Should a surrender be courteous?

November 23, 2012

In the old British Empire, manners mattered. I was growing up in England in 1982 when Falkland Islands Gov. Rex Hunt, who died last week [“Inspired Britons with leadership during Falklands invasion,” Obituaries, Nov. 13], declined to shake hands with the commander of Argentine forces that had captured the islands.

I remember this incident because, at the time, Mr. Hunt’s actions were controversial. Some, even through the fog of war, agreed with the Argentine commanders that Mr. Hunt was unnecessarily discourteous.

Perhaps it is not too late to obtain a definitive ruling on this question:

What is the proper way to conduct oneself when surrendering to an overwhelming military force? Miss Manners?

Paul Kerrigan, Vienna

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