royal new zealand navy

Articles

Battle of the River Plate

  • Battle of the River Plate

    When HMS Achilles opened fire on the German 'pocket battleship' Admiral Graf Spee on 13 December 1939, it became the first NZ unit to engage the enemy in the Second World War. Over seventy years later, the Battle of the River Plate still holds a special place in this country's naval history.

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  • Page 2 – New Zealand's naval forces

    New Zealand's naval forces and strategy before the outbreak of the Second World War.

  • Page 3 – The outbreak of war

    The outbreak of the Second World War and New Zealand naval involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic.

  • Page 4 – Into the South Atlantic

    HMS Achilles joins the Royal Navy's South America Division patrolling the South Atlantic in search of German raiders.

  • Page 5 – The battle

    The British cruisers Achilles, Ajax and Exeter engage the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee in battle.

  • Page 6 – After the battle

    The aftermath of the battle and the return of HMS Achilles to New Zealand.

  • Page 7 – Further information

    Website links and books related to the Battle of the River Plate.

HMNZS Leander

  • HMNZS Leander

    When the Royal New Zealand Navy came into being on 1 October 1941, its main combat units were two Leander-class cruisers: Achilles and Leander. Although its early war was quieter than the Achilles, the Leander was to see dramtic action in the Pacific War.

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  • Page 2 – Leander-class light cruisers

    Facts and stats about the Leander light cruiser ships

  • Page 3 – Leander goes to war

    By mid-1940 the Leander was escorting convoys in the Red Sea and Aden areas. In between escorting merchant ships, the cruiser further pummelled the Italian submarine Torricelli

  • Page 4 – Pacific attack

    After some early successes, the Leander's war came to an end when she was hit by a long-range Japanese torpedo

  • Page 5 – Recovery and repair

    The Leander was hit just abaft the ‘A’ boiler room. Four hundred and ninety kilograms of high explosive killed everyone in that boiler room and the blast, venting

  • Page 6 – Last days

    The Leander never fought under the New Zealand ensign again and was eventually scrapped in 1949

  • Page 7 – Further information

    Links and books relating the to the HMNZS Leander

The Royal New Zealand Navy

  • The Royal New Zealand Navy

    Seventy years old in October 2011, the Royal New Zealand Navy is today an integral part of the New Zealand Defence Force. But its 1941 establishment was the result of a long process of naval development.

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  • Page 2 – Origins

    Although some gunboats were acquired by the colonial government during the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s and torpedo boats for the coast defences in the 1880s, the genesis of

  • Page 3 – First World War

    Establishing NZ's naval forcesWhen the Reform government took office in 1912, the way was opened for New Zealand to begin a new approach.

  • Page 4 – NZ Division of the Royal Navy

    The First World War experience convinced Allen that New Zealand’s approach to naval defence had been on the right lines.

  • Page 5 – Second World War

    On 1 October 1941 an order-in-council changed the name of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy to Royal New Zealand Navy.

  • Page 6 – Post-war operations

    Like all the services the RNZN faced difficulties of readjustment to peacetime conditions, not only in drastically reducing numbers but also in determining the shape of the

  • Page 7 – New directions

    The RNZN’s independence as a service came to an end when the Ministry of Defence (created in July 1963) was reconstituted to incorporate all three armed services on 1 January

  • Page 8 – Further information

    Links and books for further reading about the Royal New Zealand Navy

Korean War

  • Korean War

    New Zealand was involved militarily in Korea from 1950 to 1957, first as part of the United Nations 'police action' to repel North Korea's invasion of its southern neighbour, and then in a garrison role after the armistice in July 1953.

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  • Page 3 - The 'first' and 'second' Korean Wars New Zealand was one of the first states to answer the Security Council's call with combat assistance (sixteen would eventually do so). On 29 June, the government offered two

Flags of New Zealand

  • Flags of New Zealand

    The New Zealand Flag hasn't always been our official flag. It was adopted in 1902, replacing the Union Jack. Between 1834 and 1840, the Flag of the United Tribes was recognised as our first 'national' flag. Waitangi Day 2010 also marked the first official recognition of the national Māori flag.

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  • Page 5 - Other official flagsSix flags other than the New Zealand Flag are flown for official purposes in New

HMS Philomel

  • HMS <em>Philomel</em>

    New Zealand's first warship, HMS Philomel formed the core of the country's naval forces during the First World War. The aged and largely obsolete vessel was commissioned in New Zealand in July 1914, and went on to serve in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Middle East.

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  • Page 1 - NZ's first warshipNew Zealand's first warship, HMS Philomel formed the core of the country's naval forces during the First World War. The aged and largely obsolete vessel was commissioned in New