WW100 Flight of the East Asiatic Fleet

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,005
Texas
#1
Immediately after the war broke out in August 1914, Admiral Graf Spee departed from Tsing Tao for the open waters of the Pacific. He allowed Emden to split off into the Indian Ocean where she raided English shipping for a couple of months before getting caught. Spee took the rest of the fleet east across the south Pacific to Argentina. He fought a successful battle at Coronel and then cut around Cape Horn to the Falklands. Even though he caught the English fleet coaling (and some with blank shells in the guns for target practice) but was surprised by the size of the fleet and took off instead of attacking. The English had two fast Cruisers and went after the East Asiatic fleet. They ended up sinking the ships and all crew were lost except some 100 survivors pulled from the freezing waters by the English.

Before going around the Horn, Spee could have gone back across the Pacific to continue raiding and causing British to use more and more ships to chase them down.

Or, Once at the Falklands, Spee should have known escape wasn't in the cards and gone straight in for battle. After all, he had a real chance of winning at that point.

Or, Spee probably could have slipped past the British fleet while it was at the Falklands and made a run for home. Once adding their ships to the main fleet, Jutland could have happened earlier and on much more favorable odds.

Opinions?

 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,005
Texas
#4
In continuation of my reading of WW1 for its centenials beginning next year, I got the story on Spee's fleet from:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Death-At-Sea-Asiatic-Squadron/dp/1453738614/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359726212&sr=8-1&keywords=Death+at+Sea"]Death At Sea: Graf Spee and the Flight of the German East Asiatic Naval Squadron in 1914: Eric Dorn Brose: 9781453738610: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NCoM-EcLL.@@AMEPARAM@@41NCoM-EcLL[/ame]
 
May 2012
578
#6
Or, Spee probably could have slipped past the British fleet while it was at the Falklands and made a run for home. Once adding their ships to the main fleet, Jutland could have happened earlier and on much more favorable odds.
I don't think that Spee's ships would have made much of a difference. The whole squadron probably couldn't have stood up against a single battlecruiser.
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,005
Texas
#7
How about a documentary on the East Asiatic Fleet

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoCtzFsgEJg"]World War I: Battle Of Falkland Islands 2/4 - YouTube[/ame]


I realize this says its part 2/4 but I would start here. The first part is 10 minutes about the pre war ship building campaign between Germany and Britain.
 
Last edited:

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,005
Texas
#8
the next part

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzGC4MAO5Hg]World War I: Battle Of Falkland Islands 3/4 - YouTube[/ame]
 

Baltis

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,005
Texas
#9
And the last part.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS5rXiNwQKs]World War I: Battle Of Falkland Islands 4/4 - YouTube[/ame]
 

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