• Si Biggs

Argentine surrender in the Falklands War - The Surrender Document


At 2100 hours on 14 June 1982, the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to the Major General Jeremy Moore. The surrender was in conflict with the Argentine Army code stating that a surrender was illegal unless more than 50% of the men were casualties and 75% of the ammunition was spent.

The terms of the surrender document were slightly changed after negotiation by General Menéndez. The phrase unconditional surrender was changed for the term surrender. The Argentines were granted:

  • The Argentines units will retain their flags.

  • The units will remain under control of their respective officers

  • The surrender ceremony will be private (not public)

  • The Argentine officers will retain their sidearms.

  • The final point about the returning of the 11,313 prisoners of war in their own ships was not accepted and 4,167 of them were repatriated to Argentina on the ocean liner Canberra alone. The junta had falsely claimed that the liner had been crippled during the Battle of San Carlos.

The surrender document is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

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 recorded as 14 June even though technically it was already 15 June 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, 15 June 1982:

Headquarters, Land Forces Falkland Islands

INSTRUMENT OF SURRENDER

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 "unconditionally"] 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

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