Should Langsdorff have made a break for it ?
I would be interested to hear your opinions
The Battle of the River Plate was the first naval battle in the Second World War and the only episode of the war to take place in South America. The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee had been commerce raiding since the start of the war in September 1939. One of the hunting groups sent by the British Admiralty to search for Graf Spee, comprising three Royal Navy (RN) cruisers, HMS Exeter, Ajax and Achilles (the last of the New Zealand Division), found and engaged their quarry off the estuary of the River Plate off the coast of Argentina and Uruguay in South America. HMS Cumberland was also part of the hunting group, but she was refitting in the Falkland IslandsIn the ensuing battle, Exeter was severely damaged and forced to retire, while all other ships sustained moderate damage. Graf Spee′s fuel system was crippled. The Ajax and Achilles shadowed the German ship until it entered the port of Montevideo, the capital city of neutral Uruguay, to effect urgent repairs. After the Graf Spee's captain Hans Langsdorff was told that his stay could not be extended beyond 72 hours, he scuttled his damaged ship rather than face the overwhelmingly superior force that the British had led him to believe was awaiting his departure.