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Admiral von Spee's German East Asia Cruiser Squadron of World War I stand out amidst the annals of 20th century surface naval warfare. Upon the outbreak of war in August 1914, the British Royal Navy was deployed globally, whilst aside from a small number of local vessels, the Imperial German Navy was concentrated in two areas - Home Waters (i.e. the North Sea and the Baltic) and Tsingtao in China, the home port of the crack East Asia Cruiser Squadron which, under the command of Admiral Reichsgraf von Spee contained some of Germany's most modern cruisers. As it was clear that Spee's relatively small force would be quickly overwhelmed by superior enemy numbers, the Admiralty in Berlin immediately ordered him to weigh anchor and return to Germany, a mission that many were to describe as a Himmelfahrtskommando or suicide mission. Whether Spee made it or not, the main consideration was that he would tie down a large number of enemy warships and thus prevent their deployment in other areas. This Raid title details all aspects of the exciting mission.
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