How the Royal Marines won the first battle of the Falklands War
On 14 June 1982 the Falklands War came to an end this is the story of how it began.
As icy weather rolled in over the southern dependency island of South Georgia, a fleet of British warships, hidden in a bay, planned an attack to reclaim the island.
But the tense operation 37 years ago was halted when they were alerted to the presence of an enemy submarine – the Santa Fe.
Helicopters from HMS Antrim, HMS Plymouth, HMS Brilliant and MS Endurance launched an air attack on the Argentinian submarine – forcing the crew to abandon ship.
After the success, the commander of the operation, Major Guy Sheridan RM, decided to continue with a land attack.
HMS Antrim and HMS Plymouth shelled the mainland, and a small assault force of 76 commandos – including Royal Marines from 42 Commando, attacked the town of Grytviken.
In the battle, the British troops picked their way through mines and booby traps, and eventually took 140 prisoners without a fight – 60 of them from the sunk Santa Fe. No one was killed in the attack.
After the takeover of South Georgia, the commander of the Santa Fe and the Argentine garrison at Grytviken was served dinner on board one of the British task force ships – where they expressed their “gratitude to the humanity being shown to the prisoners”, according to the Ministry of Defence.
This was the first victory of the conflict – South Georgia was again under British control and the Union flag flew at Grytviken.