Battle of Coronel 1914

Analysis: This battle has been discussed many times; essentially a fair fight on paper, but in reality the Germans were better-led, had superior gunnery, and somewhat newer armored ships. The big question is whether the British battleship Canopus would have made a difference if it had been included in the squadron as it went into battle. This ship was considered too slow but its condition was underestimated; on the other hand, its ability to protect the other British ships was overestimated, because its armor was no better than any of the armored cruisers and its 12in. guns were reportedly outranged by the powerful German 8.2in. weapons. Realistically, adding the Canopus to the British squadron might have made the Germans avoid it, but if they chose battle anyway under similar conditions the Canopus and its crew would have joined the Good Hope and Monmouth as wreckage on the seafloor. The British Otranto was an armed merchant ship with 4.7in. guns, on paper equivalent to a small cruiser but in reality not, because a real light cruiser was faster, a smaller target, and more durable.

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