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The Battle of the River Plate (Rio de la Plata) was the first naval battle in the Second World War. The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee had been commerce raiding since the start of the war in September 1939. One of the hunting groups sent by the British Admiralty to search for Graf Spee, comprising three Royal Navy (RN) cruisers, HMS Exeter, Ajax and Achilles (the last of the New Zealand Division), found and engaged their quarry off the estuary of the River Plate off the coast of Argentina and Uruguay in South America. HMS Cumberland was also part of the hunting group, but she was refitting in the Falkland Islands.