Britain scores the first WW II sea victory
On Ontario farmland safely inland from Second World War bombing, a town sprang up to house 9,000 people working at a munitions factory that produced 40 million shells for the Allied war effort.
The town was named Ajax, after a ship in a little-remembered sea battle off the coast of Uruguay in 1939, the first Allied sea victory of the war.
Great War armistice terms forbade Germany from building classic warships, so instead it produced heavily armed cruisers the British called pocket battleships.
One, the Admiral Graf Spee, attacked merchant shipping in the South Atlantic, but the Royal Navy’s South American Naval Division had trouble finding it.