Actually, I think they made a bad decision to send Goeben to the Mediterranean - I would have sent the older and less valuable Blücher there instead, and kept Goeben with the other new battlecruisers in the North Sea.
But if they had done that, Blucher doesn’t outrun Milne on 4 August and that, as they say, would be that. The British wake up to news of their first naval victory of the war on 5 August.
I agree it was a shame he didnt survive the war, but I really think it unlikely he was ever going to get home simply because of the odds against him
Spee’s odds of getting home were not unreasonable. Where he did himself a bad turn was making a risky but unnecessary attack, then he planned and executed it poorly, and then on top of it all discovered his luck was bad.
Howewer initially I was expecting this discussion to be more about how Falklands would play out if heroic Graf Spee had Moltke or Seydlitz at his disposal... I really like the man and feel sorry he didn't make it home. He was such a nice chap.
But nice doesn’t cut it. Spee made two mistakes, both fatal. First, he failed to scout with his fastest cruiser (Dresden) alone with the rest at great distance and prepared to flee. Second, when BC’s were confirmed, he had to split up is armoured cruisers and run individually. Fighting as a squadron simply guaranteed that when the first German AC was knocked out, the second would face two British BC’s. He kept his light cruisers with his heavy cruisers, when at least two should have been sent far ahead to capture coaliers and purchase coal in neutral ports.
The most likely answer is that if Graf Spee's force had been stronger, the British response would also have been proportionally stronger, with a similar end result.
Well, no, that idea is pretty much impossible. Against just 2 AC’s, the Entente could deploy quite a number of AC or BC kill groups – maybe 8 or 10 such groups. But against 2 BC’s, the Entente could deploy 2 hunter groups. Everything else the Entente had was either too slow to catch them, or dead if they did. So 2 BC’s meant the situation was even worse than 10 vs 2 suggests, since the Entente could ill afford to use individual scout ships, as these will perish on contact.