“The Empire Strikes Back”: the Falklands/Malvinas Campaigns of 1982

By Philip Pugh, published August 2007

Abstract

The chronology of the Falklands war is recounted with comments on logistical and operational constraints. Historical conclusions arising from the campaign, their intrinsic interest and current relevance are discussed. The ability of navies to maintain a global reach has not been seriously addressed or lessons learned. Expeditionary warfare is expensive. Carrier borne aircraft were unable to attain air superiority. Sufficient warships must be available to justify risking their loss. Ability to land forces against opposition cannot be assumed. Anti-submarine operations were ineffective. Ships built to merchant standards were vulnerable. Blockade was ineffective. Neglect of important conclusions and analysis risk public and political overconfidence. References include the author’s explanatory comments. An appendix details ships deployed.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Post WW2
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Naval Aviation | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy | Submarines | Weapons

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