2 April 1982, Government House, Stanley: “Stop fighting, Mr Hunt! Come out, Mr Hunt! Tell your marines to stop fighting!”
It is 30 years since an invasion force landed on the Falkland Islands, starting a brief but brutal war that left many dead and others scarred – but also woke Britain up to the existence of its overseas territories.
This website cannot possibly keep up with all that is being said about the 30th anniversary, though the significant roles of St Helenians, and Ascension Island, deserve to be commemorated. The site will give space to anyone who wishes to do that, within reason (click here to send a message).
Those who wish to look back at events as they happened in 1982 would do well to sign up to the Twitter messaging website, and follow @WarDiaryF82, which will chronicle events day by day, as each one reaches its 30th anniversary. For the same story from an Argentine perspective, in English, follow @MalvinasWar.
This is its account of the invasion, as detailed in a series of messages this morning:
- 2300 hrs last night – 90 Arg’ commandos land Seal Point, S. of Stanley. 2 groups – one targets Moody Barracks, the other Govt. House.
- 0530 sound of gunfire and explosions at Moody Barracks – which was empty. Leaves no doubt about Arg’ intentions re: peaceful insertion
- Main Arg’ force landing at Yorke Bay, N. of Stanley. Beach defence abandoned. R. Marines retire to Govt. House, already under attack.
- Govt. House defended by 30 under heavy fire. Commando’s silencers and flash eliminators make it difficult to pinpoint targets in dark
- Patrick Watts – DJ at Falkland Islands Broadcasting Service plays ‘Strangers in the Night’. Stays on air even as Arg’ troops burst in.
- Govt. House – “Stop fighting Mr Hunt! Come out Mr Hunt! Tell your marines to stop fighting!”
- Govt. House – “Fuck off! We’re not going to surrender If you want us come and get us!’”
- Govt. House – Arg’ commando casualties incl. 1 man dead. Amtracs from main landings arrive Stanley – engaged with anti-tank weapons.
- 0925 (local) Admiral Busser arrives Govt. House. Gov. Hunt orders Maj Norman and marines to lay down their arms. The fight is over.
- London 0945 BST (0645 Stanley) Admiral Fieldhouse informed that all comms with Stanley lost. Lunch time, Endurance confirms invasion.
Radio presenter Patrick Watts recalls his experiences as the Voice of the Falklands in a Sky News web article, here.
Apologies for the naughty word… as a record of what was said in the heat of that moment, it deserves to be there.