German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee

Admiral Graf Spee was a Deutschland-class "Panzerschiff" (armored ship), nicknamed a "pocket battleship" by the British, which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. The two sister-ships of her class, Deutschland and Admiral Scheer, were reclassified as heavy cruisers in 1940. The vessel was named after Admiral Maximilian von Spee, commander of the East Asia Squadron who fought the battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands, where he was killed in action, in World War I. She was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven in October 1932 and completed by January 1936. The ship was nominally under the 10,000 long tons (10,000 t) limitation on warship size imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, though with a full load displacement of 16,020 long tons (16,280 t), she significantly exceeded it. Armed with six 28 cm (11 in) guns in two triple gun turrets, Admiral Graf Spee and her sisters were designed to outgun any cruiser fast enough to catch them. Their top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph) left only the few battlecruisers in the Anglo-French navies fast enough and powerful enough to sink them.[1]

The ship conducted five non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–1938, and participated in the Coronation Review of King George VI in May 1937. Admiral Graf Spee was deployed to the South Atlantic in the weeks before the outbreak of World War II, to be positioned in merchant sea lanes once war was declared. Between September and December 1939, the warship sank nine vessels totaling 50,089 gross register tons (GRT), before being confronted by three British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December. Admiral Graf Spee inflicted heavy damage on the British ships, but she too was damaged, and was forced to put into port at Montevideo. Convinced by false reports of superior British naval forces approaching his ship, Hans Langsdorff, the commander of the ship, ordered the vessel to be scuttled. The ship was partially broken up in situ, though part of the ship remains visible above the surface of the water.

Bundesarchiv DVM 10 Bild-23-63-06, Panzerschiff "Admiral Graf Spee"
Admiral Graf Spee in 1936
Nazi Germany
Name: Admiral Graf Spee
Namesake: Maximilian von Spee
Builder: Reichsmarinewerft, Wilhelmshaven
Laid down: 1 October 1932
Launched: 30 June 1934
Commissioned: 6 January 1936
Fate: Scuttled, 17 December 1939
General characteristics
Class and type: Deutschland-class cruiser
  • 14,890 t (14,650 long tons; 16,410 short tons) (design)
  • 16,020 long tons (16,280 t) (full load)
Length: 186 m (610 ft 3 in)
Beam: 21.65 m (71 ft 0 in)
Draft: 7.34 m (24 ft 1 in)
Installed power: 54,000 PS (53,260 shp; 39,720 kW)
Propulsion: 2 propellers; 8 × diesel engines
Speed: 28.5 knots (52.8 km/h; 32.8 mph)
Range: 16,300 nautical miles (30,200 km; 18,800 mi) at 18.69 knots (34.61 km/h; 21.51 mph)
  • As built:
    • 33 officers
    • 586 enlisted
  • After 1935:
    • 30 officers
    • 921–1,040 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1939:
    • FMG 39 G(gO)
Aircraft carried: 2 × Arado Ar 196 floatplanes
Aviation facilities: 1 × catapult


Admiral Scheer ONI
Recognition drawing of a Deutschland-class cruiser

Admiral Graf Spee was 186 meters (610 ft) long overall and had a beam of 21.65 m (71.0 ft) and a maximum draft of 7.34 m (24.1 ft). The ship had a design displacement of 14,890 t (14,650 long tons; 16,410 short tons) and a full load displacement of 16,020 long tons (16,280 t),[2] though the ship was officially stated to be within the 10,000 long tons (10,000 t) limit of the Treaty of Versailles.[3] Admiral Graf Spee was powered by four sets of MAN 9-cylinder double-acting two-stroke diesel engines.[2] The ship's top speed was 28.5 knots (52.8 km/h; 32.8 mph), at 54,000 PS (53,260 shp; 39,720 kW). At a cruising speed of 18.69 knots (34.61 km/h; 21.51 mph), the ship had a range of 16,300 nautical miles (30,200 km; 18,800 mi).[4] As designed, her standard complement consisted of 33 officers and 586 enlisted men, though after 1935 this was significantly increased to 30 officers and 921–1,040 sailors.[2]

