“Action stations! Action stations! This is not a drill!” was the only alert the duty officer of HMS Sheffield managed to give before the impact.

The warning came too late.

Seconds later, an Exocet missile, fired by a sea-skimming Argentinian aircraft, rammed the ship’s starboard side, hitting it between the galley and the forward engine room. An inferno of flame and smoke quickly engulfed the vessel. The order to abandon ship soon came.

Ultimately, the empty destroyer would sink six days later, May 10, while being towed away. Twenty men died. The Exocet had just made its deadly introduction.