admiral graf spee
admiral graf spee defined in 1939 yearadmiral graf spee - Admiral Graf Spee;
admiral graf spee - German battleship. Launched in 1934, one of the Deutschland class of 10,000-ton "pocket" battleships, she had a speed of 26 knots and carried six 11-in. and eight 6-in. guns. At the outbreak of war in 1939 she preyed on allied and neutral shipping, and was known to have sunk nine ships, a total of 50,089 tons, all but one in the S. Atlantic. In the battle of the River Plate (q.v.), Dec. 13, 1939, the Graf Spee was so damaged that she fled into Montevideo harbour. From here she steamed out on Dec. 17, only to be scuttled by Hitler's orders in the chief anchorage outside the port, continuing to burn until Dec. 24. Her commander, Capt. Langsdorf, committed suicide on Dec. 20.
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