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HMNZS Achilles (70)

From Academic Kids

HMS Achilles (from 1941 HMNZS Achilles) was a Leander class cruiser of 7,200 tons built in Birkenhead, England and launched on 1 September 1932. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 10 October 1933. She was upgraded to Improved Leander class in 1936 and transferred to the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy on 31 March 1937. Her crew was approximately 60% from New Zealand and 40% Imperial. She was later recommissioned as HMNZS Achilles when the New Zealand Division became the Royal New Zealand Navy in September 1941. She was paid off from the Royal New Zealand Navy at Sheerness, Kent, England on 17 September 1946 and returned to the Royal Navy. She was then sold to the Indian Navy and recommissioned on 5 July 1948 as INS Delhi. She remained in service until decommissioned for scrap at Bombay on 30 June 1978. As part of the scrapping her Y turret was removed and gifted to the New Zealand government, it is now on display at the entrance of Devenport Naval Base in Auckland.

On the outbreak of the Second World War, Achilles started patrolling the west coast of South America looking for German merchant ships, but by 22nd October 1939 she had arrived at the Falkland Islands, where she was assigned to the South American Division under Commodore Harwood and allocated to Force G (Exeter and HMS Cumberland). In the early morning of 13th December a force consisting of Achilles, Ajax and Exeter detected smoke on the horizon, which was confirmed to be a pocket battleship, thought to be Admiral Scheer, at 06:16. A fierce battle ensued, at a range of approximately 20,000 yards (20 km). 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 miles (7 km) at around 07:15 and Admiral 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 followed by Achilles and Ajax all day.

Following the battle, Achilles returned to Auckland, New Zealand on 23 February 1940, where she was refitted until June. After Japan entered the war, she escorted troop convoys, then joined the ANZAC squadron in SW Pacific. While operating off New Georgia with U.S. forces, she was hit by a bomb on X turret on 5 January 1943. Repaired at Portsmouth from April 1943 to May 1944, during which X turret was replaced by 4-2 pdr. Sent to the Eastern Fleet, Achilles then joined Task Force 57 in May 1945 for final operations in the Pacific.

For her subsequent history, please see the article on INS Delhi.

See HMS Achilles for other ships of this name.

External links


Leander-class cruiser
Royal Navy
Achilles | Ajax | Amphion | Apollo | Leander | Neptune | Orion | Phaeton
Royal Australian Navy
Hobart (ex-Apollo) | Perth (ex-Amphion) | Sydney (ex-Phaeton)
Royal New Zealand Navy
Achilles | Leander
Indian Navy
Delhi (ex-Achilles)


List of cruisers of the Royal Navy

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