Here is my horrible attempt:
A pocket battleship. What image would come to mind, when told of such a thing? Would it be a miniature Iowa, or a toy-sized Yamato? The Deutchland-class were German warships, though only two in class, to serve as Heavy Cruisers during World War II. So named pocket battleships by the Royal Navy, these ships were "stated" to be under the 10,000 ton limit for naval Cruisers, but like other navies of the period they broke the treaty with no hesitation. Patrolling Atlantic shipping lanes, it's armament of six(6) 280mm guns could shoot over 27,000m(30,000yds)!
The Adm. Graf Spee claimed nine(9) merchant vessels, with a gross register tonnage(a measurement of usable space for goods aboard a ship) in only 4 short months. However, it wasn't very soon after, Adm. Graf Spee would be cornered by three Royal Navy Cruisers and set upon by their six(6)" guns in the Battle of the River Plate. Trading blows with HMS Ajax, HMNZS Achilles, and HMS Exeter, Adm. Graf Spee held her own, and landed serious damage upon Exeter, killing sixty-one(61) and wounding twenty-three(23), incapacitating her "B" turret. Ajax lost use of her "X" and "Y", and twelve(12) casualties, with a reported seven(7) men KIA. Achilles lost four(4) personnel during the fierce battle, Adm. Graf Spee suffering sixty-one(61) casualties, thirty-six(36) lives were lost on board. After trading salvos or over an hour, the Adm. Graf Spee took a hit from Exeter's 203mm rifles, inside of it's funnel, destroying Adm. Graf Spee's fuel processing. With roughly sixteen(16) hours of fuel remaining, Captain Hans Langsdorff, directed the Adm. Graf Spee to head towards Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. While in the port, the Adm. Graf Spee would fall under several articles of the Hague Convention, stating that: "Belligerent ships may not stay in the port, or territorial waters for over twenty-four(24) hours, or for any longer than sufficient time is needed for repairs." Article sixteen(16), would keep the Adm. Graf Spee in port, as British Intelligence conspired with British and French merchant vessels to head into, and out of the port at regular intervals, as the article had stated that: "A ship may not leave port for twenty-four(24) hours after a merchant ship, flying the flag of an adversary had left."
During all this time, British Intelligence had been feeding false information to Capt. Langsdorff, that another British force was in the area. While Force H was on it's way, it wouldn't arrive for some time, and only Heavy Cruiser HMS Cumberland, HMS Ajax, and HMNZS Achilles were outside of the three(3) mile limit of common territorial practice. It would be not long after Capt. Langsdorff had negotiated for fair treatment for his crew, that he would order the scuttling of the Adm. Graf Spee. Langsdorff Would pen letters to his family and other officers, before ultimately taking his own life. The Graf Spee would burn for two days after the scuttling, the event being seen by 20,000 people.
May those who served on her, find peace.
Edited by LuminousWraith, 02 December 2016 - 01:16 PM.