Veterans of the second World War attended a commemorative service in Buenos Aires on Monday (11 December) to mark the anniversary of the River Plate Battle.
Veterans of the second World War attended a commemorative service in Buenos Aires on Monday (11 December) to mark the anniversary of the River Plate Battle. In one of the most dramatic moments of the second World War, the German Captain of the Graf Spee -- scuttled his battleship off Montevideo after becoming convinced the route to the sea was blocked by British cruisers.
SYNOPSIS: The Argentine navy laid on wreath in memory of the people who lost their lives in the battle that preceded the scuttling of he Graf Spee. A battle on the thirteenth of December against the British forced the Graf Spee to take shelter in the neutral harbour in the River Plate.
Shortly before the Graf Spee incident, the British battleship, Royal Oak, was sunk by a German U-boat in October 1939. Veterans from Britain, Germany any New Zealand Participated in the Buenos Aires memorial services, which marked the scuttling of one of the best known of the German pocket battleships, built under the terms of the Anglo-German Naval treaty of 1935.
More than sixty British soldiers lost their lives in the battle between the Graf Spee, two British cruisers, and a New Zealand Navy cruiser. After the battle German captain Hans Langsdorff returned his ship to Montevideo for repairs with the allied cruisers in pursuit. The Graf Spee eventually reached anchorage safely, while the two British ships waited at the mouth of the Plate estuary.
A propaganda war ensued, with Berlin claiming a victory, and the British papers reporting there were five cruisers waiting to attack the Graf Spee. A German-intercepted false telephone call at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires led the Germans to believe they were trapped. And so the German captain scuttled his ship in what was considered one of the greatest hoaxes of the Second World War.