The historic heart of Stanley

Brief Chronology of the Conflict

March 19
Argentine scrap metal workers, hired to dismantle a disused whaling station, land at Leith, South Georgia and hoist the Argentine flag

March 24
HMS Endurance lands Royal Marines to watch Argentine activity at Leith

March 31
Royal Marine detachment lands at Grytviken

April 2
Argentine troops invade the Falklands from the sea. Hugely outnumbered, the small contingent of Royal Marines based at Moody Brook in Stanley put up a fight, but at 9.25am they are ordered to cease-fire by the Governor, Rex Hunt

Massive operations begin in the United Kingdom as the Task Force is prepared

April 3
Royal Marines on South Georgia are overwhelmed

The United Nations condemns Argentine aggression and passes Resolution 502 demanding withdrawal of troops

Emergency meeting of Parliament.

April 5
Carrier Group, among them Hermes, Invincible and Fearless, sail from Portsmouth

After criticism of the Foreign Office’s handling of the pre-invasion period, Lord Carrington resigns as Foreign Secretary and is succeeded by Francis Pym

April 7
Britain declares 200 miles “exclusion zone” around the Falklands

President Reagan approves Haig peace mission

April 8            

US Secretary of State Haig arrives in London

April 9            

3 Commando Brigade sails from Southampton on Canberra


EEC approves economic sanctions against Argentina

April 16          

Task Force sails from Ascension Island

April 25          

South Georgia retaken with no British casualties. M Company 42 Commando

Royal Marines are first ashore

April 30          

President Reagan declares US support for Britain

May 1             

Haig peace mission ends in failure

Initial SAS and SBS landings on the Falklands


“Black Buck One” – Vulcan aircraft fly 3,750 miles from Ascension Island to bomb Stanley airfield

Sea Harriers from HMS Hermes later bomb Stanley airfield and Goose Green

May 2             

Argentine cruiser General Belgrano torpedoed and sunk by HMS Conqueror

May 4             

HMS Sheffield hit by Exocet missile fired from Argentine aircraft. 20 men die, 24 injured.


First British Sea Harrier shot down during attack on Goose Green airfield – Lt Nicholas Taylor RN is killed

May 6             

Two Sea Harriers lost in fog. Pilots missing presumed dead

May 9             

Argentine trawler Narwhal attacked

May 12           

Argentine aircraft attack warships bombarding Stanley targets. Four Skyhawks reported destroyed. Bomb passes through HMS Glasgow but does not explode

May 15           

SAS raid on Pebble Island to knock out enemy airfield and aircraft

May 16           

Two Argentine supply vessels damaged by Sea Harriers in Falkland Sound, two more are bombed and strafted


May 21           

3 Commando Brigade lands on East Falkland

2 Para and 40 Cdo on Blue Beach (San Carlos settlement)

45 Cdo on Red Beach (Ajax Bay)

3 Para and 42 Cdo on Green Beach (Port San Carlos settlement)

HMS Ardent is bombed by Argentine Skyhawks and Daggers - 22 men lost


Antrim and Argonaut are out of action with unexploded bombs onboard; Brilliant and Broadsword also damaged in the day’s action

 20 Argentine aircraft destroyed

May 21/26      

Consolidation of bridgehead, patrols move forward. Argentine air attacks hit 11 ships.

May 23           

HMS Antelope is hit twice during Skyhawk attack, but bombs do not explode.  One man is killed. Bomb-disposal operation fails and one man is killed in explosion. Ship catches fire.

 7 Argentine aircraft lost

May 24           

HMS Antelope sinks

 May 25           

HMS Coventry hit in Skyhawk attack – 24 men lost. Cunard container ship Atlantic Conveyor hit by Exocet missiles – 9 lost

May 27           

45 Cdo move from Red Beach to Green Beach to start overland move to Douglas Settlement


3 Para leave for Teal Inlet and Estancia

2 Para move toward Darwin and Goose Green

SAS land in strength on Mount Kent

May 28           

Battle of Darwin/Goose Green

2 Para attack from Burntside House and after bitter fighting are investing Goose Green before dawn May 29. 17 British servicemen are killed


J Coy 42 Cdo held at Camilla Creek House to reinforce 2 Para

May 29           

Argentine forces at Goose Green surrender. Over 1,000 prisoners taken.

3 Para reach Estancia House and move to Mount Estancia and Mount Vernet

May 30           

K Coy 42 Cdo take Mount Kent


General Moore arrives at San Carlos

June 1             

2 Para come under the command of 5 Brigade


42 Cdo move another company on to Mount Kent


June 2             

Canberra and Norland carrying bulk of 5 Brigade arrive San Carlos Water

Brigade lands on Blue Beach

1/7 Gurkha Rifles move to Sussex Mountains

2 Scots Guards move to Verde Mountains

1 Welsh Guards move to Bonners Bay

2 Para move forward by helicopter to Fitzroy settlement and Bluff Cove

A Coy of 1/7 Gurkha Rifles move forward to Goose Green to cover area as 2 Para leave

 Mrs Thatcher offers Argentina last chance to withdraw and avoid further loss of life

June 3             

2 Para complete in Bluff Cove/Fitzroy positions

29 Battery Royal Artillery in support of 2 Para at Bluff Cove

3 and 4 Troops of B Squadron Blues & Royals also at Bluff Cove

42 Cdo completes move to Mount Kent

79 Royal Artillery join 3 Para at Estancia


June 4             

1/7 Gurkha Rifles move to Goose Green to replace 2 Para, help with evacuation of prisoners

June 5             

42 Cdo start move onto Mount Challenger

2 Scots Guards embark at San Carlos for sea journey to Bluff Cove

June 6             

45 Cdo move on to Mount Kent to relieve 42 Cdo who move to Mount Challenger

2 Scots Guards arrive Bluff Cove

1 Welsh Guards embark at San Carlos for move by sea to Bluff Cove


June 8             

1 Welsh Guards’ remaining Coy arrive in Port Pleasant on Sir Galahad together with Rapier battery and 16 Field Ambulance


Disaster as Argentine air attack on Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram and 2 Scots


Guards positions at Bluff Cove. 51 dead


Landing craft from HMS Fearless sunk in Choiseul Sound by Argentine air attack. 6 dead

Darkest day of the conflict as British forces suffer their heaviest casualties


11 Argentine aircraft shot down         
         
June 9             

1/7 Gurkha Rifles, less one company, complete in Bluff Cove

Two companies of 40 Cdo put under command of 1 Welsh Guards


June 10           

2 Para and 1 Welsh Guards under command of 3 Brigade for their attack on

Mount Longdon, Two Sisters and Mount Harriet

June 11/12      

3 Cdo Brigade attack on three axes

3 Para attack Mount Longdon with 2 Para in reserve

45 Cdo attack from Mount Kent on to Two Sisters

1 Welsh Guards secure start line for 42 Cdo who attack from Mount Challenger on to Mount Harriet and Goat Ridge

All positions taken by first light after heavy hand-to-hand fighting

HMS Glamorgan hit by shore-based Exocet, 13 killed

June 13/14     

5 Brigade Tac HQ established on Goat Ridge

2 Scots Guards make diversionary attack with troops of Blues & Royals from Mount Harriet towards Mount William

Under cover to this 2 Scots Guards attack and take Mount Tumbledown.

1/7 Gurkha Rifles move through 2 Scots Guards’ position to assault Mount William. Defenders break and run at dawn, having put up stiff resistance through the night

1 Welsh Guards make attack to Sappers Hill

White flag flown over Stanley


General Menendez surrenders all Argentine forces on East and West Falkland to Major-General Jeremy Moore

Photos Frank Allen collection