Rays of searchlights felt the angry December Sea. Oil spills, debris, ice floes and more debris. Rare heads of people wallowing in the icy water. Tears of lighting projectiles helped the light of searchlights, illuminating the surface with a deathly pale radiance. The destroyers of His Royal Majesty "Scorpion" and "Matless", making extra work by cars, made their way to the recent place of the battle - the excitement of the battle, unlike the sea, subsided. Their formidable foe was already resting at the bottom in 70 miles northeast of North Cape. Now it was possible to pick up survivors - however, there were not many of them. A long, persistent, and already rather annoying migraine called the Scharnhorst, tormenting the Admiralty Lords, has finally passed.
An unannounced “no” in time often means a silent “yes”. That was what guided in Germany in the 30s, cautiously, by small leisurely steps, restoring their navy. The first-born of its resurgent core were Deutschland-type battleships, ships in many ways unique and original to their time. On the banks of the Thames, they were still silent. The French neighbors, having expressed concern, responded with the Dunkirk bookmark, a fast-moving guard dog with 330-mm guns that could catch up with and deal with any of the German "pocket battleships." The concept of a highly autonomous diesel raider increasingly began to gain vulnerability. The third battleship of the Admiral Count Spee series was slightly modified in order to increase and strengthen its reservation, but this was a half measure. The German admirals needed a next-generation ship to work in the Atlantic - he had to maintain his high-speed and autonomous qualities and at the same time not be afraid of meeting with French hunters. Commanding fleet Admiral Raeder made a proposal for a further change in the Deutschlands project, two of which (armadillos “D” and “E”) were preparing for the bookmark. The idea was to install an additional, third, main-caliber tower with an increase in displacement to 15-18 thousand tons. At the beginning of 1933, the concept of the project laid down the conditions: the new ships should be able to withstand the French Dunkirk. Consideration of options began - from a displacement of 18 thousand tons and nine 283 mm guns to 26 thousand tons with six promising 330 mm guns. The latter seemed more promising, and it was he who was taken as the basis for further development.
The advent of Hitler to power unexpectedly made adjustments to the development of large-tonnage military shipbuilding. At the beginning of his official career, the newly mined Führer didn’t want to frighten the British again with the construction of 26000-ton ships, the size of which was already an obvious mockery of the Versailles Treaty. Hitler called on admirals to relieve ardor and appetites and build battleships "D" and "E" in the style of "Admiral Count Spee" with even more advanced armor (220 mm - belt, 70 – 80 mm - main armored deck). The ships "put on weight" to 19 thousand tons, but in Berlin they thought that the forbidden 19 is still more modest and invisible than those that are generally outside the 26. On January 25, the shipyards in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel received orders for the construction of two battleships, the laying of which took place on February 14 of the same year. In 1934, France, while continuing to express concern, announced the laying of the second ship of the Dunkerque type, the battle cruiser Strasbourg. The naval elite began to urge Hitler not to propagate the ships that were obviously inferior to the potential enemy, but to give the nod to the reworking of the project.
Given the silence prevailing on the island, the Führer gave permission to increase the new displacement of ships and add a third tower. On July 5, work on the battleships “D” and “E” was suspended, and their redesign began. At first they decided to install the towers of the main caliber very interestingly: one in the bow, two in the stern, thereby, according to the plan of the designers, a large concentration of fire was achieved in the event of a possible chase. It was also the first time when an opinion was expressed about the possibility of re-equipping a larger caliber gun - 330 or 380 mm into the project. Soon, the defensive location of the towers of the main caliber was abandoned in favor of the traditional one: two on the bow, one on the stern. Significant changes have been the power plant of the ship. Since diesel engines with a corresponding capacity capable of accelerating the ship with a displacement of 26 ths. Tons existed only on paper, it was decided to use a steam-turbine power plant with high-pressure boilers of the Wagner system. Only such installations could provide the new ships with 30 nodes. In March, 1935, when the drawings and other documentation were ready, again there was a question about increasing the caliber of the guns and placing either nine 305 or 330-mm guns, or six paired 350 or 380 mm. The fleet commanders insisted on the maximum size, but here, still not sure of the reaction of the peace-loving islanders, Hitler ordered to confine so far with the original nine 283-mm guns. The consolation, of course, was that they were new Krupp guns, more powerful and long-range than those mounted on dochland.
