HMNZS Achilles (70)

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HMNZS Achilles
HMNZS Achilles

Cammell Laird , Birkenhead, England

Keel laying June 11, 1931
Launch September 1, 1932
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning October 10, 1933
Decommissioning September 17, 1946
Whereabouts Sold to the Indian Navy
2. Period of service flag
Commissioning July 5, 1948
Decommissioning July 30, 1978
Whereabouts sold for scrapping
Technical specifications

Standard 7,270 ts
maximum 9,740 ts


169 m


17 m


5.8 m


550 (peace) 680 (war) men

  • Steam turbines (Parson type)
  • 6 Admiralty steam boilers (3-drum type)
  • 74,000 HP on 4 screws

32.5 kn


5730 nm at 13 kn


The HMNZS Achilles was a New Zealand light cruiser of the Leander class in World War II . She was best known for her battle with the German armored ship Admiral Graf Spee .

Before the war

The Achilles was originally built for the Royal Navy and entered service as HMS Achilles on October 10, 1933. She served in the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy from March 31 until the Royal New Zealand Navy was formed, to which she was transferred in September 1941. It was renamed HMNZS Achilles . The crew consisted of 60% New Zealanders.

Second World War

South America

HMS Achilles seen from the HMS Ajax during the naval battle off the Río de la Plata

When the Second World War broke out, the Achilles patrolled the west coast of South America to intercept German cargo ships. On October 22, 1939, she had reached the Falkland Islands , where she was assigned to the Force G under Commodore Henry Harwood . She took part with his squadron in the sea ​​battle in front of the Río de la Plata . Four men fell on Achilles and there were several wounded, including the captain William Edward Parry.


After the battle, the Achilles returned to Auckland on February 23, 1940 , where it was repaired by June. After Japan entered the war, she escorted troop transports and joined the ANZAC division in the southwestern Pacific. While the ship was operating off New Georgia with US forces, it was hit by a bomb on Tower X on January 5, 1943. The cruiser was repaired from April 1943 to May 1944, with the X tower replaced by four Ordnance QF 2-pounder naval guns. In May 1945 the Achilles was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet (Task Force 57).

Indian Navy

On September 17, 1946, the Achilles was returned to the Royal Navy. She was sold to the Indian Navy and put back into service on July 5, 1948 as HMIS Delhi . When India became independent, the ship was renamed INS Delhi . Her first visiting trip took her to East Africa, the Seychelles and Mauritius in 1948. In June 1950, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru drove her on a state visit to Indonesia.

During the occupation of Goa on December 18, 1961, the Delhi sank a Portuguese ship and forced another to sink . They also supported the Indian army by firing on land. At the Second Indo-Pakistan war in September 1965, she did not participate because it was at this time in dry dock.

The ship remained in service until July 30, 1978 and was then sold for scrapping.


Tower Y was removed when it was scrapped and given to New Zealand as a gift. It is on display at the entrance to the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland . The whereabouts of the other towers is unclear.


In 1956, Achilles played herself in the movie Battleship Graf Spee .

A New Zealand Antarctic expedition named the 2880  m high Mount Achilles in the Admiralty Mountains after the ship.

Web links

Commons : HMNZS Achilles (70)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Mount Achilles ( English ) In: Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved March 6, 2011.