In the cold, windswept skies over the South Atlantic Ocean, a battle unfolded that would forever etch its place in the annals of military history. It was a conflict that pitted two nations against each other, separated by thousands of miles of ocean but united in their determination to assert their sovereignty over a remote archipelago known as the Falkland Islands.
Falkland War: The Prelude
The Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory, had long been a source of contention between the United Kingdom and Argentina. On April 2, 1982, Argentine forces, led by a military dictatorship, finally made a move and seized the islands, setting in motion a chain of events that would lead to a conflict that would capture the attention of the world. Before long, the British government decided to reclaim the islands, and Operation Corporate was born.
The Falkland War (also the Falklands Conflict or the Guerra de las Malvinas in Spanish) was stirred by the military junta in power in Argentina that came to be known as the National Reorganization Process (Proceso de Reorganización Nacional), which ruled the country from 1976 to 1983. The junta came to power through a coup d’état in 1976 and established a repressive regime known for its human rights abuses and widespread political persecution. The decision to invade the Falkland Islands was a ruse by the military government to divert attention from domestic issues and bolster its flagging popularity.
Argentina’s Formidable Mirage and the Dagger
The Argentine Air Force possessed a formidable array of fighter jets, chief among them the Mirage III and the Dagger (a licensed-built version of the Mirage 5). These sleek, delta-winged aircraft were the pride of the Argentine military and would play a pivotal role in the conflict.