In an effort to calm the British and give at least some legal and legal framework to their actions, Hitler went to sign a naval agreement with Britain, emphasizing that he considers France to be the main opponent and offender. The Germans promised the British a guaranteed triple superiority of the British linear fleet over the German one: 477 thousand tons of displacement against 166 thousand from Germany. The British thought and agreed. The Versailles restrictions finally collapsed - the Germans were able to build their fleet quite legally.
In the spring and summer of 1935, the new ships, which received the significant names for the German fleet, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau names, were officially peredlozheny: May 3 - Gneisenau, June 16 - Scharnhorst.
The new battleships (it was decided to abandon the archaic term “battleship”) were not descendants of the well-designed and built German battle cruisers of the First World War. They were little like the further evolution of the ships of the type "Mackensen" or "Ersatz York." The Scharnhorns were, in fact, enlarged "Deutschlands", on which the effects of various restrictions and compromises were felt. Already in the process of construction, it turned out that it would not be possible to keep within the limits of the allotted 26000-ton displacement, and it will be significantly exceeded. This caused serious concerns about the seaworthiness, stability and survivability of new ships. For example, the armor deck was below the waterline, and the height of the freeboard was insufficient. The ships were already on the stocks, and something radically change in them there was no possibility. The stability problem could be optimized by installing additional bulls, but this solution would inevitably reduce the speed, which was considered unacceptable. Measures were taken to save weight: a rigid weight discipline was established, in addition, welding was widely used in construction — the hulls of both battleships, or rather, battle cruisers, were welded. These efforts solved the problem of congestion only in part - both ships were rather “wet”, yielding to many classmates in seaworthiness.
October 3 1936 of the year Scharnhorst is launched into a solemn ceremony, Gneisenau is followed only by December 8 of the year 1938. Despite being overweight, the Germans paid great attention to the issues of flooding of ships - any waterproof compartment, with the exception of the narrowest in the extremities, was divided, in turn, into additional waterproof spaces. There were a total of 21 main waterproof compartment, the flooding of two of which, regardless of the location, guaranteed to maintain the ship’s combat capability. The main armor belt had a thickness of 350 mm, thinning to the bottom edge to 170 mm, and was intended primarily to protect against a potential enemy - 330-mm guns "dunkirk". Reservations of the towers of the main caliber reached a maximum thickness of 360 mm. A number of auxiliary caliber battleships were developed: the 8 twin 150-mm guns, located in the 140 mm armored turrets, and the 4 single-gun units, covered only by 25 mm shields. The latter was an obvious relic of the heritage of the Deutschland, and overloading did not allow placing all the tools in the towers. The anti-torpedo protection was designed to counter a torpedo with a warhead of at least 250 kg. After the signing of the Anglo-German Maritime Agreement, Hitler no longer objected to the re-equipment of the “Scharnhorst” with new 380-mm guns, even orders were issued for the production of the barrels themselves - the re-equipment was supposed to happen in the winter of 1940-1941, but with the start of World War II was postponed indefinitely.
7 January 1939 of the year Scharnhorst entered service, its first commander was captain of the mission Zee Otto Ciliax.
In Norway. Operation Weatherbung
New ships that belonged to the battlecruisers, required numerous refinements. Especially was capricious power plant. Training exits on the Baltic showed insufficient seaworthiness and freeboard. Both battleships rework the nasal limb, setting clippers noses more suitable for navigation in the Atlantic. The situation in Europe was increasingly tense, the new ships were not up to trips to demonstrate the flag, unlike their predecessors, the Deutschland. Efforts were made to bring the Scharnhorst as quickly as possible to a full-fledged combat state. In October, the command decided that the new battleship was already quite capable of going to sea. The fact is that by this time the British had thrown considerable forces on the search and destruction of the Admiral Count Spee's “pocket battleship” in the South Atlantic, the ring of beaters around which was already shrinking. In order to reduce the pressure on the raider, it was decided to sanction the release of a pair of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau battleships into the Atlantic to divert the British from their persistent hunting activities. Ironically, it was the task of the “pocket battleship” that included the violation of communications and the diversion of the enemy's cruising forces to themselves. Now I had to attract my own heavy ships to bite the tail of the British.
