Synopsis

“Operation Tabarin” was a Second World War mission to the Antarctic, far removed from the major theatre of battle but nevertheless considered of vital political and strategic importance in the safeguarding of British Sovereign Land. Conducted by the Admiralty on behalf of the Colonial Office, the Expedition was organised and executed under orders of the strictest secrecy. The men were drawn from a combination of military and civilian occupations and all were volunteers. Departing Great Britain by ship at the end of 1943, their objective was to establish two permanently manned bases within the territory of the Falkland Islands Dependencies, with the following aims:

1. To ensure a British presence in the Antarctic to discourage enemy activity, particularly to prevent harbours and stocks of shipping oil falling into enemy hands.

2. To strengthen British claims to sovereignty of the Falkland Islands Dependencies, to which Argentina and Chile had made counter claims.

Permission was also given to carry out scientific research in the areas where the bases were established.

This book looks at the Operation from the previously unexplored aspect of the political importance of the special stamps produced, and mail sent and received through the operation of Post Offices at the permanently occupied Antarctic bases. Previously unpublished pictures and extracts from Government records are featured.