The Messy Business of the Falklands War of 1982

Equipment captured from the Royal Marines when the Argentines occupied the islands in 1982. Wikimedia

2. The attack on the Marine barracks at Moody Brook

According to Argentinian accounts, their commandos worked their way in the dark to the Moody Brook barracks, which they expected to be occupied by sleeping Marines. They reported attacking with tear gas grenades, planning to capture the Marines as they escaped the gas. There was no response to the tear gas. The barracks were empty. The Marines and the other elements of the British defense force were concentrated around Government House and the Drill Hall. Orders were sent to the FIDF and the civilian volunteers not to engage the Argentines, but to surrender peacefully when demanded. The order not to engage was promulgated before 6.00 AM.

The British told a different story of the commando attack on the Moody Brook Barracks. After the British surrender, Marines were allowed to return to their barracks under guard, to collect their personal property and items such as toiletries. They reported the walls of the barracks were heavily damaged by fragmentation grenades and gunfire. The damage was on both interior and exterior walls, and there was further evidence that the attack had been a surprise assault, designed to stun the occupants of the barracks and gun them down before they could collect their senses and respond. The Argentines responded to the accusation with the claim that the damage to the barracks was caused by a subsequent British air attack.