Military Review

Scharnhorst. Creation, battles, trips and death of the German battleship

Scharnhorst. Creation, battles, trips and death of the German battleship

Scharnhorst based

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.

Hard birth

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.

Battleship descent

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.

Atlantic raid

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.

Jump Cerberus

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.

North again

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.
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  1. igorka357
    igorka357 30 December 2015 07: 29
    Damn .. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau are my favorites, just amazing and beautiful ships! Although there were fascists to us sworn enemies, they knew how to build ships .. And Fraser also told his crew .. I want my ship to always fight like it did today Scharnhorst .. I think right now the thoughtless tovarisch will stick the minuses ..))), but I admire the courage of the German sailors who fought on the battleship .. even if they were enemies to us ..
    1. sub307
      sub307 30 December 2015 08: 21
      "Thoughtless" have not yet woken up .... That's right: to underestimate an enemy, especially a strong one, at least is criminal. Emotional assessment - to admire, respect, or, on the contrary, hate the professional assessment of the object in question has nothing to do with it.
    2. Sakhalininsk
      Sakhalininsk 30 December 2015 08: 33
      The Germans always knew how to fight with dignity, and their sailors worthy of confirmation.
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. sevtrash
      sevtrash 30 December 2015 09: 30
      Quote: igorka357
      but I admire the courage of the German sailors who fought on the battleship .. even if they were enemies to us ..

      Not only Germans, of course, you can recall the Japanese, as well as their kamikaze. The British, the Americans, of course, ours too.
      But the Germans were still impressed with the breakthrough of Bismarck and the battle of the Germans in a hopeless situation. But the kriegsmarine was even more struck by the submarine fleet - 32 thousand of 39 submariners were killed, and the Germans went to serve there also voluntarily.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 30 December 2015 16: 08
        Quote: sevtrash
        But the Germans were still impressed with the breakthrough of Bismarck and the battle of the Germans in a hopeless situation.

        If you remove the emotions, then in the operation Rheinübung the Germans exchanged one of the two newest battleships-post-Washings for a modernized post-Icelandic battlecruiser.
        At the same time, Lutiens managed to retreat, having in his opponents an unfinished LC with desperately buggy GK towers.
        On Tsushima, they even jokingly raised the issue of the British violating the rules of warfare: for the battle with the Bismarck was directly attended by civilians - workers and engineers of the Vickers-Armstrong, who remained on board to fine-tune the BSHGK and SUAO Prince. During the battle, these specialists, together with the team, worked with the SUAO devices and helped to repair the failed guns and turrets.
        However, if you remember that the "Prince" entered service only on March 31, 1941 - nothing surprising. The regular team on it was absolutely green.

        Well, the final fight is pure finishing. The poorly controlled German LC met with the most prepared of the post-Washington RN, and even with a 16 “Washingtonian with a well-trained team and refined materiel.
        "Rodney", by the way, was licked for almost 15 years, until 1939, eliminating factory and design flaws - for example, deformation of the BSHGK rollers and their shoulder straps due to the movement of the towers in the horizontal plane (the designers did not provide for vertical rollers that protect the towers from horizontal displacement in waves - and they had to be installed after the ships were handed over to the fleet).
        1. Nehist
          Nehist 31 December 2015 06: 48
          And besides Prince and Hood, almost all the ships of the British fleet rushed to the battlefield? So lutiens only retreat and remained
    5. polkovnik manuch
      polkovnik manuch 30 December 2015 21: 51
      What are the cons? Not at all! German ship architecture has always been at its best, I note that in our ships of the 2nd and 1st rank built after the war, German features are still guessed.
    6. kuz363
      kuz363 13 February 2016 20: 17
      Yes, they were real sailors. And when they call Russia a sea power, it is simply bewildering. Yes, once upon a time she fought victorious battles with the Swedes, the Turks And then? The failed Crimean War of 1854, Tsushima in 1905, the flooding of the Black Sea Fleet in 1918, and minor battles in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Fleets in the Black Sea and Baltic were locked by mines at their bases and participated in coastal defense. Only the Northern Fleet really did something. Well, escorting allied transports and convoys. And that’s all! The real sea powers that participated in the grand battles are Germany, England, the USA, and Japan. France and Italy are middle peasants, although on average they also fought better than the Soviet Navy.
  2. Amurets
    Amurets 30 December 2015 07: 40
    In Tech-Youth, in the Antalogy of the Mysterious Case "there was a description of" Operation Cerberus ". This operation is described as a failure of the" Grand Fleet ". attitude to the Northern Convoys, it can be assumed that by passing ships to the North, Churchill hoped to push the German fleet to seize the Soviet Arctic, because after the unsuccessful exit to the Tirpitz sea and the defeat of the PQ-17 convoy, deliveries to the northern ports of the Soviet Arctic were actually stopped. Liza went through the Pacific ports of the USSR or Iran. Although this is only my personal opinion, there are many references to this hypothesis.
    1. Alex
      Alex 30 December 2015 14: 15
      Quote: Amurets
      In Tech-Youth, in the Antalogy of the Mysterious Case "there was a description of" Operation Cerberus "

