Falklands/ Malvinas War Glossary
Photo by Tristram Kenton
Lola Arias’ “MINEFIELD” will be performed 10/26, 10/27 and 10/28 at Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. The work brings together veterans who fought in the Falklands/ Malvinas War, a territorial conflict in 1982 between the UK and Argentina. We hope this glossary helps to give audiences some context about the conflict.
The Falklands Islands / Islas Malvinas
The Falklands / Malvinas Islands are located in the South Atlantic 644 kilometers off the coast of Argentina. Both the UK and Argentina have claimed rights to the islands. The islands are small and largely lack resources besides fishing and raising sheep. During the period of European colonization, the French, British and Spanish all carried out expeditions to establish settlements on the islands. The British reasserted their claim to the Falklands in 1833, and administered the islands as a colony from that time forth. Argentina’s claim dates back to the early 1800s, coinciding with the collapse of the Spanish empire. However, the island’s couple thousand residents identify with the British. The dispute remains unresolved.
The Falklands War began in April of 1982 and lasted just 100 days. The conflict was initiated by the invasion of the island by Argentine forces. The British responded by dispatching a task force to the South Atlantic. Just days after the start of hostilities, the United Nations’ Security Council issued Resolution 502, calling for an immediate end to the conflict, the complete withdrawal of Argentine forces, and a diplomatic solution between Argentina and the UK. The UN resolution was subsequently disregarded as both Argentina and the UK continued to increase their military presence in the region. The war ended in June of 1982 when the the British launched a final series of attacks on Port Stanley and Argentine forces surrendered.
Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister during the Falklands War. A controversial figure, she was known for her uncompromising politics and leadership style and became dubbed as ‘The Iron Lady’.
Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri
Army General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri led the military junta which took power in Argentina in December of 1981, along with Air Force Brigadier General Basilio Arturo Ignacio Lami Dozo and Navy Rear Admiral Jorge Isaac Anaya. After the Falklands War, Galtieri was removed from power and Argentina began its transition to democracy.
The Gurkha riflemen were Nepalese fighters renowned for their skill in combat. Gurkha battalions have served for the British in various conflicts, including the Falklands War and World War II in Burma.
The Belgrano Cruiser was an Argentine ship destroyed on May 2, 1982 by a British submarine. The 44-year-old ship’s poor condition and insufficient damage control training led to the rapid sinking of the ship. The ship’s sinking happened while diplomatic talks between the UK and Argentina were taking place. The timing of the sinking and the fact that the ship was attacked outside of the British ‘total exclusion zone’ led some to think that the British intentionally sunk the Belgrano in order to derail peace talks and made it one of the most controversial events of the war.
Battle of Mount Harriet
The Battle of Mount Harriet was part of a series of British attacks on Argentina’s hill fortifications starting on June 11th. The three battles for Argentine hill positions include Mount Longdon, Two Sisters, and Mount Harriet and were carried out mostly at night in inclement weather conditions. The British outnumbered the Argentines and were able to take the positions by morning.
The British attacked Wireless Ridge days after the Battle for Mount Harriet on June 13th. The British benefited from stronger artillery, naval, and armoured vehicle reinforcements compared to the previous battles days earlier.
Occupied by British Gurkha battalions with no opposition as the Argentine forces had abandoned it in retreat.
Port Stanley is the capital and main port of the Falkland Islands. After a series of successful attacks on Argentina’s hill fortifications, the British were in a position to surround and cut off Port Stanley.
Badsey, Stephen. (2013). “An Overview of the Falklands War: Politics, Strategy and Operations”.
Bell, Raymond E. (2012). “The Falklands Islands Campaign of 1982 and British Joint Forces Operations”.
Calvert, Peter. (1983). “Sovereignty and the Falklands crisis”.
Department of the Navy, United States. (1983). “Lessons of the Falklands, Summary Report”.
McClure, Jason. (2004). “The Falklands War: Causes and Lessons”. Strategic Insights, Volume III, Issue 11.
Nietzel, Scott. (2007). “The Falklands War: Understanding the Power of Context in Shaping Argentine Strategic Decisions”.
Researched and written by Robin Rauner (Kyoto Experiment PR Ambassador)