Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War

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This is a list of the ground forces from Argentina that took part in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas). For a list of ground forces from the United Kingdom, see British ground forces in the Falklands War.

Operation Rosario (April 2)[edit]

South Georgia (April 3)[edit]

  • 1st Marine Infantry Btn. (BIM 1) (†two), embarked ARA Bahia Paraiso transport and ARA Guerrico corvette Lieutenant Guillermo J. Luna.
    • 60 men

Preparation for war[edit]

Argentina had seven complete infantry brigades: IV Airborne Infantry Brigade in Córdoba, IX Brigade in the Chubut Province close to the Falklands, the well-equipped VI and VIII Mountain Infantry Brigades along the Chilean border; XI Brigade, (cold-adapted) in the extreme south and the III and X Brigades facing the benign Urugayan border. Two assumptions governed the deployment of the Argentine ground forces on the islands (Spanish: Guarnición Militar Malvinas):

  • the junta did not believe that the British would use military force to retake the islands, so the initial landing force had been withdrawn shortly after April 3, and was not reinforced until after the British recaptured South Georgia. The intent was to place a large number of troops onto the islands to dissuade the British from any military action. As the Royal Navy had submarines patrolling the immediate area, reinforcements had to be airlifted in, which limited the heavy equipment that could be deployed.
  • an attack was feared from Chile due to the ongoing Beagle Channel dispute, as Chile was marshalling troops close to its Southern Argentine border, the Argentinian High Command had to deploy their better trained forces to deter a Chilean attack. As a result neither the mountain warfare regiments, nor a paratroop brigade were available. Furthermore, only one fifth of the cold-adapted marine infantry was sent to the islands. The majority of the troops deployed were from sub-tropical areas, the Argentine Mesopotamia region and Buenos Aires Province, and not trained for action in the terrain (they were trained to avoid snakes and sunstroke, not frostbite). These two incorrect assumptions led to inappropriate troops being sent to the islands.[2]

In the Argentine Army the entire stock of conscripts was changed over at New Year. Soldados Clase ’63 (SC 63) were conscripts born in 1963. On April 2, 1982 SC 63 had had three months of boot camp. The army tried to replace SC 63 with the newly demobilized SC '62 by the time the British arrived.[3]

Theatre of Operations in the Falkland Islands (April 7 – June 14)[edit]

Guarnición Militar Malvinas

  • Commander: Brigade General Mario Menéndez (governor). RI (Infantry Regiments) were about 800 men.

3rd Mechanised Infantry Brigade[edit]

Agrupación Litoral (Coastal Sector) [4] Commander: Brigade General Omar Parada. Brigade home base: Mesopotamia

10th Mechanised Infantry Brigade[edit]

Agrupación Puerto Argentino (Stanley Sector) Commander: Brigade General Oscar Jofre. Brigade home base: Buenos Aires Province

  • 3rd Regiment (RI 3) — Stanley - aborted urban warfare (†five and 85 wounded [9])
    • Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel David U. Comini.
  • 6th Regiment (RI 6) — Stanley Common (†12 and 35 wounded [10])
    • Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Jorge Halperin.
  • 7th Regiment (RI 7) — Mount Longdon and Wireless Ridge (Stanley) (†36 and 152 wounded [11])
    • Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Giménez.
  • 25th Infantry Regiment (Argentina) (RI 25), 9th Infantry Brigade (attach to 10th Brigade) — Stanley Airport, Goose Green and San Carlos (†13 and 67 wounded [12])
    • Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed A. Seineldin.
  • Panhard Armoured Cars Squadron (Esc Panhard/Destacamento de Exploración de Caballería Blindada 181), 9th Infantry Brigade (attached to 10th Infantry Brigade) - Moody Brook
  • 10th Armoured Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (dismounted), 10th Infantry Brigade (attached to reserve) - Moody Brook (†six and 68 wounded [13])
    • Commander: Captain Rodrigo A. Soloaga.

Artillery[edit]

  • 3rd Artillery Group[14] (GA3), 3rd Infantry Brigade (†two and 21 wounded)
  • 4th Airborne Artillery Group (GA4), 4th Airborne Brigade (†3 and 42 wounded) (Stanley).
    • Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Carlos A. Quevedo
    • 18 105 mm guns.

Miscellaneous Army Troops[edit]

I Corps

  • 181st Military Police and Intelligence Coy (Stanley).

Army Chief of Staff Troops

  • 601st Engineer battalion (BI-601) (†one and 10 wounded [15]) (Fitz Roy bridge demolition)
    • Commander: Major Jorge L. A. Etienot.
    • 9th Engineer company
      • Commander: Major Oscar M. Lima.
    • 10th Engineer company (†one and five wounded [16])
      • Commander: Major Carlos R. Matalon.
  • 601st Commando[17] Port Howard and Murrell River
    • Commander: Major Mario Castagneto
  • 602nd Commando Mount Kent (†five and seven wounded [18])
    • Commander: Major Aldo Rico.
  • 601 Combat Aviation Battalion (Batallón de Aviación de Combate 601) See 601 Assault Helicopter Battalion

Marines[edit]

  • 5th Marine Infantry Btn. (BIM 5) attached to Army — Mount Tumbledown, Mount William and Sapper Hill (Stanley) (†16 and 68 wounded[19])
    • Commander: Capitan de fragata (commander) Carlos Hugo Robacio.
  • Heavy Machine-Gun Company; twenty-seven 12,7 mm
    • Commander: teniente de navio Sergio Dachary. Stanley Common (†seven and 17 wounded [20])
  • Amphibious Engineer Company Stanley Common (†four)
    • Commander: capitan de corbeta Luis A. Menghini
  • 1st Marine Field Artillery Battalion's B Battery (Batería B/BlAC) Stanley Common (†two and two wounded)
  • Commander: teniente de navio Mario R. Abadal
    • 1,800 men
  • Dog section Naval Base Puerto Belgrano Teniente de fragata Miguel A. Paz [1] [21] [22]
    • 18 dogs (†two), 22 men

Gendarmería (Border Guards)[edit]

Compañía de Fuerzas Especiales 601 de Gendarmería Nacional The following Gendarmeria units were operational in the Falklands:

  • Special Forces Units: (†seven) six died in the same Puma crash, May 30
    • Squadron Atucha - Mount Kent (East Falkland).
    • Squadron Bariloche.
    • Squadron Calafate.
    • Squadron Esquel - Smoko Mount (East Falkland).

