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Argentina holds onto Falklands

December 31, 2009

Argentina takes Falklands from BritishLondon, England (ENN) -- There would be no parades, no victory chants, and most certainly no victory parties. 

On December 26, 2009, the UK surrendered the Falklands to Argentina, marking the first military defeat for Great Britain in over half a century.  In return, Argentina agreed to allow for the safe passage of British troops back to England and to return all British POWs.

The defeat stunned all of England, a country that in 1982 had managed to defeat the first invasion of the Falklands by Argentina - but this time out, they lost. Numerous peaceful demonstrations of anger occurred around the country, while streets around the Argentinian Embassy were closed to prevent these demonstrators from getting too close. 

Harriers at sea in moonlight

Moonlit Harriers: part of British battle group that headed to South Atlantic 

Local news-reports are showing a surprising twist to the event as it seems citizens of the United Kingdom may have lost the will to fight after being told of the massive loss of life and material. The British Ministry of Defense stated it would take somewhere between six months to a year - and possibly even longer- to make good on the losses. The rapid response force alone has been gutted by the action in the Falklands. Additionally, war stocks of bombs, cruise missiles, and AMRAAMs are running very low and must be replaced quickly as the world heads toward a global meltdown.

The war itself started by surprise. Argentinian forces began intensive training on the mainland under the guise of being designated as a military unit to be deployed to Angolia under a UN mandate to bring stability to that region. Argentina even sailed a group of ships to Angolia, reporting that those soldiers were onboard. The ruse became apparent when the ships arrived in Angolia, but by that time it was far too late for Britain to respond.

The Battle

Argentinian Marines stormed ashore in the Falklands soon afterwards and defeated a battalion of English soldiers stationed there. They then moved in reinforcements and aircraft for the upcoming battle as England gathered together rapid response mechanized and infantry units and put them on amphibious ships. These ships sailed south on or around December 20 with a battle group that included nuclear attack submarines moving just ahead to sanitize the waters of possible Argentine subs.

Harriers at sea in moonlight

Argentine soldier at an armoured personnel carrier machine gun 

As the British battle group moved towards the Falklands, they launched long ranged air strikes on December 22 that wiped out half of the three Argentine jet squadrons based at Mount Pleasant airport. However it was about this time that Argentine Forces somehow detected an elite British SAS team near the airport and began closing in on them with mechanized troops. The day ended with another British strike taking out the Argentine surface fleet of 2 Destroyers and 4 Frigates close to the Islands.

The next day the two sides exchanged blows with the British striking first, flying two groups of aircraft against Port Stanley and Port Howard, located on the west island.  The Port Howard attack was successful in hitting four torpedo boats in the harbor, with three believed sunk. The Port Stanley strike ended up to be a liability for the British campaign as their jets unloaded ordinance on merchant ships carrying civilian produce.  The Argentines had a more successful day as approximately five squadrons swooped down on a British Amphibious Task Group. Although roughly half the attackers were shot down, the British lost an amphibious assault ship and a destroyer, while the remaining two amphibious ships, a destroyer and two frigates were damaged.

December 23 ended with two Argentine submarines sunk near the Task Group at around 11:00 pm, followed by a third sub sunk at 8:00 am the next day.  A large British air strike had also been launched during the early hours of the 24th to attack airfields at Puerto Deseato, northwest of the Falklands, and Ushuaia at Cape Horn. This attack resulted in over a half dozen Argentine jets being destroyed, both on the ground and in the air, along with the destruction of a fuel and supply dump.

BBC coverage of HMS Ocean sinking

Live coverage of the HMS OCEAN sinking shifted public opinion against continuing the war

Meanwhile, Argentine ground forces managed to isolate and capture the SAS team detected near Mt Pleasant just around the time the British attacked the airport, hitting ground targets that included a squadron of jets on the runway. However the Argentinians caused grievous damage against British Forces when a force of over twenty jets attacked the Task Group near the Falkland shores, hitting the HMS Ocean - a large amphibious carrier - with three bombs.  The carrier sunk a mere 30 minutes later as a horrified British audience watched the event transmitted live by a BBC camera man with a satellite feed. He had been in the process of being transported to another ship by helicopter when the attack hit.  

However by that time much of the British amphibious troops had already been landed (virtually unopposed), and started working their way towards the Mt Pleasant airport, when they became entangled with a superior Argentine force that eventually managed to encircle them.  A follow up British mechanized force landed soon afterwards, but was unable to break through the Argentine ring even after a night attempt utilizing their superior night-vision equipment.

Paratroopers were scheduled to be dropped onto the airport, and perhaps could have helped free their surrounded comrades, but a helicopter recon unit had spotted air defenses moving into that sector and the airdrop was aborted.  This left little choice but to surrender all British ground forces in the hopes that their lives wouldn't be lost in a hopeless endeavor.

Repercussions

The United Kingdom has announced no military plans other then to rebuild their shattered military and replenish their low war stocks. From there only time will only tell what will happen next.

Though the Argentinian President had these words for their defeated enemy: "To the nation of Britain--From this day forward, Argentina bears you no ill will. We understand that your belief that the Malvinas were British territory was held in good faith. We do not resent it. Unfortunately for you, your belief was false. And so, you lost."

There was no reply from 10 Downing Street, where the British Prime Minister lives, or from the Foreign Ministry.


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