How Argentina Could Have Won the Falklands War

The Falklands (called Malvinas in Argentina) War was won by the British. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion. With just a few tweaks — and a change in thinking — by the Argentine military junta, the war could’ve gone different.

  1. The Argentines could have continued to sink the cargo vessels necessary to support the British forces — Had the Argentines decided to stop trying to sink warships and concentrated on supply vessels and support ships, the United Kingdom could have been hard pressed to continue the conflict. As it was, the loss of several key vessels almost ended the conflict in the Argentine’s favor.
  2. Argentina could have sought Soviet assistance for weapon’s resupply — When the Argentine’s were running low on weapons, had they sought assistance from the Soviet Union, it’s likely that they could have received it. A rearmed Argentina could have made the conflict a great deal more difficult for the UK.
  3. The United States could have strongly suggested a negotiated settlement — With deference to the bravery and skill of the UK forces who fought during the conflict, had the United States not provided crucial intelligence assistance and strongly suggested that a negotiated settlement was in order, the UK would have been hard pressed not to acquiesce to this.
  4. Brazil could have entered the conflict — While relations between Argentina and Brazil were not that cordial at the time, had Brazil seen a benefit in entering the war, the UK would have had to reassess its battle strategy and probably seeks an armistice. The United Kingdom simply could not have fought both countries at once and still won the war.
  5. The Argentine Navy could have played a greater role — While the sinking of the General Belgrano disheartened Argentine naval forces who returned to port afterward, had they fought the UK with greater vigor, it is conceivable that they to could have contributed to the loss of support vessels and caused the United Kingdom to reconsider its war aims.

So the victory in the Falklands was not inevitable and the United Kingdom could have very easily either lost outright or been forced to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Jerry Nelson is an American freelance photojournalist covering social justice issues globally. Although busy on assignment in South America, he is always interested in discussing future work opportunities. Email him today at and follow him on Twitter.