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Days before the outbreak of World War II a handful of German commerce raiders put out to sea to prey on Allied merchantmen. Amongst them was the Panzerschiff ('armoured ship') Graf Spee, a formidable warship that boasted the firepower of a battleship but the size, speed and range of a cruiser. When World War II commenced, under the command of Captain Langsdorff the Graf Spee began a hunting spree across the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean that eventual took her to the River Plate in search of her next victim – an Allied convoy. Instead she found three Royal Navy cruisers under the command of Commodore Harwood, eager to put an end to the 'pocket battleship' that had been terrorizing Allied merchant ships. Featuring full colour artwork, archive photographs and meticulous research, this comprehensive volume explores the thrilling story behind the Battle of the River Plate, an engagement that unquestionably demonstrated the effectiveness of British seapower and diplomacy on an international stage.
Upon the outbreak of war, the British Royal Navy was deployed globally, whilst the Imperial German Navy was concentrated in two areas ? Home Waters and Tsingtao, the home port of the crack East Asia Cruiser Squadron which, under the command of Admiral von Spee contained some of Germany's most modern cruisers. As Spee made his way to the Chilean port of Valparaiso, he met the British 4th Cruiser Squadron which had been ordered to engage and defeat the German force. This resulted in the battle of Coronel where the antiquated British warships proved no match for Spee's modern cruisers. It was the first naval defeat suffered by the Royal Navy in over 100 years. When news reached London, panic reigned and two ships HMS Inflexible and Invincible were sent to lead the force against Spee. When bad weather delayed the German arrival, Spee knew that he had to stand and fight, unaware that amongst the ships opposing him were two modern battlecruisers which outclassed any of his own squadron's ships. Given the presence of Inflexible and Invincible, the result of the battle had an inevitable outcome and after several hours hard combat, Spee's ships were defeated.
Days before the outbreak of World War II a handful of German commerce raiders put out to sea to prey on Allied merchantmen. Amongst them was the Panzerschiff ('armoured ship') Graf Spee, a formidable warship that boasted the firepower of a battleship but the size, speed and range of a cruiser. When World War II commenced, under the command of Captain Langsdorff the Graf Spee began a hunting spree across the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean that eventual took her to the River Plate in search of her next victim – an Allied convoy. Instead she found three Royal Navy cruisers under the command of Commodore Harwood, eager to put an end to the 'pocket battleship' that had been terrorizing Allied merchant ships. Featuring full colour artwork, archive photographs and meticulous research, this comprehensive volume explores the thrilling story behind the Battle of the River Plate, an engagement that unquestionably demonstrated the effectiveness of British seapower and diplomacy on an international stage.
The Battle of the River Plate was the first major naval confrontation of the Second World War, and it is one of the most famous. The dramatic sea fight between the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee and the British cruisers Exeter, Ajax and Achilles off the coast of South America caught the imagination in December 1939. Over the last 60 years the episode has come to be seen as one of the classics of naval warfare. Yet the accepted interpretation of events has perhaps been taken for granted and is ripe for reassessment, and that is one of the aims of Richard Woodman's enthralling new study. 'This author has made it all so very riveting, it really is a book which is hard to put down until finished.' Royal Geographical Society 'Graphic, thought provoking - highly recommended.' Britain at War
This tale of the Battle of the River Plate follows the machinations of the German war machine as Kapitan zur See Hans Langsdorff commands the pocket battleship Graf Spee on a mission to cripple British shipping. Through clever subterfuge and daring, the Graf Spee takes ship after ship, ultimately forcing the British Navy to send twenty ships in search of the elusive Spee.
The break of the German battleship Bismarck into the North Atlantic in May 1941 was one of the most dramatic episodes of World War II. It began with a battle between the Bismarck and the British battleship Prince of Wales and the heavy cruiser Hood. The Hood was blown to pieces, while the battered Prince of Wales managed to escape. The British then focused all of their resources on hunting the mighty German battleship and eventually brought her down.
In the English-speaking world, it is generally unknown that a volunteer Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) fought alongside the US Army in Italy from mid-1944 until the end of the war. This was in effect a light infantry division, consisting of three infantry regiments augmented with artillery and light armour. It was supported by a Brazilian Air Force contingent of a light reconnaissance squadron as well as a P-47 Thunderbolt-equipped fighter squadron. Although all weapons, uniform, kit and equipment were either American-supplied or American models, there were distinctive Brazilian adaptations to uniforms and other key pieces of kit. This is a seriously researched volume on a little-studied subject matter complete with a range of previously unpublished photographs and specially commissioned artwork plates.

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