Battle of the River Plate

The Battle of the River Plate was the first naval battle in the Second World War and the only episode of the war to take place in South America. The German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee had been located in the South Atlantic a long time before the war began, and had been commerce raiding after the war began in September 1939.

Admiral Graf Spee anchored off Montevideo, circa 13-16 December, 1939.

Admiral Graf Spee anchored off Montevideo, Uruguay, circa 13-16 December, 1939.

 

Admiral Graf Spee anchored off Montevideo, Uruguay, circa 13-16 Dec 1939Admiral Graf Spee at anchor in Montevideo harbor, Uruguay, 13-16 Dec 1939

Admiral Graf Spee burning at River Plate, 17 December, 1939.

Admiral Graf Spee burning at River Plate, 17 December, 1939.

Admiral Graf Spee in flames after being scuttled in the River Plate estuaryAdmiral Graf Spee′s Number Four 15 cm55 gun mount (second gun in the forward port side group).Admiral Graf Spee's port bow, 13-16 Dec 1939, photo 2aug_0133_graf_spee_obattle1.2pg

battle1Close-up view of the port side of Admiral Graf Spee's forward superstructure, 13-16 Dec 1939Close-up view of the starboard side of Admiral Graf Spee's forward superstructure, 13-16 Dec 1939HMS-Exeter-damaged-595x371The cruiser HMS ACHILLES seen from HMS AJAX at the Battle of the River Plate