The 'important message' was passed from the Bahia Paraiso
to Lieutenant Keith Mills by VHF radio at 1030. It was an
invitation to follow the Govenor and surrender.
Lieutenant Mills repeated the message back to the Bahia Paraiso
on high-frequency radio, ensuring that HMS Endurance was aware
of what was going on (high-frequency radio could be intercepted
over a much greater range than the low-powered VHF transmitter).
The Argentine corvette Guerrico, entered the cove and its
Alouette helicopter made a reconnaissance flight over the
Lt Mills went down to the jetty, assuming that the corvette
was going to send a boat with a demand for surrender.
Lt Mills's hope to dissuade the Argentine commander from
landing troops disappeared when a Puma arrived and disgorged
a large number of marines near the jetty. Lt Mills withdrew
to the defensive position before the Argentine marines opened
When the Puma returned with a second load of marines, it
was greeted by the defenders with accurate machine-gun and
The damaged Puma crossed the cove and crash-landed on a small
plateau above the steep shore opposite King Edward Point.
The Alouette had also been hit and the pilot landed beside
the Puma to examine his own damage and to give assistance.
The Puma had been hit by at least thirty bullets and the
marines aboard had suffered heavy casualties, with several
dead and wounded.
One of the Alouette's crew along with the Puma's engineer
set up a machine gun and opened fire on the Marines.
The Alouette pilot returned to the Bahia Paraiso and began
a shuttle to land more marines on the far side of the cove.
At about this time a Wasp helicopter launched by the Endurance,
piloted by Lt Cdr Tony Ellerbeck, arrived on the scene. The
mission was to provide real-time information for the Endurance
until she was close enough to launch her armed helicopter.
Lt Cdr Ellerbeck landed behind a ridge overlooking Grytviken
and watched the final stages of the battle.
The Guerrico returned to King Edward Cove to join the attack
and opened up with her 40mm anti-aircraft gun, closing to
The Royal Marines were armed with a Carl Gustav and a few
66mm anti-tank rocket launchers.
Lt Mills waited until the Corvette was well inside before
Marine D. Coombes fired the first Carl Gustav round, although
it hit the water short of the ship it went on to explode under
the waterline amidships. The upper decks were raked with small-arms
and machine gun fire. The Corvette turned and made for open
water, drew out of range and then attempted to engage with
her 100mm gun, but the gun elevation gear had been damaged
After about twenty minutes all firing ceased.
A virtual stalemate had been reached.
Lt Mills rose from his position and walked towards the Argentine
marines on the jetty and an officer came forward to negotiate.
Having obtained a guarantee of good treatment, the Marines
left their positions, laid down their weapons, defused explosives
they had placed on the jetty and were taken off to the Bahia
Lt Cdr Ellerbeck returned to the Endurance.
RFA APPLELEAF diverted to Gibraltar to refuel Task Force
ships on their way south.
Emergency Session of the House of Commons. Prime Minister,
Margaret Thatcher announces the despatch of the Task Force
UN approves Resolution 502.