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This Sceptred Isle

The Falklands War
Successive Argentinian governments had laid claim to the British territory, the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Britain had long rejected such claims and continued to protect the island population - fewer than 2000 people.

In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands. At first, the military opinion was that at more than 8,000 miles away, with no close military runway, then British forces had little chance of getting the islands back by force.
The then First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Henry leach would not accept this view of his colleagues and persuade the PM, Margaret Thatcher, that he could assemble a task force that would be the basis for recovering the islands.
The PM accepted the admiral's advice and by June, the islands were back in British hands, although some 1000 (mostly Argentinians) died in the short war.

The main political casualty in Britain, was the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, who resigned because he believed that he was responsible for not protecting British interests and the failure of the government to be alarmed enough to deter the invasion.

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher (born 1925)

  • Margaret Thatcher was born Margaret Roberts, she was a grocer's daughter from Grantham.
  • This was something she publicised widely.
  • She studied Chemistry at Oxford, was called to the Bar and then became Tory MP for Finchley in 1959.
  • She became Education Secretary under Edward Heath in 1970.
  • She became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975 and Prime Minister in 1979.
  • She was re-elected after the Falklands War and again in 1987 but relinquished the leadership and the premiership to John Major in 1990.

did you know?
Princess Grace of Monaco died in a car crash in 1982.

British ships lost during the Falklands Campaign

  • HMS Sheffield - 4th May
  • HMS Ardent - 21st May
  • HMS Antelope - 23rd May
  • HMS Coventry- 25th May
  • SS Atlantic Conveyor - 25th May
  • RFA Sir Galahad - 8th June
Select historical period

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1976 Harold Wilson retires and James Callaghan becomes Prime Minister (Labour)
Race Relations Act is passed
Concorde makes its first passenger flight
1977 Jimmy Carter becomes President of the USA
1978Karol Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II
1979Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister (Conservative)
1980 Southern Rhodesia independent and changes its name to Zimbabwe
1981 Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer
1982 Britain defeats Argentina in the Falklands War
1983 Margaret Thatcher wins the General Election (Conservative)
1984 Indira Gandhi of India assassinated
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of USSR
1986 Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to visit China
1987 Worst storm of the century rages over Great Britain

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