal Marines and Falkland Islands Defence Force;
Admiral Leach orders ships on exercise in the Mediterranean to prepare to sail south
2nd April At midnight Argentina puts Operation Rosario into action by bringing ships into position off the Islands;
Governor Hunt advises Islanders that Galtieri has rejected Reagan’s intervention, and declares a State of Emergency at 3.25am;
Argentine special forces land at Mullet Creek at 4.30am, more troops land at York Bay at 5.30am, and by 6am are engaged in battle with the Royal Marines – 3 Argentines are killed;
The main Argentine landing force begins disembarking at Stanley at 8am, by which time the airstrip is cleared and the 25th Regiment flies in;
Governor Hunt orders the surrender at 9.15am – by now the whole town other than Government House is under Argentine control;
Galtieri hails the «recovery» of the Malvinas, saying Argentina had been left no option other than military action, while Carrington tells Parliament «Port Stanley is now occupied by Argentine military forces»;
During the afternoon Governor Hunt (dressed in full regalia), other Foreign Office officials and the captured Royal Marines are forcibly evacuated by the Argentines to Montevideo;
Brigadier General Mario Menendez is appointed governor of ‘Islas Malvinas’ and Dependenciesz;
Stanley renamed ‘Puerto Argentino’;
Argentines radio news of the surrender around Grytviken at 10.30am;
Royal Marines on South Georgia attack the Argentine forces at 12.30pm but after inflicting heavy damage surrender to a far-superior force at 2.30pm;
Britain orders Argentine diplomats out of the country;
Bank of England freezes Argentine assets in Britain;
Emergency cabinet meeting approves the sending of the task force to liberate the Islands;
MPs are recalled for a special Saturday sitting of the House of Commons (first since Suez);
9 navy ships on exercise in the Mediterranean sail south;
Britain’s UN ambassador Sir Anthony Parsons puts a draft resolution to the Security Council condemning the hostilities and demanding immediate Argentine withdrawal from the Islands
3rd April UN Security Council passes Resolution 502 by 10 votes to 1 (with 4 abstentions) demanding immediate Argentine withdrawal from the Islands – Argentina refuses to comply;
Labour party leader Michael Foot backs the decision to send the task force;
Emergency session of House of Commons endorses the decision to send the task force but attacks the British Government for not foreseeing the Argentine attack;
The first RAF elements of the task force deploy to Ascension Island;
Argentina reinforces its troops on South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands;
52 schoolchildren are evacuated from Stanley in a convoy of 18 landrovers
4th April British submarine Conqueror sails from Faslane;
Argentines occupy Goose Green and Darwin;
Lighthousekeeper and radio ham Reg Silvey makes radio contact with the UK and continues clandestine broadcasts throughout the occupation
5th April Aircraft carriers Hermes and Invincible sail from Portsmouth with other ships;
Carrington resigns and is replaced as Foreign Secretary by Francis Pym;
Junior Foreign Office Ministers Richard Luce and Humphrey Atkins resign
7th April Reagan approves Haig peace mission;
British Government announces it will impose a 200-mile exclusion zone around the Islands on 26 April;
Liner Canberra is requisitioned at Southampton upon her return from a world cruise;
Britain freezes $1.4 billion in Argentine assets held in British banks
8th April Haig and his team arrive in London
9th April 3 Commando Brigade sail from Southampton aboard Canberra;
European Economic Community approve economic sanctions against Argentina (Ireland and Italy veto)
10th April Haig arrives in Buenos Aires;
EEC sanctions against Argentina come into effect (against wishes of Italy and Ireland)
12th April 200 mile maritime exclusion zone around the Islands declared by Britain to prevent Argentine reinforcements and supplies reaching the Islands from the mainland;
British submarine Spartan arrives on station off Stanley;
Haig returns to London
14th April Argentine fleet leaves Puerto Belgrano;
Haig returns to Washington to brief Reagan;
Squadron of ships carrying Royal Marines and special forces sent to retake South Georgia rendezvous with Endurance;
Expatriate Chief Secretary Dick Baker is deported by the Argentines
15th April British destroyer group takes up holding position in mid-Atlantic;
Haig returns to Buenos Aires
17th April Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse chairs conference at Ascension Island with Admiral Sandy Woodward and 3 Commando Brigade which sets out detailed plans for the retaking of the Islands by force;
The main task force sails south from Ascension Island;
Haig presents Argentine junta with 5-point plan;
Argentine service councils debate Haig’s proposals
18th April Argentine aircraft carrier Veinticinco de Mayo  returns to port with engine trouble
19th April Argentina rejects Haig’s plan unless Britain agrees to transfer sovereignty by 31 December 1982 and allow Argentine nationals to settle in the Islands;
