Thousands of Hampshire families were on a knife edge as they awaited news of their loved ones who might have been called on to face the massed might of the Argentine Navy.
Families were stunned as husbands, brothers and sons were suddenly recalled from leave or were diverted from exercises to the trouble-torn South Atlantic.
Navy wives rang The News as reports flooded in of the invasion of the Falkland Islands and their husbands were being called up to face the Argentine menace.
At least five Portsmouth-based warships were steaming hard for the combat zone and the pride of the city – Invincible and Hermes – were close to battle readiness.
One distraught navy wife said: ‘My husband was called in from leave.
‘He telephoned me at work and I rushed home to drive him to the dockyard.
‘We were going away on holiday next week but now it’s all off.
‘I still don’t know what’s going on,’ she added.
For many families in the south, there was the added torment of hearing no news of their relatives living and working in the Falklands.
For many of the settlers came from ex-service families in Portsmouth.