|First Falklands War|
|Date:||1 April-14 May 1975|
|Locations:||Falkland Islands, South Atlantic Ocean|
The First Falklands War (simply called the Falklands War before 1985) was a conflict between the United Kingdom and Canada in the South Atlantic during 1975 over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The conflict was a part of the dispute within the British Royal Family which began with the removal of King George VI and his replacement with the Duke of Windsor in Britain in 1949.
Canada asserted sovereignty over the islands due to its holding of virtually all British crown territories in the Western Hemisphere, and the legitimacy of Queen Elizabeth II (the eldest daughter of King George VI). The war lasted for six weeks, and resulted in a small number of Canadian deaths, and the deaths of several hundred British Marines and sailors and the loss of a number of aircraft and ships.
It was the first "modern" (i.e. post-WW2) naval conflict between naval powers, and the first carrier to carrier battle since World War II. Apart from a single Canadian submarine, British and Canadian ships did not sight each other.
The war had little long-term political effect in Canada except for a hardening of anti-British and anti-Edwardist attitudes. In Britain, it had the result of toppling Britain's first Fascist Prime Minister. His replacement was far more repressive and turned Britain into a dictatorship.
Diplomatic relations were restored between Britain and Canada in 1980, but in 1985 Britain and Argentina took the islands. Canada subsequently took them back (see Second Falklands War). Britain and Argentina still claim the islands.
Since 1833, Britain had effectively been undisputed ruler of a small archipelago in the South Atlantic called the Falkland Islands (named for Lord Falkland, who was First Lord of the Admiralty when the islands were discovered). They were home to a community of approximately 2000 British people of mostly Welsh descent. The only other claimant to the Falklands was Argentina, which was at the time governed by a pro-Nazi dictatorship. Although it wanted the islands, Britain meant more to Germany than Argentina, for the Argentines, pushing their claim to the islands meant compromising their relationship with Germany. This was a risk the Argentines were not prepared to take.
During early 1975, a new Governor, Sir Fred Dobson was sent out from Britain to administer the islands. He was a career diplomat, with a history of slight political unreliability. He wasn't seen as genuinely anti-Fascist by any means, however his support for the movement was not seen as being total. This was his public face, in private he was profoundly anti-Fascist. He was what some called an "Old Englander", who believed in the old ways in Britain. This meant a belief in democracy, and the old instruments of civil liberties such as the Bill of Rights and Magna Carta. A brief stint at the British Embassy in Washington resulted in a significant contact with Canadian intelligence.
CSIS had not given him any assignments, preferring to keep him as a sleeper until the time was ripe. His star was on the rise in the British Foreign Service, and the Canadians preferred to invest in a excellent future asset rather than risk it lesser returns in the short term. It paid off.
Dobson informed his Canadian handler that he was to be sent to the Falklands as Governor. Dobson was disappointed, he was hoping for an important Embassy posting where he could be of some real use. Instead he was being relegated to the most distant outpost of the Crown. His handler sympathised, and expressed the hope that he would be able to do something for "the true Queen". He duly reported the assignment of his agent to his bosses at CSIS. Behind the scenes, a group of Canadian intelligence and military officers devised a strategy. They saw, correctly, that having one of their spies as a representative of the "King" could be useful. They envisaged the possibility of turning the Falklands to Canada. This had some distinct advantages to Canada. The first was a humiliation to the British and their "pretender King" (as Canadians saw him), the second was the removal of the Royal Navy from the western South Atlantic, the third was a Canadian base sitting astride the path between two Nazi allies (Argentina and South Africa), lastly, the 2000 Falkland Islanders would be liberated from Fascist control and be able to govern themselves democratically. The Canadian Cabinet approved the concept, now called "Operation Hornet/Opération Frelon".
