Great Sea Fights: The River Plate Part 2 – The Sinking of the Graf Spee

December 2020

Graf Spee burning after the battle of the River PLate.

This episode continues the first story in our new ‘Great Sea Fights’ series, exploring the fascinating story of the battle of the River Plate, one of the most iconic battles of the Second World War. The immensely powerful and fast German pocket battleship Graf Spee was hunted by a squadron of far smaller British cruisers and found off the River Plate in South America. She never returned home. The account continues, first gathered together by the Admiralty from the official dispatches of the Royal Naval squadron in the immediate aftermath of the battle. We have reached a crucial stage in the battle: The  Graf Spee has been found near the River Plate in South America and battle has broken out. The engagement is evolving at immense speed. The Graf Spee is damaged, zigzagging to keep out of harm and throwing up smokescreens. One of the three British ships, HMS Exeter, is disabled and has ceased firing. The two remaining British ships are operating at full speed to close the range with the German ship.

Listen to Part 1 – Introduction and The Dispatches 1

Listen to Part 3 – ‘The Analysis’