Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

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RF
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Re: What was Langsdorff hoping ?

Post by RF » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:20 pm

alecsandros wrote: Otherwise, I can't see any meaning to his decision to head for Uruguay for 15 days while Ajax/Achilles were shadowing him.
I don't think that there was any logical reasoning to this. Remember that Langsdorf was slightly wounded and concussed during the action and I am inclined to think that that affected his judgement.
His decision to go to Montevideo was very short term thinking and governed by immediate issues such as the battle damage, WITHOUT considering the long term consequences of being in Montevideo - a mistake he later recognised.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Mostlyharmless » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:39 pm

As we have discussed why Germany could build 10,000 ton cruisers with 11 inch guns, could anyone clarify what was the Versailles Treaty definition of displacement? My guess is that it was not defined, so the Germans could make a case for choosing the best definition possible and building ships of 10,000 long tons light displacement (i.e. without any ammunition, stores or crew on board and presumably just omitting lubricating oil as Diesels don't have boiler water). AFAIK the idea of “standard displacement” was only created at Washington during the negotiations.

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

Post by Matrose71 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:02 pm

That's the correct analyse.

The KM of the Weimarer Republic took without question the definitions of Washington for their own advantage.
But it is a very little advantage.

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

Post by RF » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:43 am

I believe the Anglo-German naval agreement included provisions that the Germans adhered to the Washington Treaty limit of 35,000 tons for battleship construction - which of course they later violated.
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Re: What was Langsdorff hoping ?

Post by alecsandros » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:56 am

RF wrote:
alecsandros wrote: Otherwise, I can't see any meaning to his decision to head for Uruguay for 15 days while Ajax/Achilles were shadowing him.
I don't think that there was any logical reasoning to this. Remember that Langsdorf was slightly wounded and concussed during the action and I am inclined to think that that affected his judgement.
His decision to go to Montevideo was very short term thinking and governed by immediate issues such as the battle damage, WITHOUT considering the long term consequences of being in Montevideo - a mistake he later recognised.
... OK,
Let's suppose he headed for Argentina instead, while being shadowed by Ajax/Achilles, and he asks for 15 days of repairs.

What changes in the end ?

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

Post by RF » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:44 pm

Nothing is going to change. Whereever he goes to in Argentina the AGS will be bottled up.

A difference maybe is that AGS gets 15 days instead of 3. All it will do is delay the final scuttling. Or going further up the Parana to another bolthole such as Asuncion - but there is no escape from there, only ultimately internment. There wouldn't even be the opportunity to scuttle.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Tom17 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:30 pm

If a ship is interred are the crew made to leave or can they stay in the ship and perform (limited?) maintenance/repair work?
And how would Argentina inter a PB? pump it's fuel out? construct some sort of boom?
If interred would the RN have had to keep a presence in the area in case of a breakout?
Tom

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

Post by RF » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:07 am

Basically it is up to the country that does the internment. Usually it means seizing the ship or immobilising it and rendering its weapons inoperable.

The same applies to the crew - they can be confined on ship, as for example during the period of internment of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow between the WW1 Armistice and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, or, more usually, the crew are put in a prison camp or confined to barracks on land so that they cannot either escape or damage their ship.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by paul.mercer » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:04 pm

Gentlemen,
Just a few questions, what was the all up weight of AGS it surely must have been far more than 10,000 tons?
Re HMS Cumberland, I may be wrong, but I thought that she was refitted in or around 1938/9
If AGS was short of fuel what was the fuel state of Ajax and Achillies and of course Cumberland which had just steamed flat out from the Falklands?
Regarding AGS breaking off the fight, many years ago I heard a theory put forward that as she was a ship that had a reletivly light new all welded design for her hull and that by firing her pwerful 11" guns at different targets on either side had somehow twisted the hull and opened some of the welds - could there be any credence given to such a theory or is it just rubbish?
Finally, my stepfather was a Royal Marine officer in one of Cumberland's rear turrets (X turret?)and he gave me a piece of nicely engraved wood that was taken from her wardroom when they were getting rid of any flamable items overboard on the way from the Falklands. He recalled a huge sigh of relief that went through the ship when it was announced that AGS was scuttling herself as no one seemed too sure about the outcome had she decided to fight and he told me how he and his crew went up and stood on top of their turret cheering as they watched AGS destroy herself.

