Originally Posted by dave123
Cumberland had less guns than Spee, smaller guns than Spee, and her guns had a shorter range. She was no match for the Germans.
Spee's damage was something to do with the oil purification for her diesel engines, which would have hampered any attempt to reach home.
The Spee's fear was the Renown and Ark Royal, thinking they were much closer - not the Cumberland.
Actually, Cumberland was bigger than Spee and had more heavy guns, albeit 8 inch as opposed to 11 inch, but it is all academic anyway, as Spee had expended 70% of her 11 inch ammunition, and more than half of her 5.9 inch, during the first battle.
Harwood gave Cumberland the same instructions that had been given to Exeter ( i.e., operate independently whilst Ajax & Achilles operated together), but,. knowing that heavy reinforcements were on route, he could just as easily have shadowed Spee whilst guiding Renown and Ark Royal towards her, as Wake-Walker subsequently did when Norfolk & Suffolk shadowed Bismarck.