Planning for the operation was entrusted to the French Canadian Major General Louis-Jérome Morjuet, an experienced Canadian Army officer, with a reputation for daring and initiative. Whatever his military qualities, he was a controversial choice. Because one of the aims of the operation was to liberate a fellow-British people, it was felt that the idea commander would be a British Canadian. There was in fact a sound pragmatic reason for this: a British Canadian would more acceptable to the Falklanders. General Morjuet stood up to the politicians, telling them that "as a loyal officer of Her Majesty's Army, I have sworn to lay down my life to defend Her Majesty's people. No politician has taken that oath". They considered sacking him for his impertinence, but thought better of it. The compromise solution was obvious, General Morjuet selected English-speaking units to carry out the operation. General Morjuet believed that the units he selected were the best for the job regardless of language.
The invasion force would be carried in the US-built Austin class Landing Ship Dock HMCS El Alamein, with transport helicopters on board the Iwo Jima class assault ship HMCS Vimy Ridge (which would also function as command ship). In addition to the twenty CH-124 Sea King (CH-3), and six CH-145 Sea Stallion transports (CH-53D), the force would have six CH-118C Huey gunship helicopters (UH-1C). One infantry battalion was to be used (2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Marines) and a detachment from the 1st Canadian Special Force Group, with support from a squadron of Cougar armoured cars, and a squadron of Amtracks. 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry would supplement the Marines in the early occupation. The RCN additionally was to provide two destroyers, two frigates, and a submarine. Due to the distances, the RCAF would have no role in the invasion itself. Its CC-130s would provide an air lift capability from Uruguay to Port Stanley after the take over. The invasion itself was intended to be completed within 24 hours.
Before he took up his post (but crucially after he was formally appointed), he took a brief holiday in Mexico. Dobson met with his handler in Mexico City who advised him that he could be of great use, he could liberate the Falkland Islanders from the fascists. The CSIS man gave Dobson a radio for when it was needed. He could receive a coded letter when the time was about to arrive. His diplomatic passport and status as the King's Representative on the Falklands ensured that his luggage would not be searched in either Mexico, Argentina, or the Falklands.
It is possible that the British suspected Governor Dobson, because shortly after he arrived in Port Stanley, a commander for Naval Party 8901 (the resident Royal Marine garrison) arrived in Port Stanley. Major Mark Gregory was an ardent fascist, and was rumoured to be close to Prime Minister Colin Jordan. Major Gregory had even lobbied to have the crown on RM insignia replaced with the flash and circle. He was given a sealed envelope with a message from Prime Minister Jordan himself. The envelope was to marked "To be opened in the event of an outbreak of war, or sensitive military situation."
The Canadian fleet set sail for the Islands. They were scheduled to arrive on April Fools Day 1975. Their movement was spotted by German AU-Boats. The Germans duly passed the information on to London, and the British duly filed the report and forgot about it. The fleet was spotted again in the South Atlantic (reported by the Royal South African Navy). Finally, the day before the invasion, the fleet was spotted by a German satellite near the Falklands.
The British Foreign Office advised Governor Dobson that a Canadian fleet was spotted near the Falklands and that he "should wish to act accordingly". This rather vague message was followed secretly be a Canadian radio call to Dobson's secret radio. The Canadians told Dobson that they were coming soon, and that a formal offer of surrender terms would be transmitted. Dobson was to accept those terms, and have the Marines and the Falkland Islands Defence Force disarm and wait for Canadian troops to take them into custody. Dobson agreed, and called the commanders of Naval Party 8901 and the FIDF to see him. Dobson told them that an overwhelming Canadian invasion force, including an aircraft carrier, was standing offshore. Dobson then said that resistance would be useless, and that he intended to surrender to the Canadians. He ordered them both to bring their troops, unarmed, to Government House, to receive the Canadians. Both Major Gregory, and FIDF commander Captain Franklin returned to Moody Brook Barracks and the Stanley Drill Hall respectively. Franklin called his men, explained their situation, and they formed up ready to march unarmed to Government House. Major Gregory opened his sealed envelope. The message from Prime Minister Jordan said that Dobson was suspected of being a traitor, and that if he showed any signs of weakness, cowardice, or treachery, Gregory was to execute him and take over government of the Islands himself.
