HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association



Why did Graf Spee head for the area off the River Plate?


Graf Spee was due for a refit in Germany in January 1940 and by November 1939 her period of commerce raiding was coming to an end. Having initially operated against the shipping routes in the South Atlantic and around the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) until 6th December, Langsdorff had the choice of either returning straight home or operating against the hitherto unexploited sea traffic coming out of the River Plate.  He chose the latter.