EEC foreign ministers declare support for Britain
20th April British War Cabinet orders repossession of Islands;
arrives at Ascension Island
21st April South Georgia operation begins with failed landing by SAS on Fortuna Glacier
22nd April Pym visits Washington with the British response to Haig’s proposals;
Britain warns all British nationals to leave Argentina;
British task force arrives in Falklands waters;
Galtieri visits Islands;
Argentine navy commandeers trawler Narwhal for intelligence purposes
23rd April Britain warns Argentina that any military or civilian ship or aircraft representing a threat to the task force will be destroyed
24th April Admiral Woodward’s task group rendezvous with mid-Atlantic destroyers
25th April South Georgia recaptured by Royal Marines – Thatcher tells Britain to «rejoice»;
Argentine submarine Santa Fe is beached on South Georgia after British attack
26th April ‘Defence area’ declared around British fleet;
Thatcher declares time for diplomacy is running out;
Argentines occupy Port Howard
27th April Chiefs of staff present San Carlos landing proposals (Operation Sutton) to War cabinet;
Haig’s ‘final package’ is sent to London and Buenos Aires;
14 Stanley residents regarded by the Argentines as potential troublemakers are send to Fox Bay East
28th April Organisation of American States supports Argentina’s sovereignty claim but calls for peaceful negotiations
29th April Task force arrives at exclusion zone;
Vulcan bombers arrive at Ascension Island;
Argentina rejects Haig proposals
30th April Maritime exclusion zone is declared a total exclusion zone, applicable to all ships and aircraft supporting the Argentine occupation of the Islands;
General Sir Jeremy Moore flies to Ascension for conference with Brigadier Thompson;
Reagan terminates Haig’s peace mission, declares US support for Britain, imposes economic sanctions on Argentina, and offers Britain materiel and other aid
1st May Initial SAS and SBS landings on the Islands;
First Vulcan bomber raid on Stanley airport;
Sea harrier aircraft attack Stanley airport and Goose Green;
3 Argentine aircraft are shot down;
Naval bombardment of Stanley begins;
114 inhabitants of Goose Green are imprisoned in the settlement’s Recreation Club for the next 4 weeks;
14 Stanley residents previously sent to Fox Bay East are placed under house arrest;
Pym returns to Washington
2nd May UN and Peru both try to initiate peace talks;
Pym meets UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar in New York;
Peruvian President Belaunde Terry presents a peace proposal to Galtieri who gives preliminary acceptance with some modifications;
General Belgrano sunk 30 miles outside exclusion zone by submarine Conqueror on orders of War Cabinet who claim self-defence – 368 Argentines die
3rd May British forces sink one Argentine patrol boat and seriously damage another;
Argentine navy vessels are recalled to shallow waters off Argentine coastline out of reach of submarines;
Galtieri rejects Peruvian peace plan, citing General Belgrano
4th May British destroyer Sheffield hit by an exocet missile, and subsequently sinks – 20 die;
First British sea harrier piloted by Lt Nick Taylor is shot down over Goose Green;
British forces begin bombarding Argentine positions around Stanley
5th May Emergency meeting of full British cabinet approves Peruvian peace plan
6th May Two British sea harriers crash in fog;
Argentine junta rejects Peruvian peace plan;
Convoy including Canberra heads south from Ascension Island
7th May Britain extends total exclusion zone to 12 miles off Argentine coast;
de Cuellar discusses peace proposals in New York with British and Argentine delegations
8th May War cabinet dispatches landing force south from Ascension Island;
Argentina rejects Peru’s peace proposals
9th May Final plans drawn up for San Carlos landing site;
Argentine trawler Narwhal bombed by sea harriers, and subsequently sinks;
Argentine positions face heavy bombardment from sea and air, especially around Stanley
10th May Task Force briefed about San Carlos landing plans;
Argentine supply ship Islas de los Estados sunk by Alacrity in Falkland Sound;
Argentina declares the entire South Atlantic a war zone
11th May Haig sends his deputy General Vernon Walters to Buenos Aires
12th May QE2 leaves Southampton with 5 Infantry Brigade comprising Scots Guards, Welsh Guards and Gurkhas
Argentine junta concedes that sovereignty of the Islands isn’t a precondition to the UN peace plan
14th May Britain’s ambassadors to the US and the UN summoned back to London;
Thatcher warns Britain that a peaceful settlement may not be possible;
SAS attack the Argentine base on Pebble Island and destroy supplies and 11 pucara aircraft;
3 Argentine skyhawk aircraft are shot down by sea harriers
16th May Britain’s UN ambassador Sir Anthony Parsons sent back to New York with British peace proposals
17th May British peace proposals transmitted to Argentina;