      "T - M" for 1986, №1. Main article B. Rybnikov. "An unfavorable combination of circumstances" (p. 42); discussion - I. Boechin. "Cerberus" against "Fuller" (p. 45) and F. Nadezhdin. The same handwriting (p. 47). And I also completely agree with the opinion of the authors: this "breakthrough" of the German squadron turned out to be like two peas in a pod similar to the "breakthrough" of "Goeben" and "Breslau" in 1914. However, one more "interesting coincidence": the Chief Sea Lord at that time was just the Prime Minister in the described. Well, his love for the USSR was well known.
      1. Pilat2009
        Pilat2009 30 December 2015 18: 33
        Quote: Alex
        like two drops of water similar to the "breakthrough" of "Goeben" and "Breslau" in 1914

        In my opinion, this is just a coincidence. Besides what prevented the British from not pursuing Sh and D at all? Well, they left and left ...
        As for Goeben, there were also certain reasons
        1. Alex
          Alex 30 December 2015 19: 27
          Quote: Pilat2009
          In my opinion, this is just a coincidence
          Something among the Angles very often the circumstances flow down. Either three powerful ships passed under the nose, then the escort was removed from the convoy, then the battle cruiser was not caught up (well, he left, so he left, let now the Russians have a headache on the Black Sea). It seems to me that the Angles could not have known that "Goeben" would become a serious provocateur of the beginning of the war between Turkey and Russia (not everyone was eager to fight with Russia again, the time was not right, they themselves would have survived).
      2. Cap.Morgan
        Cap.Morgan 30 December 2015 22: 11
        For May 40th, in my opinion, there was an article about the breakthrough of Admiral Spee into the Pacific Ocean. In the First World War.
        What is interesting is the analysis of TM materials from the 40s to the beginning of the 41st years shows that German tactics were not unknown to us. Journalists draw quite correct conclusions from the actions of the German army. Or our generals did not read magazines ...
        1. Alex
          Alex 31 December 2015 14: 01
          Quote: Cap.Morgan
          For May 40, in my opinion there was an article about the breakthrough of Admiral Spee into the Pacific Ocean.

          Well, I wouldn't call it a "breakthrough". Spee quite calmly left Qingdao, reached Easter Island without any special adventures, where he refueled and replenished supplies, after which he gave pepper at Coronel. The colonial forces of England were quite enough to neutralize or even destroy it, but His Majesty's government was more concerned with getting its hands on the Kaiser's property in the Pacific Ocean, which had become ownerless, rather than chasing five German ships. The colonial administration on the ground also fanned more cheeks: what is the demand of Australia to provide them with neither more nor less - a battle cruiser to protect against the Spee squadron. Despite the fact that he was not even going to go in that direction (he was not a suicide).

