The Falklands

1982 Leonid Brezhnev dead Soviet General Secretary of the Communist Party Leonid Brezhnev died. Yuri Andropov succeeded him.

1982 Israel 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.

1982 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.

1982 War in the Falkland islands On April 2, the Argentinean military seized the Falkland Islands off the coast of Argentina. The islands had been administered by Great Britain. The Argentineans claimed the islands were part of Argentina and renamed them "The Malvinas." The British government announced that they would send a task force to recapture the islands.

On May 4, the British sank the Argentinean cruiser General Belgrano. The British destroyer Sheffield was subsequently sunk by an Exocet missile. On May 21, the first British troops landed on the Falklands and rapidly defeated the Argentinean forces. The British lost 225 servicemen and the Argentineans lost 712.

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.