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Fight for the Falklands: Twenty years on
Introduction
My war story
Guide to the conflict

'I saw Sir Galahad burn'
Falklands map
The first day

The Argentine military's lost cause
Guide to the Conflict

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The Argentineans used their half a dozen exocets to maximum effect
Exocets proved deadly  
Defence Secretary John Nott and Mrs Thatcher announce South Georgia is re-taken
Brian Hanrahan counts all the planes back after the first British air raid

22 April British warships reach Falkland waters
25 April South Georgia re-taken
26 April US publicly backs the UK
26 April Exclusion zone comes into force


I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out, and I counted them all back


Brian Hanrahan BBC Correspondent

Despite the determination of the Thatcher government to fight for the islands a successful outcome for Britain was by no means certain.

The UKs armed forces would be fighting 8,000 miles from home.

The nearest airfields at Britain's disposal were on Ascension island, a barren volcanic rock more than 3,000 miles from the Falklands.

Without covert US aid in logistics and intelligence the British may have found the task beyond them.

The Argentineans used the lull between the invasion and the approach of the British battle group to dig-in and reinforce their positions.

On 7 April the British set up a 200-mile military exclusion zone around the Falklands - it came into force on the 12 April. Keen to keep up momentum and provide an early success the British re-took South Georgia on 25 April.

Only one Argentinean was killed and there were no British casualties. The operation was a complete success, although it had skirted on the edge of disaster. British special forces had faced being trapped on a glacier as two helicopters sent to rescue them both crashed during horrendous weather conditions.

UN peace talks continued as the British pushed their military campaign forward. On 1 May they began air raids over Argentine positions around the Falklands capital, Stanley.