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FALKLANDS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

18 May 07. Falklands conflict this week 1982: 21 – 27 may

Imagery is available from the Imperial War Museum website and from
http://www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/defencenews

21 May
* Air operations in support of the landing force begins.
* Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships, Sir Tristram, Sir Lancelot and
Sir Galahad enter San Carlos Water in preparation for the landings.
* As the first troop ashore, 2 Para’s mission was to protect the Task
Force from Argentinean ground attacks by establishing itself on
Sussex Mountain, protecting the south of the bridgehead. This was
achieved without opposition.
* 3 Para land in the north near Port San Carlos.
* British Forces landed in San Carlos Water with troops from 3
Commando Brigade Royal Marines going ashore at Ajax Bay.
* 45 Commando landed and occupied the old refrigeration plant at Ajax
Bay.
* One pair of GR3s from HMS Hermes successfully attacked a helicopter
park at Mount Kent destroying a Chinook and a Puma reducing the
Argentine ability to move reinforcements to critical areas.
* At the same time two deception operations took place to focus
Argentinean activity around Stanley (bombardment by HMS Glamorgan).
* Goose Green/Darwin (Special Forces raid and bombardment by HMS
Ardent).
* HMS Ardent commences bombardment of Goose Green and Darwin. While
on Grantham Sound, a Grupo 5 A-4 Skyhawk and three Grupo 6 Daggers
attack and seriously damage the ship destroying the Lynx helicopter;
she was then evacuated under the protection of other warships off
North West Island. However, within forty minutes there was a second
wave of air attacks by two flights of Escuadrilla A-4Q Skyhawks and
in those final attacks the Ardent was hit by two 500lb bombs which
set the aft end ablaze causing her to list heavily. Harriers directed
by HMS Brilliant intercepted the A4s and all three were destroyed.
Ardent now in a bad way was indefensible. HMS Yarmouth came alongside
and took the ships company who were later transferred to Canberra.
Seven bombs had hit in all leaving 22 men dead and 37 wounded.
22 May
* Overnight HMS Ardent burned alone, sinking after twelve hours.
* An Argentine Coastguard craft, Rio Iguazu, was spotted in Choiseul
Sound and strafed. She was beached and abandoned, 12 miles from
Darwin.
* Two Argentine Daggers and three A4Bs attacked ships in San Carlos
after approaching from the south. One aircraft ditched its bomb load
at the entrance.
* HMS Broadsword and HMS Coventry tasked to patrol 50 miles west of
the northern entrance to the Falkland Sound to use their Sea Dart/Sea
Wolf combination to intercept and destroy incoming aircraft.
23 May
* HMS Antelope together with together with Plymouth, Yarmouth and
Broadsword, take up positions at the entrance to San Carlos Water.
* Four Argentine A4B Skyhawks are spotted by 2 Para as they crossed
in to Grantham Sound. Splitting in to two pairs they concentrated
their attack on HMS Antelope with one managing to release a bomb
before colliding with Antelopes main mast, another released two
1000-lb bombs, but neither exploded. When work began to defuse the
first bomb it exploded killing one man and wounding another. The
ensuing fire spread quickly and the crew abandoned ship before it
eventually sunk with a loss of two lives on 24 May.
24 May
* RFA ships, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad bombed in San Carlos Water.
Sir Galahad was hit by a 1000-lb bomb which failed to explode and was
later lifted overboard.
25 May
* HMS Coventry caught on port side with canon fire and three bombs
from Argentinean A4 Skyhawk aircraft, at least two exploded and soon
there were fires, smoke and flooding. HMS Coventry capsized and sunk
with a loss of eighteen lives.
* Two Exocet missiles both locked on to the Atlantic Conveyor she was
caught in the starboard quarter. With major fires and dense black
smoke there was little choice but to abandon ship which later sunk.
Nine crew died in total; all of them

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