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GRAF SPEE

GRAF SPEE

At large in the South Atlantic about this period in 1939 was the German pocket battleship. She still had to make her first kill.

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MV Trevanion is one them.
 

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Must have been among the largest diesel propelled ships, at the time. The Kreigsmarine had some amazing looking vessels.
 

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Not certain this is her foray into the South Atlantic, because back in my EW training days I remember seeing a picture of her scuttled but with a radar array atop one of the masts or directors, so unless the picture has been censored I'm not certain.
 

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I'll pass on that. It's just one of my friend's pics of her to illustrate the fact she was prowling this time 70 years ago. He has quite a few of her wrecked which are very interesting.
 

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The photo was taken after Sepember 1938. Graf Spee was at Kiel on 22 Aug 1938 for the launching of Prinz Eugen in the presence of Hilter and Admiral Horthy. She then took part in the autumn naval excercise which she acted a the fleet flagship.
She was then refitted when :-
Six 8,8cm twin flak guns were changed for six 10.5cm Flak guns on the same chassis.
The mattress for an FuMO 22 type radar was fitted on the rangefinder of the fortop revolving dome. (Seen in the photo covered by canvas cover)
The octagonal foretop was reshaped and the single searchlight platforms either side of the tower mast were replaced by a single searchlight platform on the forward face of the tower. (This can be clearly seen in the photo)
The refit was completed and Graf Spee made the first of two Atlantic cruises in 1938. The first was 6-23 October and the second was 10-24 November. It was between these cruises that Kapitan zur See Hans Langsdorff became her last capitain when he was appointed to the ship on the 1st Nov.
 

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