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The History of the Graf Spee and the Battle of the River Plate

Wed 16 Mar, 2022, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Zoom Presentation,

The destruction/scuttling of the German ‘Pocket’ Battleship, Graf Spee on December 13th, 1939, off Montevideo, Uruguay, was the first major Naval victory by the Royal Navy’s of Britain and New Zealand in World War II. It was a huge psychological blow to Nazi Germany and a massive morale booster for the Allied Navies. Prior to the Graf Spee’s destruction, it had, however, sunk numerous merchant ships, mainly in the South Atlantic, but also in the Indian Ocean. Captured crew from the sinking of merchant ships were transferred to the Graf Spee’s infamous support / supply ship, the Altmark. The Graf Spee was eventually ‘cornered’ by HMS Exeter, HMS Achilles and HMS Ajax, close to the River Plate in South America, near Montevideo / Buenos Aires. Following a two-hour intensive battle and a very cunning deception plan, orchestrated by the British Admiralty, Foreign Office and the BBC, the Graf Spee was finally destroyed.

This latter part of this heroic story is often overlooked.

Presenter: – Nigel Rogers

Spent most of his career, some 30 years, with Citi/Citibank, the US Global Bank Headquartered in New York, with positions in: Human Resources, Audit & Risk, Operations & Technology and Marketing. Nigel was based in London, in Zürich, Switzerland and in Edinburgh, and travelled extensively with work throughout the world. Nigel retired and emigrated from the UK to Perth, Western Australia following his marriage to Dr Heather Rogers in July 2012, after the loss, due to cancer, of his first wife, Christina, who was Swedish.

In retirement, one of Nigel’s main interests is in Naval and Military History. Nigel was elected President of the Naval Historical Society of Australia – WA Chapter, in September 2020, following Dr George Carters retirement. Nigel is the `Resident Historian’ at Capital Community Radio in Perth: https://capitalcommunityradio.com/interviews.html and undertakes research in order to give Naval and Military History talks on the radio, as well as at meetings of various Societies and Institutions. Nigel is a Knight of Honour of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem- Knights Hospitaller, of the WA Priory, whose main objective is to raise funds for the homeless in Perth, WA.

Nigel’s interest in Naval History stems from inheriting his father’s collection of Naval History books and hearing his father’s stories about his Royal Navy Service throughout World War II, that included serving in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and on the island of Malta during the Siege in World War II. Nigel’s father joined the British Diplomatic Service after the War in 1946, with a first posting to Buenos Aires – Argentina, where Nigel was born, and he then spent many years living in and visiting many countries in the world with his parents.

Details: – Date and Time:1100, Wednesday 16th. March 2022 (Sydney time)
Click the link below to join the ZOOM meeting

Meeting ID: 859 2377 7716 – Passcode: 102965
Please join us



Wed 16 Mar, 2022
11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Naval Historical Society of Australia
02 9537 0035
View Organiser Website


Zoom Presentation