Monday, December 08, 2008

Today In History: Rules the waves.

On this day in 1914, Admiral von Spee's squadron of the Kaiserliche Marine, feeling frisky after a spot of commerce raiding and a successful shootout with the Royal Navy off the coast of Chile, decided to raid British bases in the Falklands on its way home to the North Atlantic.

Unfortunately for the Boche, the British presence there had been bolstered by a brace of battlecruisers that not only outgunned von Spee's armored cruisers, but could easily outrun them, too.

The Royal Navy spent about five hours shooting the German East Asia Squadron into colanders. Graf von Spee and both his sons were killed in the action along with almost 1,900 other German sailors. The British suffered ten KIA.

4 comments:

knirirr said...

Good stuff.
That was what battlecruisers were designed to do. It's a shame that the were misused later on in the war.

Steve Skubinna said...

Fisher's first mistake was in arming the battlecruisers with battleship guns. Once they had 12", then 13.5" and eventually 15" guns, there was no way they were going to be kept out of the battle line.

And thus, they were doomed as soon as the design was finalized.

knirirr said...

Wasn't it the combination of longer range (due to a battleship-like battery) and higher speed that enabled them to win so easily at the Falklands, though? If they didn't have both of those things then they couldn't have done as well as they did.

Tony said...

Girlfriends comment: "Typical Monday." :op