GERMANY – POSTCARD – VIZEADMIRAL MAXIMILIAN GRAF VON SPEE
This is a postcard of Vizeadmiral Maximilian Graf von Spee. Spee was an early Naval hero of the Kaiserliche Marine along with U-Boot commander Otto Weddigen.
Spee had steady advancement through the Navy. At the outbreak of WW I he commanded the East Asia Squadron based in China. Knowing that German forces there could not prevail against Allied forces, he took to sea. Detaching the cruiser S.M.S. Emden to raid Allied shipping in the Indian Ocean he and the rest of the fleet sailed East across the Pacific Ocean. As he approached the West Coast of South America and near Chile he engaged an inferior English fleet and defeated it. He then stopped in Valparaiso for coal and received a hero’s welcome by the people of that city. While there he was fatalistic about what the future held.
Once his fleet rounded the tip of South America and entered the South Atlantic Ocean he was met near the Falkland Islands by a superior English fleet. Most of his fleet was sunk and he and his two young sons who served with him went down with their ships. The loss of German lives from the battle was quite extensive.
This postcard which shows a smiling von Spee shows what a Naval admiral should look like. The postcard was never mailed.