Falklands 40: Insights for Contemporary Amphibious Operations

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Join Major General Julian Thompson CB OBE RM, Commodore Michael Clapp CB RN and Colonel (Ret’d) Ivar Hellberg OBE for an exclusive discussion of the Falklands conflict.

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It is 40 years since the conflict with Argentina over the Falkland Islands ended with the British liberation of the archipelago in the South Atlantic. It was a seminal moment in the UK’s post-colonial experience and marked a turning point in both domestic and foreign policy, not least in the revision of the proposed cuts to the Armed Forces in the 1981 Defence Review. It also marked a shift in the character of the Cold War, reinvigorating the transatlantic alliance, and served as the backdrop to a more assertive Anglo-American posture.

While the immediate impact of the conflict may be understood through these developments, there are broader, longer-term operational insights which seem to have been forgotten. What are these insights, and how can they inform the UK today as it seeks to reorientate itself for the challenges it faces both in Europe and in its Indo-Pacific tilt?


Major General Julian Thompson CB OBE RM commanded 3 Commando Brigade, which carried out the initial landings in the Falklands conflict and fought most of the subsequent land battles. He was until recently a Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies, King's College London. Major General Thompson has written and published widely, including his personal account of the campaign, 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands: No Picnic.

Commodore Michael Clapp CB RN was Commander Amphibious Task Group, responsible for the amphibious and support shipping and execution of the amphibious assault. Consequently, he became the Commodore Falkland Islands, responsible for the logistics support of the land battle and sea operations around the coast and, especially, control of the Amphibious Operations Area. He is the author, with Lt Col Ewen Southby-Tailyour, of Amphibious Assault Falklands: The Battle of San Carlos Water.

Colonel (Ret’d) Ivar Hellberg OBE was Commanding Officer of the Commando Logistics Regiment Royal Marines at the time of the Falklands War and was responsible for the logistics of the land battle. He has published articles on the logistics battle for the RUSI Journal, and taught at the UK’s Defence Academy, Cranfield University.

Chair: Dr Sidharth Kaushal, Research Fellow, Sea Power, RUSI

The Falklands War, 40 Years On

We bring together a selection of interviews and events covering the history of Falklands War, its aftermath and the impact this has had 40 years on.

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