In the spring of 1982, the world watched intently as two determined nations inched toward war over the disputed Falkland (or Malvinas) Islands. The clash between Great Britain and Argentina featured the first major naval combat between fleet units in nearly four decades. Many of us no doubt recall keenly following accounts of the engagements in our daily newspapers, nightly newscasts, and various weekly news magazines, long before the Internet. (One of the best histories of the campaign remains Admiral Sandy Woodward’s One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of a Falklands Battle Group Commander, available from the Naval Institute Press.) Images of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano sinking or British paratroopers retaking Port Stanley remain fixed in the public’s consciousness from that conflict. Britain emerged the victor from the fairly brief but violent clash, and relations had stabilized in the intervening years. But lately, that situation has begun to change.
By Paul Merzlak