INS Delhi

v.1.0 March 12, 2004

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(Ex HMNZS Achilles, C70)


Type Leander class Cruiser
Displacement 7,030 tons,
Dimensions  530 x 55 ft,
Main Armament : 8 X 6 in guns in four twin gun turrets, (one turret subsequently removed)
Secondary Armament : 8-4 in  in four secondary turrets.


Event (My comments in blue)

Pre- Indian Navy timeline

1 Sep 1932

Achilles launched at Birkenhead in England.  9th HM ship to be so named.

10 Oct 1933

Commissioned into the RN as HMS Achilles

31 Mar 1937

Recommissioned as HMNZS Achilles

13 Dec 1939

Takes part in the famous naval battle of River plate. In which the Admiral Graf Spee, a German pocket battleship scuttles itself when faced with an RN group of HMS Exeter, HMNZS Achilles and HMS Ajax


More details of World War Two career will be added at a later date. A detailed history is given at this link

Indian Navy

5 July 1948

Becomes HMIS Delhi.  First CO was RN Capt HNS Brown. The ship had 17 RN Officers and petty officers. Rest of crew were Indian. Cdr RD Katari as XO was senior most Indian Officer.


First major goodwill cruise, to East Africa, Seychelles and Mauritius.

June 50

Cdr AK Chatterji (Later CNS) takes over as the first Indian Commander of INS Delhi.
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sails to Indonesia on INS Delhi.


INS Delhi plays herself as HMNZS Achilles in the movie 'The Battle for River Plate", a two hour English movie shot in color by a British team. I wonder how the British managed to get permission to use the flagship of the Indian Navy in a film! There must have been a number of RN officers in the IN at that time (1955?) that must have pulled strings to get this done. Certainly it was a casting coup by the filmmakers to secure the services of INS Delhi in the movie

18 Dec 1961

INS Delhi was assigned to play the stellar role off Diu. On spotting two Portuguese vessels, she opened up with her guns and sank one of them, while her crew scuttled the other. Delhi also supported the Indian Army's advance into Diu, neutralizing the citadel and the airfield's control tower with her bombardment. (Navy Site)

1-21 Sept 1965

INS Delhi misses the 1965 War Operations as she was in dry dock.


INS Delhi visits New Zealand under Vice Admiral Barbosa AVSM. The occasion served as a meeting point for many ex-Achilles veterans, who were plied with endless quantities of rum and beer as well as a fast cruise on the ship.

3-16 Dec 1971

No details exist on the whereabouts of INS Delhi.  She certainly was not in Western Fleet, and accounts of the Eastern fleet do not specify any role or contribution of INS Delhi. Any information is welcome.

30 June 1978

INS Delhi decommissioned.  Last CO was Cdr Rajnish. 

1978 and after

After the ship is scrapped, one of its gun turrets is sent to New Zealand where it is preserved. One gun turret (or gun) is said to be preserved at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun. Mysteriously the third turret (or gun) goes missing. The official explanation: 'eaten by white ants'. (The editor would welcome more information on the white ant's capability to eat metal!)


o        Jack S Harker's  'HMNZS Achilles' now available on Net at