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The Land Campaign

Royal Marine Commandos march towards Port Stanley
Royal Marine Commandos march towards Port Stanley

The land campaign proper on the Falkland Islands began on 21 May when 3 Commando Brigade was landed at San Carlos by an amphibious force.  This consisted mainly of Royal Marine and Parachute Regiment troops although there were many other supporting units in the Brigade including artillery, signal troops, engineers, logistic support and others.  The early days were busy with establishing the base, landing ammunition and other necessary stores, setting up defences (especially from air attack) and preparing to move eastwards to Stanley.  Even before this there had been Special Forces activity on the islands, mostly reconnaissance.

By now a second brigade, mainly Guards and Gurkhas was also on passage south.  On 28 May, Goose Green, south of San Carlos was attacked by Paras and surrendered the following day after a fierce fight, establishing a dominance over the Argentines.  RMs, deprived of helicopter lift by the loss of Atlantic Conveyor, began an advance across the island on foot – “yomping”.  The hilly terrain was difficult and allowed strong Argentine defensive positions but these high points fell in succession.  A second line of advance was opened in the south at Fitzroy on 3 June but there was a setback there 5 days later when two landing ships were attacked.

By 13 June the last hill was taken, Stanley surrendering the next day.