14/3/1915 The very short naval battle of Más a Tierra

When Admiral Spee’s fleet was destroyed at the Battle of the Falklands, one German ship escaped. This was the Dresden, commanded by Captain Fritz Lüdecke. But today the Dresden meets her doom. Britain had left a large force of ships in the South Atlantic and South East Pacific to hunt down the Dresden and prevent it from preying on British trade. They trap the German cruiser in the port of Cumberland Bay on the Chilean Island of Más a Tierra. When Lüdecke declines to surrender, the British squadron opens fire. After five minutes of pulverising fire, the Dresden is on fire, with many of its guns already disabled. Lüdecke raises the white flag and his crew abandon ship. The Dresden scuttled to prevent it falling into British hands.
Germany no longer has any ships at loose on the high seas. The main German fleet is stuck in port in Wilhemshaven. The Goeben and Breslau have free rein in the Black Sea, but would be destroyed were they to venture through the Straits into the Aegean.

Germany has one other naval asset that is confined to neither Wilhelmhaven nor the Black Sea. The Königsberg, a light cruiser, is based in German East Africa. The Germans had hoped to use this ship to disrupt British trade in the Indian Ocean but the ship is now trapped in the Rufiji Delta by British warships.

The only challenge Germany can mount to allied control of the seas is from its fleet of U-boat submarines.

The Dresden raises the white flag (Wikipedia)

Rufiji Delta (Naval-History.net)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s