From: Joe Foley (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Feb 03 2003 - 20:22:50 PST
--- Ken MacLean <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> A moving and true incident of wartime heroism, it is
> well documented. Gotta
> nitpick though...I would describe the submarine as
> being of the German
> persuasion, not Nazi. Chances are none of the U-Boat
> crew were members of
> the Nazi Party, just good old boys doing their duty.
I'm gonna argue that one with you, Ken.
In 1943 the commanders would definitely have been
Nazis! Especially after Hitler's purges of the
military after Capt. Langsdorf failed to return with
his battleship from S. America in 1939. Remember
Langsdorf had 62 prisoners on his ship when he took on
the British, they were the crews of the ships he'd
sunk AFTER removing them to his ship. That infuriated
Hitler!! He didn't want the crews taken off he wanted
them dead. That wasn't the way the GERMANS were
taught to fight, especially the navy.
The first attempt on Hitler's life was in '38, the
purges started in '40 and they were pretty ugly.
I think the large German population of S. America told
Hitler that they weren't going to play his game, that
there was nothing he could do about it because they
knew who his people there were and they were not only
NOT going to enter the war they were going to be sat
upon for the duration. And as a consequence Hitler
was NOT going to get his battleship back either.
The idea that the Graf Spee couldn't make it back to
Germany because the kitchen was destroyed misses the
point that they had met their tender just before the
action with the British ships and could have made it
back with her assistance.
The British didn't have many ships in the area, the
Graf Spee's gun crews were good enough to make solid
hits on their first volleys, they had had lots of
practice,........ speculation abounds!! It was the
biggest event of the century before WWII!
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