Gregory sent a small group of men with an MG42 out to the Lighthouse to watch for the invasion force. They spotted nothing. The submarine HMCS Olympus landed twenty commandos in Zodiac boats at Lake Point, they are to approach Government House from behind. Another twenty commandos lands by Zodiac near the western end of the airstrip (Gregory's men were watching the eastern end). Most of Gregory's men are at Government House, heavily armed. When Captain Franklin spots the Marines carrying their weapons, he decided to move back to the Drill Hall and surrender there. Once he had returned to the Drill Hall, he stationed two men on guard to warn of the Canadians or the Marines, and had the rest sit at one end of the hall with their weapons at the other.
Major Gregory demanded that Governor Dobson explain why he was surrendering without even a symbolic fight. Dobson said that he wanted to avoid loss of life. Two of Gregory's men had searched Government House and found the radio. The radio was a common enough American radio, common except for the maple leaf and DND (Department of National Defence) marking left on it. In retrospect, this seems to have been a foolish thing for the Canadians to have left on it. When the Marines present this radio to their officers, Gregory shoots Dobson.
While Dobson is being buried in the yard, Gregory has an idea, he has one of his men drive back to Moody Brook Barracks to get as much uniform as he can, and has another of his men go to the clothing stores in Stanley itself to take the mannequins. Gregory had the mannequins dressed in the uniforms, and lined up in front of Government House.
The first fighting occurred on the Neck, when Canadian commandos encountered a group sent to relieve the men stationed at the lighthouse. The Canadians had no suppressed weapons, and the sound of their XM177 carbines attracted the attention of the men at the lighthouse. The Canadians quickly dispatched both the relief force, and the surveillance group. They warned the other Canadian group approaching Government House from the south.
Gregory did not move his platoon to engage the Canadians, instead he waited in ambush in Government House. The Canadians approaching from the back were the first to be hit. One of them was wounded, and the rest withdrew to safe ground a short distance away from Government House. The Canadian force on the eastern side of Government House exchanged sporadic fire with the British, but neither inflicted nor suffered any casualties. Gregory's 2IC suggested a fighting withdrawal to Moody Brook Barracks, but Gregory rejected this idea, possibly because he wanted to protect his "seat of government". The 2IC pointed out that they appeared to be under attack by a probably battalion-sized which could land at will (he had no idea that there were only 40 Canadians on the Falklands at this time, armed with small arms only).
On HMCS Vimy Ridge, General Morjuet had a decision of his own. His original plan had been scuppered by the total loss of contact with their governor. He had to work out what to do next. He noted the fact that there was no resistance from Port Stanley, and the amount of fire coming from Government House suggested it was being defended by a platoon. He surmised that all the Marines were in Government House.
General Morjuet decided to land a full company on the islands just after dawn. Two platoons would go in the Amtraks and would have support from Cougar armoured cars. They would land near the airstrip before dawn, and drive through town to Government House. The third platoon would be dropped to the south of Government House. Two CH-118Cs would escort the airlanding platoon, while two more would support the Amtrak landing.
The Amtraks rolled down the Neck and through Stanley with no opposition. The police called Government House and informed them that six armoured personnel carriers and a couple of armoured cars were heading through Stanley. Shortly after they finished the call, the police station was occupied with no resistance. The radio station went off the air five minutes later, as the Canadians occupied it. The FIDF Drill Hall was occupied as easily.
The Amtraks arrived at Government House and saw that the Fascist Circle and Flash flag was flying in place of the Falkland Islands flag. The Marines fired on the Amtraks immediately. The Marines had only one anti-tank weapon, an 88mm recoilless rifle. The Marines fired it at the first Amtrak and missed. The Canadians withdrew to wait for the helicopters. A minute later, they came. The second Amtrak carried a forward air controller, and he guided the CH-118C gunships towards the backblast. The lead Huey gunship sprayed the area with minigun fire. After receiving word from the Vimy Ridge that there was no reply from the Governor, the Hueys were cleared to attack Government House. As the Hueys came back on a second past, the Canadians in the lead Amtrak saw a Marine run out with a long tube, the gunner identified it as a Fliegerfaust 2 (it was actually a Short Blowpipe, the British copy of the Fliegerfaust 2), and shot him with the Amtrak's machine gun. The Hueys sprayed both floors of the house with their twin miniguns. Subsequent examination revealed that the Hueys had fired over 3500 rounds into Government House. The Cougars then fired smoke rounds near the house, and the Canadians assaulted Government House. They found 28 Marines in the house. 18 were dead, 6 were wounded (one died on the scene, one more died on HMCS Vimy Ridge), and 4 uninjured. Major Gregory was among the dead. The Canadian troops brought a small fire under control, and the town was searched for further Marines, and none were found.
