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Battle of the River Plate – supplement

This newspaper supplement held in the collection was published to commemorate the Battle of the River Plate.

Battle of the River Plate was the first major naval battle of World War Two which took place on the River Plate Estuary off the coast of Argentina. The German battleship Admiral Graf Spee had been raiding commercial shipping lanes for several months before it was tracked down and attacked by three smaller Allied cruisers: HMS Ajax, Exeter and Achilles on 13 December, 1939.

The Allied ships had inferior arms and range but had superior speed and split in an effort to divide the Graf Spee’s firepower. Heavy gunfire was exchanged and the Graf Spee, badly damaged, fled taking refuge at Montevideo, Uruguay. Port authorities only allowed the ship to stay in port for a few days. Early on the morning of 17th December, 1939, the Graf Spee’s Captain Langsdorff scuttled the ship using her own torpedoes.

Read more about the battle.

See images from the battle.

Battle of the River Plate Picture Post Special, 1939.

More to explore.

Art & Ephemera