21 November 1939 of the year Scharnhorst and its sistership left Wilhelmshaven in the North Atlantic. November 23: German ships collided with the British auxiliary cruiser Rawalpindi, a former passenger liner with eight outdated 152-mm guns. Despite the simply overwhelming difference in armament, the commander of the British cruiser E. Kennedy bravely accepted the battle. Half an hour later, the Rawalpindi turned into a flaming skeleton, its commander was killed, the crew lowered the lifeboats. With the sinking of the old liner, the German battleships spent almost 120 shells of the main caliber and more 200 - auxiliary. The appearance on the horizon of the cruiser "Newcastle" forced Vice Admiral Marshall, the commander of the operation, to give the order to withdraw, putting a smoke screen, as he feared the presence of larger ships. Marshall’s command was criticized for its huge consumption of ammunition and indecision, but propaganda presented the sinking of Rawalpindi as a great victory.
Both battleships spent the winter of 1939 – 1940 in the base and shooting training in the Baltic. At the same time, the Propaganda Directorate shot a special documentary film entitled “Battleship in a Battle Trip,” where Scharnhorst starred as the main character. Viewers were shown a picture that the fleet allegedly operated almost near the island of Helgoland, conducting combat shooting at enemy aircraft and ships. In fact, the shooting took place in the rear Baltic.
The next significant milestone in the battleship’s career was participation in Operation Weatherbung Nord - the invasion of Norway. The Weatherbung was on the verge of a critical risk and consisted of a combination of sea and airborne assault forces. The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, along with the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and the destroyers, carried the cover of the Narvik airborne group, which captured the important Norwegian port of Narvik. On the approach, the German squadron was discovered and attacked by British bombers, but they did not succeed. However, the anxious Admiralty, not owning the whole picture of what was happening, decided that the Germans were preparing a major raider operation in the North Atlantic, and in the evening of 7 on April 1940, the Metropolitan Fleet took to the sea. While the destroyers landed the rangers on the piers of Narvik, both battleships were cruising to the west. On 4 hours of 30 minutes of 9 on April 1940, the Gneisenau radar detected a large target at 25 km aft, and on both ships they played combat alarm. Rain and clouds severely limited visibility and did not allow full use of excellent optics. On 5 in the morning, the Scharnhorst navigator in the sextant mirror found a flash of large-caliber guns - the size of the fountains from the tears confirmed the seriousness of the guest’s intentions. After 5 minutes, the signalmen found the silhouette of a large ship — it was the battle cruiser Rinaun, along with eight destroyers accompanying it. Initially, Vice Admiral Gunter Lyutens ordered to turn on the enemy - soon the parties exchanged hits: "Gneisenau" and "Rinaun" got two shells. The Germans, having fixed that “Rinaun” was not one, were afraid of torpedo attacks from the British destroyers, therefore Lutyens ordered to increase the speed and break away from the enemy. In the end, it succeeded, and 12 April, together with the "Admiral Hipper" battleships returned to Wilhelmshaven. During the trip, many constructive flaws of the ships were revealed. They suffered from frequent blows of waves in the bow, because of this there were frequent water penetration into the tower of the main caliber "A", causing damage to the electrical circuits. The power plant was also unreliable. Nevertheless, immediately upon arrival at the base, both battleships began to prepare for a new march — combat-ready units among the German heavy ships were all to the eye. Having carried out a short-term repair, the battleships had to re-emerge to the shores of Norway, however, the mine was blown up by a mine at 5 in May and the subsequent repair postponed the group’s active operations for almost a month.
