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1982 - Preparations for Falklands War

2nd April. At 2-45 am while the people of Portsmouth slept, the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher received a message informing her of Argentina’s impending invasion of the Falkland Islands. “Operation Corporate” (Falklands War, 1st April to 14th June) started with the sailing of HMS “Invincible ” & HMS “Hermes” on 5th April. One third of the ships involved were prepared at Portsmouth. The Dockyard labour force, already under threat of redundancies, worked long hours.

Portsmouth ship, HMS “Sheffield” was hit by Exocet missiles on 4th May with the loss of 20 of her crew. She sank under tow on 11th May.

Royal Navy ships prepared for Falklands operation at Portsmouth:

Hermes…..............…...Aircraft Carrier. Invincible……………….Aircraft Carrier.

Intrepid…………..….....Assault ship. Fearless……………….Assault ship.

Bristol……………..Type 82 destroyer. Diomede…...…………Leander class frigate.

Herald……….....…Ambulance Ship. Hydra…………………..Ambulance ship

Dumbarton Castle……Patrol ship. Leeds Castle..……………Patrol ship

Ledbury……………...Minesweeper.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships:

Brambleleaf…………..Tanker; Black Rover……………..Tanker

Grey Rover………...…Tanker; Olna……………………...Tanker

Stromness…………….Stores ship

Shipwork brought forward to meet Falklands operation:

Illustrious…………….Aircraft Carrier

Liverpool……………..Type 42 destroyer

Bulwark……………...Aircraft Carrier - survey for possible use.

Damage repairs after Falklands Operations

Antrim………………..County class destroyer……………….Bomb damage.

Glamorgan……………County class destroyer……………..Exocet missile damage.

Onyx………………….O class submarine……………………Grounding damage.

S.T.U.F.T. (Ships taken up from trade). Work undertaken at Portsmouth:

Alvega…………………….Motor tanker……………………Silver Line

Anco………………………Motor tanker……………………Panocean

Avelona Star……………General cargo vessel………..Blue star Line

Balder London…………Motor tanker……………………Lloyds Industrial Leasing

Baltic Ferry…………….Roll-on/Roll-off ferry…………..Stena Cargo Line

British Avon………………Motor tanker………………British Petroleum Tanker

British Dart……………….. “ “ ………….....................……. “ “ “

British Tamar…………….. “ “ ………......................……… “ “ “

British Test………………. “ “ …….......................………… “ “ “

British Trent……………… “ “ …………......................…… “ “ “

British Wye………………. “ “ ………………....................... “ “ “

Geestport………………….Refrigerated cargo vessel………..Geest Line

Nordic Ferry………………Roll-on/Roll-off ferry……………Stena Cargo Lines

Norland……………………Roll-on/Roll-off ferry…………North Sea Ferries

Saxonia…………………….Refrigerated cargo vessel…………Cunard

Scottish Eagle…………...…Motor tanker……………………...King Line

Stena Seaspread…………..Repair ship………………………..Stena Atlantic