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Admiral Graf Spee: Pocket Battleship

Admiral Graf Spee: German Pocket Battleship - Battles, discovery and salvage.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: German U-boats, WWII Battleships, WWII Navy, Military Scale Models.

Graf Spee bronze Nazi statue is giving Uruguay a splitting headache
War trophies don`t come much more imposing than the solid bronze statue that once adorned the prow of the Graf Spee, a notorious Nazi battleship that sank numerous Allied merchant vessels. Weighing 700 pounds and with a wingspan of nearly 9 feet, the statue is a rare surviving example of the ultimate Third Reich symbol of an eagle perched atop a swastika. It is also causing the Uruguayan government a headache after local businessman Alfredo Etchegaray had the statue salvaged from the wreck of the Graf Spee in shallow waters just off Uruguay`s capital of Montevideo in 2006.
(globalpost.com)

Admiral Graf Spee Battleship for Microsoft Flight Simulator X
The Admiral Graf Spee was one of the most famous German WWII warships. Her size was limited to that of a cruiser by the Treaty of Versailles, but she was as heavily armed as a small battleship due to innovative weight-saving techniques. She was sent to the Atlantic Ocean as a raider in 1939, sinking 9 merchant ships. After the Battle of the River Plate Graf Spee docked for repairs in Montevideo. Faced with what he thought to be an overwhelming enemy force, the captain scuttled his ship. A number of features (speed, search reflectors, the fire console, torpedoes and torpedo launchers) on the boat can be controlled via the simulator.
(simshack.net)

Nazi sign marking British WW2 raid on Graf Spee's supply ship Altmark gifted to Portsmouth Royal Navy Museum
A Nazi sign marking a WW2 raid by the British navy has been donated to the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth. The incident was a morale boost for Britain which saw a boarding party from destroyer HMS Cossack release 299 British prisoners from Altmark - a supply tanker to the pocket battleship Graf Spee. Altmark - carrying British seamen picked up from ships sunk by the Graf Spee - reached Norway in Feb. 1940. After a tip-off from the British naval attaché in Oslo, cruiser Arethusa and 5 destroyers trapped Altmark at Jossingfjord - resulting a short battle, which allegedly involved both bayonet and cutlass.
(culture24.org.uk)

Nazi naval relic Admiral Graf Spee pits salvage operator against Germany
The Admiral Graf Spee, the German "pocket battleship" scuttled in 1939, is in the middle of a struggle between the businessman salvaging it and the German government hoping to prevent its commercialization. "We always proposed a serious historical and cultural destiny" for the remains of the Graf Spee while "contemplating fair compensation" for the work made to recover its relics, said businessman Alfredo Etchegaray. In 2006 divers salvaged a 350kg Nazi bronze eagle - with outspread wings and swastika - and soon Germany sent a note to the Uruguay claiming ownership of the Graf Spee.
(france24.com)

The Battle of the River Plate: A Grand Delusion by Richard Woodman
The Battle of the River Plate was the first famous naval battle of World War II. 3 small Royal Navy cruisers were pitted against a German pocket battleship Graf Spee, which was thousands of miles from home, isolated and on its own. The British were too severely damaged to pose a real challenge, but they put up a bold front. They fooled the German captain, and Graf Spee sailed from Montevideo and scuttled itself rather than risk being interned by Uruguay or beaten by the Royal Navy. "Grand Delusion" is one of the few books about the battle written after the Royal Navy`s WW2 archives were completely declassified.
(galvestondailynews)

Hans Langsdorff dedication appreciated by daughter
A "remarkable leader" was honoured with the dedication of a street named for him. That the man was the captain of a German battleship in World War II still brought out a crowd of 120 people. Hans Langsdorff was the captain of the Graf Spee, the German ship involved in the Battle of the River Plate in 1939. Among those attending the ceremony was Langsdorff's daughter Inge Nedden. Mayor Steve Parish noted questions were raised over "why this ceremony honouring a veteran, not of the Allied forces but the leader of the Graf Spee? Langsdorff was a remarkable leader." The Town took its name from the HMS Ajax, one of 3 Allied vessels involved in the fight against the Graf Spee.
(newsdurhamregion)

Friedrich Adolph: The last sailor from the battleship Admiral Graf Spee
Friedrich Adolph, the last sailor in Uruguay from the battleship Admiral Graf Spee that sank off Uruguay's coast at the outset of World War II, has died at 89. The Graf Spee prowled the South Atlantic, sinking 9 allied merchant ships before warships from Britain and New Zealand tracked it down during the "Battle of the River Plate." The damaged Graf Spee limped into Montevideo harbor where injured and dead sailors were taken ashore. To prevent it from falling into enemy hands, the Graf Spree's captain Hans Langsdorff later dynamited it and sank it a few miles from Montevideo. Several German sailors who survived settled in Uruguay and Argentina.
(latimes.com)

