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The origins of the Falklands War, April-June 1982 lie in a 150 year dispute over the sovereignty of East and West Falkland, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in the southern Atlantic. The Falklands were the most important of these and the only permanently settled islands - they were known by the Argentineans as the Malvinas. Originally discovered by the Spanish, the British had subsequently obtained and settled them, holding them despite Argentinean counter-claims.
The immediate cause of the war, though, was the unauthorized presence of Argentineans, (contracted by scrap dealer C.S. Davidoff) on South Georgia. An attempt by the British in March 1982 to expel the party by force led to an excalation of hostilities, resulting in the landing of Argentinean troops on the Falkland Islands on 2nd April, the surrender of the Royal Marines on the same day, and the annexation of South Georgia on the 3rd.
On 7th April the British sent a task force to recapture the islands. A series of diplomatic mediations proved unsuccessful, and on 25th April Royal Marines recaptured South Georgia. British forces landed on San Carlos, at East Falkland, on 21st May, after a period of bombardment, and the loss of ships and aircraft on both sides. The British took Goose Green and Darwin on 28th May, Teal Inlet on 30th and Mount Kent soon afterwards. Mount Tumbledown fell on 12th June and Argentinean forces, led by Gral Menendez, surrendered at Port Stanley on 14th June.
The war's conclusion can be linked, at least partially, to the collapse of the ruling Military Junta in Argentina and was a significant symptom in Margaret Thatcher's re-election as Prime Minister in 1983.
Newspaper cuttings, mainly taken from El Pais and El Dia, relating to the Falklands War, 1982-1983.
The papers were donated to the library by Brian Rathbone on 19th February 1998.Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Falkland islands | History | 20th century
Falkland Islands War, 1982 | Press coverage