The battle of the river plate was the first naval battle in the second world war and the first one of the battle of the atlantic in south american waters the german panzerschiff admiral graf spee had cruised into the south atlantic a fortnight before the war began . The battle of the river plate took place on december 13th 1939the battle in the south atlantic was the first major naval battle of world war twoships from the royal navys south american division took on the might of germanys graf spee which was successfully attacking merchant shipping in the south atlantic. So began the battle of the river plate story which has its duplicates in british naval history but which nevertheless brought pride and inspiration into the hearts of a nation unwillingly at war once again. Victory in the battle of the river plate the first major naval engagement of the second world war was a great boost to british morale during the phoney war when war broke out in september 1939 the german pocket battleship graf spee commanded by hans langsdorff was patrolling in the atlantic. The battle of the river plate aka pursuit of the graf spee in the united states is a 1956 british war film in technicolor and vistavision by the writer director producer team of michael powell and emeric pressburger
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