Admiral Graf Spee's primary armament was six 28 cm (11.0 in) SK C/28 guns mounted in two triple gun turrets, one forward and one aft of the superstructure. The ship carried a secondary battery of eight 15 cm (5.9 in) SK C/28 guns in single turrets grouped amidships. Her anti-aircraft battery originally consisted of three 8.8 cm (3.5 in) L/45 guns, though in 1935 these were replaced with six 8.8 cm (3.5 in) L/78 guns. In 1938, the 8.8 cm guns were removed, and six 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/65 guns, four 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 guns, and ten 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 guns were installed in their place.[2] The ship also carried a pair of quadruple 53.3 cm (21.0 in) deck-mounted torpedo launchers placed on her stern.[2]

Admiral Graf Spee's armored belt was 100 mm (3.9 in) thick; her upper deck was 17 mm (0.67 in) thick while the main armored deck was 45 to 70 mm (1.8 to 2.8 in) thick. The main battery turrets had 140 mm (5.5 in) thick faces and 80 mm thick sides. The ship was equipped with two Arado Ar 196 seaplanes and one catapult. [2] Radar consisted of a FMG G(gO) "Seetakt" set;[5][a] Admiral Graf Spee was the first German warship to be equipped with radar equipment.[6]

Service history

Graf Spee at Spithead
Admiral Graf Spee at Spithead in 1937; HMS Hood and Resolution lie in the background

Admiral Graf Spee was ordered by the Reichsmarine from the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven.[2] Ordered as Ersatz Braunschweig, Admiral Graf Spee replaced the reserve battleship Braunschweig. Her keel was laid on 1 October 1932,[7] under construction number 125.[2] The ship was launched on 30 June 1934; at her launching, she was christened by the daughter of Admiral Maximilian von Spee, the ship's namesake.[8] She was completed slightly over a year and a half later on 6 January 1936, the day she was commissioned into the German fleet.[9]

Admiral Graf Spee spent the first three months of her career conducting extensive sea trials to ready the ship for service. The ship's first commander was Kapitän zur See (KzS) Conrad Patzig; he was replaced in 1937 by KzS Walter Warzecha.[8] After joining the fleet, Admiral Graf Spee became the flagship of the German Navy.[10] In the summer of 1936, following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she deployed to the Atlantic to participate in non-intervention patrols off the Republican-held coast of Spain. Between August 1936 and May 1937, the ship conducted three patrols off Spain.[11] On the return voyage from Spain, Admiral Graf Spee stopped in Great Britain to represent Germany in the Coronation Review at Spithead for King George VI on 20 May.[10]

After the conclusion of the Review, Admiral Graf Spee returned to Spain for a fourth non-intervention patrol. Following fleet maneuvers and a brief visit to Sweden, the ship conducted a fifth and final patrol in February 1938.[11] In 1938, KzS Hans Langsdorff took command of the vessel;[8] she conducted a series of goodwill visits to various foreign ports throughout the year.[11] These included cruises into the Atlantic, where she stopped in Tangier and Vigo.[12] She also participated in extensive fleet maneuvers in German waters. She was part of the celebrations for the reintegration of the port of Memel into Germany,[11] and a fleet review in honor of Admiral Miklós Horthy, the Regent of Hungary. Between 18 April and 17 May 1939, she conducted another cruise into the Atlantic, stopping in the ports of Ceuta and Lisbon.[12] On 21 August 1939, Admiral Graf Spee departed Wilhelmshaven, bound for the South Atlantic.[10]

