Admiral Sir John "Sandy" Woodward, the commander of the Royal Navy task force that retook the Falklands Islands in 1982 during Britain's conflict with Argentina, has died aged 81. | AP file photo
Updated: August 5, 2013 9:36AM
LONDON — Britain’s defense ministry says Adm. John “Sandy” Woodward, who led the Royal Navy task force during the 1982 Falklands War, has died. He was 81.
The ministry did not give a cause, but the BBC said Woodward died after a long illness.
Woodward commanded the naval force dispatched by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after Argentina seized the South Atlantic islands. Britain retook the territory after a war that killed 649 Argentines, 255 British troops and three islanders.
First Sea Lord Adm. George Zambellas said Woodward had been “undaunted by the challenge of fighting a capable enemy over 8,000 miles from the U.K., in the most demanding and extreme of weather conditions, and against uncertain odds.”
Woodward was later deputy chief of the defense staff and flag aide-de camp to Queen Elizabeth II.