Battle stations over sunken Graf Spee and Nazi Eagle
For more than 60 years the wreck of the Graf Spee, once the pride of Nazi Germany's fleet, rested undisturbed. But now a new battle has broken out over who owns recovered spoils. The group that recovered them wants to put the pieces up for auction. But Uruguayan officials, fearing that neo-Nazi groups acquire the artefacts, are threatening to suspend the permit. "There are ethical limits on the promotion of Nazi symbols in museums, so who are the potential buyers of these icons, if not neo-Nazis?" The insignia had been covered up so that the swastika was not visible. Some say collectors were willing to pay $15 million for pieces.
(smh)

Relics of Nazi navy battleship Graf Spee stokes controversy
Six decades have passed since the pride of the Nazi navy, the "Admiral Graf Spee", was sunk off the coast of Uruguay, but the once feared pocket battleship stirs up argument. The recovery of a giant bronze eagle from the Nazi ship has triggered a standoff between Alfredo Etchegaray and the German government, which is against a public sale of the WWII-era relic. An imposing Nazi emblem with wings spread out and a swastika under its talons could fetch a huge sum at auction. Teams have raised a gun and a tower which are on display. The recovery of these artifacts has push ahead project of raising the entire battleship from its muddy grave.
(sawf.org)

The Graf Spee bronze eagle is landed - Could fetch 15M
A bronze eagle salvaged from the Admiral Graf Spee, the German pocket battleship scuttled after the Battle of the River Plate, could fetch more than £15 million at auction. It said a collector in south-east Asia had offered $15 million (£8.6 million) and the owner of an American hotel chain had topped that with $26 million (£15 million). Capt Hans Langsdorff scuttled the Graf Spee on Dec 17, 1939, to prevent it from falling into British hands.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Bronze eagle retrieved from sunken battleship Admiral Graf Spee
Divers working in the muddy River Plate have unbolted and scooped up a heavy bronze eagle from the Admiral Graf Spee, a famed German WWII battleship. The eagle stands some 2 meters (6 feet) tall and weighs more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds). The Graf Spee, a pocket battleship, was considered one of the most sophisticated vessels of its time. It prowled the South Atlantic, sinking as many as 9 allied merchant ships before warships from Britain and New Zealand tracked it down and damaged it during the "Battle of the River Plate".
(bbc)

Salvagers raise Chunk of tower from sunken Nazi ship
A salvage team used a floating crane to raise a key piece of a sunken German battleship, lifting a 27-ton part of the command tower after weeks of failed attempts. Alberto Braida told the team recovered its first significant part of the Admiral Graf Spee. Braida said the team salvaged the range-finding equipment, known as the telemeter. During the first attempt the supporting cables snapped and the 27-ton piece crashed back into the water. The telemeter was a sophisticated optical instrument for its era that helped gunners improve their aim and hone in on targets up to 20 miles (32 kilometers) away.
(ap)

Divers aim to raise the German pocket battleship Graf Spee
Divers will begin this week raising pieces of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, scuttled off Uruguay in the early days of the Second World War to avoid being sunk by a British armada. The Battle of the River plate that led to pride of the German fleet's humiliating end rapidly become nautical folklore ... and a film. A symbol of Nazi naval might, the ship prowled the South Atlantic chasing and sinking as many as nine allied merchant ships before it was crippled by British warships in a December 1939 naval engagement.
(icwales)

Graf Spee to rise from her grave near River Plate
By the time the Allied warships spotted the smoke rising from its funnels, the Admiral Graf Spee had already sent 9 merchant navy vessels to the sea bed. Feared by mariners and hailed as one of the greatest ships of the German fleet, the "pocket battleship" with its oversized guns was no mean target as the Allied navy prepared for battle. In what was to become the first great naval battle of the WW2, the Graf Spee took on 3 Allied ships on 13 Dec, 1939, and crippled one before being hit and later scuttled by its captain to settle in the thick mud of the River Plate. A team is about to begin work raising the warship and turning it into a floating museum.
(militaryphotos)

The end of the Graf Spee - Scuttled by her crew
Monday December 18, 1939 -- The German "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee scuttled herself at 10. 55 British time last night. She had lifted anchor at 8. 45, and at 9. 30 - the limit of the time set by the Uruguayan Government for her stay at Montevideo - she set sail. Three miles from shore the remnant of the crew who had remained on board were loaded on to two tugs and a barge, which pulled away from the battleship. Then there were three explosions and she went down. The German News Agency reported that Hitler gave the order for the scuttling of the ship.
(guardian)


See also:
German U-boats
WWII Battleships
WWII Navy
Military Scale Models.