RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (Full Version)

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warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (2/1/2020 10:43:54 AM)

The Return of the Scharnhorsts to Germany

The damage to Scharnhorst meant that she needed to be patched up as quickly as possible and returned to Germany for proper repair work. She finally sailed on the 20th June 1940. She was escorted by the destroyers Lody, Schoemann and Steinbrinck, the torpedo boats Kondor and Grief and three minesweepers.

Despite the losses incurred so far, the British continued to make attempts at sinking Scharnhorst. Firstly Swordfish from 821 and 823 Squadrons based at Hatston attacked on the 21st June. Their torpedoes were all successfully combed by the battleship and two Swordfish were lost. There was then another high level bombing attack from RAF Hudsons of 224 and 233 Squadrons but this too failed for the loss of 233's squadron leader.

The next attempt was by Beauforts of 42 Squadron. Three attackers were lost to the ever increasing enemy fighter cover before the final attempt of the day was made by Hudsons of 269 Squadron. This too failed, although this time without loss to the bombers. Poor weather kept the British from launching further attacks and Scharnhorst reached Germany on the 23rd June.

For Gneisenau the journey home was not quite to successful, although she still made it to Germany.

In company with Admiral Hipper and Galster, she set sail just before Scharnhorst. The three ships were off Kya Lighthouse when, at around 23:35hrs, a torpedo from the submarine HMS Clyde struck Gneisenau's port bow. The ships returned to Trondheim in order that damage could be properly assessed. Even makeshift repairs took far longer than expected, and it was not until almost a month had gone past, on the 19th July, that she was able to begin work up.

On the 25th July Gneisenau finally left her anchorage along with Hipper, Lody, Paul Jacobi, Galster and Friedrich Ihn. The heavy cruiser was detached and sailed for the Arctic (see post xxx). The remaining ships were joined by the light cruiser Nurnburg.

The only incident on the journey to Germany this time was the sinking of one of the torpedo boats sent out from Stavanger to meet the flotilla. Luchs and Iltis joined the south bound ships in the afternoon of the 26th. Three hours later, there was an explosion and Luchs broke in two and sank. It is unknown for certain whether she hit a mine or was stuck by a torpedo intended for the battleship. If it was a torpedo it would likely have come from HMS Thames (Clyde's sistership). We will never know because it was believed that Thames was lost with all hands around that time.

Gneisenau reached Germany on the 28th July.


The River-class submarine HMS Clyde. She survived the war having fought in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Far East.
[image]local://upfiles/28156/86BA3337ABA44E9397F72AC06623DC88.jpg[/image]



The Torpedo Boat Luchs. She was a Type 24 boat, built, along with her five sisters, between 1926 and 1929
[image]local://upfiles/28156/4F0ABAFF108B47E6B4C652AF603221C3.jpg[/image]



Sources:
The Battle for Norway (Haarr)
All The World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (2/2/2020 7:47:15 AM)

So the Med War for June is done and the wrap up of operations in Norway for June is pretty much complete.

I will now continue with the start of the Norwegian Campaign on Page 10 (from post 271).




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (2/23/2020 7:26:55 AM)

Bump




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (2/23/2020 8:39:54 AM)

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warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (3/7/2020 7:49:17 PM)

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BBfanboy -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (3/22/2020 9:49:16 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

7th – 9th October 1939 (North Sea)

With the two Panzerschiffe having been ordered to commence operations, the OKM put in place an operation designed to a) provide the Royal Navy with something else to worry about (and thus take some pressure off the Deutschland and Graf Spee), and b) to hopefully draw the Home Fleet onto a fleet of bomber aircraft ready and waiting for the purpose.

On the 7th October the battlecruiser Gneisenau sailed from Kiel with the light cruiser Koln, escorted by nine destroyers. As hoped, the ships were spotted by a Coastal Command aircraft and, assuming a break-out into the Atlantic was on the cards, both the RAF and the Royal Navy went into action. The Home Fleet, consisting of the carrier Furious, the battleships Nelson and Rodney, the light cruiser Newcastle and their accompanying destroyers sailed from Scapa Flow, as did the Battlecruiser Squadron, consisting of the battlecruisers Hood and Repulse, the light cruisers Aurora and Sheffield and their destroyer screen. The plan was for these two forces to trap the German vessels in a pincer movement. Meanwhile the old battleship HMS Royal Oak was left behind, with two destroyers, to patrol around the Shetlands in case the Germans slipped past the main fleet.

The RN ships failed to find the Germans as they had turned around as per the plan. However, neither the RAF nor the Luftwaffe bombers sent out against the enemy fleets could cause any damage. The whole operation was distinctly unpleasant for both sides as the weather was appalling – so bad that ships were damaged.

The ships returned to base – although, in an incredibly lucky twist of fate – not to Scapa Flow. A Luftwaffe aircraft had flown over the fleet anchorage a couple of days previously and, fearing a bombing strike, the bulk of the ships sailed for Loch Ewe, Scotland. The only capital ship to return to Scapa Flow was the Royal Oak which had taken a battering by the weather and had been ordered to return there - which she did on the 11th. It was to prove a fateful decision….


The flagship of the Kriegsmarine in 1939: Gneisenau

[image]local://upfiles/28156/3B71FA5521F144EDA90DACD2104B6037.jpg[/image]

Source:
www.naval-history.net
Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-45 (Jurgen Rohwer)


Can't understand where the Scharnhorst class got the nickname "ugly sisters". I think they are elegant and powerful looking. A few too many gun mounts thanks to separate secondary and heavy AA guns, but not ugly in their installation.