          In general, everything is in the English style: the ships leave, circumstances turn out, politicians let the fog go, and new lands and wealth stick to their hands.
    2. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 30 December 2015 22: 02
      I don’t know what you mean by mentioning Churchill. The United States provided assistance to the USSR under the Lend Lisa program. But the bulk of the aid went after the 43rd year. In 41-42 years, that is, during the most difficult situation on the fronts, supplies were disrupted, were insufficient. On the other hand, the deliveries of our British ally were carried out accurately and on time. Churchill and Valentine played their role, in particular, in the battle of Moscow there were up to 20% of the total number of vehicles - at that moment mainly T-60. The fall of the USSR in 41-42 years for Britain meant the end of the Empire, or at least the most serious complication of the whole situation. Winston Churchill understood this.
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 30 December 2015 08: 15
    Thanks Denis! With the Coming ..! Further creative success in the New Year! ... This article is also a success ..
    1. Plombirator
      30 December 2015 10: 16
      Quote: parusnik
      Thank you Denis! With Coming ..! Further creative success in the New Year! ... This article is also a success

      Thank you, dear colleague, I will try)
      1. Roman Skomorokhov
        Roman Skomorokhov 30 December 2015 11: 01
        Good and well done. Thank.

        I just wanted to add one aspect.

        “It was the British Glories, which, accompanied by the destroyers Ardent and Akasta, evacuated two squadrons of land fighters from Norway - Gladiators and Hurricanes. For some reason, none of the Suardfish torpedo bombers was the only effective weapons against German battleships, was not ready to take off "

        Exactly because of this reason. Land fighters did not have folding wings and therefore simply did not fit into hangars. And they were placed on the deck. The British did not expect such a "gift" from the Germans, for which they paid.

        Plus, the Germans very efficiently used another weapon - the wind. Precise maneuvering prevented the Glories from turning against the wind to release the planes. The deck was somehow cleared, the Swordfish prepared, but it was too late.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 30 December 2015 12: 22
          Quote: Banshee
          Exactly because of this reason. Land fighters did not have folding wings and therefore simply did not fit into hangars.

          The Glories had large elevators that could fit the Hurricane with its folding wings.however, his flight deck was 200 feet shorter than the Arc Ronyala deck. But the elevators of the Arc Royal were too small and did not allow the Hurricanes to be put into the hangar; with a clogged flight deck, the aircraft carrier lost the ability to use its own aircraft. We had to try to land the fighters on the Glories, because if we landed them on the Arc Royal, we would have to cut off the wing consoles of the Hurricanes in order to lower them into the hangar.
          (c) N. Polmar.
        2. Cap.Morgan
          Cap.Morgan 30 December 2015 22: 12
          The British did not at all assume that the Germans might be nearby. At first they mistook the Germans for their own.
  4. Gray 43
    Gray 43 30 December 2015 08: 34
    A serious, powerful, smart enemy and our grandfathers defeated him, the article is very interesting, thanks to the author and plus!
  5. 89067359490
    89067359490 30 December 2015 08: 46
    Gödde continued to swim, slowly and tirelessly, turning his head to the sinking Scharnhorst. Suddenly a big wave lifted him to his crest, and before the eyes of the foreman a very sad picture appeared, snatched from the darkness by the rays of spotlights, white as chalk, and the fire of illuminating projectiles. Through the howling of a raging blizzard, he saw the brightly lit silhouette of his ship, now almost lying on its side. This sight seemed unreal, impossible. Gödde's mind flashed the thought that at such an angle it was previously possible to see a ship only from a diving fighter. Everything seemed as if painted against the law of attraction. Only a few people were sailing on the starboard side of the ship, since most of the sailors followed the advice of the captain and left the battleship, climbing over the left-hand rail. Later, when he had already been rescued, Gödde thanked Providence for the fact that he left the ship from the starboard side, since almost all the survivors were chosen from this side.
    Close to himself, he saw the gleaming light of an emergency raft. This tirelessly flickering light blinked somehow eerily, unnaturally, like a ship distress signal. Gödde sailed upon him and saw how suddenly an officer had risen on a raft. Through the roar of the storm, Gödde heard the officer shout:
    “Long live the Scharnhorst!”
    Midshipman and everyone who sailed beside him in the waves joined in this exclamation.
    Gödde swam to the raft, which was pretty close to the battleship, and began to recognize faces lit by uneven light. Now the young sailor raised his hand:
    - Long live our families, our homeland!
    And again, greetings came from all directions. These were touching moments that Gödde would never forget. Someone, Streter later recalled, sang. Over the water, half muffled by the wind, rang:
    On the grave of a sailor ... roses do not bloom ...
    After two lines, the song fell silent.
    Gödd suddenly heard the screams of several sailors who were sailing closer to the ship:
    - This is the captain! He is near the ship. Can not stay on the water - he does not have a life jacket.
    Gödde realized that the last sailor, the captain, had left the Scharnhorst. The last sailor of those who were able to get to the upper deck. Gödde knew that many could not get out of the ship. Among them were the personnel of the shell cellar of the 4th tower, as well as sailors from the engine room and from rooms located below the armored deck. And again there was an exclamation, clearly audible through the howl of a blizzard, continuing to circle the snow flakes in the yellow-white light of the projectiles:
    - Save the first mate! He swims close to the ship and cannot stay on the surface.
    A sailor floating next to Gödde swam closer to him and shouted something to him. He had to repeat this once or twice before Gödde could make out his words:
    “They both gave their life jackets to sailors who didn't have them!”

