26th December 1943 :Sinking of the Scharnhorst

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by CL1, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    That morning of the 26th, Scharnhorst was only an hour from the Murmansk-bound convoy. However, she was unaware that three British cruisers were approaching from the east. When they opened fire, Scharnhorst was taken totally by surprise, and a shell from HMS Norfolk destroyed the Scharnhorst's radar.

    Scharnhorst was now alone and blind, facing a total of 13 Allied warships...

    Scharnhorst made a second attempt to attack the convoy, and this time it was she who inflicted damage on HMS Norfolk. Admiral Bey, on board the Scharnhorst, had orders from Doenitz to withdraw 'if heavy forces encountered'.
    So he decided to withdraw to Norway, and use to the full her speed advantage of five knots. The British ships could only hope to shadow her at ever-increasing distances, rather than pursue her. To preserve his speed advantage, Bey released his slower destroyer escorts to make their own way back to Norway.
    Scharnhorst was now alone and blind, facing a total of 13 Allied warships, as four additional destroyers had now joined the cruisers. For the radar-less Scharnhorst, a ten-gun broadside from the Duke of York announced the arrival of Force Two.
    Scharnhorst radioed that she was 'surrounded by heavy units'. But 'Lucky' Scharnhorst still had her greatest weapon - speed. Well on the way to escaping, she signalled Doenitz: 'Scharnhorstwill ever reign supreme'.





  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    There is an official file available on the sinking of the Scharnhorst.

    ADM199/913 entitled Sinking of Scharnhorst. Case No 7826

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