German “pocket battleship” “Admiral Graf Spee”, flooded by a crew in La Plata.
After the battle on December 13, 1939 against the British heavy cruiser Exeter and light cruisers Ajax and Achilles, the German ship went to the Montevideo raid, and Ajax and Achilles, having split, hurried to block both exits from the mouth of La Plata .
“Admiral Graf Spee” has kept a good move and the ability to fire. It left a lot of ammunition of the main caliber and about half of the 150-mm shells. Although the damage to the “Admiral Count Spee” was not very great, he needed repairs that could not be done in three days provided by the Government of Uruguay in accordance with international law. Realizing his predicament, the English agents in Montevideo were intensely spreading rumors: “Admiral Count Spee” at the exit from La Plata is waiting for a strong English squadron, which includes the cruiser Rinaun and the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. Believing in the inevitable death of his ship, Langsdorf several times contacted the headquarters of the Kriegsmarine, suggesting a choice – to interne in Argentina or to flood the ship. As a result of a meeting between Fleet Commander Admiral Raeder and Adolf Hitler, Hans Langsdorf received orders to destroy the ship.
In the evening of December 17, 1939 at 18:00 “Admiral Graf Spee” came out of Montevideo. After passing to the mouth of La Plata, he dropped anchor 4 miles from the shore. At 20:00 the ship was blown up. Fires and explosions on it lasted three days.
All 1100 team members arrived safely in Buenos Aires. The commander of the ship Kapitän zur See Hans Langsdorf shot himself in the morning on December 20, 1939 in a hotel in Buenos Aires.
Location: La Plata, Argentina