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (3/22/2020 10:12:36 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

7th – 9th October 1939 (North Sea)

With the two Panzerschiffe having been ordered to commence operations, the OKM put in place an operation designed to a) provide the Royal Navy with something else to worry about (and thus take some pressure off the Deutschland and Graf Spee), and b) to hopefully draw the Home Fleet onto a fleet of bomber aircraft ready and waiting for the purpose.

On the 7th October the battlecruiser Gneisenau sailed from Kiel with the light cruiser Koln, escorted by nine destroyers. As hoped, the ships were spotted by a Coastal Command aircraft and, assuming a break-out into the Atlantic was on the cards, both the RAF and the Royal Navy went into action. The Home Fleet, consisting of the carrier Furious, the battleships Nelson and Rodney, the light cruiser Newcastle and their accompanying destroyers sailed from Scapa Flow, as did the Battlecruiser Squadron, consisting of the battlecruisers Hood and Repulse, the light cruisers Aurora and Sheffield and their destroyer screen. The plan was for these two forces to trap the German vessels in a pincer movement. Meanwhile the old battleship HMS Royal Oak was left behind, with two destroyers, to patrol around the Shetlands in case the Germans slipped past the main fleet.

The RN ships failed to find the Germans as they had turned around as per the plan. However, neither the RAF nor the Luftwaffe bombers sent out against the enemy fleets could cause any damage. The whole operation was distinctly unpleasant for both sides as the weather was appalling – so bad that ships were damaged.

The ships returned to base – although, in an incredibly lucky twist of fate – not to Scapa Flow. A Luftwaffe aircraft had flown over the fleet anchorage a couple of days previously and, fearing a bombing strike, the bulk of the ships sailed for Loch Ewe, Scotland. The only capital ship to return to Scapa Flow was the Royal Oak which had taken a battering by the weather and had been ordered to return there - which she did on the 11th. It was to prove a fateful decision….


The flagship of the Kriegsmarine in 1939: Gneisenau

[image]local://upfiles/28156/3B71FA5521F144EDA90DACD2104B6037.jpg[/image]

Source:
www.naval-history.net
Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-45 (Jurgen Rohwer)


Can't understand where the Scharnhorst class got the nickname "ugly sisters". I think they are elegant and powerful looking. A few too many gun mounts thanks to separate secondary and heavy AA guns, but not ugly in their installation.
warspite1

I don't know - probably British humour. As you say, the ships were anything but ugly, but in the early part of the war they operated together - very successfully too - and may have drawn such a soubriquet out of grudging admiration.




BBfanboy -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (3/22/2020 11:50:18 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

1st – 13th December 1939 (South Atlantic – the surface raiders) (Cont)

*Only one source I have ever come across has named the two ships the Cathedral-class. All other sources state the class was the York-class. However, the York and Exeter were more step or half-sisters as they featured key differences in both appearance and detail.
[image]local://upfiles/28156/AFC36B7522CB4319A3907BE0AEABED98.jpg[/image]

Harwood’s 1st Division. The 6-inch gunned HMS Achilles as seen from the Ajax just before the battle.
[image]local://upfiles/28156/13E1C5ADE0E84465A7B592ECAB726753.jpg[/image]

Admiral Sir Henry “Bobby” Harwood Harwood KCB, OBE
‘Phoney War’ Hero. His victory at the Battle of the River Plate at last gave the British public something to cheer about in what was otherwise a cold and miserable winter….. After the River Plate Harwood held a variety of shore based commands before retiring at the end of the war.


[image]local://upfiles/28156/9F94492B10C946EC8100A9673AC9E630.jpg[/image]

Sources:
The Price of Disobedience (Grove)

The middle picture was taken after the engagement with Graf Spee, probably during the shadowing phase. Note the blistered and blackened paint on the gun barrels. Exeter's guns were similarly blistered.

Wasn't Harwood the convoy Commodore for one of the convoys from Eastern Med to Malta (first Sirte?). His decision to turn back rather than complete the mission is what beached him, IIRC.

Great reading your write-ups - lots of great research and human background to these battle stories!




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (3/23/2020 6:28:03 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Wasn't Harwood the convoy Commodore for one of the convoys from Eastern Med to Malta (first Sirte?). His decision to turn back rather than complete the mission is what beached him, IIRC.

warspite1

O'Hara gives him an uncomfortable ride in his disappointing tome 'In Passage Perilous' over his handling of the Vigorous and Harpoon convoys - but he was a little more than just a convoy commodore; he was the Commander of the Mediterranean Fleet, replacing Cunningham in April 1942.




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (3/28/2020 2:09:43 PM)

The thread continues with the start of the Norwegian Campaign from Page 10 (from post 271).

The U-boat war is also re-started from Page 9 (post 263).




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (4/4/2020 7:49:15 PM)

There will be a small delay before the next additions are made. I realised when doing the March U-boat summary, that my previous spreadsheet was a bit rubbish and allowed no proper cross referencing. I am therefore using the current spreadsheet for September - February too but this will take a little while to update. Hopefully not too long.




KingHart -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (4/5/2020 3:05:11 AM)

This is a very interesting and informative thread. Thank you for taking the time to keep it updated.




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (4/11/2020 6:22:14 AM)

While wading through the U-boats, I've made a start on the German Auxiliary Cruisers. There is an overview of these vessels on Page 9 (Post 269) and I will get the first two done over the weekend.




Orm -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/6/2020 4:02:50 PM)

Thank you, warspite1, for the Auxiliary Cruisers update. [:)]

This thread is awesome. The bestest. [&o]





warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/8/2020 5:03:22 AM)

Thanks for the support. I have a big project to finish this weekend but will be returning from next week. forthcoming plan of action remains to finish off re-working the U-boats so these are presented uniformly each month, finish Norway, then make a start on Dunkirk.




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