Pope, Dudley.


Philadelphia & New York, 3rd imp., 1957. 256 pp., 20 photo-plates, a drawing & 2 charts. D.j., 22 x 15cm. V.G. Published in England under the title The Battle of the River Plate, the story unfolds in the autumn of 1939 when the pocket-battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE slipped quietly from German waters out into the Atlantic where she sailed south to attack British merchant ships. The Royal Navy went hunting for her and fixed her position in December when they picked up a radio message from a sinking British merchantman. Commodore Harwood led his cruiser force AJAX, ACHILLES, and EXETER and estimated from this data that GRAF SPEE would attack shipping off the River Plate in 11 days time. The cruisers lay in wait and EXETER sent the welcoming signal "Enemy in sight'" Within moments GRAF SPEE opened fire as the other two cruisers raced to join in the action. Although their combined fire-power was inferior, they got close enough to inflict damage on the battleship and forced her to seek sanctuary at Montevideo. These and subsequent events are described here, including the diplomatic bluff that led to the GRAF SPEE'S self-destruction rather than re-join the fight - a decision made by Hitler and not by her brave captain who tragically took his own life that night

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