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Today in World War II History—December 13, 1939 & 1944

Admiral Graf Spee at anchor in Montevideo harbor, Uruguay for repairs, 13-16 Dec 1939 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

Admiral Graf Spee at anchor in Montevideo harbor, Uruguay for repairs, 13-16 Dec 1939 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

80 Years Ago—December 13, 1939: Battle of the River Plate—off the coast of Uruguay, German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee is damaged by British light cruisers Exeter and Ajax and New Zealand cruiser Achilles, the first major naval engagement of the war; Admiral Graf Spee will put in to Montevideo, Uruguay the next day for repairs.

75 Years Ago—Dec. 13, 1944: US First Army exits the Hürtgen Forest and reaches the Roer River in Germany.

US XXI Bomber Command B-29s have their first truly successful bombing—of the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Nagoya, Japan.