May 25, 1982. Long days for both sides. On this memorable date for Argentina as the new anniversary of the formation of the first national government is celebrated, it should be noted that the Argentine armed forces have not given up their actions despite the fact that the number of systems in service is declining. British losses cannot be set aside, either. The four M-5 daggers and two A-4 Skyhawks missing in earlier days are but a sample of the constant and consistent pressure by Argentine Air Force and Naval Airmen pilots of the Argentine Navy. On the other hand, the western movement of British forces, including the two aircraft carriers (HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible), was detected 235 kilometers from the landing area in San Carlos Bay.
Front: Malvinas Island
San Carlos Bay
In the early hours of the morning, an A-4B Skyhawk C-244 was commanded by the Captain. Hugo del Valle Blaver took off from Rio Gallegos. He was hit by friendly fire while flying over Pradera del Ganso with Lieutenant Daniel Galvez, but from the ground the soldiers fired their light weapons at the planes. Returning towards the San Carlos Strait, the Palaver was shot down by a Sea Dart launched from HMS Coventry.
Hours later, Captain Jorge Garcia, Lieutenant Lucero, Lieutenant Parede, and Lieutenant Isaac attacked unidentified ships. After the attack, Lucero was shot down by a Sea Cat missile launched from HMS Yarmouth, managed to be ejected, captured and transferred to the Ugandan SS hospital ship. Another Sea Dart missile, launched from HMS Coventry, drops Garcia north of San Carlos. Later, an A-4C Skyhawk, registered C-304, from Fighter Group 4 deployed in San Julián north of Pebble Island was shot down by another Sea Dart while returning from a mission in San Carlos Bay.
Argentinian port attack
Around noon, two separate Harrier GR.3 and Sea Harrier formations carried out a new attack on the runway of Puerto Argentino Airport. Bombs dropped from high altitudes do not cause much damage. As a result of these bombers, the Argentine anti-aircraft artillery reported shooting down three enemy combat bombers.
Attack on HMS Coventry
This morning, the English fleet received an order to station itself in the San Carlos Strait. Two air defense ships, the destroyer C-42 HMS Coventry and the 22nd Broadswrord frigate were stationed near the mainland with Sea Dart and Sea Wolf missiles respectively. The main function is to give early warning of the approaching Argentine presence, and in turn direct the sea emigrant to intercept.
Before dawn, four Skyhawks belonging to the FAA’s Fighter Group 5, based in Rio Gallegos, departed. They are refueled by a KC-130 Hercules while another on an expedition mission locates a target by radar.
Shortly before 1400, Fighter Group 5 launched a new attack on the British fleet, making two flights with three Skyhawks. During the flight they receive information from the C-130 Hercules obtained through radar and from Puerto Argentino. Two pairs of Skyhawks attack almost simultaneously from different directions. They are detected by radar, but malfunctions in the missile systems made it impossible to launch the Sea Darts. HMS Broadsword attempted to hit the first pair of attackers (Captain Pablo Carballo and Lieutenant Carlos Alfredo Renke) with its Sea Wolf missile system but its tracking system malfunctioned during the attack, and they were unable to activate it before the missiles were launched. .
At 15:20, the two planes commanded by Captain Carballo attacked first. The latter has difficulty seeing due to a film of salt on the transparent canopy cover. One of its bombs bounces off the water running through brochure in the stern without exploding, destroying the Sea Lynx helicopter and damaging the frigate’s thrust.
Seconds later, a second pair of Skyhawks commanded by Lieutenant Mariano Angel Velasco and Lieutenant Jorge Nelson Barunivo headed toward HMS Coventry. He fired a Sea Dart in an attempt to distract them and quickly veered to avoid his profile being attacked. On the other hand, in an effort to reactivate the sea wolf’s systems, he HMS Broadsword Can’t shoot because HMS Coventry He had veered straight into the line of fire. from HMS Coventry A Sea Dart missile was fired that missed the attackers, and its 4.5-inch cannon and light weapons were used against attacking targets. Oerlikon 20 mm cannons were jammed, leaving the ship driven only with small arms and machine guns.
In a neurological defensive maneuver, the HMS Coventry He swerves to get a better position to fire his weapons. At that exact moment, three bombs were fired, two of them arrived and penetrated under the water line on the port side of the ship. One of the bombs exploded inside the computer room, destroying the adjacent operating room, incapacitating its senior staff. The other entered the forward engine room, exploded below the refectory where the first-aid station is, and the ship immediately began to record in port.
19 crew members were killed while the Navy rescued 239 men HMS Broadsword Several helicopters are intended for this purpose.
Naval aviation on the SS carrier Atlantic
On the other hand, Porto Argentino radar monitored the presence of a British task force 180 km northeast of the capital as it approached the islands in support of the landing forces.
In the afternoon, two Super Etendards of the 2nd Fighter and Attack Squadron of the Air Navy, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Kurilovich and Lieutenant Julio Barraza, took off from the Rio Grande with the aim of taking new action against the British fleet. After refueling by KC-130 Hercules off Puerto Deseado, the task force approached from the north.
At 55 miles from the target, Kurilovich managed to spot the British ships, alerted his deputy and they proceeded to conduct three surveys to confirm the ships’ location. They fire their AM-39 Exocet missiles back in hopes of hitting one of the carriers. Instead, one hits the port side of Atlantic Conveyor, breaking through and exploding, setting off a massive fire that destroys its valuable shipment of military supplies and helicopters.
And thus ends the most fruitful day for the Argentine air units. With three aircraft lost, two pilots killed, and one captured, they sink the destroyer HMS Coventry, damage the frigate HMS Broadsword, and cause the almost complete loss of the Atlantic Conveyor and its cargo vital to the subsequent development of British operations. Nineteen crew members died aboard the Coventry and ten aboard the Atlantic Conveyor.
The end of the landing of the English forces
At night and after a long day, the British forces finished the landing. The installation phase of the amphibious operation has been completed. Everything is ready to dislodge from the bridgehead and start advancing towards Puerto Argentino.
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