Helicopter from Invincible lands SAS team in Argentina but they fail to destroy Argentine military aircraft at the Rio Grande base
18th May Landing force rendezvous with Admiral Woodward’s task group;
San Carlos landing plan put to full cabinet;
Argentine junta rejects British peace proposals
19th May War cabinet gives Admiral Woodward the go ahead for landing plan;
British sea king helicopter crashes with the loss of its crew and 19 Special Forces personnel
20th May de Cuellar admits failure of UN peace talks;
Thatcher accuses Argentina of ‘obduracy and delay, deception and bad faith’, tells Commons of collapse of peace process, and orders task force into battle;
RMS St. Helena requisitioned by the Task Force – 19 Saint Helenian sailors volunteer to serve aboard alongside naval personnel, and after the end of the War she stays in the Islands as a minesweeper
21st May San Carlos landings begin, codenamed Operation Sutton;
British frigate Ardent sunk in San Carlos Water by air attack – 22 die;
Argonaut and Antrim hit by Argentine bombs which fail to explode – 2 die;
2 British helicopters and 15 Argentine aircraft are shot down;
Open debate commences at UN Security Council
23rd May British frigate Antelope hit by Argentine bomb which fails to explode – 1 crewman dies;
10 Argentine aircraft are shot down
24th May Antelope explodes and sinks when a bomb disposal officer attempts to defuse the bomb;
Landing craft Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot hit by Argentine bombs which fail to explode while Sir Bedivere is damaged by a bomb exploding in water nearby;
7 Argentine aircraft are shot down
25th May British destroyer Coventry sunk by air attack – 20 die;
British container ship Atlantic Conveyor is abandoned with 3 vital chinook helicopters aboard after an exocet missile hit sets the ship ablaze – 12 die;
8 Argentine aircraft are shot down;
SAS unit reconnoitre Mount Kent
26th May War cabinet questions lack of movement out of bridgehead at San Carlos;
London makes the retaking of Goose Green a priority;
2 Para set out for Goose Green;
UN Security Council Resolution 505 instructs de Cuellar to seek negotiated settlement
27th May 45 Commando and 3 Para set out for Douglas and Teal Inlet;
SAS land in strength on Mount Kent;
Sea harriers attack Goose Green – one plane is shot down;
British forces furious when BBC World Service report 2 Para are advancing on Darwin but Argentine commander believes this is deliberate misinformation
28th May 2 Para launch attack early in the morning, and by evening surround Goose Green – 17 British and 250 Argentines die;
Colonel H Jones is killed during the attack and subsequently awarded Victoria Cross;
5 Infantry Brigade trans-ship from QE2 to Norland and Canberra at South Georgia;
British shelling by air and sea of Stanley recommences and continues for the next 16 days
29th May Argentines surrender Goose Green, British take 1,400 prisoners, and the Islanders imprisoned at Goose Green by the Argentines are released;
Organisation of American States condemns Britain’s military action and calls on the US to stop helping Britain – only the US, Chile, Columbia and Trinidad & Tobago abstain
30th May 45 Commando take Douglas and 3 Para take Teal Inlet;
42 Commando advance on Mount Kent and Mount Challenger;
General Moore arrives at San Carlos;
Pope John Paul II preaches anti-war message in Coventry Cathedral
31st May 42 Commando take Mount Kent and Mount Challenger;
19 men from the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre capture Top Malo House after a firefight;
Reagan asks Thatcher not to inflict too serious a defeat on the Argentines
1st June 5 Infantry Brigade begins disembarkation at San Carlos;
War cabinet debate further peace proposals;
Britain repeats its ceasefire terms;
Updated Shackleton Report ordered
2nd June 2 Para reach Bluff Cove;
Argentine military envoys arrive in New York offering to surrender to the UN
3rd June Versailles summit opens;
Reagan’s 5-point plan given to Britain
4th June Britain and US veto Panamanian-Spanish immediate ceasefire resolution in UN Security Council;
Spain criticises Britain’s military action, becoming the only NATO country not to support Britain
2 Para occupy the undefended Bluff Cove and Fitzroy
5th June Scots Guards depart San Carlos at night on board Intrepid heading for Fitzroy
6th June Scots Guards land at Fitzroy in early morning;
Versailles summit supports British position on the conflict;
Welsh Guards depart San Carlos at night on board Fearless heading for Fitzroy
7th June A shortage of landing craft mean half the Welsh Guards land at Fitzroy in early morning but the rest return to San Carlos, which they leave again at night on board landing craft Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram;
President Reagan pays official visit to Britain
8th June Plymouth in Falkland Sound is hit by 4 Argentine bombs but none explode;
Sir Galahad
 and Sir Tristram are bombed at Fitzroy while the Welsh Guards are waiting to disembark – 51 die including 38 Welsh Guards and 55 are seriously wounded;
War cabinet asked not to reveal Fitzroy casualties;