HMCS Vimy Ridge's legal officer administered the oath of office for General Morjuet, who was appointed Temporary Military Governor of the Falkland Islands. The Canadian flag was raised in Port Stanley, and the radio station broadcast a recorded message from Queen Elizabeth II, and a direct address by General Morjuet. The Canadians decided on a very light hand. Most of the troops were ashore by midday, and they were accomodated on the airfield. Officers too were accomodated there. General Morjuet's deputy, Brigadier Walter Wells became the effective military commander. He set up his headquarters at Moody Brook Barracks. The airfield accomodated the helicopters while HMCS Vimy Ridge sailed back to Uruguay to return prisoners. The Canadians transferred the wounded to the best private hospital in Montevideo and paid for their treatment. The hospital staff were assured that if they needed specialist consultants, the best Canadian doctors would be flown down. The prisoners who were well were repatriated to Britain, on first class flights at Canada's expense. The wounded were repatriated as soon as their condition allowed them to be moved.
Another battalion of troops were air lifted to the Falklands, with many of them taking up position at Goose Green.
Diplomatic and Political ResponseEdit
Britain's immediate political reaction was fury, Prime Minister Colin Jordan swore revenge on Canada, and vowed to retake the islands. His Defence Secretary tried to resign, but Jordan refused to accept his resignation saying that "these matters are not to be discussed in wartime". All Canadians in Britain who were not diplomats were rounded up, and sent to concentration camps. They were to kept in good condition, but still subjected to harsh conditions. Canada did not reciprocate the measure as a large portion of the Britons in Canada were refugees. Global reaction was confused. Most of the democracies gave Canada quiet support, but were not comfortable with the surprise attack. Canadian investigators revealed that former Governor Dobson's body was found with a single bullet wound to the head, and Major Gregory's sidearm appeared to have been fired once (his FN Hi-Power had fouling in the barrel, and only 11 shots in the magazine and one in the chamber, one short of the full 12 in the magazine and one in the chamber). This was transmitted to Britain from "pirate radio ships" in international waters near the UK (and operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). The fascist countries offered rhetorical support for Britain. Portugal offered the use of Cape Verde as a staging point.
Prime Minister Jordan appealed for German assistance in retaking the Falklands. He ordered a British fleet to mobilise to retake the Falklands. The Germans, still smarting from their defeat in Vietnam were not keen on another war in a far off place. Reich Chancellor Speer wanted to pursue detente with the United States, and fighting with Britain against Canada would destroy the chances for detente, so the Germans kept out. They did grudgingly grant credits to allow Britain to buy certain weapon systems from Germany, and Lufthansa aircraft were allowed to ship men and weapons to Cape Verde. The Kriegsmarine in the Atlantic was ordered to move all of its ships north of the Equator or east of the 20th meridian west if going north was impractical. German warships in the far south were ordered to Simonstown, South Africa.
Initially few Canadians supported the attack, however reports of Canadians being held in British concentration camps, the murder of the former governor, and numerous stories of the Islanders being happy with their Canadian 'liberators' began to change Canadian public opinion. Canadian spirits were buoyed on the 30th of April when news came that the pro-Nazi government in Saigon, South Vietnam had collapsed, and Vietnam had been united (see Vietnam War). The victory of democratic forces over fascism in Asia allowed the Canadians to believe that they could defeat fascism in the South Atlantic.