World War II

Graf Spee Fahrten
Map of the cruises of Admiral Graf Spee and Deutschland

Following the outbreak of war between Germany and the Allies in September 1939, Adolf Hitler ordered the German Navy to begin commerce raiding against Allied merchant traffic. Hitler nevertheless delayed issuing the order until it became clear that Britain would not countenance a peace treaty following the conquest of Poland. The Admiral Graf Spee was instructed to strictly adhere to prize rules, which required raiders to stop and search ships for contraband before sinking them, and to ensure that their crews are safely evacuated. Langsdorff was ordered to avoid combat, even with inferior opponents, and to frequently change position.[13] On 1 September, the cruiser rendezvoused with her supply ship Altmark southwest of the Canary Islands. While replenishing his fuel supplies, Langsdorff ordered superfluous equipment transferred to the Altmark; this included several of the ship's boats, flammable paint, and two of her ten 2 cm anti-aircraft guns, which were installed on the tanker.[14]

On 11 September, while still transferring supplies from Altmark, Admiral Graf Spee's Arado floatplane spotted the British heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland approaching the two German ships. Langsdorff ordered both vessels to depart at high speed, successfully evading the British cruiser.[14] On 26 September, the ship finally received orders authorizing attacks on Allied merchant shipping. Four days later Admiral Graf Spee's Arado located Booth Steam Ship Co's cargo ship Clement off the coast of Brazil. The cargo ship transmitted an "RRR" signal ("I am under attack by a raider") before the cruiser ordered her to stop. Admiral Graf Spee took Clement's captain and chief engineer prisoner but left the rest of her crew to abandon ship in the lifeboats.[15] The cruiser then fired 30 rounds from her 28 cm and 15 cm guns and two torpedoes at the cargo ship, which broke up and sank.[16] Langsdorff ordered a distress signal sent to the naval station in Pernambuco to ensure the rescue of the ship's crew. The British Admiralty immediately issued a warning to merchant shipping that a German surface raider was in the area.[17] The British crew later reached the Brazilian coast in their lifeboats.[15]

On 5 October, the British and French navies formed eight groups to hunt down Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic. The British aircraft carriers HMS Hermes, Eagle, and Ark Royal, the French aircraft carrier Béarn, the British battlecruiser Renown, and French battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg, and 16 cruisers were committed to the hunt.[18] Force G, commanded by Commodore Henry Harwood and assigned to the east coast of South America, comprised the cruisers Cumberland and Exeter. Force G was reinforced by the light cruisers Ajax and Achilles; Harwood detached Cumberland to patrol the area off the Falkland Islands while his other three cruisers patrolled off the River Plate.[19]

On the same day as the formation of the Anglo-French hunter groups, Admiral Graf Spee captured the steamer Newton Beech. Two days later, she encountered and sank the merchant ship Ashlea. On 8 October, the following day, she sank Newton Beech,[20] which Langsdorff had been using to house prisoners.[21] Newton Beech was too slow to keep up with Admiral Graf Spee, and so the prisoners were transferred to the cruiser. On 10 October, she captured the steamer Huntsman, the captain of which had not sent a distress signal until the last minute, as he had mistakenly identified Admiral Graf Spee as a French warship. Unable to accommodate the crew from Huntsman, Admiral Graf Spee sent the ship to a rendezvous location with a prize crew. On 15 October, Admiral Graf Spee rendezvoused with Altmark to refuel and transfer prisoners; the following morning, the prize Huntsman joined the two ships. The prisoners aboard Huntsman were transferred to Altmark and Langsdorff then sank Huntsman on the night of 17 October.[22]

Panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee in 1936
Admiral Graf Spee before the war

On 22 October, Admiral Graf Spee encountered and sank the steamer Trevanion.[23] At the end of October, Langsdorff sailed his ship into the Indian Ocean south of Madagascar. The purpose of that foray was to divert Allied warships away from the South Atlantic, and to confuse the Allies about his intentions. By this time, Admiral Graf Spee had cruised for almost 30,000 nautical miles (56,000 km; 35,000 mi) and needed an engine overhaul.[24] On 15 November, the ship sank the tanker Africa Shell, and the following day, she stopped an unidentified Dutch steamer, though did not sink her. Admiral Graf Spee returned to the Atlantic between 17 and 26 November to refuel from Altmark.[25] While replenishing supplies, the crew of Admiral Graf Spee built a dummy gun turret on her bridge and erected a dummy second funnel behind the aircraft catapult to alter her silhouette significantly in a bid to confuse allied shipping as to her true identity.[26]

