Gilbey book about Langsdorff, the Graf Spee Captain provide a different perspective on the fatal cruise of the pocket battleship. His portray of the Chivalry spirited Langsdorff help understand the final scuttling to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. The key information relevant to the military action are the weakness of the Arado 196 for high sea operations and the immaturity of the Diesel engine system which was susceptible to overheat in warm water. A large part of the book review the events in Montevideo, not only the diplomatic and political game but also the internal discussion of the senior officers on both the German and the British sides.
Regarding the military side of the events not as complete as the “The Price of Disobedience” from Eric J. Grove but an interesting and different account of the events and a unique inside on the humans involved in this tragedy.
The Price of Disobedience
The battle of the River Plate reconsidered
Author: Eric J. Grove
Sutton Publishing ISBN 0-7509-0927-7
The most current reference about the battle of the river Plate, in a lively style Eric Grove provide a detailed account of the battle and the background. He is incorporating many elements from E. Millington-Drake compilation including F.W. Rasenack account of the battle from the German side. The first part of the battle is very detailed and well analyzed (from 6:10 till 7:00) however the remaining of the action of the day is less detailed. For example little is said for the last shots exchanged between the DKM Graf Spee and HMS Achilles late in the afternoon at the limit of the Uruguayan territorial water.
Historia en imágenes del acorazado alemán Admiral Graf Spee
Author: Diego M.Lascano
Ediciones Pictoria ISBN 9974-7837-1-2
This book contain probably 400 to 500 pictures about the DKM Admiral Graf Spee, this the best photographic book about the pocket battleship. It is in incredible source of documentation for all the modelers willing to recreate the Admiral Graf Spee as she looked in 1939. It is in Spanish, as it has been published in Montevideo Uruguay. The copy I am reviewing is the third edition from 2006. A excellent reference for any study of the battle of the River Plate as many of the pictures and objects are coming from the German Sailors interned in South America or from the Uruguayan Press. One of the document is the “Trefferbild”, the graphic reporting the impacts from the Artillery Officer F.W. Rosenack. It shows 3 direct impacts from the HMS Exeter 8” and 18 impacts from the Ajax and Achilles 6” guns (page 102). Another little known fact is the 4 Chinese cleaners who were employed aboard the DKM Admiral Graf Spee, page 160 there are pictures of they repatriation to Germany.