You are here

The Battle of the Falkland Islands

The Battle of the Falkland Islands

The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a naval action between the British Royal Navy and the Imperial German Navy on 8th December 1914, during the First World War in the South Atlantic. The British, after the defeat at the Battle of Coronel on 1st November, sent a large force to track down and destroy the victorious German cruiser squadron. The battle is commemorated every year on 8 December in the Falkland Islands as a Public Holiday.

Admiral Graf Maxmilian von Spee commanding  the German squadron of two armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the light cruisers SMS Nurnberg, Dresden and Leipzig and three auxiliaries, attempted to raid the British supply base at Stanley in the Falkland Islands. The British squadron, consisting of the battlecruisers HMS Invincible and Inflexible, the armoured cruisers HMS Carnarvon, Cornwall and Kent, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Macedonia and the light cruisers HMS Bristol and Glasgow, had arrived in the port the day before.

Visibility was at its maximum, the sea was placid with a gentle breeze from the northwest, and the day was bright and sunny. The advanced cruisers of the German squadron were detected early. By nine o'clock that morning the British battlecruisers and cruisers were in hot pursuit of the five German vessels, which had taken flight in line abreast to the southeast. All except the auxiliary Seydlitz were hunted down and sunk.



Title: The Battle of the Falkland Islands
Record Type: Historical Events
Record Maintained By: HC
Subject Id: 119039