Admiral Graf Spee's Arado floatplane located the merchant ship Doric Star: Langsdorff fired a shot across her bow to stop the ship.[27] Doric Star was able to send out a distress signal before she was sunk, which prompted Harwood to take his three cruisers to the mouth of the River Plate, which he suspected might be Langsdorff's next target. On the night of 5 December, Admiral Graf Spee sank the steamer Tairoa. The next day, she met with Altmark and transferred 140 prisoners from Doric Star and Tairoa. Admiral Graf Spee encountered her last victim on the evening of 7 December: the freighter Streonshalh. The prize crew recovered secret documents containing shipping route information.[28] Based on that information, Langsdorff decided to head for the seas off Montevideo. On 12 December, the ship's Arado 196 broke down and could not be repaired, depriving Graf Spee of her aerial reconnaissance.[29] The ship's disguise was removed, so it would not hinder the ship in battle.[30]

Battle of the River Plate

Graf Spee in Montevideo
Admiral Graf Spee in Montevideo following the battle

At 05:30 on the morning of 13 December 1939, lookouts spotted a pair of masts off the ship's starboard bow. Langsdorff assumed this to be the escort for a convoy mentioned in the documents recovered from Tairoa. At 05:52, however, the ship was identified as HMS Exeter; she was accompanied by a pair of smaller warships, initially thought to be destroyers but quickly identified as Leander-class cruisers. Langsdorff decided not to flee from the British ships, and ordered his ship to battle stations and to close at maximum speed.[30] At 06:08, the British spotted Admiral Graf Spee; Harwood divided his ships to split the gunfire of Admiral Graf Spee's 28 cm guns.[31] The German ship opened fire with her main battery at Exeter and her secondary guns at the flagship Ajax at 06:17. At 06:20, Exeter returned fire, followed by Ajax at 06:21 and Achilles at 06:24. In the span of thirty minutes, Admiral Graf Spee had hit Exeter three times, disabling her two forward turrets, destroying her bridge and her aircraft catapult, and starting major fires. Ajax and Achilles moved closer to Admiral Graf Spee to relieve the pressure on Exeter.[32]

Langsdorff thought the two light cruisers were making a torpedo attack, and turned away under a smokescreen.[32] The respite allowed Exeter to withdraw from the action; by now, only one of her gun turrets was still in action, and she had suffered 61 dead and 23 wounded crew members.[31] At around 07:00, Exeter returned to the engagement, firing from her stern turret. Admiral Graf Spee fired on her again, scored more hits, and forced Exeter to withdraw again, this time with a list to port. At 07:25, Admiral Graf Spee scored a hit on Ajax that disabled her aft turrets.[32] Both sides broke off the action, Admiral Graf Spee retreating into the River Plate estuary, while Harwood's battered cruisers remained outside to observe any possible breakout attempts. In the course of the engagement, Admiral Graf Spee had been hit approximately 70 times; 36 men were killed and 60 more were wounded,[33] including Langsdorff, who had been wounded twice by splinters while standing on the open bridge.[32]


Graf Spee scuttled
Admiral Graf Spee shortly after her scuttling

As a result of battle damage and casualties, Langsdorff decided to put into Montevideo, where repairs could be effected and the wounded men could be evacuated from the ship.[33] Most of the hits scored by the British cruisers caused only minor structural and superficial damage but the oil purification plant, which was required to prepare the diesel fuel for the engines, was destroyed. Her desalination plant and galley were also destroyed, which would have increased the difficulty of a return to Germany. A hit in the bow would also have negatively affected her seaworthiness in the heavy seas of the North Atlantic. Admiral Graf Spee had fired much of her ammunition in the engagement with Harwood's cruisers.[34]

