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The Battle of the River Plate: The Hunt for the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Battle of the River Plate: The Hunt for the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Dudley Pope(Author)

    Book details


This tale of the Battle of the River Plate follows the machinations of the German war machine as Kapitan zur See Hans Langsdorff commands the pocket battleship Graf Spee on a mission to cripple British shipping. Through clever subterfuge and daring, the Graf Spee takes ship after ship, ultimately forcing the British Navy to send twenty ships in search of the elusive Spee.

"One of the great naval engagements of all time . . . [Pope's account] is a great contribution to the full understanding of this heroic sea fight." "The New York Herald Tribune Book Review"""When the reader is through the book he will rightly feel that he has been through the battle as well." "The New York Times""

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Book details

  • PDF | 256 pages
  • Dudley Pope(Author)
  • McBooks Press (1 Jan. 2005)
  • English
  • 4
  • History

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Review Text

  • By David I. Howells on 25 June 2007

    A brilliant military historian, Dudley Pope does not disappoint with this exceedingly well written account of the sinking of the German pocket battleship the Graf Spee in the South Atlantic during the early stages of the Second World War.Pope covers in depth the full synopsis of the battle from both the German and the British side. He gives a detailed description of the men involved, the history of the naval vessels involved in the battle, the raiding accounts of the Graf Spee, the battle itself and the eventual scuttling of this great ship.The raiding account is well explained especially in regard to the tactics employed by the Spee, descriptions of the vessels attacked and the bravery of the merchant radio operators per sec. These brave men sent out their distress signals despite the threat of action against them and there are several accounts of the Spee hosing radio shacks with machine gun fire and cannon shells...and the radio operators still continued with their messages. It is a shame these brave merchant men did not receive gallantry medals for their endeavours.The detailed explanations on naval terminology and tactics are particularly useful. The explanation on gunnery tactics is particularly thorough and this helps the reader to comprehend the full and graphic account of the battle between the Spee with the cruisers Ajax, Achilles and Exeter. There is even an accurate synopsis of international naval law!The mainstay of the book though is the overall narrative of how three outgunned British cruisers damaged a pocket battleship by their aggressive tactics and damaging it to such a degree that it had to seek shelter in Montevideo harbour. The reason why this modern powerful battleship did not wipe out the British hunting fleet will never really be known. What is known however is that the actions of the British ships that day made this into an historic encounter. Heavily outgunned they fought a desperately tenacious action that immortalised the battle into British naval folklore. This was at a high cost however with over fifty dead many more wounded and major damage to the ships involved in the action.The culmination of the action is arrived at five days later when the Spee exits the harbour only to be scuttled by its crew under the watchful gaze of 750,000 spectators and the world wide press. The scuttling being done on the pretext that the Spee even if it defeated the waiting British ships...that again were heavily outgunned by the Spee...would not be able to reach Germany for a number of vacillating reasons. The incident is thus closed when the captain of the Spee commits suicide a few days after the scuttling.The only negative points for me were the poor quality of the diagrams in the book. Apart from that this is a brilliantly told account of a British naval victory that should not have been. A truly great read from a great author.

  • By martin on 11 November 2015

    Yes just what we were looking for thankyou


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