Monday 2 April 2012

Argentine Occupation of The Falkland Islands 2 April 1982

Thirty years ago today, on 2 April 1982, troops from Argentina, under orders from their military dictatorship, occupied the British colony of The Falkland Islands, situated in the south Atlantic Ocean, and expelled the British Governor and administration. The Argentines renamed the islands "Islas Malvinas". Previously, on 26 March 1982, the Argentines had landed 100 troops on the British island of South Georgia and on 3 April took control of Grytviken after overcoming a much smaller number of British troops and subsequently renamed the island "Isla San Pedro".
In The Falkland Islands, the occupying administration withdrew the postage stamps of The Falkland Islands and introduced the use of Argentine stamps on mail in the islands. A circular postmark was introduced which featured the Argentine flag with the inscription reading "9049 ISLAS MALVINAS*REPUBLICA ARGENTINA". This cancellation is shown on a cover sent from The Falkland Islands on 16 April with an arrival mark applied at Bueno Aires on 20 April which depicts a ship and the inscription "BUENOS AIRES (F) ARGENTINA". The stamp featured at the top of the blog was issued by Argentina in 1983 to celebrate the first anniversary of "the first recovery of the Islas Malvinas, Georgias Y Sandwich Del Sur" and features a map of the occupied territories with the Argentine flag.
The British government was totally taken by surprise by the Argentine invasion but resolved to regain the islands to British sovereignty according to the wish of the inhabitants of the islands. The British decided to send a naval task force to the south Atlantic to wrestle back the islands from the Argentines. We shall return to this subject over the next few weeks.

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