Landing craft Foxtrot-4 sunk with British vehicles aboard;
3 Argentine skyhawks are shot down by sea harriers;
General Moore finalises battle plan for Stanley
10th June Falklands Appeal launched under patronage of Lord Shackleton;
Peru sends 10 mirage jets to Argentina to replenish losses
11th June Battle for Stanley begins on Mount Longdon, Mount Harriet and Two Sisters – 23 paras and 50 Argentines die;
Sergeant Ian McKay of 3 Para is killed on Mount Longdon and subsequently awarded Victoria Cross;
3 Islanders killed during British naval bombardment of Stanley;
Pope John Paul II visits Argentina and denounces all wars as ‘unjust’
12th June 3 Para take Mount Longdon – another 6 paras and 50 Argentines die, including Sergeant Ian John McKay who is awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross;
42 Commando take Mount Harriet and 45 Commando take Two Sisters;
British destroyer Glamorgan badly damaged by land-launched exocet missile – 13 die;
5 Infantry Brigade moves into position
13th June Battle for Tumbledown, Wireless Ridge and Mount William – 15 Britons and 40 Argentines die
14th June By daylight Argentine troops are fleeing in disarray, by mid-morning white flags are flying in Stanley, and by noon the British have marched to the outskirts of Stanley;
Thatcher informs the Commons at 10.15pm UK time that the Argentines have surrendered;
General Mario Menendez surrenders to Major General Jeremy Moore at 9pm FI time;
9,800 Argentine troops put down their arms
15th June British officers are flown by helicopter to the outlying settlements to accept the surrender of local Argentine commanders;
Stanley’s historic Globe Store is destroyed by an Argentine arsonist;
Canberra embarks 1,200 Argentine POWs at San Carlos
16th June Canberra embarks a further 1,850 Argentine POWs in Port William outside Stanley;
Peter Blaker, Defence Minister of State, announces that the official count of British military and civilian war dead is 255, with approximately 300 wounded
17th June Galtieri resigns
18th June Canberra sails from Port William with 3,046 Argentine POWs aboard once Argentina guarantees her safe passage
19th June Canberra offloads the POWs at Puerto Madryn, Argentina;
Britain announces that 11,845 Argentines were captured
20th June British forces land on Southern Thule (South Sandwich Islands) – Argentines surrender without a fight;
Britain formally declares an end to hostilities;
200 mile exclusion zone established around the Islands during the war is replaced by a Falkland Islands Protection Zone of 150 miles;
British newspaper ‘The Sunday Times’ publishes an unsubstantiated story that Argentina had been holding 7 members of the British Secret Air Service since 19 May, captured whilst providing intelligence information on Argentine Air Force plane departures to the British fleet;
EEC lifts economic sanctions against Argentina
22nd June Retired Army General Reynaldo Bignone replaces Galtieri as President of Argentina;
Argentine army assumes full power, the Navy and Air Force withdrawing from the Junta
24rd June Thatcher visits Reagan in Washington
25th June Governor Rex Hunt returns to Stanley as Civil Commsisioner;
Canberra departs Falklands waters with 40, 42 and 45 Commando on board
26th June Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London
28th June Argentina releases 3 British journalists imprisoned on spying charges at the beginning of the War
2nd July Argentine war toll set at 645 dead and missing;
Rear Admiral John (Sandy) Woodward replaced by Rear Admiral Derek Roy Reffell as Commander of the British naval task force, and Major General Jeremy Moore replaced by Major General David Thorne as Commander of the British ground forces
6th July Thatcher appoints an official commission headed by Lord Franks to examine the causes of Britain’s failure to prevent Argentine capture of the Islands
7th July EEC agrees to provide financial aid to the Islands
8th July Argentina releases its only acknowledged British prisoner of war, an airman shot down near Stanley in May;
Thatcher announces British government will repatriate bodies of dead British servicemen buried in the Falklands for reburial in Britain if requested by next-of-kin
11th July Canberra arrives home at Southampton with 40, 42 and 45 Commando;
Britain drops its condition that Argentina formally acknowledge the end of hostilities before repatriating the remaining prisoners of war
12th July USA ends trade sanctions against Argentina
14th July Final 593 Argentine prisoners of war (mostly officers and technicians) repatriated
17th July Britain admits to falsifying press releases during the war to mislead Argentina
22nd July Britain lifts the Exclusion Zone around the Islands
26th July Brigadier General Mario Menendez dismissed from Argentine army
24th August RMS St. Helena arrives home in St. Helena
12 October Victory Parade in London
4 November UN General Assembly passes a resolution calling for a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute
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