Battle for the Falklands

On 19th March 1982 a group of Argentine scrap metal merchants raised their country's flag on South Georgia, Falkland Islands. The Royal Navy Antarctic patrol vessel HMS Endurance was despatched to remove the camp on 25th March but was prevented from doing so by the Argentine Navy corvette, ARA Guerrico. On 2nd April 1982 Argentine Forces invaded the Falkland Islands. The British Government responded immediately by organising Operation Corporate, despatching advanced elements of a Task Force southwards to recover the islands.

On 1st May operations opened with bombings - the Black Buck raids - on Stanley airfield by two RAF Avro Vulcans from Ascension Island and on Stanley and Goose Green airstrip by nine Sea Harriers from HMS Hermes. Two separate British naval forces - surface vessels and submarines - and the Argentine fleet soon came into conflict. The first loss was the ARA General Belgrano on 2nd May. Two days later, the task force lost the destroyer HMS Sheffield to an Exocet missile strike.

On 21st May British forces landed on beaches around San Carlos Water; within a few days 3 Para attacked Darwin and Goose Green. On 8 June LSL Sir Galahad and LSL Sir Tristram came under attack by Argentine FAA A-4 Skyhawks; later known as the Bluff Cove Disaster. After several skirmishes including the Battle of Wireless Ridge and the Battle of Mount Tumbledown, the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Mario Menendez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore of the Royal Marines on 14th June.

Guernsey Post:

"Our set of six stamps feature aspects of the Battle for the Falklands; troops setting off for the Falkland Islands on the QEII; landing at San Carlos Bay; Harriers flying over SS Canberra; Lt Col H Jones charging towards his place in the British history books; the Sea King helicopters evacuating men from the burning Sir Galahad; troops silently march towards Port Stanley. Our souvenir sheet features San Carlos Water, almost enclosed by hills, otherwise known as Bomb Alley."

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