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Battle of the River Plate

Today is 9 December. It is the anniversary of the gathering together of the Royal Navy task force which took part in the above Battle, the first naval action of World War 2. The force consisted of the three cruisers Exeter, Ajax and Achilles. They were in pursuit of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, a much more powerful ship than any of the three British cruisers.

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The three cruisers were heavily outgunned, and Commodore Harwood, the force commander, decided to attack the Graf Spee in a two pronged attack, thus splitting the heavy fire of the pocket battleship. Captain Langsdorff, the Graf Spee's captain, would be low on fuel as he was ending his deployment. Further, he may have suspected that there was a much larger British force awaiting him over the horizon, this may have made Langsdorff suspicious and cautious.

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Admiral Graf Spee shortly after her scuttling:

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