    Fritz-Otto Bush Tragedy of the battleship Scharnhorst. (The story of the Battle of Nordkapp told by the survivors of Scharnhorst)
  6. avt
    avt 30 December 2015 10: 16
    OK, that's just
    . It was the British Glories, which, accompanied by the destroyers Ardent and Akast, evacuated two squadrons of ground fighters from Norway - Gladiators and Hurricanes. For some reason, not one of the Swordfish torpedo bombers, the only effective weapon against the German battleships, was ready to fly.
    And really - Why? wassat Maybe because in fact he was an air tender carrying land aircraft?
    1. Plombirator
      30 December 2015 10: 30
      Quote: avt

      Maybe also because, due to the intense north-west wind, the Glories would have had to take a return course to lift and land the aircraft.
      1. avt
        avt 30 December 2015 10: 34
        Quote: Plombirator
        Maybe also because, due to the intense north-west wind, the Glories would have had to take a return course to lift and land the aircraft.

        request Heg knows him ... I'm not in kugso guys. I don’t even know if he had “string bags” on that last trip for the aircraft carrier. Maybe it was just stupid and walked like a transport.
      2. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 30 December 2015 12: 15
        Quote: Plombirator
        Maybe also because, due to the intense north-west wind, the Glories would have had to take a return course to lift and land the aircraft.

        There, EMNIP, and the personal factor intervened: the commander of the aircraft carrier Oili-Hughes completely broke up ... quarreled with the commander of his own air group Hot. Moreover, the case reached a military court, a meeting of which was to be organized in Scapa Flow after AB arrived there. Therefore, one could not even think about any organized work of the "Glories" deck ships on the transition from the coast of Norway to the base.

        But not quarrel Ivan Ivanovich with Ivan Nikiforovich - would have "glories" and aerial reconnaissance, and the strike group in readiness.

        Polmar, by the way, writes that the "khuri" got on the "Glories" precisely because its aircraft lifts were larger than those of the "Ark Royal", and the "harricane" was placed on them completely.
  7. Plombirator
    30 December 2015 10: 39
    Quote: avt
    I don’t even know if there were “string bags” on that last for the aircraft carrier.

    Some sources say about 5, others - 6 "Suordfish".
    1. 89067359490
      89067359490 30 December 2015 10: 49
      Denis is a good article. It would still be very wonderful to describe the raids of the German fleet in the south Atlantic. Thank you already you started the north.
  8. Engineer
    Engineer 30 December 2015 11: 20
    In fact, Hitler was absolute laymen in ships, and therefore never gave any advice to anyone to add a tower to the ship something else from this opera. These are all fables. If anyone does not know, the operation "Rhine teachings" was developed and started without Hitler's consent and he was not even informed about its beginning. And this operation led to the death of Bismarck. This is an indication of how Hitler interfered in the affairs of the Navy. In fact, the situation has become disastrous for now. And we all know what the intervention of the "expert" has led to.
  9. Roy
    Roy 30 December 2015 12: 19
    Honor and praise to the courageous German sailors who fought steadily against the superior Anglo-American enemy forces!
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 30 December 2015 12: 25
      Quote: Roy
      Honor and praise to the courageous German sailors who fought steadily against the superior Anglo-American enemy forces!
      Sehr gut, Roy, sehr gut ...

