Why has the story lasted so long?
It was the first British victory of the war and as the First Sea Lord, Admiral Pound said, it set the standard for the Royal Navy for the rest of the war.
Winston Churchill saw the immense benefits from the success and, with speeches and march-pasts, he used it to raise morale throughout Britain and confidence in the allied cause among the neutral countries, especially in South America.
The battle also provides an easily comprehensible package combining successful interception of the enemy, a hard-fought battle won by a well-thought-out offensive action, better ships and well-trained men.
Finally there follows an intriguing diplomatic battle in Montevideo with its finale the spectacular scuttling of Graf Spee.