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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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Thousands of Argentine soldiers were taken prisoner British soldiers celebrate their victory
The Argentine surrender    British soldiers unfurl the Union Flag
UK Major-General Moore on the Argentine surrender

17 June 1982 Galtieri resigns
20 June 1982 Hostilities officially cease
9 June 1983 Thatcher wins second general election
1986 Galtieri convicted on charges of incompetence
1990 Diplomatic relations are restored


Was [the war] worth it? Yes. Just look at the poor Argentines now and look at the prosperous islanders


Former Falklands Governor Sir Rex Hunt

Hostilities formally ceased on 20 June 1982. But by then the head of Argentina's military Junta, General Leopold Galtieri had resigned.

Government by the armed forces soon fell, and democratic rule was returned to Argentina in 1983. Once out of power key figures in the military government were tried for human rights offences. In 1986 Galtieri was imprisoned for incompetence and his part in the war.

The fall-out from the conflict could not have been more different for the victors and her success in the Falklands war transformed Margaret Thatcher’s fortunes.

Her appeal to the voters swung from record lows before the conflict to such an extent that she won the 1983 British general election with a massive majority and she remained in power until 1990.

Having fought a war to secure British sovereignty of the islands a plan to defend them in the future now had to be implemented.

A "Fortress Falklands" policy was decided on. Massive improvements to the islands’ airport was undertaken to enable swift re-enforcements to arrive by air. It was hoped they would stave off any future Argentine efforts to take the islands by force.

For the islanders much has changed since 1982. The economy has strengthened after moving away from agriculture. Fishing and tourism are now the main sources of cash.

By 1990 Argentina and the UK finally restored full diplomatic relations, although the South American state maintained its claim to what it still calls the Malvinas.

In August 2001 Tony Blair became the first British prime minister to visit Argentina since the conflict. He took care not to re-open old wounds and his opposite number, President Fernando De la Rua, pledged Argentina would only use peaceful means to press its claim for the islands.