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I have to put Terry Duncan right about his post of 18 December. It is well established that at 1500 on the afternoon of 3rd November 1914, Admiral Spee went to the German Consulate at Valparaiso where he cabled to Berlin via Washington his preliminary report on the Battle of Coronel before spending the rest of the afternoon with the head of the German Legation, Baron von Erckert and the Consul Dr Gumprecht.
There would appear to be no record of any such signal being made from Germany, and as Spee was at sea, he would not have been able to receive it anyhow - he had been out of communication during the crossing of the Pacific and had needed to use the Chilean facilities at Valparaiso to make contact. Records of these communications exist, and there is no order to invade the Falklands.
According to the source I provided, the Argentine Consul Adolfo Blanc stated in 1953 that he had seen a copy of the order in Foreign Office archives both in England and Argentina during his consular service. In the same book, Ambassador Candioti is quoted as saying that during his consular service in Imperial Germany he saw material indicating that it was Imperial policy to return all British colonies "to their rightful owners".
I assure you as a published author who has twice been forced by the authorities to delete WWII material from a book (2001 by the Germans, 2011 much closer to home, leaving two nice blank pages where the printed word should be), that if the authorities do not wish to disclose to historians or the public in general a signal or any other material they will conceal it.
A historian cannot therefore use its absence as evidence.
Atrevida wrote:I use a public server in Argentina, but this is the only forum giving this continuing problem.
Both Churchill ("World" in Crisis, postwar, with quote from Lord Fisher on why Admiral von Spee would want to have done that) and Admiral Sturdee (to KKpt Pochhammer, at dinner aboard HMS Invincible, 11 December 1914) stated that the German intention had been to invade and occupy the Falklands.
Pochhammer the senior surviving German officer stated that there were no occupation troops aboard the German ships, and that seems to have been the case.
We are therefore left with the third possibility, which is the reason for my posting here.
This strange paradox - were the surviving German officers lying, or was it Churchill and Admiral Sturdee - is what first drew my attention to the matter.
I accept that both Churchill (The World in Crisis, Vol 1) and Admiral Sturdee (Pochhammer, p.221) were telling the truth when they claimed the German intention was to invade and occupy the Falklands.
I accept that the German officers including Pochhammer (p.221) were telling the truth when they stated that there were no occupation troops aboard the German ships.
How are we to resolve this paradox?
Note that Admiral Sturdee stated to Pochhammer on 11 December that the Germans had intended to invade and occupy the Falklands
"Admiral Sturdee's Despatch, 19 December 1914, (d) "Action with the Enemy's Transports".
"A report was received at 11.27 a.m. from HMS Bristol that three ships of the enemy, probably transports or colliers, had appeared off Point Pleasant.
)1) No, no, no. Sturdee's despatch is dated 19 December. It is his report on the battle fought on 8 December.
2) Admiral Spee left Tsingtau before the outbreak of war. Do you really think he would have embarked occupation troops there?
3) "Why would Sturdee or Churchill be able to say...": Have you seen the reports of the three German mercantile crews and the British captured crew released from one of the German merchant ships?
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