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HMS Achilles

Events In History

23 February 1940

The Battle of the River Plate in December 1939 was the Allies’ first naval victory of the Second World War. The involvement of the cruiser HMS Achilles, more than half of whose crew were New Zealanders, was greeted with jubilation in New Zealand.

13 December 1939

When the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic, it became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War.

Articles

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. Read the full article

Page 1 - 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

Page 3 - The outbreak of war

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

Page 4 - Into the South Atlantic

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

Page 5 - The battle

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

Page 6 - After the battle

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

Page 7 - Further information

Website links and books related to the Battle of the River