The Malvinas, as the Falkland Islands in Argentina are called, only received
brief international attention.
That was in 1982, when Argentina by Britain managed archipelago occupied
militarily. This was followed by a naval war for the islands, which the United
Kingdom won in the end. It should be mentioned that after all, the criminal
military regime in Argentina disappeared as a result of the war. Through the
Argentine occupation and the subsequent liberation, the patriotism of the
residents awakened so much that they gave themselves a constitution, but also
wanted to stay with the mother country Great Britain.
Could it be rights to mine natural resources in the sea around the islands
that started the war? We do not know it. The then US President Ronald Reagan
didn't know either when he asked why two of his allies were waging war: "That
little icy-cold bunch of land down there."
|Name of the country
||Dependent territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
|Form of government
||In the Atlantic off the south-east coast of South America (at the
52nd degree of southern latitude)
about 500 km from Argentina
||God save our glorious Queen
||Approx. 3,000 residents, plus around 1,700 British soldiers (Credit:
Falkland Islands Facts)
||Anglicans (majority), Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, Evangelists,
Lutherans, United Free Church, and Roman Catholic Church
||Land area: 12,173 km²
||Mount Usborne with a height of 712 m
|International license plate
||Falkland Islands Pound £ 1FI = 100 pence
|Time difference to CET
||-4 h (summer: -5 h)
|International phone code
||+500 (long-distance connections with satellite phone)
|Mains voltage, frequency
||240 volts, 50 hertz
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Falkland Islands: History
Dispute over the discovery
Various Spanish and Portuguese seafarers are believed to have been the first
people to discover the islands, according to Argentine sources. Most documented
is the report by Esteban Gómez of the "San Antonio" of the
famous Spanish expedition of Magellan, who discovered the islands on his way
back to Spain in 1522. The Argentine historian Maria Laura San Martino
de Dromi quotes maps that are said to have been made between 1522 and
1561 and show the islands.
Abbreviationfinder website, it is said to have
been the English helmsman John Davis on the "Desire" who
(1592) was the first to sight the Falklands.
First settlement in the 17th century
In the years around 1600 the Dutch seaman Sebald de Weerdt made the
first discovery of the islands, which was not objected to by anybody.
In 1690, Captain John Strong led a British expedition to land
on the Falklands for the first time. The British claimed the crown on the
archipelago and named it Viscount Falkland.
In 1764 the French seaman Louis-Antoine de Bougainville founded the
first settlement on East Falkland.
The French fishing fleet in Falkland was manned by men from St. Malo. The
Argentine name "Islas Malvinas" was derived from the French "Iles
Dispute between the colonial powers
In 1765 the British were the first to colonize the West Falkland
Islands. 1767 The French sell their Port Louis settlement in
East Falkland to the Spanish. Spain then claims the rest of the country. In 1770
a Spanish flotilla threatens the English garrison and demands their
withdrawal. The first documented conflict between the colonial powers
occurs. The garrison commander, Captain Hunt, writes:
"I have received the letters from your officers who are supposed to explain to
me that these islands belong to the King of Spain. I must then instruct you that
these islands belong to the British crown, through the right of British
discovery and settlement of the same. And that the Subjects of no other power
have the right to settle in the said islands without the consent of the British
Majesty or without registering as subjects of the British Crown with Her
Majesty's Government. "
A little later the Spanish returned with a stronger force and the British
withdrew in 1770. In 1771 the English post was filled again when there was a
threat of war. In 1774 the settlement had to be given up allegedly for economic
reasons. The Spanish kept their Soledad Island until 1811 when Spain lost its
colonies in South America.
Five years later Argentina gained independence and in 1820 the government of
Argentina claimed the islands. Another eight years later, the caudillo and later
governor of Buenos Aires sent Juan Manuel de Rosasan official
(governor Vernet) to the island with military occupation and settlers. In 1831
the USS Lexington destroyed this settlement in the East Falklands to repay the
sinking of three American fishing boats by the Argentines. In 1833 the British
remembered their claim to the islands and occupied them to forestall the
Americans. Vernet and the Argentine settlers were sent home. The archipelago has
been part of Great Britain without interruption since 1833. By 1885 a British
settlement of over 1,800 people had developed and was economically
In 1892 the Falklands became British Crown Colony. In 1914 it was the scene
of a naval battle between the German Navy and the British Navy. An association
of German cruisers under Vice Admiral Graf Spee had defeated a British squadron
at Coronel. Short of ammunition, he and his squadron were on their way home
across the Atlantic Ocean. He dared to attack the Falkland Islands. But the
British battlecruisers HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible, dispatched to destroy
it, had just arrived there. The battlecruisers were superior to any German ship
in terms of speed, combat power and gun range. In the following sea battle, 4
German cruisers and two auxiliary ships were sunk, and one cruiser escaped.
