1982 Leonid Brezhnev dead Soviet General Secretary of the Communist Party Leonid Brezhnev died. Yuri Andropov succeeded him.
Invades Lebanon Israel invaded Lebanon
on June 6. The immediate cause cited for the invasion was the attempted
assassination of Israel's Ambassador in London. Israel's plan was designed first
to create a buffer between Lebanon and Northern Israel. The incursion quickly
grew to a full-fledged attempt to destroy the P.L.O.
Israeli forces advanced to Beirut. In the course of that advance, a large-scale mini-war broke out with Syria. Over two days, Israel shot down 82 Syrian planes with no losses of its own, and completely destroyed the intricate Soviet-designed anti-aircraft missile system protecting Syria. A cease-fire was reached after Israel surrounded Beirut. Under the terms of the agreement, the P.L.O. was forced to leave Lebanon.
Lebanon Phalanges Massacre at Sabre and Shatilla
On September 16, Lebanese Christian troops entered the refugee camps of
Sabra and Shatilla. There, they opened fire on Palestinian civilians, killing
hundreds. The Israelis were not directly involved in the massacres, but their
presence nearby and their tactical control of the area resulted in sharp
criticism of the Israeli Army at home and abroad. An Israeli commission of
inquiry laid the blame on a number of Israelis, including Israeli Defense
Minister Ariel Sharon.
From start to finish, this undeclared war lasted 72 days, claimed nearly 1000 casualties (236 British and 655 Argentine), many of them innocent conscripts that were drafted in a hurry by the Argintine junta. The war had a cost of at least 2 billion dollars. From a political point of view, the war helped the reelection of Margaret Thatcher (who was losing popularity before the conflict started) and brought down Leopoldo Galtieri who was quick to resign afterwards, paving the road to the restoration of democracy in Argentina.
A year of royal stories: future heir to the throne, Prince William, was born. The Queen had a rude awakening when she found a man sitting on the end of her bed in Buckingham Palace... and it wasn't Prince Philip.
Channel 4 went on air for the first time on 2nd November and began broadcasting with Countdown. The government gave the go-ahead for satellite television.
Actress Sophia Loren was imprisoned for a month in her native Italy for tax evasion.
The Barbican Arts Centre in London was opened by the Queen and Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit Britain in 450 years.
Video laser discs began a
short lived existance and the Sony Pocket Television or Watchman was introduced.