On this day in 1982, a group of Argentines landed at Leith Harbour in South Georgia on the British colony of the Falkland Islands, and planted their nation’s flag to reassert their sovereignty claim to the island. A man called Davidoff and 41 workers landed in South Georgia, which is situated approximately 1,400 miles east of the Falklands archipelago off the Argentine coast.
The men were understood to have had a commercial contract to remove scrap metal, but as soon as British intelligence heard of their landing, they were asked to leave immediately and seek formal British permission to work on the island. The men left, but it turned out that this was a test of British behaviour to determine how they would respond to the threat of Argentine forces arriving uninvited.
At the end of March, a small invasion force of nearly 1,000 men returned to capture the island. This became the trigger for the beginning of the Falklands War that ran from 2 April to 14 June 1982. The Argentines believed that the Falkland Islands belonged to them as they had been discovered first by an unnamed Spanish ship in the 1540’s. The war saw almost 1,000 men killed from the British and Argentine forces. It ended in British victory after Argentina surrendered, returning the Falkland Islands to British control.