Table of Contents
2nd Edition UK Timeline
A six-man terrorist team calling itself the “Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan” (DRMLA) captures the Embassy of Iran in Prince's Gate, Knightsbridge, central London, taking 26 hostages. The siege ends when the SAS storm the building, killing five of the terrorists and freeing the hostages.
It is announced in parliament that US nuclear cruise missiles will be located at RAF Greenham Common, Berkshire, and the disused RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. Later in the year, CND hold a rally at RAF Greenham Common.
Northern Ireland civil rights campaigner and former Westminster MP, Bernadette McAliskey is shot and injured at her home in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Loyalist terrorists suspected.
The Liverpool-registered coal ship Nellie M is bombed and sunk by an IRA unit driving a hijacked pilot boat in Lough Foyle.
Bobby Sands, an IRA member on hunger strike in the Maze prison, Northern Ireland is elected MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in a by election. He later dies after 66 days on hunger strike.
Chelsea Barracks bombed by the Provisional IRA, killing two people.
CND anti-nuclear march in London attracts over 250,000 people.
The Glasgow-registered coal ship St. Bedan is bombed and sunk by an IRA unit driving a hijacked pilot boat in Lough Foyle.
Canada is granted full political independence from the United Kingdom.
Argentina invades the Falkland Islands & South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands on 2nd April. A naval task force is dispatched from the UK and after heavy fighting, the UK retakes the islands, finally declaring an end to hostilities on 20th June 1982.
The Provisional IRA detonates two bombs in central London, killing 8 soldiers, wounding 47 people, and leading to the deaths of 7 horses.
Sinn Féin win first seats on Northern Ireland Assembly, with Gerry Adams winning the Belfast West seat.
Three RUC officers killed by an IRA bomb near Lurgan in Northern Ireland.
A letter bomb explodes in 10 Downing Street sent by Animal rights activists with packages sent to the leaders of the other political parties. One member of Downing Street staff was burnt.
Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp: 30,000 women hold hands and form a human chain around the 14.5 km (9 mi) perimeter fence.
The British colony of Gibraltar gains a pedestrian link to Spain, as the gates which separated the two states were re-opened by the Spanish government after 13 years.
Thousands form a 14-mile human chain to protest the siting of American nuclear weapons in British military bases.
22 IRA members receive sentences totalling over 4,000 years from a Belfast Court.
38 prisoners hijack a lorry and escape from HM Prison Maze in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; one guard dies of a heart attack and twenty others are injured. Nineteen of the prisoners are later apprehended.
Over a million people demonstrate against nuclear weapons at a CND march in London.
The first US cruise missiles arrive at RAF Greenham Common amid protests from peace campaigners at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp.
An SAS undercover operation ends in the shooting and killing of two IRA gunmen, a third is injured.
A Provisional IRA car bomb kills six, three police and three members of the public, and injures 90 outside Harrods in London.
The National Union of Mineworkers start a strike which lasts until the following year. During the strike, there are frequent clashes between picketing strikers and police.
Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams and three others are seriously injured in a gun attack by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
Peace protesters are evicted from the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp.
WPC Yvonne Fletcher is shot and killed by a gunman during a siege outside the Libyan Embassy in London in the event known as the 1984 Libyan Embassy Siege. 11 other people are also shot but survive. Britain severs diplomatic relations with Libya.
United Kingdom and People's Republic of China sign the initial agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.
In October, the IRA planted a bomb in the hotel in which the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet are staying during the Conservative party conference. Five people were killed and 31 injured, including some members of the cabinet.
Riots in Brixton, Toxteth, Peckham and Tottenham
The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, and some hoped this would mark the beginning of the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Many opposed the agreement, however, and so terrorism and violence continued.
Gerard Hoarau, exiled political leader from the Seychelles, assassinated in London.
Democratic Unionist Party stage protest at dissolution of Northern Ireland Assembly.
Rioting breaks out in Portadown in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics.
UK breaks off diplomatic relations with Syria over links to Hindawi Affair.
Soldiers of the SAS kill eight members of the Provisional IRA at Loughgal, County Antrim.
Eleven people killed by a Provisional IRA bomb at a Remembrance Day service at Enniskillen.
Channel Tunnel construction is initiated, with completion targeted within seven years.
The SAS shoot dead 3 unarmed Provisional IRA members in Gibraltar. A jury later decides the killing was lawful.
An Ulster Freedom Fighters terrorist, Michael Stone attacks and kills six mourners at the funeral of the three IRA members who died in Gibraltar.
Two British Army Corporals are killed by a mob after accidentally driving into a funeral cortege for the victims of the Michael Stone terrorist attack.
Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway and kills a total of 270 people - including all 259 who were on board. It is believed that the cause of the explosion was a terrorist bomb.
Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane is murdered by the Ulster Freedom Fighters.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran places a fatwa (order to kill) on author Salman Rushdie following the publication of his controversial book “The Satanic Verses”, which has caused outrage among the Islamic community. Iran later breaks off diplomatic relations with the UK over the book.
IRA bomb the Tern Hill Barracks in Shropshire, injuring 50 soldiers of the Parachute Regiment.
Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan of the Royal Ulster Constabulary are killed by the IRA.
The IRA bomb the Royal Marine School of Music in Deal, Kent killing 11 soldiers.
The Twilight War
As Germany is reunited, the United Kingdom (along with the United States, Soviet Union and France) guarantees Poland's territorial integrity. The UK reaffirms it's commitment to NATO, and to maintaining the BAOR in Germany.
Public opinion is outraged when it is discovered that the new Channel Tunnel will have a greater percentage of Arab and Japanese ownership than British
In March, NATO, Warsaw Pact and Germany agree to the Rhineland Compromise, which will see NATO forces in the Rhineland for five years. The UK is to supply one division. One of the five corps is to be British, as is one of the armies (BAOR)
Queen Elizabeth II abdicates the throne, in favour of her son, King Charles III
The government started redeploying Gurkha battalions to the Americas, creating an “in-area rapid reaction force”, in response to political pressure from several American governments.
The Channel Tunnel, a railway tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, opens.
After an indecisive general election, the Labour and Liberal parties formed a government, known as the “Lab-Lib Alliance”.
Following the Soviet invasion of China in August, the British Army is placed on maximum alert. Many people leave major cities in case of a nuclear war, but return a few months later. In late October, the army is stepped down to a normal state of alert.
The sultan of Oman requests British assistance in dealing with pro-Soviet guerrillas. Troops are sent from Hong Kong, and British equipment is sold to the sultan's army.
The BAOR crosses into Poland in support of German forces
The Royal Navy suffers tremendous losses during the three week battle as the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet sorties and tries to break through the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) gap
The remaining Gurha battalion in Hong Kong is reinforced by Gurkha units from Nepal, and organised into the 6th Division, which is sent into China to help their war with the Soviet Union.
The remains of the Royal Navy join the rest of the NATO atlantic fleet in an attack on Murmansk and Severomorsk, as the Royal Marines spearhead the ground attack through Finland
Territorial Army units and units from Northern Ireland are used to make up for BAOR casualties.
As nuclear strikes hit, many people panic and leave the cities for the countryside. The police lose control in many areas, and the military are brought in to help restore order. Martial law is declared in November. Food and fuel rationing is introduced, but food riots break out in many cities.
In December, a missile destroys the government's wartime command post, killing most of the government, some of the royal family, and the chiefs of staff. In Leicester, the local council declares the city independent and orders the city's Territorial Army infantry battalion to halt the flood of refugees entering the city. Within a week, a dozen other cities have followed suit.
Violent clashes between protestants and catholics in Northern Ireland get worse. Many catholics consider the police and Ulster Defence Regiment to be puppets of the protestants, and call for help from the Republic of Ireland. This call is answered as the Irish army moves into the border counties.
Argentina invades and occupies the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The British government protests, but makes no attempt to respond militarily.
The 6th Division, under Chinese command, is initially used to locate Soviet Spetsnaz troops, but is later moved to the front line.
Argentina withdraws from the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
By the start of the year, most cities and towns have declared their independance, with the government only in control of garrison towns in southern England. The army spends the year re-establishing control in south-east England, and by the end of the year, the government controls the area south of a line from Dover to Reading and east of a line from Reading to Portsmouth.
Elsewhere, newly-independant towns and cities fight over food and equipment, or form alliances. Gradually the situation settles down and much of the country is at peace by the end of the year.
The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) declares independance in February, and establishes the Royal Army of Scotland (RAS). The RAS manages to keep the peace betweeen the towns, and finds itself fighting various marauder groups, the largest one being known as the Tartan Army.
In Wales, refugees from the south, which had been hit with nuclear strikes, went north, where they were welcomed. The Welsh border towns formed the Welsh Volunteer National Army (WVNA) and set up a defensive line along the border with England.
In Ireland, the Irish Army had some initial success, but the UDR managed to halt its advance. As winter approached, both sides concentrated on feeding their people and the war effectively stopped, but the IRA started fighting a guerilla war.
The military in southern England manages to rid the area under its control of marauders and set up a basic communications network.
Royal Engineers set up defensive lines at the edge of the military-controlled area, and work on housing the many refugees. The government sends a group of oil workers, with a military guard, to the North Sea oil rigs, in an attempt to establish a flow of oil.
In other areas, fighting started again in spring. In summer, the Tartan Army moved south of the border, but was decisively beaten by the Red Devils and moved back to the border region of Scotland.
In Ireland, the IRA maintained its guerilla war, despite UDR and police attempts to break it. The Irish Army launched an unsuccesful attack in April, and the UDR counter-attacked in May, pushing the Irish back along the whole front.
The scientific stations in South Georgia are abandoned, the inhabitants moving to the Falkland Islands.
The army maintains martial law in south-east England, but organises the election of a civilian government. Two divisions return from Germany, increasing the available manpower for the newly-established government.
In other areas, there are now fewer marauder groups as large groups have set up small kingdoms and enforce order.
In Ireland, the Irish Army launches a surprise attack during the winter. Surprise allowed the Irish to make gains, but the weather worked against them, limiting their success. In the summer, the UDR launched an offensive, but made few gains.