After arriving in port, the wounded crewmen were taken to local hospitals and the dead were buried with full military honors. Captive Allied seamen still aboard the ship were released. Repairs necessary to make the ship seaworthy were expected to take up to two weeks.[35] British naval intelligence worked to convince Langsdorff that vastly superior forces were concentrating to destroy his ship, if he attempted to break out of the harbor. The Admiralty broadcast a series of signals, on frequencies known to be intercepted by German intelligence. The closest heavy units—the carrier Ark Royal and battlecruiser Renown—were some 2,500 nmi (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) away, much too far to intervene in the situation. Believing the British reports, Langsdorff discussed his options with commanders in Berlin. These were either to break out and seek refuge in Buenos Aires, where the Argentine government would intern the ship, or to scuttle the ship in the Plate estuary.[33]

Langsdorff was unwilling to risk the lives of his crew, so he decided to scuttle the ship. He knew that although Uruguay was neutral, the government was on friendly terms with Britain and if he allowed his ship to be interned, the Uruguayan Navy would allow British intelligence officers access to the ship.[34] Under Article 17 of the Hague Convention, neutrality restrictions limited Admiral Graf Spee to a period of 72 hours for repairs in Montevideo, before she would be interned for the duration of the war.[36][37] On 17 December 1939, Langsdorff ordered the destruction of all important equipment aboard the ship. The ship's remaining ammunition supply was dispersed throughout the ship, in preparation for scuttling. On 18 December, the ship, with only Langsdorff and 40 other men aboard, moved into the outer roadstead to be scuttled.[38] A crowd of 20,000 watched as the scuttling charges were set; the crew was taken off by an Argentine tug and the ship was scuttled at 20:55.[37][39] The multiple explosions from the munitions sent jets of flame high into the air and created a large cloud of smoke that obscured the ship which burned in the shallow water for the next two days.[38]

On 20 December, in his room in a Buenos Aires hotel, Langsdorff shot himself in full dress uniform while lying on the ship's battle ensign.[38] In late January 1940, the neutral American cruiser USS Helena arrived in Montevideo and the crew was permitted to visit the wreck of Admiral Graf Spee. The Americans met the German crewmen, who were still in Montevideo.[37] In the aftermath of the scuttling, the ship's crew were taken to Argentina, where they were interned for the remainder of the war.[38]


Graf Spee telémetro 01
Admiral Graf Spee's salvaged rangefinder

The wreck was partially broken up in situ in 1942–1943, though parts of the ship are still visible; the wreck lies at a depth of only 11 m (36 ft).[9] The salvage rights were purchased from the German Government by the British, for £14,000, using a Montevideo engineering company as a front. The British had been surprised by the accuracy of the gunnery and expected to find a radar range finder, which they did. They used the knowledge thus acquired to try to develop countermeasures, under the leadership of Fred Hoyle at the British radar project. The Admiralty complained about the large sum paid for the salvage rights.[40]

In February 2004, a salvage team began work raising the wreck of Admiral Graf Spee. The operation was in part being funded by the government of Uruguay, in part by the private sector as the wreck was a hazard to navigation. The first major section—a 27 metric tons (27 long tons; 30 short tons) gunnery range-finding telemeter—was raised on 25 February.[41] On 10 February 2006, the 2 m (6 ft 7 in), 400 kg eagle and swastika crest of Admiral Graf Spee was recovered from the stern of the ship;[42] it was stored in a Uruguayan naval warehouse following German complaints about exhibiting "Nazi paraphernalia".[43]



  1. ^ FMG stands for Funkmess Gerät (radar equipment). "G" denoted that the equipment was manufactured by GEMA, "g" indicated that it operated between 335 and 440 MHz, while "O" indicated the positioning of the set atop of the forward rangefinder. See Williamson, p. 7.