      Your statement sounds especially good against the background of the last time Charles went to sea to intercept a convoy whose cargo was intended for the belligerent USSR. And from the convoy he was driven away by a group consisting of only 1 SRT and 2 KRL.
      1. Georg Shep
        Georg Shep 30 December 2015 12: 33
        This does not detract from the fact of the courageous behavior of German sailors.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 30 December 2015 14: 10
          Quote: Georg Shep
          This does not detract from the fact of the courageous behavior of German sailors.

          But where is courageous behavior?
          From "Charles" to the convoy was 32 miles. Between the "Charles" and the convoy, there was only close cover: 1 KRT-"Washington" and 2 KRL. The German LK twice went to this trio - and twice turned away from it, leaving the battle. As a result, "Charles" waited for the appearance of the "Duke", and bravely skidded from him.

          3 cruisers did not allow the battleship to be escorted to the convoy - it was similar, EMNIP, only on New Year's Eve (when 5 EMs were restrained by the battleship, KRT and 5 EMs) and on the Middle Sea in Sirte Bay, when 2 KR from the Malta convoy fought off the Italian LC with an escort.

          As a result, “Charles” waited for the approach of “Duke” - and could no longer escape from him.
        2. Cap.Morgan
          Cap.Morgan 30 December 2015 22: 16
          Sailors all over the world knew how to fight.
          Probably only the French slept through the whole war.

