The German cruiser 'Admiral Graf Spee'
Built in 1932, after commissioning in 1936, the pocket battleship 'Admiral Graf Spee' served as fleet flagship until 1938. Prior to the invasion of Poland plans were made to deploy such ships as raiders in the Atlantic Ocean. 'Admiral Graf Spee' sailed from Wilhelmshaven on 21 August 1939 to act as a raider in the South Atlantic. Supported by her supply ship, the tanker 'Altmark', her orders were to sink British merchant ships but avoid combat with superior enemy forces. Thus she was deployed to threaten vital Allied supply lines and draw British naval units off their stations in other parts of the world. Between September and December 1939 the 'Admiral Graf Spee' sank nine merchant ships in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean, but saved all of the crew members of these ships.
- Image reference: BHC3377
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. We regret that Museum enquiries have not been able to identify the copyright holder and would welcome any information that would help us update our records. Please contact the Picture Library.
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