Cabinet Office file showing the balance of forces on the Central Front (catalogue reference: CAB 129/216a)

01 August 2013

Hundreds of files from 1983 have been released to The National Archives today as the government begins the ten-year transition to a 20-year rule, down from 30 years, for transfer and release.

Two years' worth of government records will be released every year until 2022 and files from 1984 will be released by December. Read more about the 20-year rule.

The latest files detail the end of Mrs Thatcher's first term in office as victory in the Falklands War helped propel her to a second successive election triumph in June 1983.

At home, the Prime Minister faced an uncertain economic outlook while the US-led invasion of Grenada was one of a number of foreign policy challenges that year. The Cold War became colder with the arrival of American cruise missiles in Greenham Common amid a general deterioration in East-West relations.

View a selection of the newly-released Cabinet Office and Prime Minister's Office files, the key events of 1983 and changes to the British Cabinet in 1983.

Listen to our podcast to hear contemporary records specialists Mark Dunton and Simon Demissie discussing highlights from the latest release and read more about the files on our blog.

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