30 Years Since the Falklands War

Next Monday, April 2, will mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War -- or, as the Argentinians refer to it, la Guerra de las Malvinas. The Falklands, an Atlantic archipelago 460 km (290 mi) east of Argentina, are the subject of a long-standing dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom. In 1982, Argentinian junta leader General Leopoldo Galtieri sent 600 troops to take the islands, which then had a population of 1,800 people. The British government was surprised by the attack, but quickly organized a task force and sailed south to retake the territory. A brief but bloody series of battles took place at sea, in the air, and on the ground, ending with a British victory on June 14 -- 74 days after the initial invasion. In all, more than 900 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured. The loss marked the beginning of the end of Galtieri's junta, but not the dispute over the islands. Current president Cristina Fernandez has been ratcheting up pressure on Britain to engage in new talks over what her countrymen call the Malvinas. [41 photos total]

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During the 1982 Falklands War, the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano sinks amid orange life rafts holding survivors in the South Atlantic Ocean, after being torpedoed by the British nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine HMS Conqueror on May 1, 1982. While Argentine and Chilean ships managed to rescue 770 men, 323 were killed in the attack. (AP Photo) #
Argentine soldiers carrying military supplies shortly after invading the Falkland Islands, on April 13, 1982. (Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images) #
In Buenos Aires, tens of thousands of Argentinians gather at Plaza de Mayo to show their support for President Leopoldo Galtieri during the Falklands War on April 10, 1982. (AP Photo) #
Argentine soldiers buy postcards at a souvenir shop in Stanley, on the Falkland Islands, shortly after their invasion, on April 13, 1982. (Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Argentine military personnel of the 601 Company take their position in the Strait of San Carlos during the Falklands War, in this May 1982 photo. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
Argentine army soldiers read newspapers in Port Stanley during the Falklands War, in this April 1982 photo. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
On May 25, 1982, Argentine Army General Mario Benjamin Menendez, who ruled as governor for the 73 days of the Falklands War, addresses his troops in Darwin. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
Armorers move torpedoes on the flight deck of the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes as Sea King Helicopters were being re-armed to counter the Argentinian submarine threat of the Falkland Islands, during the Falklands conflict on May 26, 1982. (AFP/Getty Images) #
A British soldier checks the area with binoculars past a rapier missile air defense battery on position in the Falklands, on May 25, 1982. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Argentine "Air Macchi" fighter-bombers take part in operations over the Falkland Islands on May 21, 1982. (AFP/Getty Images) #
The British frigate HMS Antelope burning and pouring smoke, sinks in the chilly waters of Ajax Bay in Falkland Sound, May 24, 1982. Four Argentine A-4B Skyhawks attacked the day before, one of them launching a bomb that did not explode, but lodged inside the frigate's hull. While bomb disposal technicians were attempting to defuse the bomb, it detonated, tearing the ship apart and starting massive fires. All but two crew members survived, the ship sank hours later. (AP Photo/Tom Smith) #
An Argentine Hercules C-130 military aircraft flies to Puerto Argentino during the Falklands War in this May, 1982 photo. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
Two Argentine soldiers run along Ross Road in Port Stanley to take cover from a bombing alert during the Falklands War, on May 4, 1982. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
An Argentine army officer walks next to a British war plane that was shot down during the Falklands War in Darwin in this May, 1982 photo. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
Hundreds of people jam Calle Florida in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 21, 1982 to read the latest newspaper in the window of a store. The crowd was especially large when war news from the Falklands became available. (AP Photo/Pete Laebo) #
The surviving crew of Argentine Navy patrol boat, Alferez Sobral, stand at attention in the city of Puerto Deseado on the Argentine mainland, during a ceremony honoring their companions killed when their boat was attacked by Britain's HMS Coventry, on May 4, 1982. (Reuters/Enrique Marcarian) #
Argentine soldiers take position in Port Howard, Falkland Islands, in May of 1982. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
An Argentine soldier stands guard at an air base in Puerto Argentino during the Falklands War, on May 25, 1982. (Reuters/Eduardo Farre) #
The Union Jack flies over Ajax Bay in 1982. In late April, British forces began landing on the Falkland Islands, to retake them from Argentine troops. (AP Photo) #