          And ours fought beautifully, both the Japanese and the Americans ...
          This is probably due to the fact that the best are taken to the fleet.
  10. VohaAhov
    VohaAhov 30 December 2015 13: 23
    A small addition. Historical background of sunk ships and ships.
    The battleships Scharnghorst and Gneisenau drowned for two:
    1. Aux. the cruiser “Rawalpindi” (England, 1925) 23.11.39/16600/167 (21 brt., 8,99x17x8 m., 1 knots, 152x2-1 mm, 76x238-28 mm (37 people died (XNUMX of them were killed), XNUMX - captured)
    2. The destroyer Glouorm (England, 1936) 8.04.40/1888/98,5 (10,1 tons, 3,8 x 34000 x 35,5 m., 4 hp, 1 knots, 120x2-4 mm, 12,7x2-5, 533 mm, XNUMXxXNUMX-XNUMX mm TA)
    3. The diesel tanker “Oil Pioneer” (England, 1928) 7.06.40/20/25 (XNUMX people died, XNUMX were taken prisoner)
    4. Aircraft carrier “Glories” (England) 8.06.40/22000/30,5 (48 tons, 1160 knots, 43 ​​aircraft) (1203 people died + 1222 people flight crew + XNUMX people, according to other sources - XNUMX people. )
    5. The destroyer "Ardent" (England, 1930) 8.06.40/1821/98,5 (9,8 tons, 3,7x34000x35,25 m., 4 hp, 1 knots, 120x2-1 mm, 40x2-4 mm , 533x157-153 mm TA (XNUMX people died, according to other sources - XNUMX)
    6. The destroyer Akasta (England, 1930) 8.06.40/1821/98,5 (9,8 tons, 3,7x34000x35,25 m., 4 hp, 1 knots, 120x2-1 mm, 40x2-4 mm , 533x154-160 mm TA (XNUMX people died, according to other sources - XNUMX people)
    7. Transport "Trelawney" (England) 22.02.41 (4689 gross vehicles (1 person died (sunk "Gneisenau")
    8. Transport "Kantara" (England) 22.02.41/3327/XNUMX (XNUMX brt. (Sunk "Gneisenau")
    9. Transport “E.D. Huff ”22.02.41 (Canada) 22.02.41 (6219 gt) (2 people died (Gneisenau sunk)
    10. Transport "Harlsden" (England) 22.02.41 (5483 gross vehicles (7 people died) (sunk "Gneisenau")
    11. Tanker Lastres (England) 22.02.41/6156/XNUMX (XNUMX brt) (in ballast) (sunk by the Scharninghorst)
    12. Steamboat “Marathon” (Greece) 9.03.41/XNUMX/XNUMX (sunk by the “Sharinghorst”)
    13. The diesel tanker "Simnia" (England) 15.03.41/6197/3 (XNUMX gross vehicles) (XNUMX people were killed) (sunk "Gneisenau")
    14. Tanker Bianka (Norway) 15.03.41/5684/XNUMX (XNUMX gross vehicles) (captured by Gneisenau)
    15. Tanker Polycarb (Norway) 15.03.41/6405/XNUMX (XNUMX gross vehicles) (captured by Gneisenau)
    16. Diesel tanker “San Casimiro” (Norway) 15.03.41/8046/20.03.41 (XNUMX gross vehicles) (captured, later - sunk on XNUMX)
    17. The diesel tanker British Strengs (England) 15.03.41/7139/2 (XNUMX gross) (killed XNUMX people) (sunk by the Scharnghorst)
    18. The diesel tanker Atelfome (England, 1931) 15.03.41/6554/2 (XNUMX gross vehicles) (XNUMX people were killed) (sunk by the Scharnghorst)
    19. Steamboat Empire Industry (England, 1916) 16.03.41/3648/XNUMX (XNUMX gross vehicles) (sunk by Gneisenau)
    20. Transport "Granli" (Norway) 16.03.41 (1577 gross vehicles) (sunk "Gneisenau")
    21. Cargo and passenger ship “Royal Crown” (England, 1927) 16.03.41/4364/39 (XNUMX brt) (captured - XNUMX people) (sunk “Gneisenau”)
    22. Freight and passenger ship Myson (England) 16.03.41/4564/XNUMX (XNUMX gt) (sunk by Gneisenau)
    23. The cargo and passenger ship "Rio Dorado" (England, 1924) 16.03.41/4507/39 (XNUMX gt) (killed XNUMX people) (sunk "Gneisenau")
    24. Transport - fruit carrier “Chilian Reefer” (Denmark, 1936) 16.03.41 (1739 gross vehicles) (8 people were killed) (“Gneisenau” was sunk)
    25. Transport "Manthai" 16.03.41 (8290 gt) (sunk by the "Scharnghorst")
    26. Steamboat “Silvefir” (England) 16.03.41/4347/1 (XNUMX gross vehicles) (killed XNUMX person) (sunk by the “Scharnghorst”)
    27. Cargo and passenger ship “Sardian Prince” (England) 16.03.41/3200/XNUMX (XNUMX gb) (sunk by the Scharnghorst)
    28. Steamboat “Demeterton” (England) 16.03.41/5251/XNUMX (XNUMX gt) (sunk by the Scharninghorst)
    1. Cap.Morgan
      Cap.Morgan 30 December 2015 22: 18
      And this is with the absolute advantage of the British at sea!
      If Britain has aircraft carriers and an extensive network of airfields.
  11. Kibl
    Kibl 30 December 2015 16: 51
    Yes, the Germans had good sea walkers! And in double it’s nice that their finish was the bottom of the sea!
  12. Litsvin
    Litsvin 30 December 2015 19: 46
    Quote: Alexey RA
    Quote: Roy
    Honor and praise to the courageous German sailors who fought steadily against the superior Anglo-American enemy forces!
    Sehr gut, Roy, sehr gut ...

    Your statement sounds especially good against the background of the last time Charles went to sea to intercept a convoy whose cargo was intended for the belligerent USSR. And from the convoy he was driven away by a group consisting of only 1 SRT and 2 KRL.

