Services have been held today in Britain and Argentina to mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War.

The Falklands War began on Friday 2nd April 1982, when Argentine forces invaded and occupied Britain's Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

To kick out the invading forces Britain sent an Armada of 127 ships, including two aircraft carriers, to the South Atlantic islands. The war, a British victory, resulted in the deaths of 255 British and 649 Argentine personnel, plus three Falkland Island civilians.

British veterans of the war - and relatives of those who died - have paid their respects at Britain's National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

A single candle was lit as a gesture to mark the anniversary. It will remain alight for 74 days - the length of the conflict.

Anglican priest the Rev Vic Van Den Bergh told the service they had come together to pray for peace between the UK and Argentina and to remember the fallen - including the three Falkland Islanders who died in the conflict.

British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested the day is used to remember both the Argentine and British dead.

In a statement, Mr Cameron also said that he remains committed to upholding British sovereignty over the islands.

It has also emerged that brand new HMS Dauntless, one of the Royal Navy's most powerful warships, will leave Britain on Wednesday for a six month routine deployment of the Falklands as part of Britain's defence of the islands.

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston, who was badly burned when his ship the Sir Galahad was attacked by the Argentine air force, told the BBC he did not believe the Argentina's military capability was as strong a threat as it was at the time of the initial conflict.

It has also emerged that, disgracefully, America secretly backed Argentina’s demands for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in the weeks before the Royal Navy joined the battle in 1982.

Papers released to mark the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s invasion of the territory today show that then U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig privately tried to strike a deal that would have seen the UK hand over power – but it was rejected by the Argentine junta.

In one private briefing for Congressmen, the Secretary of State even makes smutty jokes about sexual relations between the farmers and their sheep.

Read more: BBC News - Falklands War: UK and Argentina mark invasion 30 years on (external - login to view)
Falklands anniversary: US wanted to hand the islands to Argentina secret papers reveal | Mail Online