Thorsten Wahl wrote:The one test of this is the River Plate battle.....
My problems start with these words. It seems to me, that you say this battle disproves the german recommendations. Without any further explanation on your side.
Its clear to me that you have misunderstood what I mean't with the second sentence quoted above post the comma.
I didn't mean that it disproved anything. I was saying that it was the one test available in that this was the only extended action between a panzerschiffe and light cruisers in WW2, without making any conclusion about whether the German recommendations were correct or wrong.
On paper I think the German recommendation was entirely reasonable, however in this battle the Germans were not victorious. Ajax and Achilles survived the German assault with main, secondary and tertiary armaments after Exeter withdrew. In other words it does look as if the panzerschiffe were not able to easily destroy light cruisers under an extended period of heavy fire.
The German recommendation has therefore, in my view, to be seen in that context. Millington-Drake did extensively seek German views on the tactics of Kapitan Langsdorf, including from Kapitan Kay, the second in command of AGS and also Kapitan Krancke of the Scheer, who both felt that closing the range quickly at the start of the battle was a decisive mistake. Their view was that a long range action was preferred, or in Kay's view that with hindsight the battle should not have been fought at all.
Millington-Drake recorded his own view (and it should be borne in mind that he was a diplomat and writer and not a naval officer) that AGS, at least on paper, should have had the gunpower to sink all three Allied ships, one after the other.
You can read whatever you like into that view, possibly it could be seen that he would have endorsed the German recommendation had he known of it.
Personally my view is more agnostic rather than contrary as you understood it.