  1. ^ Pope, p. 7.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Gröner, p. 60.
  3. ^ Pope, p. 3.
  4. ^ Koop & Schmolke, pp. 33–34.
  5. ^ Gröner, p. 61.
  6. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 74.
  7. ^ Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 227.
  8. ^ a b c Williamson, p. 39.
  9. ^ a b Gröner, p. 62.
  10. ^ a b c Bidlingmaier, p. 73.
  11. ^ a b c d Williamson, p. 40.
  12. ^ a b Whitley, p. 72.
  13. ^ Bidlingmaier, pp. 76–77.
  14. ^ a b Bidlingmaier, p. 77.
  15. ^ a b Slader, p. 25.
  16. ^ Slader, p. 26.
  17. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 78.
  18. ^ Rohwer, p. 6.
  19. ^ Jackson, pp. 61–63.
  20. ^ Williamson, pp. 40–41.
  21. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 79.
  22. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 80.
  23. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 41.
  24. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 81.
  25. ^ Rohwer, p. 8.
  26. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 82.
  27. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 83.
  28. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 86.
  29. ^ Pope, p. 101.
  30. ^ a b Bidlingmaier, p. 88.
  31. ^ a b Jackson, p. 64.
  32. ^ a b c d Bidlingmaier, p. 91.
  33. ^ a b c Jackson, p. 67.
  34. ^ a b Williamson, p. 42.
  35. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 92.
  36. ^ "Convention (XIII) concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War". International Committee of the Red Cross. 18 October 1907.
  37. ^ a b c Bonner, p. 56.
  38. ^ a b c d Bidlingmaier, p. 93.
  39. ^ Williamson, p. 43.
  40. ^ Simon Mitton, Fred Hoyle, a Life in Science, Chapter 4, Hoyle's Secret War, p. 83, Cambridge University Press (2011)
  41. ^ BBC 2004-02-26.
  42. ^ BBC 2006-02-10.
  43. ^ BBC 2014-12-15.

See also


  • Bidlingmaier, Gerhard (1971). "KM Admiral Graf Spee". Warship Profile 4. Windsor, England: Profile Publications. pp. 73–96. OCLC 20229321.
  • Bonner, Kermit (1996). Final Voyages. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-56311-289-8.
  • "Divers recover piece of Graf Spee". BBC News. 26 February 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger, eds. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-913-9.
  • "Graf Spee's eagle rises from deep". BBC News. 10 February 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  • Gröner, Erich (1990). German Warships: 1815–1945. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-790-6.
  • Jackson, Robert, ed. (2001). Kriegsmarine: The Illustrated History of the German Navy in WWII. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-1026-7.
  • Koop, Gerhard; Schmolke, Klaus-Peter (2014). Pocket battleships of the Deutschland class : Deutschland/Lützow, Admiral Scheer, Admiral Graf Spee. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848321960.
  • Pope, Dudley (2005). The Battle of the River Plate: The Hunt for the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee. Ithaca, NY: McBooks Press. ISBN 978-1-59013-096-4.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea, 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two. Annapolis: US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-119-8.
  • Slader, John (1988). The Red Duster at War. London: William Kimber & Co Ltd. pp. 25–26. ISBN 0-7183-0679-1.
  • "What should Uruguay do with its Nazi eagle?". BBC News. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1998). Battleships of World War II. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-184-4.
  • Williamson, Gordon (2003). German Pocket Battleships 1939–1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-501-3.

Further reading

  • Whitley, M. J. (2000). German Capital Ships of World War Two. London: Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35707-3.

Coordinates: 34°58′S 56°17′W / 34.967°S 56.283°W

1939 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1939 in the United Kingdom. This year sees the start of the Second World War, ending the Interwar period.

814 Naval Air Squadron

814 Naval Air Squadron or 814 NAS, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, is a squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. It is currently equipped with the AgustaWestland Merlin HM2 anti-submarine warfare helicopter and is based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose in Cornwall. The squadron was formed in December 1938 and has been disbanded and reformed several times.

Alfred Booth and Company

Alfred Booth and Company was a British trading and shipping company that was founded in 1866 and traded for more than a century. It was founded in Liverpool, England, by two brothers, Alfred and Charles Booth. It grew into a significant merchant shipping company with its head office in Liverpool and interests in the USA and South America. The group was broken up in 1964 and the last Booth company from the group was sold in 1986.

