Hail, Achilles!

In honor of the 81st anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate, which saw three British cruisers chase down the German pocket battleship KMS Admiral Graf Spee on 13 December 1939, below is the original White Ensign flown by one of those heroic warships, the Leander-class light cruiser HMS Achilles (70) on that day. 

NHHC Catalog #: NH 85979-KN

The Flag was loaned to the Navy Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., by the New Zealand Navy for the 1976 Bicentennial and was photographed there in early 1977.

HMS Achilles (HMNZS from 1941) painting by Frank Norton is part of the National Collection of War Art held by Archives New Zealand Archives reference: AAAC 898 584/ NCWA Q223

A the time of the battle, some 60 percent of her crew was from New Zealand. Transferred outright in September 1941 to New Zealand and recommissioned HMNZS Achilles, she later went on to serve India as INS Delhi until 1978.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.