4 June under the flag of Vice Admiral Marshall "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" together with the same "Admiral Hipper" and a group of destroyers took to sea in the framework of Operation Juneau, the purpose of which was to impede British shipping off the coast of Norway. After the "Hipper" destroyed several British ships, Marshal sent him along with destroyers to refuel in Trondheim, and he went to try his luck off the coast of Harstad. In 16 h. 48 min. an observer from the Farn-Marsh "Scharnhorst" noticed smoke, and a little later the signalmen recognized the large aircraft carrier. It was the British Glories, which, accompanied by the destroyers Ardent and Akasta, evacuated two land fighter squadrons from Norway - the Gladiators and the Hurricanes. For some reason, none of the Suordfish torpedo bombers, the only effective weapon against the German battleships, was not ready for departure. All the trump cards were in the hands of Marshall. The Germans got close to their victim and opened fire first with the main caliber and then with auxiliary caliber. They quickly adjusted, and the aircraft carrier began to get hit for hit. The escort destroyers showed real heroism, trying to protect their ward in an almost hopeless situation. Soon "Glories" turned into a huge bonfire, and "Ardent" and "Akasta" put up a smoke screen. Under her cover, the first one went into a desperate torpedo attack, firing 4 torpedoes, - the Germans noticed them in time and dodged. A squall of shells hit Ardent, and he soon sank. Akasta maneuvered for a long time, knocking down the sight of the enemy and avoiding hits. In 19, the glorified flame “Glories” went to the bottom, the courageous “Akasta” survived him not much. When he went on the attack, he fired a volley of four torpedoes - Gneisenau evaded them, but the Scharnhorst did not avoid a retaliatory strike - one torpedo hit him in the area of the C tower. The battleship was seriously damaged, roll to the left side and took 2500 tons of water. Akasta, who went down with the whole crew, sold his life dearly. Since during the whole battle the Glories radio station drove one dispatch after one, Marshal decided to return immediately after the battle. In addition, the state of the Scharnhorst caused some alarm. The battleship could not give speed more than 20 nodes, and therefore the Germans went to the nearest Trondheim, where with the help of a floating repair shop they managed to make a temporary repair. It was only at the end of June that the Scharnhorst reached Kiel and stood up for an overhaul that lasted until the end of 1940.
At the end of 1940, the German command decided on a major operation in the Atlantic. The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were to carry out a deep raid on enemy communications, attacking as many as possible single ships and convoys. The commander of the operation, Gunther Lutjens, was strictly forbidden to engage in battle with large ships. The operation received the meaningful name "Berlin". 28 December 1940, the ships went out to sea, but they got into a violent storm, in which they received damage to the hull - huge masses of water that hit the old wounds, turned out to be very dangerous. I had to go back to try again on January 22 1941. Already February 3 battleships managed to slip into the Atlantic, where they began their activities. This generally successful trip lasted until March 22 1941 of the year - the German battleships had a lot of frolic in the English shipping lanes. Twice they had contact with the enemy's battleships: 7 March with the guarding convoy "Malaya", and March 16 - with Rodney. Both times, thanks to the superiority in speed, the raiders managed to leave without difficulty. During the campaign, Gneisenau destroyed 14, and the Scharnhorst destroyed the enemy's 8 vessels with a total displacement of 115 thousand tons, causing a stir in the Admiralty.
On March 22, both battleships arrived at the French port of Brest occupied by Germany, where they stopped for repairs. The presence of a gang of bandits from the main road near the English Channel — soon the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen, which had returned from the Atlantic, joined the battleships, greatly irritated the British. In an effort to destroy or at least disable German ships, the British command constantly organized air raids on the parking places of the Brest group. The Germans pulled large air defense forces toward the city, carefully camouflaging the ships, giving them the look of sushi. The decks of battleships and cruisers were tightly hung with camouflage nets; for greater reliability, real trees and shrubs were mounted on the superstructures and turrets. But the British intelligence, using the agents of the French Resistance, every time found out the exact parking places. Translated into La Pallis "Scharnhorst" 24 July 1941, underwent another raid by the British "Wellington" and received five direct bombs from 227 to 454 kg. The ship took 3000 tons of water, severely damaged electrical equipment. By the end of the year, after a series of repairs of varying degrees of complexity, both battleships had been brought to operational status. During this period, the center of the German fleet's efforts shifted to the North, through which the Allies carried out caravans of ships to the Soviet Union. Hitler called this region the zone of fate, and now the main task of the German surface ships was to be a violation of communications of the allies in the North. In addition, after the death of the Bismarck, the Atlantic ceased to be attractive as a hunting place for large surface ships, the number of which in Germany was very limited. It was decided to transfer the Brest squadron first to Germany, then further north to Norway.
German ships in the English Channel. Ahead "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau." Photos from the board of "Prince Eugen"
By the beginning of 1942, German ships as a whole were ready to go. The British raids became more and more intense. At a meeting with Hitler in the presence of senior fleet leaders and aviation the final decision was made to break from Brest the most dangerous, but on the shortest route - directly through the English Channel. Operation Commander Vice Admiral Otto Tsiliaks received a detailed breakthrough plan called Operation Cerberus. On February 11, 1942, the Scharnhorst (under the flag of Ciliax), the Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen, escorted by 6 destroyers and 11 destroyers, left Brest. During the breakthrough, the Germans managed to achieve very close interaction with the Luftwaffe - there was a liaison officer on each of the three large ships. A powerful umbrella of fighter jets was deployed above the breaking detachment. The British openly overslept the beginning of the compound’s movement and, seizing themselves from such impudence, threw everything at hand to prevent the enemy. The German squadron was consistently attacked by torpedo bombers, torpedo boats and destroyers, each time successfully fighting off. The main enemy turned out to be the unbroken bottom mines, which generously strew the bottom of the English Channel. February 12, on the second day of the transition, off the Dutch coast, the Scharnhorst was successively blown up on two bottom mines. The battleship received almost 1500 tons of water, there were injuries in the engine room, and the ship lost speed. But soon the emergency parties managed to neutralize the consequences of the damage, and on February 13, the Scharnhorst, following the main forces, came to Wilhelmshaven. Operation Cerberus, bold and impudent, brilliantly successful.
