In the fall of 1939, the German heavy cruiser (referred to as a pocket battleship) Graf Spee seems to have command of the Atlantic. In the first three months of World War II, she was responsible for sinking nine ships. The British sent three cruisers commanded by Commodore Henry Harwood to confront her. The battle took place on December 13, 1939 and the British came out on top. The Graf Spee headed for the neutral harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay. They were given only a short time to effect repairs and the British did their best to make them believe a British fleet of six or eight ships awaited them. Rather than chance the loss of his men, the German Captain ordered the Graf Spee scuttled.Written by
When Captain Dove is first brought aboard the Graf Spee, the anti-aircraft gunners are wearing US-pattern steel helmets, not the German "coal-scuttle" Stahlhelm. This is noticeable in various other scenes as well, and is due to the fact that the Graf Spee is being played by the USS Salem. See more »
According to historical records available, this movie held closely to the true story of the Graf Spee and the pursuit by the British Navy to catch and engage her in battle. The ship used in the movie as the Graf Spee was the USS Salem, CA139, Heavy cruiser. Filming on board the US Salem was taken while she was on duty in the Mediterranean. The US Salem at the time was the US Navy's Flag Ship, 6th fleet. Some of the Salem's crew participated as German sailors. I rate the movie as a first-class documentary. Other documentary movies in this class include: The sinking of the Bismarck. Dos-Boot
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