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

Post by alecsandros » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:07 am

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Just a few questions, what was the all up weight of AGS it surely must have been far more than 10,000 tons?
Re HMS Cumberland, I may be wrong, but I thought that she was refitted in or around 1938/9
If AGS was short of fuel what was the fuel state of Ajax and Achillies and of course Cumberland which had just steamed flat out from the Falklands?
Regarding AGS breaking off the fight, many years ago I heard a theory put forward that as she was a ship that had a reletivly light new all welded design for her hull and that by firing her pwerful 11" guns at different targets on either side had somehow twisted the hull and opened some of the welds - could there be any credence given to such a theory or is it just rubbish?
Finally, my stepfather was a Royal Marine officer in one of Cumberland's rear turrets (X turret?)and he gave me a piece of nicely engraved wood that was taken from her wardroom when they were getting rid of any flamable items overboard on the way from the Falklands. He recalled a huge sigh of relief that went through the ship when it was announced that AGS was scuttling herself as no one seemed too sure about the outcome had she decided to fight and he told me how he and his crew went up and stood on top of their turret cheering as they watched AGS destroy herself.
... According to most sources I read, AGS displaced ~ 12500tons standard with 16500 tons full load.

AGS received an 8" hit which perforated her main armor belt and destroyed one boiler room, along with the fuel purifying unit. This left her with enough clean fuel for about 16 hours. However, the second day after reaching Montevideo, she refueled and probably topped her tanks from the tanker "Tacoma", so there realy wasn't a fuel problem. Her captain was concerned about the holes along the waterline, and because her kitchens had been destroyed, thus making a long voyage at sea , and particularly through the North Sea, rather difficult.

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

Post by RF » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:56 am

alecsandros wrote: AGS received an 8" hit which perforated her main armor belt and destroyed one boiler room, along with the fuel purifying unit. This left her with enough clean fuel for about 16 hours. However, the second day after reaching Montevideo, she refueled and probably topped her tanks from the tanker "Tacoma", so there realy wasn't a fuel problem. Her captain was concerned about the holes along the waterline, and because her kitchens had been destroyed, thus making a long voyage at sea , and particularly through the North Sea, rather difficult.
This isn't quite right. An 8 inch shell did penetrate the armour belt, but AGS being a diesel engined vessel there were no boiler rooms. The shell wrecked the drinking water distillation plant. The fuel tanks were not damaged. Tacoma was I believe a freighter not a tanker.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by alecsandros » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:53 am

RF wrote:
alecsandros wrote: AGS received an 8" hit which perforated her main armor belt and destroyed one boiler room, along with the fuel purifying unit. This left her with enough clean fuel for about 16 hours. However, the second day after reaching Montevideo, she refueled and probably topped her tanks from the tanker "Tacoma", so there realy wasn't a fuel problem. Her captain was concerned about the holes along the waterline, and because her kitchens had been destroyed, thus making a long voyage at sea , and particularly through the North Sea, rather difficult.
This isn't quite right. An 8 inch shell did penetrate the armour belt, but AGS being a diesel engined vessel there were no boiler rooms. The shell wrecked the drinking water distillation plant. The fuel tanks were not damaged. Tacoma was I believe a freighter not a tanker.
... Tacoma carried about 1600 tons of fuel.

Indeed, my bad about the boiler room. The shell wrecked the fuel purification plant .

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

Post by Matrose71 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:58 am

Just a few questions, what was the all up weight of AGS it surely must have been far more than 10,000 tons?
The weight of AGS was 12370ts standard.
Regarding AGS breaking off the fight, many years ago I heard a theory put forward that as she was a ship that had a reletivly light new all welded design for her hull and that by firing her pwerful 11" guns at different targets on either side had somehow twisted the hull and opened some of the welds - could there be any credence given to such a theory or is it just rubbish?
From all documents I have read, that is complete rubbish.
Up fom the Panzerschiff Deutschland, the hull was welded instead of revited. AGS was built from standard St52 steel and mostly wotan hard and wotan soft, which were developed for welding. If this theory would be correct, all german ships from the Deutschlandc lass (Hipper Class, SH Class, BS Class), would be suffer from this problem, because they were all welded with the same steel. The only part which was revited was the main belt of SH/GN and BS/TP, because KC/nA couldn't be welded, but the cruisers and Panzerschiffe had an inclined main belt from woton hard, so the main belt could be welded.

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

Post by tommy303 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:01 pm

It is possible that some welds in the decks or superstructure might have failed from muzzle blast, but that is hardly uncommon in ships with powerful guns. However, the stresses from gunfire on the hull are small compared to natural stresses such as sailing through heavy seas. Had it been possible for recoil to distort the hull, then a major storm would have made her hull into a pretzel.

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

Post by alecsandros » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:29 pm

tommy303 wrote:It is possible that some welds in the decks or superstructure might have failed from muzzle blast, but that is hardly uncommon in ships with powerful guns. However, the stresses from gunfire on the hull are small compared to natural stresses such as sailing through heavy seas. Had it been possible for recoil to distort the hull, then a major storm would have made her hull into a pretzel.
Ah, welcome back Tommy :)

What do you think, could Langsdorff have sailed out of Montevideo and battle his way on Dec 19 ? Would he have had real chances of shaking of Cumberland and possibly going to Argentina for other repairs/refuels , and then, after the British task forces got tired of wainting for him, simply limp back to Germany... ?

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