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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Falklands War: The first day, 2 April 1982
Argentine troops
Argentine troops "take back" the Falklands
Twenty years ago today Argentine troops invaded the Falkland Islands. BBC News Online breaks down the day hour by hour. Times are for London.

0400 0400: Argentina swings Operation Rosario into action by bringing "Task Force 40" into position around the Falkland Islands. In London, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher orders the military to prepare a counter operation if the invasion does take place. Naval chiefs tell ships in the Mediterranean to prepare for Operation Corporate.

0600 0600:Falkland Islands governor Rex Hunt mobilises 100 men - Royal Marines plus some 20 local volunteers, after warning residents by radio of an impending invasion. After receiving intelligence that the invasion has begun, Governor Hunt says: "It looks as though the silly buggers mean it."

Argentine man reading newspaper
"The Malvinas have been recovered" reads this Argentine newspaper
Rear Admiral Jorge Allara, commander of the Argentine flagship Santisima Trinidad, appeals for a peaceful surrender. The request is rejected. At the same time small units of soldiers begin landing near the capital, Stanley.

0945 0945: Mrs Thatcher holds the first of two emergency cabinet meetings and asks her government to back a naval taskforce.

1015 1015: Islanders hear gun fire and explosions. Some 40 soldiers seize empty barracks at Moody Brook and head towards Stanley. Argentine units attack Stanley's Government House, defended by less than 50 men. The emergency cabinet meeting in London agrees to reconvene in the evening.

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher asks for taskforce backing
1100 1100: Argentine forces come ashore six miles from Stanley and head for the airstrip. A fierce fire fight begins at Government House.

1300 1300: Argentinian forces clear the airstrip and fly in the 25th Regiment. Argentina's Captain Pedro Giachino becomes the first soldier to die, killed in the assault on Government House. The rest of the town is under Argentine control.

1325 1325: Recognising the growing strength of the Argentine forces, Governor Hunt orders a ceasefire and surrenders. No Falkland Islanders or Royal Marines have been killed though one serviceman is badly wounded. The Argentine flag is raised over Government House. In Argentina, the head of the military junta, General Galtieri, hails the "recovery" of the Malvinas, saying it had been left no other option than military action.

Celebration in Buenos Aires
Jubilant Argentines in Buenos Aires celebrate the islands' "recovery"
1400 1400: The UK orders Argentina's diplomats out of the country. The Bank of England freezes Argentine assets in the UK. Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington confirms in Parliament that "Port Stanley is now occupied by Argentine military forces".

1800 1800: The majority of the British public learn of the invasion on the early evening news.


Twenty years on
A unique collaboration between BBC News Online and BBC Mundo looks at the story from both sides of the conflict

Argentine forces make preparations to fly the Royal Marines and Governor Hunt off the islands. In London, the cabinet backs the proposed naval task force during the day's second cabinet meeting. MPs are recalled for a special Saturday sitting of the House of Commons. In New York, the British representative to the United Nations, Sir Anthony Parsons, puts a draft resolution to the Security Council condemning the hostilities and demanding an immediate withdrawal of forces. The resolution is later approved 10 votes to one (with four abstentions). The United States sides with London.

2200 2200: The first nine ships of the British naval task force finalise preparations for battle. They will leave within hours for a three week voyage to the south Atlantic.


Tell us your memories of 2 April 1982, the day Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands.

