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49. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to Multiple Recipients1

198782. TDFIR–314/00539–82. Dist: 2 April 1982. Country: Argentina/United Kingdom. Subject: Partial Chronology of the Argentine Military Action Against the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands (DOI: 1, 2 April 82). Source: [3 lines not declassified].

1. On 2 April 1982, a senior Argentine naval officer returned to Buenos Aires from Southern Argentina after having participated in the preparations for and the launching of the Argentine military action against the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands. The naval officer said that the time and date of the operation had been set at least seven days in advance; it was launched at 2200 hours local time on 1 April in very high seas. The first unit employed was an eight-man underwater demolition team, followed shortly by a full marine infantry battalion in an amphibious assault; this battalion was augmented by 20 tanks, and two helicopters went in with a total of about 25 army commandos. The purpose of the first part of the operation was to secure the airfield at Port Stanley; this was achieved at 0200 hours local time on 2 April.

2. As soon as the airfield was secured, two C–130 aircraft with air assault troops landed to reinforce the marine battalion. The C–130 aircraft were scheduled to return to Rio Gallegos, in Argentina’s southernmost province of Santa Cruz, to ferry members of the 11th Infantry Brigade to Port Stanley.

3. Members of the 9th Infantry Brigade at Comodoro Rivadavia were on alert on the morning of 2 April.

4. Argentine naval personnel involved in the operation believe it went like clockwork.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Roger W. Fontaine Files, Cable File, Falkland Islands [04/01/1982–04/02/1982]. Secret; Noforn; Wnintel. Sent to the National Photographic Interpretation Center, the National Security Agency, the Department of State, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of the Treasury, the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, the White House Situation Room, the National Security Council Staff, the CIA Office of Current Operations, the Joint Special Operations Command, USCINCSO, and CINCLANT.