Langsdorff of the Graf Spee at
Home Blog Buy the Books The Graf Spee Adminral Raeder's Navy

Epilogue by Joseph Gilbey: 25 July, 2017.

After twenty-plus years of intensive research into the Graf Spee saga and publishing a couple of books I have unearthed an incredible military cover-up. Maybe the best kept secret in German naval history! During Admiral Graf Spee's 1939 mission, Captain Langsdorff acquired top secret information that convinced him to scuttle his ship and compelled him to commit suicide.

Langsdorff wrote in his log book (kriegstagebuch) detailed evidence of Admiral Graf Spee's M.A.N. diesel engines' failure to maintain a reliable speed above 20-knots. This fundamental technical problem was common to Germany's three pocket battleships. It also implicated two H-class super battleships under priority construction in 1939. These monsters were designed to use larger but similar M.A.N. diesel propulsion. At the beginning of 1940 Germany's yard space and special materials were out-stretched to maximum capacity. They could not build up the submarine fleet as Doenitz had requested without a drastic schedule adjustment. Bismarck, Tirpitz, & Graf Zeppelin were well advanced. Should the navy cancel or postpone the two H-class giants because of the engine problem? C-in-C Admiral Raeder decided to "bide his time."

Thanks for looking in! Keep posted! Joseph Gilbey, Hillsburgh, Ontario. 25 July, 2017.

Content ©2006, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12 Joseph Gilbey.