Air defences[edit]

Army[edit]

  • 601st Air defence artillery group (GADA-601). (†six and 23 wounded [23]) 4 by Shrike 3rd June
    • Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Héctor L. Arias.
    • One Cardion TPS-44 long range radar.
    • One Roland SAM system.
    • Four Tigercat SAM triple launchers.
    • Six Skyguard fire control radars each controlling two Oerlikon GDF-002 35 mm twin cannons.One Skyguard radar and two GDF-002 35 mm twin cannons deployed to BAM Cóndor/Goose Green)
    • Total of 12 x GDF-002 35 mm twin cannons for the Argentine Army. Three x GDF-002 35 mm twin cannons for the (FAA) Air Force. The FAA Oerlikon GDF-002 guns were sited on the Southwest side of Port Stanley Airport.
    • Three Oerlikon 20 mm single barrel Anti-Aircraft Cannons.
  • B Battery, 101st Anti-Aircraft group (GADA 101), I Corps.(†three and nine wounded [24])
    • Commander: Major Jorge Monge.
    • eight 30 mm Hispano Suiza guns.
    • ten 12.7 mm machine guns.
  • Some Infantry units

Air Force[edit]

  • Stanley Airfield defence group.
  • Goose Green Airfield defence group. (BAM Cóndor).
  • Special Operations Group.
    • One Westinghouse TPS-43F long range radar.
    • Three x Oerlikon twin 35 mm guns.
    • One Super Fledermaus fire control radar.
    • One Elta short ranged radar.
    • 15 Rheinmetall Rh-202 twin 20 mm anti-aircraft guns. (nine deployed close-in to the Port Stanley Airport runway. Six deployed to Goose Green Airfield).
    • A number of SA-7 man portable short ranged SAMs.

Navy[edit]

  • 1st Marine Anti-Aircraft Battalion Stanley Common (†2).
    • Commander: capitan de corbeta Hector E. Silva .
    • Three Tigercat SAM triple launchers.
    • 12 Hispano HS-831 30 mm anti-aircraft guns.

Infantry weapons[edit]

A display in the Imperial War Museum, showing an Argentine mortar

Casualties[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands, 1989, Pen & Sword military classics, ISBN 0-85052-978-6, chapt.: The First Steps to War, p. 19
  2. ^ Commodore Ruben Oscar Moro La Guerra Inaudita, 2000 ISBN 987-96007-3-8
  3. ^ Martin Middlebrook: "The Argentine fight for the Malvinas - The Argentine Forces in the Falklands War", Pen and Sword Books, 1989, ISBN 0-670-82106-3, p. 51: Every Argentine young man became liable for a twelve-month period of military service in the year that he celebrated his 19th birthday. The military year in Argentina began in January when the regiments received the young conscripts. During the year the recruits were trained and released in the last months of that annum. Soldados Clase ’63 were conscripts born in 1963. It was possible to wait up to seven years for military service, so Soldados Clase ’59 in 1982 were both lingering conscripts and recalled reservists. Since SC ’63 only had four months of training, the army tried to replace them with SC ’62 reservists and two-thirds had been changed by the time the British arrived.
  4. ^ Martin Middlebrook: Argentine Fight for the Falklands, 1989, Pen & Sword military classics, ISBN 0-85052-978-6, chapt. The British Are Coming, p. 63
  5. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  6. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  7. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  8. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  9. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  10. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  11. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  12. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  13. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  14. ^ Grupo= three batteries ≈ artillery regiment
  15. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  16. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  17. ^ Martin Middlebrook: "The Argentine fight for the Malvinas - The Argentine Forces in the Falklands War", Pen and Sword Books, 1989, ISBN 0-670-82106-3, p. 62 "The Argentine army did not have Special Forces. In the early 70s commandos were formed but subsequently disbanded because of the fear of the highly trained groups being used in a coup d’état. In 1975 they were reformed for the 'dirty' war and disbanded again after participating in security during the 1978 Football World Cup. The trained commandos were dispersed throughout the army. About 80 men were assembled in the 601st and 602nd Commando companies and send to the Falkland Islands. They were beefed up with SWAT-like teams from the Gendarmería Nacional – paramilitary frontier guards."
  18. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  19. ^ Historia Marítima Argentina, Volume 10, p. 137, Argentina. Departamento de Estudios Históricos Navales, Cuántica Editora, 1993
  20. ^ Desde El Frente: Batallon de Infanteria de Marina No. 5, Carlos Hugo Robacio, Jorge Hernández, p. 380, Centro Naval, Instituto de Publicaciones Navales, 1996
  21. ^ Perros en Malvinas
  22. ^ Los Perros de Malvinas
  23. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.
  24. ^ Informe Oficial del Ejército Argentino: Conflicto Malvinas; (Volume II, annex 64); Buenos Aires., 1983.

External links[edit]