Radio Atlantiico del Sur

Radio Atlántico del Sur (code name Operation Moonshine ) was a short -lived radio that existed during the course of the 1982 Falklands War . It broadcast in Spanish mainly for the Falkland Islands and mainland Argentina (although it could also be tuned in to other countries in the region). It was created on May 13 by the UK Ministry of Defenseto “maximize the use of radio to demoralise Argentine troops,” according to a report released at the end of the war. For his broadcasts, he used a BBC shortwave transmitter on Ascension Island (in the South Atlantic Ocean ), despite resistance from the BBC.

Additionally, Argentina also created an English-language radio for the same purpose, Radio Liberty . While in the islands the LRA60 Malvinas National Radio opperated .



The capture of the Falkland Islands by Argentine troops on April 2 , 1982 had a tremendous impact on the BBC World Service offices , located in the heart of London. By then the transmissions to Spain had closed and cuts were expected in those directed to Latin America . But both recovered that day, with several newscasts, analysis programmes, more hours of transmission, more journalists and the inclusion of female voices in the announcement for the first time. The BBC maintained an impartial and neutral editorial line in the conflict and referred to the archipelago as “Falkland or Malvinas”.

During the war, several Argentine radio stations with a national reach made daily links with the BBC’s Latin American Service . But a decree of the military government soon prohibited such connections. In addition, the military junta arranged for the interference of the BBC’s shortwave broadcasts, both in English and Spanish. But it had little success since the different frequencies could be tuned in without much difficulty throughout the region.



Falklands War

Due to the refusal of the BBC – which did not want to put aside its impatience and its worldwide reputation – the government of Margaret Thatcher creates the “South Atlantic Radio”. Despite the corporation’s protest, the British Ministry of Defense took control of an Ascension World Service shortwave transmitter. Because of this, listeners were immediately informed. In statements, the Argentine writer Osvaldo Soriano said that “The BBC reacted to this by warning the people who listened in Argentina, above all, that from the next day (…) instead of listening to information they were going to listen to British propaganda.”

In a report released at the end of the war, it appeared how the radio would function and the strategies it should have, among them “reducing the loyalty of Argentines to their flag, trying to convince them that their government has no right to claim sovereignty over the islands and generate dissent among officers and lower ranks”, amongst others.

On May 20, and on the frequency of 9,710 kHz, a varied programme in Spanish produced in London was aired, which included informative spaces (including news from the cities of origin of the soldiers), results of football matches, messages presumably written by mothers of Argentine soldiers for their children, popular music “to the liking of Argentines” and even a “sentimental pause”. The team of announcers was made up of both British and Latin Americans, who lacked adequate training for live broadcasts and had to be fluent in Argentine speech . It transmitted between 5:30 and 7:30 and 20 and 23 ( UTC+3 ).

This radio was the one used by the governor in the islands, Mario Benjamín Menéndez , for the first contacts with the British prior to the surrender.  After the end of the war the radio stopped broadcasting.

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