One of five HMS 'Exeter's- Click image for more info
The Battle of the River Plate was the first naval battle in the Second World War and the only episode of the war to take place in South America. The HMS Exeter, along with two other cruisers, were sent to intercept a German battleship that had been commerce raiding since the start of the war. In the ensuing battle, Exeter was severly damaged and forced to retire. The German battleship was also severely damaged, and the captain sank it rather than surrender it to the British.