Cultural impact of the Falklands War

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The cultural impact of the Falklands War spanned several media in both Britain and Argentina.

Books[edit]

Fiction[edit]

  • Jack Higgins' thriller Exocet (1983) dealt with one of the war's most famous "buzz-words"; for many years afterwards, "Exocet" became synonymous with "missile" in the UK[citation needed] ("Yomp" and "Task Force" also entered the language).
  • In 1983 Pierre Boulle published the novel La Baleine des Malouines, translated in the UK as The Falklands Whale and in the US as The Whale of the Victoria Cross, about a blue whale which befriends the British task force.
  • The comic strip Bloom County featured several story lines taking place during the Falklands War.
  • Raymond Briggs' picture book The Tin-Pot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman (1984) is a satire of the Falklands War.
  • On Foreign Ground (1986) by Eduardo Quiroga, a novel in diary/letter form, tells of the war from the viewpoint of a young Argentinian soldier.
  • In the novella The Langoliers (1990) by Stephen King, the character Nick Hopewell is a Falklands veteran.
  • Falklands 2: Argentina's Back and This Time It's Different by Jim Thorn is a 1997 technothriller about a fictional second invasion of the Falkland Islands.
  • The first chapters of Chris Ryan's novel Land of Fire (2002) are set in the Falklands War, while the latter part involves a plot by a new military junta to re-invade the islands.
  • The novel Ghost Force (2006) by Patrick Robinson depicts the Argentinians reinvading the Falklands.
  • David Mitchell's 2006 bildungsroman Black Swan Green is set in Worcestershire, England, in 1982, and contains many references to the Falklands War.
  • That Forgotten Little War by Daniel E. Arias is a 2012 novel about the intertwined lives of 14 participants in the Falkland War.
  • The Captain's Story by Ray J. Cowling is a 2012 Falklands War novel about fictional Commander Mike Mansfield of the fictional Type 42 destroyer HMS Devonport.

Non-fiction[edit]

The war provided a wealth of material for writers, and many dozens of books came from it; in the United Kingdom (UK) the definitive account became Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins' The Battle for the Falklands.[citation needed] Other titles focused on the Sea Harrier (Sharkey Ward's Sea Harrier over the Falklands), the land battles leading up to the Argentine surrender (Christian Jennings and Adrian Weale's Green Eyed Boys), and the general experience of battle and life in the surrounding area (Ken Lukowiak's A Soldier's Song and Marijuana Time). In Argentina, one of the most well-known is Commodore Pablo Carballo's Halcones de Malvinas, a collection of personal experiences of fighter pilots and many others[1] and mandatory reading for admission to the FAA' Escuela de Aviación Militar.[2]

Poetry[edit]

The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, himself partly of British descent and bilingual in Spanish and English, wrote a short poem in 1985 called Juan López y John Ward, about two fictional soldiers (one from each side), who died in the Falklands, in which he refers to "islands that were too famous". He also said about the war: "The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb."[3]

A large amount of poetry has been written on both sides, regarding the war. An Argentine example, is Elegy for the Argentine Dead Boys, in the South Atlantic by Salvador Oria.

Films and television[edit]

Simon Weston, British war veteran.

A number of films and television productions emerged from the conflict:

