Bennett, Geoffrey.


Batsford, 1st.ed., 1962. 192 pp., 35 photo-plates. D.j., 23 x 15cm. FINE. Two of the most exciting sea battles of the First World War took place during the early months of the conflict, and both are described in this attractive study in the Batsford British Battles series. The first was a disaster for the Royal Navy when Admiral von Spee’s crack squadron encountered Admiral Craddock’s motley assorted force off Coronel. Craddock went down with his flagship, HMS GOOD HOPE, and the armoured cruiser MONMOUTH was also sunk. The Royal Navy’s revenge for this humiliation was both swift and effective. Admiral Sturdee was ordered to sail from Scapa Flow in the powerful INVINCIBLE and join up with other British warships as he sailed south at speed. Von Spee, meanwhile, rounded the Horn and planned to attack the Falkland Islands but was surprised to find Sturdee lately arrived and coaling. Sturdee’s squadron sped out of Port Stanley and gave chase. Six weeks had passed since Coronel and when the gun smoke cleared away only the DRESDEN had escaped being sunk - and she too was finally hunted down and sent to the bottom. Von Spee’s crack squadron was all but completely destroyed in the running battle. This is the first comprehensive account based on both British and German sources. FINE copy.

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