To avoid provoking Germany, the United States refused to involve itself in any combat, and offered to mediate between Canada and Britain. President Goldwater called for a "Summit of Great English Speaking Nations" to resolve the crisis. Among the other "Great English Speaking Nations", opinion was divided. New Zealand said little, while Australia offered total support to Canada. Some Australian commentators said that Canada provided an example to follow, and that it was time to remove Vichy control in the South Pacific. The Canadian Government said it was ready to offer a treaty which would transfer sovereignty, and compensate Britain for financial losses directly resulting from the invasion, and to fund the life insurance pay outs for the dead British Marines. Prime Minister Jordan rejected the treaty, and it has even been said that he tore it up violently, and burned the pieces.
The Battle of the 44th ParallelEdit
The Canadian Government advised Britain through a neutral intermediary that any British warship, or British merchant ship sailing with warships, approaching the Falklands would be sunk without warning, and any British merchant ship without warship would receive one warning to surrender before being sunk. The Canadian fleet had been strengthened. It now consisted of the following ships:
- 2 Essex class aircraft carriers (HMCS Bonaventure, HMCS Warrior)
- 3 Province (Belknap) class cruisers
- 4 Annapolis (Charles F. Adams) class destroyers
- 4 Mackenzie (Knox) class frigates
- 2 St. Laurent class frigates
- 3 Olympus (Barbel) class submarines
- 2 Protecteur-class auxiliary oiler replenishment
This powerful Canadian force faced the following British force:
- Two Audacious class aircraft carriers (HMS Eagle, HMS Ark Royal)
- 2 Town class cruisers
- 2 Type 82 destroyers
- 1 Type 42 destroyer
- 3 County class destroyers
- 3 Leander class frigates
- 3 Rothesay class frigates
- 2 Salisbury class frigates
- 2 Oberon class submarines
- Various amphibious ships, Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, and requisitioned merchant ships
The British carriers were equipped with de Havilland/Focke Wulf Fw-115 Super Vixens and Blackburn Buccaneers. The Super Vixen was a supersonic all weather fighter, while the Buccaneer was a strike bomber. These were the standard aircraft for both the British and German navies. The British also used the Fairey Gannett anti-submarine and airborne early warning aircraft. The Canadian aircraft carriers were equipped with McDonnell Douglas CF-110K Phantom IIs. Each Canadian aircraft carrier fielded an air wing which included sixteen CF-110Ks, plus CP-121 Tracker anti-submarine aircraft, CE-121 Tracer airborne early warning aircraft, and CH-124 Sea King helicopters. The CF-110K was a highly capable multi-role fighter. Like the Super Vixen, it had a two man crew, and was primarily armed with missiles. The Super Vixen carried 2 Sky Flash radar guided missiles, two Red Top heat-seeking missiles, and 2 30mm ADEN cannon. The CF-110K was armed with four Canadair Sparrow II active radar guided missiles, four Sidewinder heat-seekers, and an SUU-23 gun pod in the air to air role. For anti-ship strike, the Phantom's armament varied. Normal weapons included the AGM-62 Walleye glide bomb, the AGM-78 Standard anti-radiation missile (while the Standard ARM cannot sink a ship, it can render a ship defenceless by destroying it's radar), and the Mark 82 dumb bomb. The Blackburn Buccaneer was indisputably the best maritime strike aircraft in the world, and in Royal Navy service carried the TV-guided Martel missile. There were no equivalents to this weapon in the Royal Canadian Navy at this time.
The commander of the Canadian fleet, Rear Admiral Andrew Collier was given his orders. Ottawa told him that if no signal was received by the time the British fleet reached the 44th parallel, he was cleared to take any action he considered necessary to protect the Falklands. The Canadian Government had back channel negotiations going on with the British in New York. The Canadians wanted recognition of their sovereignty of the Falklands, and the British wanted a unilateral Canadian withdrawal. Both sides were completely implacable. In the meantime, the Canadians searched for the British fleet. HMCS Olympus was the first to spot them, and was ordered to shadow. It was ordered not to send reports about the fleet (these would give Olympus' position away), and it received the same authorisation from Admiral Collier as Collier had received from Ottawa. On the 14th of May, a CP-121 Tracker from HMCS Warrior spotted the British fleet. The Tracker quickly retreated to avoid being shot down. The Tracker successfully transmitted a report of the fleet's position and course. There were only one hundred miles from the 44th parallel, and three hundred and fifty miles from the Canadian fleet. The British had formed their escorts around the fleet of amphibious and merchant ships, forming a ring of steel (as the British called it) or a ring of bait (as the Canadians called it).
