In order to obey the regulations of the Treaty of Versailles on the one hand, and to replace the outdated liners of the Braunschweig-class at the same time, the Germans constructed a completely new type of vessel, the so-called Panzerschiff (dreadnought). The basic concept of this endeavour was to create a ship that would go faster than stronger units, and that would be stronger than faster ones. As the third ship of this category, the Admiral Graf Spee was launched in June 1934, and went into service in 1936. From 1936 to 1939 she was flag-ship of the fleet. Having been employed several times in Spanish waters during the Spanish Civil War, the Graf Spee left Wilhelmshaven for the South Atlantic, where she took up waiting position in summer 1939. At the outbreak of the war she was engaged in economic warfare in the Atlantic as well as in the Indian Ocean, sinking more than 50089 gross registered tons of the enemy’s freighters. Towards the end of 1939 the Graf Spee was engaged in battle by the British cruisers Exeter, Ajax, and Achilles just outside the mouth of the La Plata. During this battle the Graf Spee was badly damaged and had to call at Montevideo. Upon British intervention, the government of Uruguay did not grant them a stay long enough for the repair of the damages, though. And as their retreat seemed blocked through a diversion of the British Intelligence Service, orders were given to blow up the Graf Spee. Breaking up began in 1942; the remnants of the wreck were still visible in the sixties.