Wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered troops to the Falkland Islands in 1942 because he feared Japan could invade the far-flung British territory, according to documents at the National Archives in London.

He was concerned that Japan might use the islands as a base to disrupt valuable Allied shipping routes around Cape Horn and from Argentina's River Plate into the South Atlantic.

A total of 1,700 soldiers were dispatched from Britain to defend the outpost in this little-known episode of World War II.