Side scheme "Scharnhorst" in different years
Upon arrival, the Scharnhorst was transferred to Kiel for repairs. Gneisenau was there as well, having received its fatal bomb on the night of February 27. A successful hit caused ignition of charges in the cellar of the main-caliber tower with their subsequent explosion and strong fire. Detonation shells managed to avoid flooding the cellars, but the battleship is completely out of order. The Scharnhorst lost its old partner. A more thorough examination by its experts led to the conclusion that more thorough and, consequently, long-lasting repairs are needed - first of all, boilers and turbines. The summer and autumn of 1942, the year passed in exercises and repairs - problems with machines and boilers constantly pursued the ship. By the end of the year, Scharnhorst finally began preparations for the transfer to Norway. This decision was not canceled even in the light of the hysterical order of the Fuhrer 1 on January 1943 of the year to write off all heavy ships for scrap after the unsuccessful New Year battle off the coast of Norway.
After several unsuccessful attempts at the Scharnhorst in the framework of Operation Paderborn on 14, March 1943 reached Narvik, and March 22 anchored in the main operational base of the German fleet in northern Norway - the largest German battleship Tirpitz and heavy cruiser (former battleship) "Lutz". April 1943, was marked by a joint campaign of two battleships, along with destroyers to the island of Bear. The rest of the time the German squadron spent in idle with rare training exits near the base, povygonyat ship rats from the barrels of guns. The lack of fuel began to affect the fleet. In the summer of 1943, the Norwegians seized a German radio station on the island of Svalbard, and the command of Kriegsmarine began to prepare a response operation with a raid on this Arctic island. At the same time, it was necessary to prove to the Führer that it was not for nothing that the surface ships of the fleet were devouring such scarce fuel with entire trains. September 8 "Tirpitz" and "Scharnhorst" together with 10 destroyers, approaching Spitsbergen, fired coal mines and a mining village. A thousand paratroopers landed on the shore. A battery of two old 76-mm guns was destroyed by naval artillery fire. The Scharnhorst showed so disgusting results in shooting that immediately upon returning to the base was sent to the exercises. The opposing response was more constructive and painful: 22 September 1943 of the year standing in the Kaa-fjord Tirpitz was attacked by British dwarf submarines that seriously damaged it - according to German estimates, the battleship was disabled before spring 1944. The Scharnhorst escaped such an unenviable fate only because he was on anti-aircraft exercises. After leaving earlier to overhaul "Luttsova" "Scharnhorst" was the only combat-capable German ship in the Arctic.
The last battle of the battleship "Scharnhorst"
Rear Admiral Erich Bey, Commander of the German Squadron
By the end of 1943, the situation on the main Eastern Front for Germany was becoming increasingly threatening. The Allies, taking advantage of the weakening of the German forces in the Arctic, resumed the wiring of caravans. Hitler constantly reproached the fleet leadership for the inactivity and uselessness of surface ships, which, he said, could in no way influence the situation. At a meeting with the Führer 19 – 20 in December, Karl Dönitz assured him that in the very near future the Scharnhorst and the most efficient 4 destroyer will come out to intercept the detected convoy. The interim strike commander Rear Admiral Erich Bey (instead of the missing Kümetz) on December 22 was ordered to switch to a three-hour readiness. The Scharnhorst last received fuel and provisions. For the battleship commander Fritz Hinze, this was the first time she went to sea in a new position. Relatively reachable were two British convoys. JW-55B from 19 tankers and transports to escort 10 destroyers and 7 escort ships left Lough Yu 20 December. Another convoy, RA-55 with escort forces, was moving towards him. In the Barents Sea, both convoys were covered by Admiral R. Burnet, a British 1 unit, which included the light cruisers Belfast, Sheffield and the heavy Norfolk, and 2, the battleship Duke of York (the flag of the Commander of the Metropolitan Fleet admiral Bryal Bryl, connecting the Admiral Bryu Bryl, the flag of the Duke of York; ), the cruiser "Jamaica" and 4 destroyer. The British convoy JW-55B was first detected by aviation and then by a submarine. Dönitz ordered the start of the operation. In 19 h. 25 December 1943, in the Christmas snowfall, the German squadron left the base. Operation "Ostfront" began. Bey kept radio contact with the headquarters of the command of the German forces in Norway. He had a very contradictory order in his hands: on the one hand, he was instructed to attack the convoy at the slightest opportunity and to act vigorously, on the other, he was required to immediately stop the fight when the strongest enemy appeared. The December Sea was worried, the Scharnhorst was heading the squadron, and destroyers were breaking through the waves. Soon their speed had to be reduced to 10 nodes. Bey did not guess that all his negotiations with the shore were read by the British service “Ultra” - the British knew that the old enemy had left his lair and was at sea.
