German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Discussions on all aspects of the German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions. Hosted by Chris Dale.
ErichvN
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: 17 Dec 2012 03:37

German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Post by ErichvN » 17 Mar 2013 01:26

OK I know several threads have been posted about this already but I feel most of those have strayed pretty far from the original topic and would like to try this from a new approach.

Consider what Vice-Admiral von Spee could have done the same or differently in order to gain the best result in the end for his Squadron and the German war effort as a whole.

Basic options:
Head for Germany raiding as they go, possibly drawing valuable ships away from Europe.
Make a straight shot for Germany and avoid engagements as much as possible with the Royal Navy.
Go to one of the other German colonies and act as a fleet in being (Dar es Salaam in German East Africa perhaps).
Find a neutral harbor to intern in until the war is over.
Hand the squadron over to a friendly neutral like Goeben and Breslau did with the Ottoman Empire (one of the South American countries maybe?).
Or perhaps disperse all or part of the squadron raiding and do as much damage as possible (send the light cruisers out while the armored cruisers take one of the other options).

Basically I wonder if maybe they could have gotten out of this situation alive somehow, or in what way von Spee could use his squadron to best benefit the German War effort.
And please everyone lets avoid drawing ourselves into an unrelated discussion about the war.

User avatar
Chris Dale
Host - German Colonies
Posts: 1894
Joined: 21 Apr 2004 14:48
Location: UK

Re: German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Post by Chris Dale » 31 Mar 2013 02:09

I like this option "disperse all or part of the squadron raiding and do as much damage as possible (send the light cruisers out while the armored cruisers take one of the other options)."

The armoured cruisers could perhaps have stayed at Tsingtao?

Cheers
Chris

ErichvN
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: 17 Dec 2012 03:37

Re: German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Post by ErichvN » 07 Apr 2013 17:23

Chris Dale wrote:The armoured cruisers could perhaps have stayed at Tsingtao?

Cheers
Chris

That is a possibility the problem would be the ships that were in Tsingtao like Kaiserin Elisabeth though they aided in the defense were eventually lost themselves when the city was taken, which doesn't really do much to save the Armored Cruisers though it might draw off the Japanese navy from the hunt for the light Cruisers. The other issue was that the squadron was on its yearly cruise in the pacific when the war broke out so they would have had to get back to Tsingtao safely to begin with.

Though this strategy does give the best chance for the crews to survive and have a definite impact on the siege of the city.

User avatar
Chris Dale
Host - German Colonies
Posts: 1894
Joined: 21 Apr 2004 14:48
Location: UK

Re: German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Post by Chris Dale » 07 Apr 2013 18:15

I can't think of a way the ships would survive unless by some miraculous chance...

Cheers
Chris

User avatar
danebrog
Member
Posts: 248
Joined: 17 Nov 2008 15:59

Re: German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Post by danebrog » 25 Apr 2013 08:30

Send them all to East Africa and conduct a vigorous raid against Mombasas Harbour facilities in conjunction with the Schutztruppe. (As actually planned with far weaker forces in reality)
The (at least temporary) loss of Mombasa would mean a very severe constraint for the british side.

Used as a fleet-in-being you could threaten important sea lanes or even try another raid against Aden or Zanzibar - for a short time you had some promising options to deny the RN of any useful bases nearby GEA

As soon as coal supplies exhausted, (or a RN battlefleet arrives at the coast) the crews, armament a.s.o. could be integrated into the Schutztruppe like the SMS Koenigsberg.
This would be a really considerable reinforcement for any land based operations in terms of manpower and artillery.

There would be a chance to operate at least one or two light cruisers as raiders for a time with the remaining coal supplies and tying down as much as possible british naval forces.

After all it wouldn´t alter the outcome of the war, but the run of events in East Africa would change dramatically

ErichvN
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: 17 Dec 2012 03:37

Re: German East Asia Suadron: escape in World War I

Post by ErichvN » 11 May 2013 01:25

That is probably the most foolproof options, being unlike a straight shot for Germany you can always retreat back into harbor if things get bad, and German East Africa could really have used the troops and guns. Vice-Admiral von Spee might have also brought along supplies and marines from Tsingtao.

Though the problem would be as I stated above the Squadron was spread out in the Pacific so they would have had to slip past the Australian navy into the Indian Ocean first. Though that is certainly easier that getting back to Germany.

This scenario is good in that it both saves much of the crew and the ships while having a profound impact on the war.

Return to “German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions”