Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby alecsandros » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:23 am

... Koop mentions 720 shells fitted on Graf Spee on departure from Germany. Normal load was 600, but because of the long trip it was fitted with more.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:45 pm

I don't recall off hand which primary document informed me of the ammo load out, but I believe Koop is incorrect.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby Steve Crandell » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:01 pm

RF wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:
Spee left Germany with only a total of 600 11" rounds


What was the maximum 11 inch rounds magazine provision?

Was the 5.9 inch shell stock also underprovided?

Despatching the ship on what could have been a long range war cruise would or should require a full provision of ammunition. Not to do so I would have thought would be an act of negligence.
Most navies would have done that, even where war is not expected - just in case.


I believe there was a revelation a few months ago about an RN Destroyer deploying to the Med with very few missiles in her magazine. This sort of thing happens, especially during peacetime. There is "just in case" and there is "money".

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby Paul L » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:06 am

As I recall the AGS was put to sea before the war began and Raeder refused to believe Hitler was dragging them into war, so being under armed may not be so weird. Having said that Koop and Schmolke report that up to 150 shells per 11"C28 gun was possible, but 100-120 per gun was normal. I seem to remember the AGS log has been reconstructed , surely this must have the ammunition load out pre battle?
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby RF » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:15 am

Paul L wrote:As I recall the AGS was put to sea before the war began and Raeder refused to believe Hitler was dragging them into war, so being under armed may not be so weird.


This underlines the fact that Germany, under whatever leadership, never took war with Britain seriously in a pre-war period, a reflection that Germany was a land power while Britain only had a small army in comparison to the Germans.

The Germans always seemed to be good on battle tactics in general, but in terms of overall strategy and grand strategy German thinking was absolutely dire - and in my view was the main reason for defeat in two world wars, both from a potentially winning position.

The only German leader who got the grand strategy right was Bismarck - who had the sense to deal with one enemy country at a time, making sure that each opponent was unable to find any allies...... He ended up being sacked for being sensible.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby Paul L » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:26 am

Just to clarify Raeder was appointed Grand Admiral of the fleet in 1928 exclusively because he was seen as the best 'non political' candidate. After the WW-1 mutiny it was the least the navy could do to start the rebuild faith in the fleet. Thus Raeder was never going to challenge Hitler's- late 1930s - raving . His apparent 'blind faith' in -no war if Hitler says so - has to be seen in that context.

In contrast the army always wanted more and Hitler obliged as he needed them the most. The Luftwaffe is the interesting one since they implemented secret changes to their rearmament programme after Hitler's 4 year plan was announced in 1936. They seemed to be the only branch that saw the 'writing on the wall' and did there best to adjust.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby RF » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:28 am

This is going off topic, so I will be brief.

Yes, Reader was non-political; but the situation in 1928 was a whole universe away from the Z Plan of just 11 years later. Being non-political doesn't mean not moving to a changing scenario and it should not require any great foresight or intelligence to appreciate that the Z Plan would lead to a major war. That failure underscores my point about a lack of grand strategy.

Similary with the Luftwaffe - the plans were modernised but not for total war, with the failure to properly develop long range heavy bombers - which as the RAF later demonstrated were quite capable of performing interdiction attacks in support of ground forces.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby Paul L » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:24 pm

If you are looking to blame any one, blame Hitler, it was only his micro meddling in the rearmament plan that cause all those fiascos in the first place. No were in the German strategic plans did it dictate that German was preparing to fight the rest of the world and yet Hitler calls for this after Munich. The first rearmament plan under Groner in 1928 envisaged the expansion of the forces to 21 army divisions and a dozen panzer battalions plus a fleet of 400 multi engine bombers to deter a combined Franco Polish invasion of Germany.

Over a 15 year time span this was to expand to a mobilization force of 80+ motorized divisions [of which 36 were to be panzer divisions]- based on a 'total war economy'-so Germany could mount a pre-emptive attack on those two counties and then have a reasonable chance of winning the wider European War....... 15 years later [1928-1943]. First thing Hitler demanded was that this expansion increase to 36 divisions and be completed by 1940. CINC Von Blomberg reported this could only be achieved through mass production , which Hitler category refused, demanding such measures would not be needed in the war he envisaged....sounds like any war gamer from this site.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hjalmar_Schacht

When told in 1935 -by Hjalmar Schacht - that a more realistic target for this expansion might be 1950, Hitler baulked at the idea and implemented his infamous 'four year plan' in 1936. This plan demanded Germany to be ready for a defensive war based on a 'limited war economy' by 1940 .... So fleet expansion was scrapped in favor of building the west wall, while Ural bomber had to be scrapped for more and more tactical forces, to fight his 'blitzkrieg war. Even the army did not escape, its motorized army with 36 panzer divisions had to be scrapped so Hitler could build enough barracks and bases plus enough 20 more infantry divisions ....all by the 1940 target.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Postby tommy303 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:24 pm

I believe Raeder was promoted Admiral and posted commander-in-chief of the Reichsmarine in 1928. During the Hitler era he was promoted Generaladmiral in 1936 as the Navy began to grow in size and in April 1939 received his Grossadmiral's baton from Hitler.

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