Thinking over the Battle of the River Plate, the Graf Spee did quite well in beating off three RN cruisers totaling double her tonnage. I think the key to her success was the 5.5" armor on her turrets and 5.9" armor on her conning tower, which kept her 11" guns in action despite numerous 6" hits on the ship.
She seems to have only managed eight 11" hits, all but one on Exeter, destroying Exeter's bridge and putting her 8" guns out of action, and disabled Ajax's aft 6" guns.
The light cruisers had closed to about 7,000 yards at that point so I think Graf Spee did well to hit Ajax and turn away to evade torpedoes before a turret was knocked out.
The light cruisers had been very successful up to then exploiting the accuracy of the German gunnery by chasing the shell splashes.
The British apparently scored 70 6" hits on the Graf Spee, the Exeter's six 8" guns only scoring 3 hits. However, these may have been the hits which destroyed the Graf Spee's desalination and fuel purification plants, limiting her further operation.
Casualties were about equal for both sides, many due to splinters as the cruisers closed range for a torpedo attack. The Graf Spee's eight 5.9" single mounts concentrated their fire on the 6" cruisers but don't seem to have accomplished much. Only one of the 5.9" was put out of action. Ajax had 7 killed and 5 wounded, mostly from the 11" hit, while Achilles had 4 killed and the Captain wounded when splinters from a near miss penetrated the main control position.
Exeter was under repair and modernization for a year and had 61 killed and 23 wounded, while Graf Spee suffered 36 killed and 60 wounded including the Captain.
Recent discussions in the History forum
AnnouncementAmazon Discussions Feedback Forum
|430||Mar 23, 2015|
|History of the Palestinian Nation (Part IV)||790||1 minute ago|
|Who killed JFK on November 22nd, 1963? What are some of your answers and beliefs? VOLUME II||2527||9 minutes ago|
|It seems to have passed without notice.||28||14 minutes ago|
|Soldiers, Soldiers of the 5th of Line ... do you not Recognize me?||56||35 minutes ago|
|Putin in the Ukraine, sanctions, more Russian military intrusions, what's next?||745||47 minutes ago|
|Why the interest in WWII?||352||1 hour ago|
|Democrats and Guns -||73||3 hours ago|
|Was Franco the good guy in the Spanish Civil War?||93||6 hours ago|
|A Place For Pro-Israel Posters III||7073||7 hours ago|
|Was Groening guilty?||340||17 hours ago|
|Draft for President 2016: Robert D. Putnam, For Our Children & Theirs||1||21 hours ago|