Falklands War Argentine surrender

The last stage of the Falklands War was the liberation of Port Stanley.

With the last natural defence line at Mount Tumbledown breached, the Argentine town defences of Port Stanley began to falter. In the morning gloom, one company commander got lost and his junior officers became despondent. Private Santiago Carrizo of the 3rd Regiment described how a platoon commander ordered them to take up positions in the houses and "if a Kelper resists, shoot him", but the entire company did nothing of the kind.Max Hastings & Simon Jenkins, The Battle For The Falklands, p. 307]

On 14 June, the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Mario Menéndez, surrendered to the Major General Jeremy Moore. 9,800 Argentine troops were made prisoners of war and some 4,167 were repatriated to Argentina on the ocean liner "Canberra" alone.

The terms of the surrender document were slightly changed after negotiation by General Menéndez. The unconditional surrender was changed to merely a surrender, though in practical terms the change was not material.

urrender document

Present at the signing of the letter of surrender were:
* Captain Melbourne Hussey, Argentine Navy
* General de Brigada Mario Menéndez Argentine Army
* Vicecomodoro Carlos Blumer-Reeve, Argentine Air Force
* An Argentine legal advisor

* Captain Rod Bell, Royal Marines
* Lieutenant-Colonel Geoff Field, Royal Engineers
* Colonel Brian Pennicott, Royal Artillery
* Major General Jeremy Moore, Royal Marines
* Colonel Reid, Special Air Service
* Colonel Tom Seccombe, Royal Marines
* A Royal Signals Corporal

The letter of surrender read;cquote
Headquarters, Land Forces
Falkland Islands

I, the undersigned, Commander of all the Argentine land, sea and air forces in the Falkland Islands [Menéndez's signature, scribbled over the crossed-out word of "unconditional"] surrender to Major General J.J. MOORE CB OBE MC* as representative of Her Britannic Majesty's Government.

Under the terms of this surrender all Argentine personnel in the Falkland Islands are to muster at assembly points which will be nominated by General Moore and hand over their arms, ammunition, and all other weapons and warlike equipment as directed by General Moore or appropriate British officers acting on his behalf.

Following the surrender all personnel of the Argentinian Forces will be treated with honour in accordance with the conditions set out in the Geneva Convention of 1949. They will obey any directions concerning movement and in connection with accommodation.

This surrender is to be effective from 2359 hours ZULU on 14 June (2059 hours local) and includes those Argentine Forces presently deployed in and around Port Stanley, those others on East Falkland, (Menendez's signature) West Falkland and all outlying islands.

[Menéndez's signature] Commander Argentine Forces [Moore's signature] J. J. MOORE Major General [Pennicott's signature] Witness 2359 hours 14 June 1982

On 20 June, the British retook the South Sandwich Islands, (which involved accepting the surrender of the Southern Thule Garrison at the "Corbeta Uruguay" base) and declared hostilities to be over. Corbeta Uruguay was established in 1976, but the Argentine base was only contested through diplomatic channels by the UK until 1982.

The war lasted 74 days, with 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen, and three civilian Falklanders killed.

The British Government decreed that all classified information would be available to the public in the year 2082.

The surrender document is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. [ http://london.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConMediaFile.2703 Retrieved 2004-03-24] As noted in the museum, the time of surrender was backdated three hours in order that both Zulu time (UTC) and the local time were both recorded as June 14th even though technically it was already June 15th in London, in order to prevent possible confusion by Argentine troops who might have mistakenly thought that they were permitted to keep fighting until the next day, June 15th.


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