On the decks of Bonaventure and King George VI, the fitters prepared their aircraft for battle, loading weapons and fuel. The pilots received their briefings regarding the size and composition of the task force, and their plan of attack. The eastern end of this force appeared to be weakest, so the plan was simple. The Canadians would attack the escorts and carriers. The force was expressly ordered not to attack amphibious or merchant ships. Admiral Collier was unsure if he could beat the British in a "straight fight", but he believed that if he could inflict heavy losses on the British, they could be persuaded to give in.
At 0730, the Canadians launched their aircraft. The Canadian strike force consisted of 24 CF-110K Phantoms. All of the Phantoms carried Sparrows and Sidewinders. Eight of the Phantoms were equipped with gun pods for air combat. Six were fitted with Standard missiles to take out the radars of the escorts. Ten carried Walleye glide bombs with the intention of damaging aircraft carriers and large escorts. The British spotted the air strike force soon after it launched. Their Gannet airborne early warning aircraft vectored the four aircraft standing patrol onto the force, and the British commander ordered all of his fighters into the air. His Gannet AEW aircraft were told to try to keep the battle as far north as possible. Although all of the Canadian aircraft were of the same type, the British correctly surmised that the eight aircraft flying above and ahead of the rest were the escorts, the rest were intended to attack the British fleet.
The Canadians had their own AEW aircraft, the Tracer, which was coordinating the battle. The bombers were to attack the British fighters first, using their Sparrow missiles. These were fire and forget weapons. The escort Phantoms kept their radars off, and would only switch their radars on and fight after the first salvo of Sparrow missiles from the bombers. This was intended to mislead the British into thinking that their bombers had close escort. The Tracer spotted the British fighters as soon as they launched. The Canadians observers in the attack Phantoms spotted the British standing patrol and were given clearance to fire. The first Sparrow missiles were fired, one each, from four of the attack Phantoms. The four missiles streaked down to the four British fighters. Two of the aircraft were downed, and the third slightly damaged. Low on fuel, and with no hope of catching the Canadians, the two survivors were withdrawn to their carrier. When the hits were reported, the eight escort Phantoms activated their radars and began to hunt for the British fighters. They also accelerated and climbed.
At this point, the main force of British fighters began to enter the radar range of the escort Phantoms. The Canadians counted only six and assumed it was another patrol, but their Tracer told them that another 14 were flying low, hoping to avoid the Canadians' radar. The six high Super Vixens were coming in from the north, while the 14 low fliers were coming from the west. The Standard-equipped Phantoms rose to meet the high Super Vixens, and attacked them with Sparrow missiles. The six Super Vixens broke formation as soon as their radar warning receivers registered the Sparrow radars, and two aircraft were hit. The escort Phantoms then engaged remaining Super Vixens from the side, shooting down two more British aircraft. The fight then became a general melee between the escort Phantoms and the Super Vixens, in which the Canadians lost one aircraft.
The escort Phantoms were instead vectored towards the low-flying Super Vixens. The escort Phantoms were able to position themselves above and slightly behind the Super Vixens. They ripple launched at the Super Vixens approaching them from below. They saw the exhaust trails of the Sparrows and climbed to launch their own missiles. Bravely, they ignored the escorts, and locked their radars on the strike Phantoms. British air to air missiles required a fighter radar to guide them, and because the Canadians had fired quickly, the British managed to down only three Phantoms. The rest of the missiles went ballistic (i.e. flew unguided on a ballistic trajectory) when their launching aircraft were either destroyed or turned away to evade the Sparrows. Of the fourteen aircraft sent out, eight were destroyed, and two severely damaged (the aircraft later crashed). Another dogfight ensued between the British and Canadians.
