Langsdorff and the Graf Spee

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Paul Lakowski
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Re: Langsdorff and the Graf Spee

Post by Paul Lakowski » 08 Oct 2015 02:46

Some German posters have reported that the KM command were not at all pleased with Langsdorf lack of aggression when fighting the British. It is reported his naval actions were sharply criticised later.

BernardO
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Re: Langsdorff and the Graf Spee

Post by BernardO » 31 Oct 2021 10:03

Fascinating. Thanks. Might anyone have accounts of any of the Graf Spee officers and crew's escapes from internment?

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Pips
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Re: Langsdorff and the Graf Spee

Post by Pips » 01 Nov 2021 03:22

A point that has not been brought up is tradition.

The Royal Navy had a very successful naval fighting tradition built up over several centuries. There is no way that had the Graf Spee been Royal Navy, would a British captain have scuttled his ship. He would have sailed out and fought until sunk, rather than face the alternative.
The British are quite ruthless, indeed Admiral Byng was court-martialled and executed by firing squad in 1757 for failing to show adequate aggression in the face of the enemy. Even Nelson faced censure for failing to prevent the French fleet escaping Toulon in March 1805, and would most certainly have faced a court-martial if he hadn't managed to trap and beat the Franco-Spanish Fleets off Trafalgar in October of that year.

The German Navy was relatively new, less 100 years old and so had not had time to built a solid fighting tradition against the odds. Scuttling was considered an honourable form of action. As was suicide, a very European trait for failure and defeat. Langsdorff merely followed the European military (land) tradition after defeat.

ChristopherPerrien
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Re: Langsdorff and the Graf Spee

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 08 Nov 2021 12:06

Pips wrote:
01 Nov 2021 03:22
A point that has not been brought up is tradition.

The Royal Navy had a very successful naval fighting tradition built up over several centuries. There is no way that had the Graf Spee been Royal Navy, would a British captain have scuttled his ship. He would have sailed out and fought until sunk, rather than face the alternative.
The British are quite ruthless, indeed Admiral Byng was court-martialled and executed by firing squad in 1757 for failing to show adequate aggression in the face of the enemy. Even Nelson faced censure for failing to prevent the French fleet escaping Toulon in March 1805, and would most certainly have faced a court-martial if he hadn't managed to trap and beat the Franco-Spanish Fleets off Trafalgar in October of that year.

The German Navy was relatively new, less 100 years old and so had not had time to built a solid fighting tradition against the odds. Scuttling was considered an honourable form of action. As was suicide, a very European trait for failure and defeat. Langsdorff merely followed the European military (land) tradition after defeat.
You do know Maximilian Von Spee, went down with his ship?

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Pips
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Re: Langsdorff and the Graf Spee

Post by Pips » 08 Nov 2021 23:14

Poor old Max had no choice, his ship was sunk at sea by superior forces that he couldn't outrun.

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