Admiral Graf Spee/// Word of honor not escape from internation camp in Argentina

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Posts: 197
Joined: 27 Oct 2004 20:41

Admiral Graf Spee/// Word of honor not escape from internation camp in Argentina

Post by VON THERMANN » 05 Jul 2019 23:32

The German staff, admitted to the Isla Martin Garcia, were only staying in this military unit, senior staff, - official - staff cadets, staff noncommissioned officers, and some of the sailors.
The main reason was that people who had technical specialties not escape to Europe, to continue fighting.
The word of honor, only signed, officers, cadets and NCOs .....

U$ 65.-
This document is unique and my property as a collector.

It sends around the world and accept paypal only .

Introduction to INTERMENT in Argentina, after blowing up the battleship Graf Spee On the afternoon of Sunday December 17, 1939, the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew off Montevideo. After fighting on Wednesday, 13 with several British cruisers, took refuge in the port of Montevideo. Unable to repair the damage, their commander, Hans Langsdorff, was ordered to destroy his ship. Had left days before the start of World War II to attack British trade in the South Atlantic, sinking nine merchant ships. The crew of the Graf Spee were interned in Argentina The majority of the Graf Spee crew were interned in Argentina. Langsdorff feared that the pro-British Uruguayans might hand over his men in breach of neutrality, and upon reporting this to Berlin he was ordered to get the crew out of Uruguay. A ruse was attempted in which the men were set adrift in the international waters of the River Plate and picked up by three Argentine flag vessels under local German ownership. The German naval attaché then argued that since the thousand or so men were "mariners from the wreck of the 'Admiral Graf Spee'" they should not be interned but returned by neutral steamer to Germany as "survivors". Argentina was not satisfied that they fitted into this category and interned them. Between April 1940 and the end of 1941, all but six of the officers, and about 200 technical NCOs, absconded from internment and were back in Germany where the majority served in the U-boat Arm. These flights were organized and directed by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, who had been stationed in South America during World War I. Argentine naval connivance was suspected but never proved. Some of the wounded crewmen were retained at Montevideo, and together with internees from the German merchant ship Tacoma, were subsequently transferred to the Cuartel Paso del Rey (English: "Barracks Quarter of the Passage of the King") in Sarandí del Yí, Durazno where the Military District II infantry guarded them. They remained here until transferred back to Montevideo and repatriated to Germany in 1946. Numerous objects pertaining to the Graf Spee remain at the Cuartel Paso del Rey museum in Sarandí del Yí. The Germans' behaviour during their stay in Montevideo, especially Langsdorff's action when faced with possible defeat at British hands, was held in high regard in Uruguay. Many locals feared that their city could become directly endangered during any hostilities. After the Uruguayan Government turned down the German request for the ship to be allowed two weeks in harbour for repairs, the German diplomats present suggested to Langsdorff that the ship's guns be used to demolish the port installations, the battleship then being sunk across the harbour exit. This would be in retaliation for Uruguayan "favouritism" towards the British which was not entirely without foundation (the Uruguayan Government refused to concede more than 72 hours 'under any circumstances' whereas they had given a British warship fourteen days to repair in the First World War, a clear breach of their own neutrality.) Langsdorff was opposed to the idea of demolishing the port and his decision to seek international waters to scuttle his ship was seen as partly motivated by a desire not to cause such harm. After the war the British and US Governments insisted that all Admiral Graf Spee crewmen, irrespective of whether they had been recently married to local girls or not, should be repatriated to Germany, and the refrigerator ship Highland Monarch arrived at Buenos Aires and Montevideo on 16 February 1946 to ship them out. There now ensued a total fiasco, again possibly engineered by the Argentine Navy in collusion with the German secret service. By then the total of Admiral Graf Spee crewmen who had not escaped was 811 men at Buenos Aires and 90 or so at Montevideo. Amongst much lamentation and distress from the women and children ashore, the men plus six wives were paraded at the gangplank five hours before sailing time. At the last moment Argentine Army officers arrived carrying a large bag containing over 900 identity books. It was thus impossible to check the identity of each man against his document as he went aboard, and the British naval attaché watching the pantomime reported his fear that "some substitutions might have occurred".
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Posts: 15
Joined: 27 Jun 2012 13:42

Re: Admiral Graf Spee/// Word of honor not escape from internation camp in Argentina

Post by BernardO » 31 Oct 2021 09:42

Fascinating. I am researching the escapes of Graf Spee officers and crew. Might you know of any publication/website that has personal accounts?
I've got British Foreign Office, Admiralty and MI5 files which so far do not include accounts of escapees. They also make no mention that it was standard operational procedure for British troops to try to escape if they were captured.

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