The battle began to turn decisively against the British when their standing patrol returned to HMS Ark Royal. The undamaged aircraft was recovered successfully. The damaged aircraft had in fact sustained engine damage. This damage resulted in a small explosion while the aircraft was on final approach. The loss of thrust meant that the Super Vixen struck the deck of Ark Royal with enough force to collapse the damaged right main gear. The aircraft veered to the right and overturned and went into a fuel truck and a Buccaneer. The fire caused a 500 pound missile warhead to explode. This crash fouled the deck of Ark Royal, caused over 100 deaths and wounded another 200. It would take several hours to clear. It meant that the British could not launch a counter attack, and that not all the British aircraft could land (even if they escaped undamaged). The four surviving fighters of the force of low Super Vixens were all from Ark Royal. Their crews were told to fly to a destroyer and eject, as HMS Eagle couldn't accommodate them.
The first Phantoms to attack the British fleet in were the Standard ARM-equipped Phantoms. They fired as soon as their radar warning receivers informed them that the British had fired on them. They managed to disable both British cruisers, as well as two destroyers. One of the Phantoms crashed into the sea while evading a Sea Dart. Ten of the Walleye equipped aircraft survived the air battle, each equipped with two Walleyes. Four Walleyes were targeted on HMS Eagle, the remainder were launched against various escort ships. Three Walleyes hit HMS Eagle, disabling her. One cruiser was heavily damaged, one Type 42 destroyer was sunk. Two County class destroyers were hit, one in the hangar, the other in the superstructure. Two frigates were sunk, and three severely damaged. One of the Type 82 destroyers was hit, and caught fire. She was later abandoned and sunk by a British submarine. While the British were collecting survivors, HMCS Olympus attacked and sank a British submarine.
The Canadian Admiral Collier sent the British a message over the Guard channel stating that his aircraft were rearming for another attack, and they they should turn around or surrender. Collier was bluffing, as he had only no intention of attacking. He was however prepared to do so. The British commander, Admiral Holmes, informed London of his losses, and asked for instructions. He received no immediate answer. Prime Minister Jordan was furious, he believed that he had been betrayed and demanded revenge on the Canadians and that the 'traitor' be found and punished. Jordan's advisors informed him that it would take another two months to make good their losses and organise another task force. The implication was obvious, two months from the middle of May would put them right in the middle of the southern hemisphere's winter, and it would be totally impossible to conduct military operations in that environment. Prime Minister Jordan thought he had one final card to play: he asked the Germans to intervene directly. With a personal letter to Reichsadmiral Dönitz, he asked for German ships to add to a second task force. Dönitz rejected his appeal, and suggested that Jordan end the war. To avoid the humiliation of a defeat, Jordan simply acted as though there was no defeat. The Canadians interned in Britain were released with very general apologies.
Colin Jordan did stay in office after the war, but only for three years. He was forced out after losing the confidence of the BUF. Diplomatic relations between Britain and Canada were not restored until 1998.
Reactions to the entire war were mixed in Canada. All Canadians were glad that there were very few Canadian casualties, though some mourned the loss of "fellow British people". The actions of Olympus were highly controversial, and all relevant documents were sealed for fifty years. Admiral Collier defended Olympus' actions by stating that the constant nature of the submarine threat would ensure the British would never come back to the islands, and that the intention of targeting a frigate was to avoid the larger number of casualties involved in sinking another type of vessel. Many Canadians were at least surprised that their country would engage in such an invasion. Some of Canada's more strident monarchists saw the war as another blow against the "Pretender's bastard son" (King James III). The positive attitude of the Falklanders and the low Canadian casualties ensured that criticism of the war would be ineffective.
The Falkland Islanders embraced the new freedom, but day to day life changed little for the Islanders at first. The Canadians themselves put very little on to the Islanders. A company of infantry as a garrison, and a small group of Mounties to replace the local police force. Canada did build better roads to link the major settlements and extend the airstrip. Reaction around South America was muted. Argentina restored its air link to supplement the Canadian air link to Uruguay.