2 April 1982.

In a desperate attempt to remain in power, the Argentinian junta decides to go to war over a trivial, ancient dispute: the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

A group of small islands—more like a gigantic sheep pasture than an ideal human habitat—about 400 miles off the East coast of Argentina, the Falklands offered General Galtieri’s military junta a tempting way out of an escalating domestic crisis. Armed British response, after all, was unlikely, since Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government had been hacking the defense budget for years.

How wrong would that calculation prove.

On that cloudy April night, a small group of Argentinian frogmen from the 1st Amphibious Commando Group, emerged stealthy out of the dark waters of Mullet Creek, 3 miles south of the capital, Port Stanley.

Falklands Introduction
More like a gigantic sheep pasture than a habitable island: The Falklands. (Wikimedia)

They slowly stalked their way towards the Royal Marine barracks. Moving swiftly, they surrounded the old, brick building and waited for the order.

Their tear-gas attack—they were under orders to inflict no unnecessary casualties—fell on dry eyes. No one was there. The Marines had seemingly vanished. Next target: the Governor’s House.

This time, however, there would be a somewhat livelier response from the British garrison. The firefight began at 06:30, and lasted for one and half hours. The clever use of stun grenades and the constant shifting of fire positions by the small group of Argentinian commandos, made the 80 British defenders falsely assume that they were under attack by a largely superior force. Nevertheless, they fought fiercely.