Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Moise, Edwin

Committee Member

Andrew, Jr. , Rod

Committee Member

Silvestri , Michael

Abstract

By law, the British government seals all cabinet and other important government documents until after thirty years passes. In 2012, the 'thirty-year rule' expired for all documents pertaining to the Falklands War of 1982. There is already an enormous amount of material written about the war but these released documents provide new insight. Lasting only one hundred days, the war was kicked off when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, or known in Argentina as las Malvinas, on 2 April 1982. Located in the very South Atlantic and four hundred miles east of Argentina, the British launched their largest naval task force since World War II to recover their colony. By 14 June 1982, the islands were back in British possession. Relying heavily on these new documents, this thesis analyzes the controversial sinking of the ARA General Belgrano. This examination demonstrates the British fear of the Argentine navy and the potentially catastrophic damage it could have inflicted on not only the two British carriers, the HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible, but also on the overall British campaign. The documents also highlight the British government's efforts to control the media, albeit not all efforts were successful. This section relies heavily on the government documents but also journalistic accounts, British commander biographies and newspapers written during the war and years later. Allowing the government documents to speak for themselves, this thesis will expand the historiography of the Falklands War of 1982.

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