by: Gremlin56 [ ]
Originally published on:
Kagero of Poland have very kindly sent me two new publications to review, one of which is number 19 in their series of 3D reference books: the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. In the by now familiar format of 74 pages and a large fold out line drawing, this edition is drawn by Stefan Draminski, translated by Kazimierz Zygadlo with text and captions by Stefan Draminski and Miroslaw Skwiot. The ISBN number is 978-83-62878-56-7. Once again Kagero have come up with the ultimate reference book for anyone building or planning to build a scale model of the third and final “Deutschland” class warship.
The Admiral Graf Spee was the final warship of the Deutschland class, sister ships being the Deutschland and Admiral Scheer (sister ships on paper only, modifications were included on each subsequent build). The keel was laid in October of 1932 and the Admiral Graf Spee was commissioned in 1936. At the outbreak of World War II the Admiral Graf Spee was at sea in the North Atlantic under the command of Captain Hans Willhelm Langsdorff, and in September she headed South across the Equator to commence operations against Allied shipping. These operations continued successfully until December of 1939, the Admiral Graf Spee being periodically resupplied at sea by the Altmark.
On December 13th 1939 the Admiral Graf Spee was spotted by Force G, consisting of the heavy cruiser Exeter and the light cruisers Ajax and Achilles. In the ensuing battle all warships suffered damage, the Admiral Graf Spee eventually breaking off the engagement and heading for Montevideo in Uruguay to make repairs arriving off Montevideo on December 14th. Despite a request on December 16th to be allowed to remain at Montevideo for 72 hours the Uruguayan authorities informed Captain Langsdorff that the Admiral Graf Spee would not be granted that time and would have to leave Montevideo by 22:00 hours on December 17th. Having been informed by Berlin that staying in Montevideo and being interned for the rest of the war would not be allowed and realising that putting out to sea after having expended 60% of the available ammunition and without having effected repairs was a sure way to being defeated, Captain Langsdorff made the unenviable decision to scuttle his warship just outside Montevideo. At 20:52 hours on December 17th 1939 the scuttling charges were ignited and the Admiral Graf Spee sank in 9 meters of water. The wreck burned for two days. Captain Langsdorff committed suicide on December 20th 1939.
If I remember correctly the stern crest of The Admiral Graf Spee depicting the Reich’s Eagle carrying the wreathed Swastika was salvaged a few years ago and is on display in a museum in Montevideo.
The Kagero publication tells the story of the short and successful operational career of the Admiral Graf Spee followed by her violent end in detail, providing interesting reading material. Also added is information about the warships dimensions and armament. The remaining 64 pages contain the 3D renderings of the ship in December 1939 colours (a very unusual camouflage scheme that is an interesting change of look to the usual overall grey warship appearance).
The drawings are the usual Kagero gems showing all structures and fittings of the real vessel in magnificent detail and colour. The included 1/350th scale fold out sheet shows the Admiral Graf Spee on one side and line drawings of the various details on the other side.
An excellent reference work for anyone building a model of the Admiral Graf Spee or anyone just interested in the Deutschland class of pocket battleships. As usual, excellent value for money.