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Narvik - Norway

Discussion in 'History of Finland Norway & Denmark during World W' started by Jim, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Seven months of phoney war were abruptly broken on 9 April 1940 in the Norwegian Sea. On HMS Glowworm, Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Roope (below), 40, from Somerset, spotted the Admiral Hipper, a German cruiser seven times bigger than his British destroyer.

    Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Roope

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    Britain's pride was still the Royal Navy, unchallenged, commanding the world's biggest fleet of warships, patrolling the waters to protect the Island Kingdom. Spontaneously, the senior service challenged the aggressor in an inevitably one-sided duel.
    HMS Glowworm's end was brutally swift but instead of abandoning his battered and burning warship, Roope rammed Admiral Hipper and fired one more salvo, damaging his foe. Roope's brave defiance and sacrifice (he went down with his ship) was rewarded by the Victoria Cross ~ the first to be awarded in the war.
    By then, the Royal Navy's supremacy was being blown asunder by Hitler's unexpected, audacious and successful invasion of Norway.
    Through a snow storm raging the following day, Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee (below), 45, from Wales, led five destroyers to Narvik. His mission was to prevent German occupation of Norway's ice-free port.

    Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee

    [​IMG]


    The German U - boats and destroyers guarding Narvik were taken by surprise. Warburton-Lee opened fire, sinking and damaging three destroyers and six merchant ships. When our torpedo hit we saw a flash, reported a British crewman, and it was just as if some huge hand had torn the German ship in half.
    Suddenly, from a neighbouring fjord, five unseen German destroyers emerged, their guns blazing at the British intruders, sinking or damaging four of the Royal Navy attackers. Among the wounded was Warburton-Lee, hit on the bridge. He died being towed through the water to the shore.
    Warburton - Lee's sacrifice was not in vain.
    Another British task force soon arrived to sink eight more German destroyers and a U-boat. In the euphoria Warburton-Lee was awarded the Victoria Cross.
    But the Royal Navy's glow quickly dimmed. During the evacuation of British troops from Narvik on 7 June, two destroyers and HMS Glorious, an aircraft carrier, were sunk by the Scharnhorst. 1,500 men died.

    9 April 1940
     
  2. Gecko

    Gecko New Member

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    Hi Narvik was the first real defeat for the Germans during the Second world war.

    If I am not mistaken it was retaken by an English, Polish and a Norwegian combined force, but only for a short period.
     
  3. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

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    Spot on Gecko, thou this hit the Germans very hard as the Polish were the main force at Narvik at the time, it was like David and Goliath. This was why the Germans came back with a determined force. :thumb:
     

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