BMMHS Quiz – The Falklands War

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The Falklands Conflict, Ian McDonald, the Deputy Chief of Public Relations at the MOD
THE FALKLANDS CONFLICT, APRIL - JUNE 1982 (FKD 2814) Ian McDonald, the Deputy Chief of Public Relations at the Ministry of Defence during a press conference. He was fleetingly transformed into a national celebrity while acting as the Ministry's principal spokesman on television during the conflict. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:


Congratulations – Clearly a military history guru!

Ouch…we may have to consider sending you off into the South Atlantic!

#1. Who resigned as the British Foreign Secretary three days after Argentine forces invaded the Falklands Islands ?

Lord Carrington

Peter Carrington was Foreign Secretary in 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. He took full responsibility for the failure to foresee this and resigned.

#2. Who "counted them all out and counted them all back" ?

As a BBC war correspondent Hanrahan joined the press corps attached to the Task Force dispatched by the Government of the United Kingdom to counter the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982. One report filed by Hanrahan whilst travelling with the Task Force southwards through the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes was particularly notable. He was reporting on an early air strike by Harrier jump jets operating from Hermes, when, to work a way around reporting restrictions regarding disclosure of classified military information, he stated “I’m not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out, and I counted them all back.” The phrase later inspired the title of a book about conflict that he co-authored.

Hanrahan later went ashore on East Falkland during the land campaign, and reported from amidst British Armed Forces units in the frontline whilst under fire, and was present at the liberation of Port Stanley by them on 14 June 1982, which ended the war.

#3. The Argentine light cruiser Belgrano was torpedoed by which British submarine ?

Conqueror, commanded by Commander Chris Wreford-Brown, was deployed during the Falklands War, setting sail from Faslane Naval Base on the Gareloch in Scotland on 3 April 1982, one day after the Argentine invasion. Conqueror arrived in the exclusion zone around the Falkland Islands 21 days later and was ordered to scan the area for Argentine shipping, particularly the aircraft carrier Veinticinco de Mayo (“25th of May”).

On 30 April, she spotted the Argentine light cruiser General Belgrano sailing southwest of the Falklands, just outside the exclusion zone imposed by the British on all shipping. With Veinticinco de Mayo approaching the islands from the north, the commander of the British Taskforce, Admiral ‘Sandy’ Woodward, feared a pincer attack, with General Belgrano attacking from the south and Veinticinco de Mayo from the north and requested permission from the British government to sink General Belgrano.

After some debate, permission to engage General Belgrano was sent to the submarine from the Royal Navy’s fleet command centre in Northwood in the United Kingdom. In the intervening period, General Belgrano had retired from its attack position and turned west, since Veinticinco de Mayo was not yet ready to engage the British fleet. This would cause some controversy, although General Belgranos captain and the Argentine government acknowledged that the attack was a legitimate act of war.

General Belgrano sinking on 2 May 1982, photographed by a member of her crew

On 2 May Conqueror became the first nuclear-powered submarine to fire in anger, launching three Mark 8 torpedoes at General Belgrano.

#4. Who was appointed Commander of the Task Force ?

John Fieldhouse

Following the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentine forces in April 1982, Fieldhouse was appointed Commander of the Task Force (designated Task Force 317) given responsibility for “Operation Corporate”, the mission to recover the Falkland Islands.

Sandy Woodward commanded the Hermes aircraft carrier group, Task Group 317.8.  The Commander-in-Chief Fleet Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, served as the Task Force commander, CTF-317. The task group containing the amphibious ships which launched the invasion TG 317.0 was commanded by Commodore Michael Clapp, with Task Group 317.1 being the landing force itself.

#5. RFA Sir Tristram and RFA Sir Galahad were bombed by Argentine planes landing at which location ?


The Bluff Cove air attacks occurred 8 June 1982, during the Falklands War. The two ships, the RFA Sir Tristram  and the RFA Sir Galahad were bombed by the Argentine Air Force (FAA) whilst unloading, with significant damage and casualties.


#6. Captain Sam Salt commanded which ship in the Falklands War?

HMS Sheffield

Captain Sam Salt was in command of the destroyer HMS Sheffield on 4 May 1982, when she was attacked and destroyed by Argentinian naval aircraft whilst on patrol in the South Atlantic Ocean during the war over the contested sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Sheffield was one of three vessels guarding the western flank of the British naval force when they were attacked. Two Argentinian Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard strike aircraft attacked the vessels using Exocet missiles.


#7. What was the name of the operation to recapture the Falkland Islands ?

On 2 April 1982, Argentina attacked Government House in Port Stanley , followed immediately by the invasion of South Georgia on 3 April 1982. In Britain, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ordered a Task Force to be assembled under Admiral Sandy Woodward to sail 8,000 miles and re-occupy the islands. The British task force sailed from Britain on 5 April 1982 as Operation Corporate. On 12 April, a 200-nautical mile maritime exclusion zone was placed around the Falkland Islands.

#8. Operation Blackbuck was an operation to do what in the Falklands War ?

The first British attack took place on 1 May. A British RAF Vulcan bomber flew over nine hours from the Ascension Islands off the coast of Africa towards Port Stanley. The plan of Operation Black Buck was to drop 1,000-pound bombs over Stanley airfield and put it out of action. The attack itself was ineffective as only one bomb directly hit the runway and was repaired within 24 hours. Despite the lack of actual success, the operation had been the longest non-stop military flight in history.


Quiz questions by Andy

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