hms cumberland battle of the river plate

On 12 April 1946 he reverted to the Retired List as medically unfit, judged mentally ill. The 10th HMS Cumberland was a County class cruiser, built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness and launched in 1926, HMS Cumberland served on the China Station with the 5th cruiser squadron from 1928 until 1938. To the people of Britain, the Battle of the River Plate brought the first victory of the Second World War and boosted the country's morale. We spoke to 101-year-old Victor Burgess, one of the few remaining WW2 veterans, who was aboard HMS Cumberland. Commodore Harwood, commanding Royal Navy Hunting Group G, had studied the area and knew the attraction to a German raider of the rich pickings of British merchant ships leaving the River Plate estuary between Argentina and Uruguay in South America. He was Captain of HMS Exeter 1936-39 and Commodore Second-class, in command of the South American division of the South Atlantic squadron. The frigate was on station during the First Gulf War. There was very little good news for Britain and France. The Battle of the River Plate is remembered as being the last of the old-style sea battles fought without aircraft (other than Ajax’s Seafox spotter plane - Exeter's and Graf Spee's being inoperable) or radar (Graf Spee did have a rudimentary radar), where the speed of ships, their firepower and the tactics employed won the day. She lost her 8-inch turrets and for a few years had prototype turrets fitted. After being placed on the reserve list, 1945-49, she was refitted for further service as a gunnery trials ship. The Battle of the River Plate took place on December 13th 1939. Admiral Graf Spee had been at sea at the start of the Second World War in September 1939, and had sunk several merchantmen in the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean without loss of life, due to her captain's policy of taking all crews on board before sinking the victim. The three ships had finally met Admiral Graf Spee and at 0617 they went into action, following Harwood’s orders, “Attack at once, by day or night”. Cumberland served on the China Station with the 5th Cruiser Squadron from 1928 until 1938, returning to the UK in March 1935 for a refit. He was placed on the Retired List on 9 July 1941 but continued to serve in a variety of capacities, including an appointment in command of HM Ships Malaya and Kent in 1944/45. The battle in the South Atlantic was the first major naval battle of World War Two. 13th Ordered to join EXETER, AJAX and ACHILLES off Plate estuary after GRAF SPEE had sought refuge in Montevideo following … Captain Langsdorff chose to break off the action and head for port in Montevideo, the capital of neutral Uruguay. He calculated that if the raider chose to head for South America she would probably arrive in the area off the River Plate on the morning of the 13th December. Ajax fired a salvo of torpedoes to encourage Graf Spee to maintain her westward course, which she did, but shortly afterwards Graf Spee obtained a hit on Ajax which put her two after-turrets out of action. At first Graf Spee concentrated her fire on Exeter. For more details of these cookies and how to disable them, see our cookie policy. Later that month she attacked Dakar, suffering damage from a French coastal battery. With World War II looming, the German Deutschland -class cruiser Admiral Graf Spee was dispatched from Wilhelmshaven to the South Atlantic. Along with Ajax and Achilles (Exeter having been heavily damaged), Cumberland patrolled the estuary, resulting in Graf Spee being scuttled by her crew on 17 December. On her way down to the South Atlantic she was spotted by Admiral Graf Spee’s Arado aircraft on 11th September that was out on reconnaissance searching for British merchant ships. Sadras 1758; Negapatam 1758; Porto Novo 1759; St Vincent 1780; Baltic 1854; Cameroons 1914; North Africa 1942; Arctic 1942-43; Sabang 1944; Burma 1945, Builder: Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow in Furness, Class and type: County-class heavy cruiser. This is a story about how 3 battleships, 3 aircraft carriers and 14 cruisers in seven Hunting Groups searched for a German raider that was the the Admiral Graf Spee and how the weakest force of three cruisers found her and the action which led to her destruction. In October 1936 he commanded H.M. Her first voyage in this configuration was delayed after some "defects" were found in her engine room, which were not explained as normal mechanical faults. In 1938, she joined the 