HMS Achilles

Events In History


Battle of the River Plate

  • Battle of the River Plate

    When HMS Achilles opened fire on the German 'pocket battleship' Admiral Graf Spee on 13 December 1939, it became the first New Zealand unit to engage the enemy in the Second World War. More than 80 years later, the Battle of the River Plate still holds a special place in this country’s naval history.

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  • Page 3 – The outbreak of war

    The outbreak of the Second World War and New Zealand naval involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic.

  • Page 4 – Into the South Atlantic

    HMS Achilles joins the Royal Navy's South America Division patrolling the South Atlantic in search of German raiders.

  • Page 5 – The battle

    The British cruisers Achilles, Ajax and Exeter engage the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee.

  • Page 6 – After the battle

    The aftermath of the battle and the return of HMS Achilles to New Zealand.

  • Page 7 – Further information

    Website links and books related to the Battle of the River Plate.