In 1982, the Argentine war machine invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and the nearby South Georgia Island. Since the islands were still a protectorate of the United Kingdom, Britain then sent a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force and retake the islands.
The invasion was a result of a long time historical conflict regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The Argentinian government claimed it was only retaking its own territory. The Argentine military brass, lead by Admiral Jorge Anaya, presumed that the invasion would not merit a military response from the United Kingdom. The first outright step of Argentina over the disputed islands was the raising of the Argentine flag at South Georgia by Argentine scrap metal merchants. This was viewed as an act of war and the full invasion was made final when there were suspicions that the UK would start to reinforce its South Atlantic presence.
Despite repeated warnings by Royal Navy captain in the region, the presumption of the withdrawal of British Naval presence in the South Atlantic was presumed to be an unwillingness to defend its territory in South Atlantic. As the Argentine Navy made amphibious landings in the Islands, there was a nominal defense put up by the standing Royal Marine presence in the Falklands. There were skirmishes but eventually the islands were surrendered to the Argentine flag a few hours later.
The retaking of the Falklands was considered a difficult military operation because of the lack of available air cover to assist an amphibious assault. The possible war materiel available to do so would be vastly outnumbered by the readily accessible Argentine war machine. During this time, possible armistice through the mediation of the United States was undertaken but was soundly rebuffed by the Argentine government. At the same time, British forces were amassing to prepare for a counter-invasion of the Falkland Islands. As the British forces continued to arrive, a no-fly zone was instituted over the Falkland Islands, with many commercial aircraft intercepted and lead away when identified by British air war craft.
The counter invasion was commenced on April 23 but bad weather conditions made the amphibious assault impossible. Two helicopters crashed in the fog but the assault recommenced when the submarine Santa Fe was spotted. The said submarine was strafed and depth charged leaving the vessel scuttled but the crew able to escape. The ground commander then launched the amphibious assault to retake the islands. After a short march, the Argentine forces surrendered without resistance and the ground commander declared that the islands were retaken with this short message:” Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God Save the Queen.”