In the morning at 8 hours, the Belfast radar discovered the German battleship in 32 km from the convoy, in 9.20 it was already visually identified from Sheffield. The Scharnhorst did not turn on its radar to keep its secrecy. At 9.23, British cruisers opened fire, first with lighting and then with armor-piercing shells - the Scharnhorst immediately responded. During 20 minutes, opponents exchanged volleys - several shells hit the German ship, which did not cause severe damage except for one that destroyed the radar's nasal antenna. The Scharnhorst is blinded from the nasal angles at about 69 – 80 degrees. Bey decided to leave the battlefield: the main target was the convoy. And he managed to throw the British off the tail. The Scharnhorst makes a detour and tries to approach the convoy from the other side, from the northeast. English cruisers re-discover the enemy. In the shooting that took place, Norfolk and Belfast are damaged, and the German battleship again gets out of combat. Destroyers are not involved in the battle, as they are too far away. They are nearing the end of fuel, and Bey releases her escort to the base.
At the beginning of the second day, the German admiral decided to finish the operation - they could not get through to the convoy, the British know of his presence. And most of all Bey feared the presence of a nearby British battleship. The cruisers following the raider's track suggested Admiral Fraser's 2 connection to intercept him - the Duke of York had already played a combat alarm for a long time. The Scharnhorst went straight into the trap. Bow radar has been destroyed, aft is disabled. In 16.32, the English battleship's radar detected a target, and within a few minutes the raider was fired at by the shells - its towers were located on the bow and stern - the Germans were caught by surprise. Nevertheless, the German ship increased speed and began to respond. His 283-mm projectiles could not penetrate Duke of York’s powerful armor. In 16.55, the first 356-mm English projectile reached its target. The German raider surpassed his opponents in speed and began to increase the distance. Fortunately for the English, the shooting of Fraser’s flagship was accurate that day - heavy English shells knocked out the vital harnesses of the Scharnhorst. The 18 clock hit the engine room: speed dropped to 10 nodes. But after 20 minutes, the engine room reported that it could give 22 a node. All the surviving members of the battleship's crew testify to the high fighting spirit of the Scharnhorst team in its last battle — the fires were extinguished quickly, the emergency parties sealed holes. The British battleship constantly covered German volleys, but there were few direct hits, and they were not effective. At about 19 hours, when the Scharnhorst artillery had already stopped responding, Fraser ordered the destroyers to torpedo the enemy. The auxiliary caliber no longer worked, and the torpedo hits hit one after another. The British claim that there were a total of 10 or 11 torpedo hits. The battleship settled in the water, the deck was engulfed in fire - the situation became hopeless, and Bey gave the order to leave the ship, he himself decided to share his fate. On 19.45, the Scharnhorst sank with the machines still running. British destroyers embarked on a rescue operation, but only 36 people were rescued from the icy water. The British paid tribute to the enemy who bravely fought: on the way back from Murmansk to Scapa Flow, passing over the place of death of the Scharnhorst, Fraser ordered to throw a wreath in the memory of the German sailors who had fulfilled their duty.
October 3 The 2000 expedition of the Norwegian Navy discovered a German battleship at a depth of 300 meters in 130 kilometers northeast of North Cape. The Scharnhorst lies upward with a keel, as if covering for itself the crew who found the last shelter.