Opposing Forces

At Coronel, the British squadron was both out-gunned and out-crewed by a superior German squadron.

The resulting defeat was the first that the Royal Navy had suffered for over a century, with the loss of two armoured cruisers and nearly 1,600 crew. The only damage the German fleet received was two hits on SMS Scharnhorst as well as four hits and three wounded on SMS Gneisenau. For the Germans, and the rest of the World, it proved that the Royal Navy was not indestructible, for the British there can only have been shock.