The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volume 2: War and Diplomacy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Volume 2

War and Diplomacy, 1st Edition

By Lawrence Freedman


858 pages

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In the second volume of his official history of the Falklands Campaign, Lawrence Freedman provides a detailed and authoritative account of one of the most extraordinary periods in recent British political history and a vivid portrayal of a government at war.

After the shock of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands in April 1982, Margaret Thatcher faced the crisis that came to define her premiership as she determined to recover the islands. The book covers all aspects of the campaign - economic and diplomatic as well as military - demonstrating the extent of the gamble that the government took.

There are important accounts of the tensions in relations with the United States, concerns among the military commanders about the risks they were expected to take, the problems of dealing with the media and the attempts to reach a negotiated settlement. This definitive account describes in dramatic detail events such as the sinking of the Belgrano, the Battle of Goose Green and the final push to Stanley. Special attention is also paid to the aftermath of the war, including the various enquiries, and the eventual restoration of diplomatic relations with Argentina.

This paperback edition has been updated, corrected and contains some new material.


'a masterpiece of even-handed scholarship, and will undoubtedly remain the definitive word on the conflict.’

Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph

‘Freedman is not just a good historian but a terse, readable writer. This is a fine book about modern war, warts and all, in an age when such evenly balanced conflicts are rare.’

Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

‘Freedman has the rare gift of offering both strategic guidance and a fine grasp of tactical details.’

Jeremy Black

‘In Lawrence Freedman, the campaign has found an impeccable chronicler’

Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph

‘Official this history certainly is, and something more. But is it definitive, critics may cry? With its personal panache and incisiveness, it is better than that – at least for this critic.' Robert Fox, Evening Standard

‘fascinating, balanced, fantastically well-researched and well-written.’ Andrew Roberts, New Statesman

'I highly recommend both volumes … a must-have for serious students of this period', The Northern Mariner

Table of Contents

Introduction. Acknowledgements. Timings. Section 1: At War Section 2: Options for a Settlement Section 3: Operation Sutton Section 4: The Peruvian Initiative Section 5: American Support Section 6: Enforcing the Exclusion Zone Section 7: International Opinion Section 8: The Changing Military Balance Section 9: Fortress Falklands Section 10: The Franks Report

About the Author

Sir Lawrence Freedman is Professor of War Studies at King’s College where he is currently Vice Principal. He has written extensively on military strategy, cold war history and contemporary conflict and is a regular newspaper columnist.

About the Series

Government Official History Series

The Government Official History series began in 1919 with wartime histories, and the peacetime series was inaugurated in 1966 by Harold Wilson. The aim of the series is to produce major histories in their own right, compiled by historians eminent in the field, who are afforded free access to all relevant material in the official archives. The Histories also provide a trusted secondary source for other historians and researchers while the official records are not in the public domain. The main criteria for selection of topics are that the histories should record important episodes or themes of British history while the official records can still be supplemented by the recollections of key players; and that they should be of general interest, and, preferably, involve the records of more than one government department.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Other