The 5.9″ gun from Graf Spee is shown above. In the monthly issue of “All Guns Blazing of the NAVAL WARGAMES SOCIETY, I post this mention to those wargamers of military history buffs thinking of visiting Uruguay by air or sea:
Uruguay, SCOW, an acronym standing for Southern Cone Orientales Wargamers
Frequency: Games erupt, inquire to set one off; click to contact Bill Owen.
If Spanish speaking, email & I will get someone who speaks it better.
Soca, Canelones (club HQ) or ideally in Montevideo, Uruguay the key member of SCOW can arrange a “Graf Spee 3 Gun Salvo” (multi-faceted gamer tour package):
- To see her 5.9” gun, anchor & rangefinder salvaged from the ship resting in the harbor.
- A walking Real English Tour of key sites conducted by British expat staff who were associated with the British Ambassador who won the post-battle diplomacy and subterfuge. Hear about the Secret Odyssey of the ship’s bell of the Ajax.
- Of course, a GQ3 refight of the Battle of the River Plate (en Español, Batalla del Río de la Plata).
There are only fees for features like admission to Naval Museum (3 Graf Spee artifacts noted above are outside and can be seen for free but are in two different locations so bus/taxi fare) & tour.
Most of the “Salvo” can even be done during a cruise ship stop in Montevideo* from a “Round Cape Horn” itinerary typically between Santiago & Buenos Aires.
More on SCOW
SCOW has miniatures or sabots for Command Decision: Test of Battle, Great Battles of World War II, Volley & Bayonet, skirmish sets Nuts! and Battlegroup plus some Avalon Hill and SPI boardgames (a more detailed list can be found by clicking here).
Click to contact SCOW, Bill Owen.
Other Southern Cone Wargamers
At some point I will endeavor to tell more about other local wargamers. For now I can provide these vague tidbits:
- A group that plays the ruleset, Battlegroup (by Plastic Soldier Company) near Punta del Este
- A group in Buenos Aires that also plays Battlegroup and probably other games
- A group in Montevideo that plays various fantasy and sci-fi miniatures, boardgames
If you want me to connect you, I will do my best. Some of the group members are bilingual but I don’t know that they are looking for members per se; may be close friends.
*At 605 kilometers (376 miles) away out in the Atlantic Ocean, Punta del Este is closer to where the sea battle took place than Montevideo (Wikipedia reports the British position as 390 nautical miles, 720 km, east of Montevideo).
So if your cruise itinerary includes a stop at Punta del Este, there is only one minor battle artifact to see: a British ship’s anchor which is rusting away at Plazoleta Gran Bretaña (Little Square of Great Britain) not to be confused with the Playa de Los Ingleses, Beach of the English) which is at the very southeasternmost tip of Uruguay. There is also a plaque placed by the local Rotary and Lions Clubs in 1999 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the battle during that summer on 13 December 1939.