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'Count Spee sinking Monmouth' [at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914]

Fine art

Object details:

Object ID PAF1785
Description Inscribed , as title, and signed by the artist, lower right. At the Battle of Coronel, the armoured cruiser HMS ‘Monmouth’ was set on fire during her encounter with the ‘Gneisenau’, the guns of the British ship being effectively out of range. She remained afloat after Admiral von Spee’s larger vessels lost contact in the dark at 20.00 hours. At about 21.20 she was found by the German light cruiser ‘Nürnberg’. ‘Monmouth’s’ engines were still running and her steering gear was undamaged. She did not haul down her flag nor return fire but seemed to be turning, either to ram her opponent or to bring her starboard guns to bear. ‘Nürnberg’ (on the left here) opened fire again and ‘Monmouth’ heeled over and capsized with the loss of all hands. It is this last moment which is dramatically depicted by Wyllie, with the technical inaccuracy that 'Monmouth's' forward turret had been blown over the side by the gunfire of the 'Gneisenau' but it still appears to be on the forecastle here. The 'Good Hope', flagship of Rear-Admiral Christopher Cradock had already been sunk about 20 minutes earlier, also with all hands, and only the other two British ships, the light cruiser 'Glasgow' and auxiliary cruiser 'Otranto', managed to make good an escape from von Spee's greatly superior force.
Date made circa 1914

Artist/Maker Wyllie, William Lionel
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials watercolour, with pen and ink
Measurements Secondary support: 364 mm x 547 mm; Primary support: 269 mm x 429 mm
  • 'Count Spee sinking Monmouth' [at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914] (PAF1785)
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