The Falkland Islands are a group of islands in the south Atlantic. The two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, lie 300 miles [480 km] east of the Argentina coast. About 200 smaller islands form a total land area of approximately 4,700 square miles (12,200 square km). The capital and only town is (Port) Stanley.
The government of the Falkland Islands administers the British dependent territories of South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, and the Shag and Clerke rocks, lying from 700 to 2,000 miles (1,100 to 3,200 km) to the east and southeast of the Falklands. The total population of the islands in 1991 was estimated at 2100.
Argentina has claimed the islands since the early 19th century. Britain had occupied and administered the islands since 1833 and had consistently rejected Argentina’s claims. During the war, the British captured about 10,000 Argentine prisoners, all of whom were released afterwards. Argentina sustained 655 men killed, while Britain lost 236. Argentina’s ignominious defeat severely discredited the military government and led to the restoration of civilian rule in Argentina in 1983.
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