In the neighboring country of Argentina, a nationalist movement in literature,
politics and education arose in the 1930s, which saw the islands as primordial
Argentine territory. The anti-British debate was fueled by the discussion about
the Roca-Runciman Treaty, which regulated trade relations
between Great Britain and Argentina and the temporary occupation of Buenos Aires
by the English, as well as the role of the kingdom in the founding of Uruguay
and the transfiguration of the dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas as
a resistance fighter against the British.
Dispute over the right to self-determination
In 1964 the dispute reached the United Nations Committee to End the Colonial
Era. Argentina claims the islands for itself based on papal bulletins of 1493
and the Treaty of Tordesillas(1494), in which Spain and
Portugal divided the new world among themselves. Argentina also cited the
distance from the motherland and the need to end a colonial situation. While
Britain has claimed permanent settlement of its citizens, permanent government
and possession of the crown since the discovery. In addition, the mother country
would grant the residents, the "kelpers", self-determination according to the
United Nations Charter. An end to the colonial status through an Argentine rule
over the population would create a colonial situation again. A year later the
General Assembly decided that the two states should come to an agreement through
The Falklands War
In Argentina, the military staged a coup in 1966 and 1978. In the meantime,
Péron (1973-1974) and his wife Isabel (1974-1976) returned to power. However,
they could not achieve any success in the internal political consolidation of
the country. The "Junta" of 1978 made it possible for the right-wing death
squads to take action against political opponents. Thousands of Argentines
"disappeared" or were arrested. The liberalization of the economy was
unsuccessful in the short term. The inflation rate rose to over 600%, the gross
national product fell by 11% and the decline in the currency reduced the
purchasing power of wages by almost 20%. Perhaps to distract attention from the
miserable situation or out of ignorance of the enemy, the Argentine armed forces
occupied the Falkland Islands in 1982.Operación Rosario by Admiral
On April 2, 1982, Argentine troops occupied Governor Rex Hunt ended
the brief resistance of the Royal Marines and the British soldiers and their
governor were flown to Montevideo.
On April 3, 1982, after a brief skirmish, the Argentines occupied the South
Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (1,600 km east of Falkland). General Mario
Menendez became military governor. In Buenos Aires there were outbursts of joy
over the occupation after the unions called for mass rallies against the
government a week ago.
The UN Security Council passed resolution 502 which called for the invaders to
withdraw and hostilities to cease. While the British began their first air
transports to the island of Asencion in the Atlantic, the Argentine army sent
10,000 recruits, some of them young and poorly trained, to the
archipelago. British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher (1979-1990) sent a fleet of
28,000 soldiers into the Atlantic.
From April 8 to 19, 1982, US Secretary of State Alexander Haig tried
to mediate between the two allies.
On April 25, a small squad of the Royal Marines retook Georgia Island. Meanwhile
the main force had arrived on the island of Ascension 13,000 km away.
Haig's mediation mission had failed and US President Ronald Reagan imposed
sanctions on Argentina and pledged support to Prime Minister Margret
On May 1, Harrier and Vulcan British bombed the runways at Port Stanley. Three
Argentine machines were shot down - one of them by their own people. The
President of Peru Belaunde Terry drafted a peace agreement before the junta
could accept it, a British submarine sank the old Argentine cruiser "General
Belgrano" outside the combat zone. The war therefore continued. The Argentine
Air Force had recently received "Super Etendard" fighter jets with Exocet
missiles from France. The pilots had little experience with the new machines,
but their use brought success. The destroyer HMS Sheffield was sunk and a
British Harrier fighter was shot down. A sea war developed around the
archipelago in which a number of Argentine machines were shot down, but also
some warships were sunk - some with valuable cargo. On May 22nd, the British
Navy managed to land on the East Island.
While other British ships were lost, the British infantry, supported by
paratroopers, fought against the superior strength of Argentina.
A British veto prevented a Spanish-Panamanian peace resolution in the UN
The British troops had to conquer the mountains of the island against great
resistance and with losses until the garrison in Port Stanley gave up on June
14th. Their commander Mario Menendez signed a ceasefire in the course of which
9,800 Argentines were captured.
When the British reoccupied the South Sandwich Islands on June 20, it was
formally announced that hostilities would cease. The war lasted 72 days. It
killed 236 British and 655 Argentines. From a military point of view, it was
astonishing to see how, despite the use of high-tech weapons, the Argentines
were able to cause immense damage to the British naval forces even with old
aircraft and conventional bombs. Politically, the war re-elected Margaret
Thatcher and cost $ 2 billion. In Argentina, free presidential elections were
held the following year, won by Rául Alfonsin Foulkés (1983-1989) the leader of
the "Radical Citizens' Union" (UCR).
On the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, Argentina began to vigorously
again demonstrate its never-abandoned claims to the island world.