  • Simon Weston, a Welsh Guards man who had suffered serious burns during the bombing of Sir Galahad, became a popular figure due to British media coverage. A series of television documentaries followed the progress of rehabilitation and eventual recovery from his injuries, the first being Simon's War (6 April 1983) in BBC One's QED series.
  • The first Argentine film about the war was Los chicos de la guerra (The Boys of the War), directed by Bebe Kamin in 1984.
  • The film version of Whoops Apocalypse (1986) features a conflict very similar to the Falklands War between the United Kingdom and the fictional caribbean country of Maguadora over the equally fictional Santa Maya.
  • The 31 May 1988 BBC drama Tumbledown, told the story of Robert Lawrence MC, a junior officer in the Scots Guards (Colin Firth) left paralysed down his left side by a gunshot wound to the head inflicted by an Argentinian soldier on Mount Tumbledown during the final push for Stanley, and his adjustment to disabled life after the war.
  • Harley Cokeliss's 1988 horror film Dream Demon depicts a planned marriage between the main character and a Falklands War veteran.
  • The 1989 British film Resurrected, directed by Paul Greengrass, had David Thewlis as a British soldier previously presumed dead in the war reappearing alive weeks after the end of the conflict.
  • The 1989 American/British film For Queen and Country starring Denzel Washington. Reuben is a St. Lucia-born British ex-para finding it difficult to adjust to civilian life some years after the war. The film deals with the poverty and crime that Reuben encounters back home and how he is ignored by both society and government despite his service.
  • On 13 June 1992 the BBC film An Ungentlemanly Act was released depicting the events leading up to and during the initial occupation of the Islands by the Argentine Army. Based on true events, the film was produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the conflict and starred actors Ian Richardson as Governor Rex Hunt and Bob Peck as Major Mike Norman.
  • In 1995, the Cracker episode "Brotherly Love" features a psychologically damaged veteran from the Falklands War. Barney (Ron Donachie), who gets into a brief argument with DS Jimmy Beck (Lorcan Cranitch) and flies into an insane rage when Beck shows no interest in Barney's exploits in the war.
  • Although the drama by Ian Curteis that became known simply as The Falklands Play was originally commissioned by the BBC in 1983, it was then temporarily set aside until 1985, the Corporation subsequently gave a number of reasons why it could not be made, including that it would have been broadcast too close to the 1987 General Election. Curteis maintained that the generally sympathetic portrayal of Margaret Thatcher and his refusal to include material that was contrary to both the official record and what his interviews with the major protagonists had revealed, went against a perceived BBC anti-government bias, citing the fact that Tumbledown - which he and others claimed was more "anti-establishment" - was made and broadcast. Curteis's play was eventually recorded in a truncated form and screened by the digital satellite channel BBC Four in 2002.
  • The 2005 Argentinian film Iluminados por el fuego ("Enlightened by Fire"), directed by Tristán Bauer and starred Gastón Pauls, in a docudrama movie based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Argentine Falklands veteran Edgardo Esteban, who fought in the conflict as an 18-year-old conscript. It received a San Sebastián Festival special award. The film tells about a veteran's memories, re-awakened after he learns of the suicide of a former soldier comrade. The movie gave a realistic portrait of the extreme weather and psychologically stressful conditions the Argentine soldiers faced in the field, the brutality and indifference to the suffering of the soldiers by their leaders and the horrors of modern conflict. The movie won several awards, including a Goya.
  • The 2006 British film This Is England, directed by Shane Meadows, is set in July 1983 in a small town in England and includes documentary footage and extracts from radio broadcasts about the Falklands War. The main character of the film is 12-year-old Shaun, whose father was killed fighting in the war.
  • The British science fiction series Ashes to Ashes uses the Falklands War as a backdrop during its second series.
  • Brothers in Arms is supposed to be about the Falklands War[4]
  • In the 2011 biographical film The Iron Lady, depicting the life and career of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands War is a significant episode of the film.


Visual arts[edit]

Linda Kitson was the official war artist accompanying British troops during the Falklands Conflict. She created over 400 drawings of the daily life of the troops. Many of Kitson's drawings are now part of the Imperial War Museum’s art collection, and were exhibited to the general public in November 1982. They are featured again in the Museum's exhibition Women War Artists, in 2011-2012.[5] All of Kitson's drawings which were not retained by the Museum were sold.

Theatre[edit]

Sport[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur's popular Argentine midfielder Ossie Ardiles had helped beat Leicester City one day after the invasion, to no ill effect, although he subsequently left the UK for a year, of his own volition. His cousin José Ardiles, a fighter pilot, was killed during the early stages of the air campaign. The war also created heightened passions between Argentina and England in the 1986, 1998, and 2002 FIFA World Cups, featuring play by Diego Maradona, Peter Shilton, and David Beckham. (See Argentina and England football rivalry.)

Music[edit]

Music referencing the war includes:

