HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association

 

FAQ 31

Why did Captain Langsdorff shoot himself after the scuttling?

 

There is a longstanding tradition that a captain should go down with his ship. Langsdorff wanted to do this but was persuaded that he still had responsibilities to look after his crew in Buenos Aires. When his men were safely settled in internment he thought honour required him to shoot himself.

 

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