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HMS Exeter

HMS Exeter was a York class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy.

She was built by Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth, Devon. Laid down on 1 August 1928, she was launched on 18 July 1929 and completed on 27 July 1931.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, she formed part of the South American Division with HMS Cumberland[?]. Together with the light cruisers HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles she engaged the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December 1939, which action resulted in the Graf Spees scuttling several days later. Severely damaged in the battle, Exeter made for Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands for emergency repairs which took until January 1940, then returned to Devonport for full repairs between February 1940 and March 1941.

On returning to the fleet in 1941, she was engaged on escort duty for Atlantic convoys, but on the entry of Japan into the war she formed part of the Allied Striking Force intended to defend the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) from Japanese invasion. At the end of February 1942 she was damaged in the Battle of the Java Sea[?] when she received a hit in the boiler room and was subsequently ordered to Soerabaya[?]. When she attempted to reach the Sunda Strait, she was intercepted by the Japanese cruisers Nachi and Haguro and badly damaged by gunfire and a torpedo from the destroyer Ikazuchi. The crew was ordered to abandon ship, and she was scuttled off the Bawean Islands on the evening of 28 February 1942. Her destroyer escorts, HMS Encounter[?] and USS Pope[?] were also lost in this engagement.

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