2nd cruiser squadron on the South American station. He retired on 15 August 1945 with the rank of Admiral and died in 1950, aged 62. The command was later split and he became Commander-in-Chief Levant (eastern Mediterranean) in February 1943, with responsibility for flank support and seaborne supply of the British Eighth Army. He died at the age of 66 on 6 December 1954. Henry Harwood joined the Royal Navy in 1904 and served in HMS Sutlej and HMS Royal Sovereign. She was launched in 1986 and commissioned in 1989. THE WAR ILLUSTRATED Vol 1 No. It is 80 years since one of the first major sea battles of the Second World War - the Battle of the River Plate. Using her signal lamp, the aircraft was able to warn of the British cruiser’s close proximity without using her radio. Link here to 17 Ajax and Achilles then closed on Graf Spee at speed, drawing her fire and causing significant upper deck damage and loss of morale. Two days later, after addressing the ship's company and spending the evening with his officers, Captain Langsdorff shot himself. Cumberland escorted the Arctic convoys during 1941-1944. Although he did not see action he was awarded the OBE for his work on torpedoes. If he had, it is possible that Admiral Graf Spee may have been caught sooner. Nevertheless, Exeter, Ajax and Achilles still engaged Admiral Graf Spee on 13th December at the Battle of the River Plate. However Graf Spee steadied and concentrated her fire again on Ajax and Achilles. At the outbreak of war, he was appointed Commodore First-class and returned to the South Atlantic as commander of Force G. Immediately after the Battle of the River Plate but before the Admiral Graf Spee had been scuttled he was promoted to Rear Admiral and knighted. When war broke out in September 1939, the German pocket battleship Graf Spee, commanded by Hans Langsdorff, was patrolling in the Atlantic. However, a heart attack necessitated evacuation back to Britain where he spent almost a year convalescing. Ships from the Royal Navy’s South American Division took on the might of Germany’s Graf Spee which was successfully attacking merchant shipping in the … Knowing that escape was not an option: he believed a superior force was now awaiting him and his ship was not sea-worthy to make it back to Germany, Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled on 17th December. For the Royal Navy this battle was an expression of the centuries-old tradition of achieving mastery of the seas through the offensive spirit in battle and a willingness to take risks. From 1940 to April 1942, Harwood served as a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. At the start of December Cumberland was forced to self-refit in the Falkland Islands, thus depriving Force G of their strongest unit. The ship's company were interned in Argentina and Uruguay. They met at the pre-arranged time and exercised their action plan. Cumberland was decommissioned on 23 June 2011. For the 1956 film,’ The Battle of the River Plate, Cumberland played herself, although she was without her 8-inch gun turrets at this time and was refitted with lattice masts, Between 1955 and 1956, HMS Cumberland was fitted with a number of trial anti-A-bomb and anti-H-bomb defences. By 0725 Ajax and Achilles had closed to within 4 miles from Graf Spee. It is 80 years since one of the first major sea battles of the Second World War - the Battle of the River Plate. For the 1956 film,’ The Battle of the River Plate, Cumberland played herself, although she was without her 8-inch gun turrets at this time and was refitted with lattice masts, Between 1955 and 1956, HMS Cumberland was fitted with a number of trial anti-A-bomb and anti-H-bomb defences. Since this was not a RRR raider signal, Captain Fallowfield chose not to interpret this as a surface-raider attack and did not pass this message to Vice Admiral D’Oyly Lyon, the Commander-in-Chief South Atlantic based at Freetown, Sierra Leone. with reports of the Battle of the River Plate, Grandson's Jonathan & Ben present uniform to Ajax. Recorded in The London Gazette, issue 34759, 22 December 1939, with reports of the Battle of the River Plate. He was interviewed by historian and author Gary Bridson-Daley, who has carried out more than 100 interviews with Second World War veterans as part of a project called ''Debt of Gratitude''. Newton Beech managed to put a weak SOS signal that was picked up by another British merchant ship who passed the message by signal lamp to HMS Cumberland as the ships passed each other.

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