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A War in South America 39 Years Ago Is Still Teaching China Lessons About How to Seize Taiwan

by SOFREP News Apr 9, 2021
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A War in South America 39 Years Ago Is Still Teaching China Lessons About How to Seize Taiwan

Early on April 2, 1982, hundreds of Argentine troops landed on the Falkland Islands, known to Argentina as the Islas Malvinas.

The islands were a small British overseas territory some 400 miles east of Argentina and 8,000 miles south of Britain. Despite their small size and sparse population, the islands were the subject of a long-running dispute between Britain and Argentina.

The small British garrison surrendered by the afternoon on April 2, after several intense firefights. It was a badly needed victory for Argentina’s military junta, which hoped to distract from its oppressive governance and other domestic issues.

British troops soldiers Argentina Falklands War prisoners
British soldiers surrender during the Falklands War, April 1982. Rafael WOLLMANN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The junta believed that Britain, facing its own domestic problems, wouldn’t put up a fight from so far away.

They were sorely mistaken. Over the next 74 days, Britain sent 15,000 troops — aboard warships, logistics vessels, and even cruise liners — to retake the islands.

The Falklands War would see many military firsts, and 39 years later, it remains the most recent war between two states involving large air, land, and naval battles.

Because of this, Chinese military planners have studied it extensively, seeing a number of parallels between the Falklands War and a potential war over Taiwan.

A War of Firsts

British soldiers troops Bren gun Queen Elizabeth 2 Falklands War
British troops during Bren gun training aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, a cruise ship used as a troopship during the Falklands War, in May 1982. (JDHC Archive/Getty Images)

The war began in earnest on May 1, 1982, after negotiations over control of the islands broke down. The first shots were fired in the air by Argentine aircraft attempting to intercept the Royal Navy task force sent to secure the area for the invasion force.

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