The Falklands Islands are in the south Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles east of the South American mainland. About 1,800 people lived there in 1982, and 3,000 are there now.
The conflict between Argentina and Great Britain over the islands can be traced to 1833, when British forces seized them and expelled Argentine troops. It climaxed in the 74-day Falklands War, which claimed the lives of 255 British soldiers and sailors. British authorities say 649 Argentines were killed; Argentine authorities put the number at 635.
Key dates in that conflict:
March 19, 1982—Argentine scrap metal workers riding an Argentine naval vessel land on the British-controlled South Georgia Islands in the south Atlantic. The British government sends the patrol vessel HMS Endurance to expel the Argentines.
April 1-2—Argentine troops land near the town of Stanley on East Falkland Island on the night of April 1 and meet mild British resistance. The Argentines take the islands by 12:30 p.m. the following day.
April 3—A U.N. Security Council resolution demands an immediate Argentine withdrawal from the islands. Argentina refuses.
April 15—The United States declares its support for the United Kingdom in the conflict.
April 25—British troops retake the South Georgia Islands. The Argentine submarine Santa Fe is badly damaged.
May 1—A British Vulcan air craft bombs Port Stanley airport in a record-breaking 8,000 mile round-trip flight from Ascension Island.
May 2—British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, killing 368 of the ship's 1,093 crew members. Argentine commanders call all of their ships back to Argentine territorial waters.
May 4—An Argentine Super Etendard jet fighter sinks the British destroyer HMS Sheffield with an Exocet missile, killing 20 British sailors. Argentine forces sank four more ships and badly damaged others during the remainder of the war.
May 20—British forces land in San Carlos Water on East Falkland Island and establish a beachhead.
May 28—British forces seize the settlements of Goose Green and Darwin on East Falkland Island.
June 11—British forces launch their final assault on Stanley, the islands' main settlement.
June 14—Gen. Mario Menendez, the Argentine commander in the Falklands, surrenders.
Sources: U.K. Ministry of Defense, Argentine Army, "No Man's Land" by Ignacio Montes de Oca.
(c) 2007, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.