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Graf Spee Pays The Full Price of Defeat

Discussion in 'Germany at Sea!' started by Jim, Sep 30, 2006.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    All Montevideo's quays, piers, breakwaters, and adjacent coastline were densely crowded with people breathlessly watching the German corsair. The crowd's stood silent as the great ship passed to sea. Suddenly she turned, not as they expected to seaward where the ships of Britain watched, but westward towards the setting sun ... Her speed dropped to dead slow, then she stuck her nose into a mud bank and stopped and her anchor was dropped.

    This remarkable picture of Germany's pocket battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" as she lay in the harbour of Montevideo into which she had been chased by the British cruisers was taken by Captain Henry Daniel, Special Correspondent of the "Dally Telegraph," on the morning of the day on which she sailed to her doom. The photograph bears the signatures of 23 masters and officers of British merchantmen who had been captured during the Graf Spee's career of depredation and were actually in the battleship during the battle of the River Plate.

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    The hour was 8 p.m. and the sun was dipping below the river's western rim. Suddenly there was a flash of flame and a double explosion which shook the air, and the centre of the ship was blotted from view by a cloud of dense black smoke. The concussion had not died away before a blinding burst of flame shot from the after part of the ship high above her masthead, and a thunderous roar deafened the ears of the watching crowds. The whole ship seemed to lift and crumple, as though inferno itself had burst forth from her vitals.... Out to seaward could be seen the flicker of a Morse lamp and the distant flash of a searchlight from a British cruiser going a bout her business.

    From a message In the "Daily Telegraph" by a Special Correspondent in Montevideo, Captain Henry Daniel, D.S.G.
     

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