  • The song Glad its all over by Captain Sensible , is about the Falklands War.[6]
  • The Argentine punk-rock band Los Violadores wrote the song "Comunicado #166" at their album Y ahora qué pasa ¿eh?. The song is critical of the military Junta, and the role of the United States. Pil Trafa, the lead singer, commented in 2001 that Argentina should not try to annex the islands, but rather improve as a country, so that the Falklanders themselves would emigrate to Argentina.[7]
  • The Falklands War provided much of the subject matter for Pink Floyd's 1983 album The Final Cut, written by Roger Waters. The lyrics are highly critical of perceived British jingoism and of the Thatcher government's actions. A specific lyric protesting the sinking of ARA General Belgrano reads: "...Galtieri took the Union Jack. And Maggie, over lunch one day, took a cruiser with all hands... apparently to make him give it back."
  • Pop musician Elvis Costello wrote the song "Shipbuilding" (1983) with Clive Langer in response to the Falklands War. Written from the point of view of workers in a depressed shipbuilding town, it points out that their jobs only come at the expense of the lives lost in the war.
  • Argentine rock musician Charly García recorded the song "No Bombardeen Buenos Aires" during the war and released it in his album "Yendo De La Cama Al Living". The song is about the socio-political climate in Argentina during the war.
  • Much material produced around this time by the anarchist punk band Crass was extremely critical of the war and its aftermath, in particular the album Yes Sir, I Will and the singles "Sheep Farming in the Falklands" and "How Does it Feel to be the Mother of 1,000 Dead?" The latter, intended as a statement directed at Mrs. Thatcher, led to questions in parliament and a request for prosecution for obscenity from Conservative MP for Enfield North, Timothy Eggar [1]. Crass were also responsible for Thatchergate, a hoax tape, originally attributed to the Soviet KGB, on which the spliced voice of Margaret Thatcher appears to imply that the destroyer HMS Sheffield was deliberately sacrificed in order to escalate the conflict.
  • The folk rock band The Levellers wrote and produced the song "Another Man's Cause" featuring the lyrics "Your daddy well he died in the Falklands."
  • Manchester group The Fall released a single in 1983 called Marquis Cha-Cha which tells the story of a Lord Haw-Haw type figure who broadcasts from Argentina but meets a sticky end.
  • In 1998, British heavy metal band Iron Maiden recorded a song called "Como Estais Amigos" for their album Virtual XI. The song was about the Falklands War.[8]
  • Macclesfield-based punk band The Macc Lads penned a typically un-PC song called "Buenos Aires (1982, Falklands War Mix)" which included lyrics such as "Costa Mendez lives in fear / Of real men who can hold their beer!" and "hey hey hey / The lads are on their way / With their bayonets and tommy guns / and their bellies full of Boddingtons."
  • Joe Jackson's song "Tango Atlantico" (from the 1986 album Big World) represents a look back at the Falklands War.
  • The title track of The Exploited's 1983 album Let's Start a War directly addresses the Falklands War, implying Margaret Thatcher started it almost on a whim, for her own benefit and to take the focus away from other problems Britain was facing at the time, such as unemployment.
  • On their album From Here to Eternity: Live, The Clash, substitute a line in Career Opportunities for "I don't wanna die, fighting in the Falkland Strait" which was a common adlib during their set at the time.
  • Some people in Britain took the song Six Months in a Leaky Boat by the New Zealand pop group Split Enz to be a criticism of the war, and the song was banned by the BBC. The group denied that this was the song's intent [2] particularly because the song was recorded earlier in 1982.
  • Relating to the sinking of the Belgrano, British garage band Thee Milkshakes recorded the instrumental song "General Belgrano" on their fourth album "The Men with the Golden Guitars" released in 1983. The song begins with the sound of a submarine's sonar.
  • Punk band New Model Army's "Spirit of the Falklands" took a highly critical stance of the war and its 'selling' to the public by the British Government.
  • In 2006, Swedish power metal band Sabaton released the album Attero Dominatus, featuring a song entitled "Back in Control", whose subject is the Falklands War. It features lyrics along the lines of "Back in control, push them further out to sea / Falklands in our hands, back under British reign".
  • Political Singer / Songwriter Billy Bragg's 1983 album Brewing Up with Billy Bragg featured a song Island of no Return, in which a soldier details his experiences 'fighting fascists in the southern sea'. Bragg joined the British Army in 1981, but bought his way out a few months later.
  • The Falklands Hymn by Iain Dale.
  • The song 'Uninvited Guest' by British group The Christians mentions the Falkland Wars briefly in its lyrics.
  • American Midwestern Disc-Jockey/Musician Steve Dahl parodied the war using his own lyrics but the music of The J. Geils Band song "Freeze-Frame".
  • The Finnish rock band Eppu Normaali published a song Argentiina on their LP Tie Vie, comparing the war to a bad football game with cheating, an incompetent referee (who only understands baseball) and "the choir of the disappeared" as the cheerleaders.
  • The Clash make reference to the war in the song "This is England".
  • New wave band Spear of Destiny addressed the war in a song "Mickey", a fictional story about a young soldier losing his sight in the explosion of a landmine.
  • New York indie rock band, Vampire Weekend, references the war in the song "Mansard Roof", saying "The Argentines collapse in defeat; The Admiralty surveys the remnants of the fleet".
  • British New Wave band The Fixx single Stand or Fall was given little radio play due to its anti-war lyrics,which coincided with the Falklands conflict.
  • British progressive rock band Jethro Tull references the war in "Mountain Men" by saying "died in the Falklands on TV".
  • The war is mentioned briefly in the song "Cráneo Candente" (Spanish: Blazing skull) of the Argentine band Hermética, from the eponymous 1989 LP.
  • Irish folk band Wolfe Tones wrote a song about Admiral William Brown, the Argentine Navy founder, in which they state their support for Argentina on the Falklands' issue.
  • Danish rock music composer and singer C.V. Jørgensen included the song "Postkort fra Port Stanley" (Postcard from Port Stanley) on his 1982 album "Lediggang a go go". The acerbic lyrics[9] are unusually harsh, even for Jørgensen.
  • American Punk Rock band NOFX criticizes both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for their involvement in the Falklands War in the song "Ronnie & Mags" off their Self Entitled album.

