HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association


FAQ 29

What was Hitler’s reaction to the Graf Spee crisis?


Everyone on the German side knew that scuttling was the best option and Hitler was persuaded to accept this on the basis that Graf Spee should first consider attempting a break out to Buenos Aires (across the River Plate estuary in neutral Argentina which was inadvisible due to the shallow water) and that the ship should be scuttled if this was considered impossible.


He commented that Graf Spee might sink something on the way to Buenos Aires and was critical that she had not sunk Exeter.