FREE - Falklands Opening Sea Battle: Struggle for Intelligence Dominance in Retrospect

Falklands Sea Battle
Falklands Sea Battle

FREE - Falklands Opening Sea Battle: Struggle for Intelligence Dominance in Retrospect

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This report provides a unique perspective on the Falklands Sea Battle.  It explores the historic use of Argentina's Naval Intelligence assets and discusses alternative outcomes.

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On April 2nd, 1982, Argentina invaded the windswept, South Atlantic islands of East Falkland and West Falkland, collectively known as the Falklands.  Called the Malvinas Islands by Argentina, the Falklands were home to some 1,800 British citizens at the time and are considered to be British sovereign territory.  The ten week long war that followed was the culmination of years of disputes between Argentina and the United Kingdom over who would possess the territories, an argument that had existed since at least 1833.  The war can be thought of as unfolding in three major phases.  The first of these was the Argentine invasion on April 2nd, followed by a naval battle for sea dominance between April 25th and May 17th, and finally the land campaign of May 21st through June 14th that finally returned the islands to British rule.  This paper addresses the sea battle of April 25th through May 17th, examining how critical intelligence opportunities were lost by the Argentineans and how the British forces eked out a slim, but decisive, intelligence advantage for the rest of the war.  Specifically, this paper explores what would have happened had Argentina carefully marshaled its intelligence collection assets during this critical phase of the war.