Hoyt, Edward P.


1st.ed., 1981. 240 pp., 20 photo-plates & 5 maps. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. An American account of the fate of Admiral von Spee and his German East Asia Squadron stationed at the colony of Tsingtao in China on the outbreak of war in 1914. The squadron, consisting of the SCHARNHORST, GNEISENAU, LEIPZIG, DRESDEN and EMDEN, was considerably more powerful than the motley British squadron in the Pacific under the command of Admiral Cradock. The EMDEN parted company to prey on shipping in the Pacific and Indian Oceans until she was finally hunted down and sunk by HMAS SYDNEY. Spee's main squadron met Cradock off Coronel and destroyed the British squadron with the loss of 1,400 sailors including Cradock himself. Von Spee rounded Cape Horn and sailed to attack the Falklands, but on arrival he found a crack British squadron under Sturdee's command sent to the South Atlantic to avenge Cradock. His Majesty's Ships INVINCIBLE, INFLEXIBLE, KENT and CORNWALL left off coaling, sailed immediately upon sighting von Spee, and in a running battle destroyed the German squadron (which had been reinforced with the arrival of the NURNBERG ) with the loss of 2,000 German sailors including von Spee himself, against only 11 in Sturdee's squadron. Only the EMDEN escaped and she too was eventually run down and destroyed. The battle marked the end of German cruiser warfare and established the Royal Navy's control over ocean trade routes.

Share this book