It began on Friday,2 April 1982, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had claimed over them. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval force to engage the Argentine Navy. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, in total,649 Argentine military personnel,255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities. The conflict was an episode in the protracted confrontation over the territories sovereignty. Argentina asserted that the islands are Argentine territory, and the Argentine government thus characterised its military action as the reclamation of its own territory, the British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. Falkland Islanders, who have inhabited the islands since the early 19th century, are descendants of British settlers. The conflict has had an effect in both countries and has been the subject of various books, articles, films, and songs. Patriotic sentiment ran high in Argentina, but the outcome prompted large protests against the military government. In the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party government, bolstered by the outcome, was re-elected the following year. The cultural and political weight of the conflict has had less effect in Britain than in Argentina, diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Argentina were restored in 1989 following a meeting in Madrid, Spain, at which the two governments issued a joint statement. No change in either countrys position regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands was made explicit, in 1994, Argentinas claim to the territories was added to its constitution. In December 1981 there was a change in the Argentine military regime, bringing to office a new junta headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri, Brigadier Basilio Lami Dozo. Anaya was the architect and supporter of a military solution for the long-standing claim over the islands. Such action would also bolster its dwindling legitimacy, the newspaper La Prensa speculated in a step-by-step plan beginning with cutting off supplies to the islands, ending in direct actions late in 1982, if the UN talks were fruitless. The Royal Navy ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance was dispatched from Stanley to South Georgia in response, the Argentine military junta, suspecting that the UK would reinforce its South Atlantic Forces, ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands to be brought forward to 2 April. Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, despite repeated warnings by Royal Navy captain Nicholas Barker, on 2 April 1982, Argentine forces mounted amphibious landings off the Falkland Islands. The invasion was met with a defence organised by the Falkland Islands Governor Sir Rex Hunt. Word of the invasion first reached Britain from Argentine sources, a Ministry of Defence operative in London had a short telex conversation with Governor Hunts telex operator, who confirmed that Argentines were on the island and in control
Falklands War timeline map
Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Sea Harrier FRS1. The gloss paint scheme was altered to a duller one en route south.