With war but a few months old, the German pocket-battleship Graf Spee was roaming the south Atlantic trade routes sinking British merchant shipping with impunity. Within a few weeks, under the wily captain Hans Langsdorf, the battleship had sunk or captured merchantmen totalling over 50,000 tons, without loss of life to either side. Commodore Henry Harwood hunted Graf Spee down, his three Royal Navy cruisers engaging the battleship on 13th of December, 1939, in what became the Battle of the River Plate. During the two hour engagement, in which two British cruisers were badly damaged, Graf Spee had also been hit, and put into the neutral port of Montevideo for repairs. Believing Harwood's force to be larger than it was, trapped in port, Langsdorf scuttled the great warship in the harbor. It was teh Royal Navy's first major coup of the war.
Simon Atack's fine portrayal of the Graf Spee shows her making speed through a choppy cross-current as she leaves the German naval port of Wilhelmshaven for final trials just a few weeks before the outbreak of war in September, 1939.
Image Size: 16" high x 25 1/4" wide.
Overall print size: 23 5/8" high x 31 3/4" wide.
500 s/n prints. (1 left in stock, damaged, indention about 1 1/2" long at the bottom of the image in the waves.)