Battle of Málaga (1937)

The Battle of Málaga was the culmination of an offensive in early 1937 by the combined Nationalist and Italian forces to eliminate Republican control of the province of Málaga during the Spanish Civil War. The participation of Moroccan regulars and Italian tanks from the recently arrived Corpo Truppe Volontarie resulted in a complete rout of the Spanish Republican Army and the capitulation of Málaga in less than a week.

French aircraft carrier Béarn

Béarn was a French aircraft carrier. It served with the Marine nationale (French Navy) in World War II and later. Béarn was commissioned in 1927, and was the only aircraft carrier France produced until after World War II, and the only ship of its class built. She was to be an experimental ship, and was slated for replacement in the 1930s by two new ships of the Joffre class.

She was generally comparable to other early carriers developed by the major navies of the world. However, France did not produce a further replacement and as naval aviation lagged in France, Béarn continued to serve past her time of obsolescence.

In 1939, she ended her career as an experimental ship, but after the defeat of France in June 1940 she was docked at Martinique, where she remained for the next four years. Eventually she was sent to the United States for a refit, which ended in March 1945, allowing her to serve briefly before the end of the war as an aircraft transport. She was dismantled in 1967. Over the course of her long career, Béarn never launched her aircraft in combat. She was named after the historic French province of Béarn.

French cruiser Duquesne

Duquesne was a French heavy cruiser and name ship of her class that served during World War II.

Graf Spee

Graf Spee may refer to:

Graf Maximilian von Spee, German admiral in World War Ior to several German ships that were named after the admiral:

SMS Graf Spee, incomplete Mackensen class battlecruiser of World War I, scrapped in 1923

The German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee, launched in 1934, that saw action in World War II

HMS Flamingo, later renamed Graf Spee, a former Royal Navy Black Swan-class sloop used as a Bundesmarine training ship

Gustav Pielstick

Gustav Pielstick was born on 25 January 1890 in Sillenstede, Friesland, Germany and died on 11 March 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland. He was a ship engine designer who developed a series of particularly powerful diesel engines.

HMS Glorious

HMS Glorious was the second of the three Courageous-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, they were relatively lightly armed and armoured. Glorious was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and was present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.

Glorious was paid off after the war, but was rebuilt as an aircraft carrier during the late 1920s. She could carry 30 per cent more aircraft than her half-sister Furious which had a similar tonnage. After re-commissioning in 1930, she spent most of her career operating in the Mediterranean Sea. After the start of the Second World War, Glorious spent the rest of 1939 unsuccessfully hunting for the commerce-raiding German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean before returning to the Mediterranean. She was recalled home in April 1940 to support operations in Norway. While evacuating British aircraft from Norway in June, the ship was sunk by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the North Sea with the loss of over 1,200 lives.

Hans Langsdorff

Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff (20 March 1894 – 20 December 1939) was a German naval officer, most famous for his command of the German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee during the Battle of the River Plate off the coast of Uruguay in 1939. After the Panzerschiff (Deutschland-class cruiser) was unable to escape a pursuing squadron of Royal Navy ships, Langsdorff scuttled his ship. Three days later he committed suicide in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Jøssingfjorden is a fjord in Sokndal municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The 3-kilometre (1.9 mi) long fjord is narrow and deep and is surrounded by mountains. It sits about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) southeast of the municipal centre of Hauge. There is some settlement on the southeastern side of the fjord: the villages of Li, Vinterstø, and Bu. There is a road that runs along the southeast coast of the fjord, with sharp hairpin turns leading down from the mountains to the shore of the fjord both heading north and south from the fjord.The Tellnes mine, one of Norway's largest titanium mines, is located in the mountains about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) northeast of the fjord. The mine is run by a company called Titania, and the fjord is used as the shipping port for the company. The Nedre Helleren Power Plant is located at the head of the fjord. The electricity is generated by water from lakes located high in the mountains and the water is piped down to the sea level power plant the force of the falling water produces the electricity.

