by Walter Mow
April 2, 1982 marked the beginning of the Falklands War. On that fateful Friday, Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands followed by the invasion of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands the next day.
The war was the result of conflicting claims that began in 1690; Spanish claims that went unresolved until 1770 when the British confronted the Spaniards. Spain was unable to convince the French to join them militarily in the dispute; lacking this formal support, they surrendered the Islands to the British. The dispute would even have a part in the “Nootka Convention of 1790” without any resolution.
Argentina would become a sovereign nation with British recognition of its separation from Spain in 1825; they would become belligerent and field an occupying force to the islands in 1832. Britain would re-establish British rule of the Islands in opposition of the Monroe Doctrine in 1833. The two nations would sign a settlement agreement in 1850 that the Argentines would refute later with more claims of Sovereignty over the islands.
The Falkland Islands Company was established by Royal Charter in 1851 and found to be financially independent of the mother country by 1881. In 1884 The Argentine government would request independent arbitration to settle the dispute which the British rejected. Argentina would lodge a diplomatic protest with the British government in 1888.
The issue of sovereignty of the islands is raised by the Argentine government in 1941. At the formation of the United Nations in 1945 Argentina states its claim to the Falklands in its opening address. Throughout the 1940s, ‘50s and into the ‘60s, the Argentine government refused to accept any resolution to the dispute. Falkland Island residents reject any suggestion of change and demand they remain under British rule in 1968. Juan Peron would renew claims in 1973 urging the British government to negotiate but Britain refuses quoting the desires of the islands residents to remain under British rule.
These are but a few of the issues that drove the Falklands War of 1982 and the defeat of an inferior Argentine Military.