Prior to the Falklands war, the Argentine military had considered its "rockeros" (rock and roll music enthusiasts and artists), as internal enemies of the state. For a time during the war, popular music in English was prohibited on radio stations. Subsequent to the war and the defeat of the military junta, popular music in Argentina reacted strongly to its prior oppression as well as the impact of the war.

A number of pop songs grew out of the aftermath of the conflict, including "Para la Vida" by León Gieco.

Games[edit]

  • The computer games Harrier Attack and Yomp presented unofficial portraits of the fighting.
  • The naval strategy game Strike Fleet included a scenario set in the Falklands, where the player takes control of British destroyers under attack from Argentine submarines.
  • The naval strategy game Janes Fleet Command included a scenario set in the Falklands, where the player controls the entire naval force, from Carriers to Destroyers and Aircraft.
  • Malvinas 2032 is a real-time strategy game, in which the player has to command the Argentine forces and re-take the Falkland Islands for Argentina. It was developed by Sabarasa.[10]
  • Falklands War - 1982 — This scenario collection, created with the Harpoon3 naval warfare simulator, is intended to accurately recreate the real-life war from 1982.
  • The Falklands War 1982 - An old game published by Shrapnel Games.
  • Port Stanley: Battle for the Falklands - published in 1984 by 3W, a battalion level board war game of the land campaign.
  • John Tiller's Squad Battles Falklands is a turn-based, realistic videogame based on the Falklands land war.
  • Falklands '82 (1986) by Personal Software Services.

State recognition[edit]

Monument to the fallen soldiers, Buenos Aires.
Liberation Monument, Stanley.

The war is commemorated as Día del Veterano de Guerra y los Caídos en Malvinas (Veterans and fallen soldiers of the Falklands Day), a public holiday in Argentina, on 2 April. It is sometimes referred to as Malvinas Day. In Britain, those who lost their lives are remembered as part of Remembrance Sunday.

In the Falkland Islands themselves, there are two holidays as a result of the war; Margaret Thatcher Day on 10 January and Liberation Day on 14 June (or the first Monday after, if it falls on a weekend).

In the United Kingdom, there is a national memorial at Pangbourne College, a small co-educational public school in Berkshire; it is titled the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel.

When the war started Calle Inglaterra (England Street) was renamed Calle 2 de Abril (April 2 Street, after the start date of the war). In November 2013 the street reverted to its original name Calle Inglaterra.[11]

Terminology[edit]

This war is also occasionally written as The Falklands/Malvinas War,[12][13][14] recognising the international split over the Islands' name. Other constructs such as Falklands Conflict and Falklands Crisis have also been used. The term Guerra de las Malvinas or Malvinas War is the one normally used in Spanish-speaking countries and has also been used by some socialist groups in English-speaking countries.[15][16]

The name "Guerra del Atlántico Sur", meaning "War of the South Atlantic" is also used in Spanish.[17][18] Unlike the term "Falklands/Malvinas War", this reflects the fact that some of the conflict occurred in South Georgia, and the deep ocean.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Book Review Air & Space Power Journal - Winter 2006
  2. ^ Ediciones Argentinidad Escuela de Aviación Militar, FAA. Bibliografía de consulta obligatoria.
  3. ^ Rees, Nigel (2006). Brewer's Famous Quotations: 5,000 Quotations and the Stories Behind Them. London: Orion Publishing Group. p. 98. ISBN 0-304-36799-0.  The quote apparently came from an interview published in Le Monde on 27 June 1982.
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_SKx4m_7vQ The song is about the Malvinas/ Falklands War of 1982, which ended in infamously brutal hand-to-hand combat between infantrymen using practically the same equipment.
  5. ^ "Press Desk: Women War Artists". Imperial War Museum. 7 April 2011. 
  6. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bobUGEliic
  7. ^ Comunicado #166 (Spanish)
  8. ^ Paterson, Lawrence (2009). Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day. Blaze Bayley Recordings Ltd. p. 70. 
  9. ^ http://www.lyrics59.com/postkort-fra-port-stanley-lyrics-1313290.html
  10. ^ Malvinas 2032 game demo
  11. ^ La calle "2 de Abril" volvió a llamarse "Inglaterra" y se desató la polémica
  12. ^ The Falklands/Malvinas War
  13. ^ Warrior Nation - Images of War in British Popular Culture 1850–2000
  14. ^ Justice and the Genesis of War
  15. ^ The Malvinas War Revisited
  16. ^ World Socialist Web Site
  17. ^ Veteranos de Guerra del Atlántico Sur[dead link]
  18. ^ Roberto Russell, America Latina Y La Guerra Del Atlantico Sur

External links[edit]