Your comments so far:

I first heard about the invasion of Port Stanley on John Craven's Newsround - I was 12. Early on in the conflict, the RAF sent 2 Vulcan bombers to bomb the runway in Stanley. I can't remember where they started but they went via Ascension Island - probably the longest ever bombing sortie at the time.
Derek McQuarrie, US

As a poor bewildered five-year-old in the garrison town of Colchester I remember watching convoys of landrovers and green trucks wondering where they could be off to in such a hurry. The most important question on my mind as I recall was "when will the task force action figures be in the shops." Like I say I was five.
David Grocott, England

I was 18 and we all wondered if we could get called up. I remember my Mum and other parents working overtime to get urgently needed equipment to Portsmouth (TVs and fish and chip ranges).
Ian, Poland, Ex UK

Like most 12 year old boys at the time, playing at war was a full time hobby. So when the country was engulfed in the real thing I was very excited. Right from the beginning I collected a scrap book of news cuttings of war as it escalated. I still have this somewhere in the loft. The War was my earliest recollection of how world evenets could affect our day to day lives.
Rich, England

I remember staying with my grandmother in Wales for Easter. I was only 11 at the time. I remember being scared that my father was going to be called up. The one thing that really sticks in my mind was the fact that we couldn't play Don't Cry For Me Argentina on the radio. I was so proud of our troops and so proud to be British.
Sheldon Gatland, US

I was nine years old and living in Kenya at the time, and I remember hearing the news on the BBC World Service. We all pored over an atlas to see where the islands were and then followed the campaign with great interest as it developed. I think that living abroad can sharpen your sense of national identity in many ways and I was certainly very proud to be British over the weeks that followed.
Matt, UK

I sailed on my 18th Birthday on HMS Avenger for The Falklands. How quickly you grow up.
Jamie Kidson, UK

Having seen the war on TV a youngster, I was inspired to join the Royal navy as a 16-year-old trainee four years after the war. At the age of 20 I was privileged enough to go to the Falklands and serve in 1990, the Islands are such a fascinating place. Having seen the weather/terrain conditions down there first hand made me realise just what a fantastic achievement EVERYONE who was involved made.
Steve, England

As a 10-year-old I'd never heard of the Falklands. Now 20 years later we all know about what happened. I went on to join the Army and served with a lot of friends who were there. For me my memories will always be of the Task Force setting sail,seen through the eyes of a young boy. I now understand the sacrifice a lot of servicemen and their families endured and would like to give my thanks for what they did.
Andy Young, England

I was just 14, and I'd never heard of the Falklands. Neither, I suspect, had most of us at my school, if any. What did strike a chord with us was hearing that the islanders fiercely wanted to be British, not Argentinian. On that basis, we were delighted we were going to reclaim our territory from the invaders.
Jeremy, England

The first time I'd ever heard of the Falklands was the announcement that the Argentinians had invaded them. The shock and surprise that a country would want to risk many lives for the sake of taking a piece of land that is habited by people that want nothing to do with them nmade my stomache churn. The next feeling was, "Oh my god, that means we'll be sending our boys out there to remove them".
Samantha, UK

I was 10 years old, and I remember my father telling me he had to go away. After the war I learnt that he went to the war and fought in Goose Green - he has the mental scars to prove. My uncle also fought, but he was killed in a chopper crash I think. Looking back, I realise how bloody that war was. God bless all the soldiers who died - British and Argentinian.
Chris Morton, Australia

I was 13 on the day of the invasion and heading for Luton airport on a bus for a week-long school skiing trip to Austria. I remember the BBC news on the bus radio saying an Argentine invasion of the Falklands was expected within hours. Of course we heard no more during our week in Austria, and it was only when I was picked up by my parents on my return home a week later that I learned we were essentially at war with Argentina. As a 13-year-old I found it both frightening and exciting. I shall never forget that time. I also vivdly remember the day the Hermes came back to England on 25 July, after the war was over. I was in the Lake District, the weather was beatiful, and Israel invaded Lebanon. Thankfully our relations with Argentina have improved unlike those of Israel with its neighbours.
John Franklin, UK

My first thought at the time was "Where are the Falklands?" Like the majority of my generation at the time, I had never even heard of them. A quick look at an atlas confirmed that they were not just off the coast of Scotland, as I first imagined.
Steve Cahill, England

I remember it well even though I was only 5-years old, as it was my mum's birthday. We sat on her bed and read the headlines. I remember feeling sad and confused....as I was too young to really understand what the headlines meant.
Claire, UK

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