At the head of the fjord is the small Helleren farm which is now abandoned. It sits in a narrow valley with steep rock cliffs on two sides, a rock scree on the third side, and the fjord on the fourth side. The base of one of the rock cliffs stops about 8 metres (26 ft) above the ground forming a rock shelter, or heller (hence the name of the farm). The farm is preserved and is now owned by the Dalane folk museum.

Jøssingfjord is a place of iconic importance in the history of Norwegian anti-fascism.

Kampf um Norwegen – Feldzug 1940

Kampf um Norwegen – Feldzug 1940 (Battle for Norway - 1940 Campaign) is a 1940 Nazi propaganda film directed by Martin Rikli and Dr. Werner Buhre under orders of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. The documentary film follows the Invasion of Denmark and Norway in the spring of 1940.

La Cumbrecita

La Cumbrecita is a small picturesque, secluded alpine-like hamlet, located amongst spruce and pine, at 1,450 metres (4,757 ft) above sea level, where it is not unusual to see a blanket of snow in winter time. It is situated in the Calamuchita Valley in the Grand Sierras of Córdoba, Argentina. A 30 kilometres (19 mi) paved road, up through scenic views of the Sierra Grandes will take you to La Cumbrecita.

The Medio river borders La Cumbrecita and is the edge of Santa María County. The INDEC 2001 census counted 189 inhabitants in La Cumbrecita and 156 in Calamuchita, totaling 345 inhabitants. 140 houses are nestled among the trees (97 and 43 in each county).

Langer Heinrich (crane 1915)

Langer Heinrich, or in English Long Henry, is a floating crane commissioned in 1915 for the Wilhelmshaven Imperial Shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany and has been located in Genoa, Italy since 1997. At the time of completion she was the largest floating crane in the world, passing up the Ajax crane barge completed in 1914.

Ludwig Stummel

Ludwig Stummel (5 August 1898 in Kevelaer – 30 November 1983 in Kronberg im Taunus) was a German career signals officer with the rank of Konteradmiral, who had a glass eye and a limp and who was in effect, the Chief of Staff of the Naval Warfare department, Naval Communications (4/SKL) of the Kriegsmarine. Stummel was most notable for being the person responsible for the cryptographical security of the Enigma cipher machine and Key M infrastructure security, during World War II. Stummel was replaced at the Kriegsmarine Naval War Command on the 16–17 August 1944 by Fritz Krauss, after becoming ill. Although Stummel was a Catholic, he was also a fervent supporter of Nazis.

MV Carnarvon Castle

MV Carnarvon Castle was an ocean liner of the Union-Castle Line. She was requisitioned for service as an auxiliary cruiser by the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

Saint Heliers

Saint Heliers is an affluent seaside suburb of Auckland with a population of 4824. This suburb is popular amongst visitors for the beaches, cafés, and views of Rangitoto Island, the distinctive volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf.

St. Heliers is located at the eastern end of Tamaki Drive, and used to be the place where the Tamaki estuary formally divided Auckland from Manukau City, until the entire Auckland region was amalgated under a single city authority, the Auckland Council, in 2010. Local government of St. Heliers is the responsibility of the Orakei Local Board, which also covers the suburbs of Orakei, Kohimarama, Mission Bay, Glendowie, St Johns, Meadowbank, Remuera and Ellerslie.


Spee is the family name of:

Bibian Mentel (née Spee, 1972), Dutch snowboarder

Friedrich Spee (Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld) (1591–1635), German Jesuit and author of Cautio Criminalis

Gitte Spee (born 1950), Dutch children's books illustrator

Maximilian von Spee (1861–1914), German admiral in the Imperial German Navy

Nzante Spee (1953–2005), Cameroonian painterIt may also refer to:

German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee, scuttled outside the port of Montevideo in 1939

Spee Club, a coed final club at Harvard University

Spermidine synthase, an enzyme

Other incidents


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