WATCH: How the government confirmed the attack on HMS Sheffield 35 years ago today

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In his ponderous and deliberate tone, Ministry of Defence spokesman Ian McDonald issued one of the most devastating of the government’s Falklands War announcements 35 years ago today.

Mr McDonald, who became a familiar face on television screens during the conflict, confirmed that the destroyer HMS Sheffield had been abandoned after an Argentine air attack.

She was struck by an Exocet air-launched anti-ship missile from a Super Etendard aircraft.

HMS Sheffield was the first major casualty of the Falklands War and the attack killed 20 men and injured another 24.

She foundered six days after the missile struck - the first Royal Navy ship to be lost in action since the Second World War.

HMS Sheffield after the attack

HMS Sheffield after the attack