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German Battleship Scharnhorst

Discussion in 'Germany at Sea!' started by Jim, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    After a 12-hour chase in the Arctic gloom the 26,000 ton German Battle Ship Scharnhorst, enticed from her lair in Altenfjord, Northern Norway, by the sight of a Russia bound convoy, was trapped and encircled by Home Fleet units and sunk off the North Cape on December 26th 1943. Launched in 1936 she bore the name of the founder of the Prussian Army and of a cruiser sunk at the Battle of the Falklands, December 8th 1914. Like her sister ship the Gneisenau, Scharnhorst carried a complement of 1,461; her length at the water line was 741-ft 6-ins, draught 28-ft 8-ins. Armament consisted of nine 11-in guns, twelve 5.9-in, fourteen 4.1-in, and sixteen 37-mm AA guns, four aircraft and two launching catapults. Details in the drawing show (A) main armament of 11-in guns; (B) secondary armament of 5.9-in guns; (C) 4.1-in AA guns; (D) catapults; (E) reconnaissance aircraft and (F) aircraft hangar; (G) cranes; (H) range-finding towers; (J) fighting tower; (K) ship’s boats; (L) 12-in belt of armour amidships.

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    Interception of the Scharnhorst by Vice-Adm. R L Burnett, commanding the 10th Cruiser Squadron, opened the action. Engaged by the cruisers Norfolk, Belfast (in which Adm. Burnett flew his flag) and Sheffield, she was forced under the guns of Duke of York, which scored an underwater hit. This slowed her up and enabled a destroyer force under Cmdr. M. D. C. Meyrick, R.N., in the Savage, to reach a position in which they could attack. Shortly afterwards Musketeer, Matchless, Opportune and Virago attacked. Damage inflicted enabled the Duke of York to close the range. “I was able to observe definite hits, which showed dull red glows,” said Paymaster Lieut. T. B. Homan, R.N., later. “The enemy appeared to be slowly circling, and a cloud of thick smoke was hanging over her” The Cruiser Jamaica delivered her torpedoes, and then “it only remained to carry out a search for survivors” said, Adm. Sir Bruce Fraser, C-in-C. Home Fleet, “and this resulted in Matchless picking up six and Scorpion 30 from the sea.” To the C-in-C Winston Churchill sent the message; “Heartiest congratulations to you and Home Fleet on your brilliant action. All comes to him who knows how to wait.” Awards in connection with the action included the K.B.E. for Adm. Burnett; and the D.S.O. for Cmdr. Meyrick.
     
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  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Blindfolded survivors of the Scharnhorst, sunk in the action off North Cape on Dec. 26,1943, were landed at a British port on their way to internment, H.M. Destroyers Scorpion and Matchless picked up 36 German seamen and transferred them to the Duke of York whose broadsides crippled the German vessel, Majority of the survivors were aged between 19 and 21, and for some it was their first sea trip.

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  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Before her great triumph in the Scharnhorst battle, Dec. 26, 1943 H.M.S. Duke of York refits in dry dock. Prior to smashing the German battleship, she carried Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, C-in-C Home Fleet, on a good will visit to Vice Admiral Golovko, C-in-C Soviet Northern Fleet. It was the first occasion on which a Home Fleet flagship had entered a Russian harbour. The Vice Admiral and his officers were profoundly impressed during their tour of inspection of this colossal ship of war.

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  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The battleship Scharnhorst shells Allied positions on Spltzburgen during Operation Sizilien (Sicily) on 6-9 September 1943. She also landed German troops on the Norwegian Island located In the Barents Sea. Scharnhorst returned to Altafjord, Norway after the mission.

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  5. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

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    Without doubt a great looking ship, it must have sent many a heart racing knowing that she was afloat. :eek:i:
     
  6. amzee90

    amzee90 New Member

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    yah it's very intresting
     

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