A frigate closes in on the damaged HMS Sheffield, spraying water from her hoses as a Sea King helicopter hovers over head in Falkland Islands, on May 28, 1982. Two Argentine Super Etendard strike fighters attacked the ship with missiles, starting fires that burned for days, before the Sheffield finally sank. Twenty lives were lost. (AP Photo/Press Association/Martin Cleaver) #
An Argentine prisoner is blindfolded for security reasons during the British advance to Port Stanley in the Falklands in 1982. (AP Photo/Tom Smith) #
A view of Port Stanley, Falklands Islands, on June 29, 1982. (AP Photo) #
A line of Argentine prisoners of war are marched past a still-burning building in Port Stanley during a house-to house roundup in the final days of Argentine occupation of the South Atlantic islands in 1982. (AP Photo/J. Leonard) #
Argentine prisoners of war in Port Stanley, on June 17, 1982. By the end of the conflict, more than 11,000 Argentinians had been taken prisoner. (Kenneth Ian Griffiths) #
Discarded Argentine weapons in Stanley on June 16, 1982. After British forces took control of Stanley days before, Argentine Brigade General Mario Menendez surrendered to British Major General Jeremy Moore. (Kenneth Ian Griffiths) #
A mass grave for thirty Argentinian soldiers after the battle for Darwin, during the Falklands conflict in this undated 1982 photo. On June 14, 1982, Argentine forces withdrew from the Falkland Islands after being defeated by British troops following the two-month war. (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver) #
Argentine Falklands War veteran Jose Luis Aparacio holds up a picture of himself (right) and his mate Jorge Suarez (left) when they were taken prisoner by the British troops after the June 12, 1982 battle of Mont Longdon. Photo taken in La Plata, Argentina, on March 20, 2007. (Reuters/Enrique Marcarian) #
Stephen Dickson shows his partner Emma Reid a photograph of him taken during the Argentine invasion in 1982 in their house at North Arm on February 7, 2007 in the Falkland Islands. In the photo, eight-year-old Stephen Dickson helps a Parachute Regiment soldier carry a mortar bomb at Port San Carlos. Dickson now lives with his family in the settlement of North Arm, 100 miles south of the capital Stanley. This tiny farming community of 19 adults and six children is served by a school house and a shop that opens for three hours a week. (Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images) #
A Land Rover passes a road sign warning drivers to slow down for a minefield on February 6, 2007 near Stanley, Falkland Islands. (Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images) #
Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, seen from Wireless Ridge, on March 12, 2012. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci) #
A sheep in Darwin village, Falkland Islands, on March 25, 2012. Sheep farming used to be the main source of income for the islands, but it has diversified in recent years, with fishing and tourism growing. Some over 500,000 sheep still call the Falklands home. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
A British military Hercules plane flies near Port Stanley, on March 16, 2012. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci) #
The wreckage of an Argentine Chinook helicopter is still visible on mountains near Stanley, seen on February 6, 2007 in the Falkland Islands. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
Argentine Falklands War veteran Jorge Bratulich poses for a picture in front of Darwin cemetery, where Argentine soldiers who died during the conflict were buried, on March 11, 2012. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci) #
Crosses placed to pay homage to fallen British servicemen of the Falklands War are seen at the Liberation Monument in Port Stanley, on March 10, 2012. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci) #
Falkland islander Phil Middleton poses in front of his home and collectors shop in Port Stanley, on March 15, 2012. Some islanders are the descendants of British settlers who arrived eight or nine generations ago. There is a sizable community of immigrants from Chile but the islands retain an unmistakably British character. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci) #
Falkland islander Wayne Brewar shows the remains of an Argentine Mirage-Dagger shot down by the British forces during the Falklands war in Port Howard, on September 9, 2005. (Reuters/Enrique Marcarian) #
A colony of Gentoo penguins rest in a minefield at Kidney Cove, at a stretch of beach across the Falklands Islands' capital Stanley, on September 9, 2005. Most of the 150 minefields were laid around the capital Stanley when Argentine forces landed there in April of 1982. (Reuters/Enrique Marcarian) #
Falkland islander Nancy Mansilla (2nd left), from Argentina, and her husband Joseph Reid, who was born in the Falklands, pose with their children Zoe Meg (center) and Owen Joseph in front of Nancy's workplace in Port Stanley, on March 16, 2012. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci) #
An abandoned Argentine recoilless gun on Mount Longdon, one of the places where the soldiers bitterly fought during the war for the possession of the Falkland Islands in 1982, photographed on March 20, 2007. (Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images) #
The British military cemetery in San Carlos Village in the Falkland Islands, seen on March 25, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #

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