Author: Angus Konstam, Illustrations by Tony Bryan
Company: Osprey Publishing
I was somewhat aware of the happenings at Montevideo, Uruguay some time in early WW2, but this book gave me a clear picture of what happened, and why it happened like it did. Mr. Konstam has put together a thoroughly researched book, with all of those details that make the history come alive. But the book is also very well written, to the point where I looked up and it was well past my bedtime, but the book held my interest so very well that I couldn’t put it down.
The Admiral Graf Spee was one of three “Pocket Battleships” of the Kriegsmarine at the beginning of the war. The ship was limited by treaty to no more than 10,000 tons. There was no limit to the armament, so the Graf Spee carried six 11 inch (28cm.) guns in two turrets. In order to meet the 10K ton weight limit, the armor was pared back from the original design, leaving the ship well armed, but not heavily protected. I have heard the class characterized as “eggshells carrying hammers”. The ship was also different from the usual in having diesel engines instead of steam. This had the advantage of far better fuel efficiency.