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Battle of the River Plate

Article about: I daresay that very problem weighed heavily with him, he didnt really have an effective advantage with so many of his weapons out of commission, low on ammo, fuel system suspect, his galleys

  1. #11
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    I daresay that very problem weighed heavily with him, he didnt really have an effective advantage with so many of his weapons out of commission, low on ammo, fuel system suspect, his galleys severly damaged, over 70 main hits on the superstructure, plus the false intelligence of so many "English" ships waiting for him, also the fact that he was not a Nazi and was considered by many to be a Chilverous and compassionate man, who treated his crew with respect and wouldnt want them to die needlessly, but in order to ensure that all blame fell on him , his suicide would have, in his eyes been the only course of action left to him, and in doing so saved many of his relations and that of his officers back home from any retribution

  2. #12

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    Good points Dave !

    He had already lost 36 men when he pulled into Montevideo, enough was enough perhaps

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  3. #13

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    The British Navy was out for revenge and Langsdorff knew it. They intended to tear his ship apart and send it to the bottom with as many of it's crew as possible. Going out "in a blaze of glorious gun battle" would have been both foolish and criminal. There was no option.
    Contrary to the popular story, there were indeed more British ships speeding to the site but they would not have arrived in time to have been in the immediate "greeting party" outside the port and the Spee ,meanwhile, was in a crippled condition and escaping on the run was impossible. With their condition being what it was, they may not have had the instant reception on leaving Montevideo, but the British Navy was Certainly coming at full speed and it would never have been possible to not have them catch up. If they hadn't sent the Graf Spee down themselves, the British Navy would absolutely have done so in a few days time. Why wait until they were far out to sea, just to give the British Navy a one-sided "fight"?

    "Overwhelming British forces (HMS Renown, Ark Royal, Shropshire, Dorsetshire, and Neptune) were en route, but would not assemble until 19 December." wikipedia
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #14

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    Good observations William, thank you !

    Why was the Spee alone, where was the back up?

    I need to study further

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  5. #15

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    Graf Spee was a Surface Raider and always operated on it's own. It sank 9 commerce ships in it's short career. About the closest thing it had to a back up support, was the German ship "Altmark", an oil tanker which was it's secret supplier ship. The Altmark would spot targets for the Graf Spee and also refeul and resupply it, as it operated at such far distances from it's home base.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    Dont forget that THe Graf Spee was a Capitol Ship, considered quite capable of taking on anything that could be sent against her, also she had been deployed before the war started and was at sea ready to interfere with the grain and supply ships in the Atlantic, the other capitol ships were to be deployed all over the North and South Atlantic.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    Thanks for you views guys. Its certainly another fascinating Naval encounter of WW2 !

    I hope they succeed in raising her !

    In February 2004, a salvage team began work raising the wreck of Admiral Graf Spee. The operation is in part being funded by the government of Uruguay, in part by the private sector, as the wreck is now a hazard to navigation. The first major sectionóa 27 metric tons (27 long tons; 30 short tons) gunnery range-finding telemeterówas raised on 25 February. On 10 February 2006, the 2 m (6 ft 7 in) eagle figurehead of Admiral Graf Spee was recovered from the stern of the ship.

    Nick
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  8. #18

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    Who are the two officers on the right of the photo of Langsdorffs funeral? Uruguayan military ?

    Nick
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    They look like it, I think the civvie behind them in the procession may be Captain Dove

  10. #20

    Default Re: Battle of the River Plate

    I think you are right Dave !

    Langsdorff showed him much respect as a prisoner on board the Spee

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

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