Plaque, commemorative [Battle of River Plate]; Badges & Crests 1986 Ltd; 1989; 2...

Name/Title

Plaque, commemorative [Battle of River Plate]

About this object

Commemorative plaque; a wooden shield-shaped plaque, made in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate, 13.12.1939. The plaque is adorned with three dimensional emblems representing the HMNZS Ajax, Exeter and Achilles and the German ship Graf Spee.

In the early morning of 13 December 1939, a force consisting of Achilles, HMS Ajax and Exeter detected smoke on the horizon, which was confirmed at 06:16 to be a pocket battleship, thought to be Admiral Scheer but which turned out to be the Admiral Graf Spee. A fierce battle ensued, at a range of approximately 20 kilometres. Achilles took some damage: four crew were killed, and her captain, W. E. Parry, was injured. In the exchange of fire, 36 of Graf Spee’s crew were killed.
The range reduced to about 4 nautical miles at around 07:15 and Graf Spee broke off the engagement around 07:45 to head for the neutral harbour of Montevideo which she entered at 22:00 that night, having been pursued by Achilles and Ajax all day. Graf Spee was forced by international law to leave within 72 hours. Faced with what he believed to be overwhelming odds, the captain of the Graf Spee, Hans Langsdorff, deliberately sank his ship rather than risk the lives of his crew.

Maker

Badges & Crests 1986 Ltd

Maker Role

Maker

Date Made

1989

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, North Island, Auckland

Medium and Materials

organic, vegetal, wood; processed material, cement/plaster, plaster

Inscription and Marks

'BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE / 13-12-39 / AJAX / EXETER / ACHILLES / GRAF SPEE / 1939 / 1989 / 50TH ANNIVERSARY'

Measurements

h 25mm x l 280mm x w 185mm
Medium

Subject and Association Keywords

military science, war

Credit Line

From the collection of Owaka Museum Wahi Kahuika The Meeting Place "a rest on your journey"

Object Type

plaque

Object number

2009.6.2

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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