Air War in the Falklands 1982
Amphibious Assault Falklands
Battle for the Falklands
Falkland Islanders at War
Falklands Air War
5th Infantry Brigade...
Four Weeks in May
March to the South Atlantic...
Nine Battles to Stanley
One Hundred Days
Ordeal by Exocet
RAF Harrier Ground Attack...
Sea Harrier Over...
Sink the Belgrano
3 Commando Brigade...
Through Fire and Water...
Victory in the Falklands
On the night of May 21st 1982, the British made an amphibious landing at San Carlos Water on the North coast of East Falkland.
The initial landing was made by 3 Commando Brigade with attached units of the Parachute Regiment. These troops were landed from the requistioned liner SS Canberra and the LPD HMS Fearless. There was very limited Argentine resistance to the landing, althought an Argentine platoon did manage to shoot down two British army Gazelle helicopters before retreating.
Over the next few days, the British ships in San Carlos Water were repeatedly subject to Argentine air-attack, and the as a result the area was nicknamed "Bomb Alley" by the British. The British suffered a series of losses; on May 21st, HMS Ardent was sank, on May 24th, HMS Antelope was sank, and on May 25th, the MV Atlantic Conveyor with her irreplacable cargo of helicopters was lost. Additionally, a number of British ships were badly damaged by Argentine attacks.
The British Royal Navy would have suffered much greater losses, but for the repeated failure of Argentine bombs to explode. The reason for this was that the Argentines used unretarded bombs (some of which, had actually been sold to them by the British), and these were dropped from an insufficient altitude which did not give them bombs sufficient time to arm themselves.
Apparently alerted by reports on the BBC World Service, the Argentines did eventually solve the problem by fitting improvised retarding devices to their bombs. Fortunately for the British, this was not done until June 8th, when the war was nearly over.
Lord Craig, the former Marshal of the Royal Air Force, apparently remarked "Six better fuses and we would have lost".
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