“Brothers in Arms”

“Brothers in Arms”

Written and performed by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)

Haunting music reminiscent of some of my experiences during the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia.  However, the Vietnam War ended (1975) well before this song was released.  I understand it was written during the 1982 Falklands War.  The song “Brothers in Arms” deals with the sadness and senselessness of war.

The 1982 Falkland Islands War

The Falkland Islands (about 400 miles due East of the southern tip of Argentina, in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean) were under British rule since about 1840 when it became a Crown Colony of Great Britain.  Over the years, there were numerous tensions, struggles, confrontation and even battles over the Falkland Islands, much of which were due to territorial claims by both Great Britain and Argentina.  However, the British managed to retain control.  Then, in 1965, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for both states (the UK and Argentina) to conduct bilateral negotiations to reach a peaceful settlement of the dispute.  From 1966 until 1968, the UK discussed with Argentina the transfer of the Falklands, assuming their final decision would be accepted by the local Falkland islanders.  An agreement on trade ties between the Falklands and the mainland was reached in 1971 and, consequently, Argentina built a temporary airfield in the islands in 1972.  Notwithstanding, Falkland islanders dissented, and tensions between the UK and Argentina limited the sovereignty negotiations until 1977.  Sovereignty talks again ended by 1981, and over time, the dispute continued to escalate.

Then, on 2 April 1982, Argentine forces launched a military invasion of the Falklands to capture the Islands.  The Argentines mounted amphibious landings with their military forces and invaded the Falklands and other British territories in the South Atlantic.  This served as a catalyst for the subsequent Falklands War.  The Argentines briefly occupied these areas until a UK expeditionary force retook the territories in June 1982.  The invasion ended with the final surrender of the Falkland Government House.

The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on June 14th, 1982, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders were killed during the hostilities.  After the war, the UK expanded its military presence, building an RAF Airfield and increasing the size of its garrison.

Click Here to return to Favorite Music List.

Click Here to return to Home Page.