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DKM Graf Spee

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DKM Graf Spee was a German warship commisioned in 1936,, called a "pocket battleship" for media purposes but really a specialized cruiser optimized for commerce raiding, and built under treaty limits. Their main guns were 11", heavier than the heavy cruisers that might hunt them but certainly not of battleship caliber. The ship had very long cruising range and high habitability, but poor armor.

After a successful cruise, destroying British shipping, the Graf Spee was trapped at sea by a British heavy cruiser, HMS Exeter, a light cruiser from Britain, HMS Ajax and one from New Zealand, HMNZS Achilles. While Graf Spee's guns had longer range, they could not cover three maneuvering targets, and those ships were able to avoid some fire and do serious damage through the light armor.

The damaged Graf Spee went into the neutral harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay, but had 24 hours to complete repairs. After the deadline, she moved into the harbor, evacuated her crew, and then scuttled herself, unable to fight a new battle. In his hotel room, her captain wrapped himself in the old German Imperial Navy flag and committed suicide.

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