    Dear, let me, as a former sailor, say a few kind words to you.
    Human courage is not measured by flags, ideas, slogans, etc. crap "from the evil one." Human courage is one of the categories of human existence itself. German sailors died as HEROES, true to their human, patriotic, moral duty and military oath !!! Done their duty to the end !!! In the same way as GEROISKI our Russian and Soviet sailors perished in numerous sea battles. And in this regard, THE MAIN THING IS A HUMAN FEAT, and not what kind of convoy they went out to smash, or to whom that cargo was intended. The cowards would have acted differently - either they left, pretending that they did not notice the "convoy", or they would accept the battle "for show" and then scrambled (this is how the French, Italians always "fought", and the British are also far from such heroes as drew themselves). The Germans were not cowards in general and the German sailors from the Scharnhorst in particular. Let the German hero sailors rest in peace on the seabed, just as Russian hero sailors rest on the seabed in the Tsushima Strait !!!
    1. old rats
      old rats 2 January 2016 12: 16
      Well, yes, courageous guys, what really there ... You can not argue with that.
      I hope in the next world these brave guys got hot pans.
      1. Litsvin
        Litsvin 16 February 2016 23: 12
        As well as our enemies, the British, who, over the centuries, since the time of Ivan the Terrible, have tricked Russia secretly and openly. The British are ten times worse than the Germans. The Germans have always been our obvious enemy, and the British have been secret and from this many times more insidious. And what can I say there - they dragged Russia into the First World War by force, first "dragging" into the Entente. Then, after the Zhydo-Bolshevik coup of 1917, they, the British and organized, together with the United States, robbed Russia. Then they sponsored Hitler, brought him to power and set him against Russia again in 1941. Then the "dumb Churchill" came up with the "Unthinkable" plan to deliver nuclear strikes against the USSR. Soon the glaciers would melt and this island went to the bottom, there would be fewer pokastniki on Earth. Already their crowned "grandmother" has become a frequent visitor to Australia. They say that he builds housing in case of a flood ... smile
  13. Litsvin
    Litsvin 30 December 2015 20: 03
    Auf Deck, Kameraden, all 'auf Deck!
    Heraus zur letzten Parade!
    Der stolze "Scharnhorst" ergibt sich nicht,
    Wir brauchen keine gnade!

    An den Masten die bunten Wimpel empor,
    Die klirrenden Anker gelichtet,
    In stürmischer Eil 'zum Gefechte klar
    Die blanken Geschütze gerichtet!

    Aus dem sichern Hafen hinaus in die See,
    Fürs Vaterland zu sterben
    Dort lauern die gelben teufel auf uns
    Und speien Tod und Verderben!

    Es dröhnt und kracht und donnert und zischt,
    Da trifft es uns zur Stelle;
    Es ward der "Scharnhorst", das treue Schiff,
    Zu einer brennenden Hölle!

    Rings zuckende Leiber und grauser Tod,
    Ein Ächzen, Röcheln und Stöhnen -
    Die flammen um unser schiff
    Wie feuriger Rosse Mähnen!

    Lebt wohl, Kameraden, lebt wohl, hurra!
    Hinab in die gurgelnde Tiefe!
    Wer hätte es gestern noch gedacht,
    Dass er heut 'schon da drunten schliefe!

    Kein Zeichen, kein Kreuz wird, wo wir ruh'n
    Fern von der Heimat, melden -
    Doch das Meer das rauschet auf ewig von uns,
    Von "Scharnhorst" und seinen Helden!

    Rudolf greinz

    The story of one feat of Russian sailors was repeated 39 years later by another feat of German sailors.
    1. Litsvin
      Litsvin 16 February 2016 23: 20

      Upstairs, you comrades, everything is in place!
      The last parade is coming!
      Our proud Scharnhorst doesn’t surrender to the enemy,
      No one wants mercy!

      All pennants curl and chains rattle
      Upward anchors rising.
      Ready to battle guns in a row,
      The sun shines ominously.

      From the marina faithful we go into battle
      Towards death threatening us
      For the motherland in the open sea we die
      Where are the pale-faced devils waiting!

      Whistles and thunders and rumbles around
      Thunder guns, hissing shells,
      And our fearless and proud "Scharnhorst"
      Like hell!

      In death agony tremble body,
      Thunder of guns, and smoke, and moaning,
      And the ship is engulfed in a sea of ​​fire, -
      The minute of farewell came.

      Goodbye, comrades! With God, cheers!
      The boiling sea beneath us!
      We didn’t think, brothers, we were in you yesterday,
      What will die today under the waves!

      Neither a stone nor a cross will say where they lay down
      To the glory of the German flag,
      Only the waves of the sea will glorify for centuries
      The heroic death of Scharnhorst!

      German-Austrian Rudolf Greinz
      (Something like that in a semantic context) smile smile smile

      Human courage is not shared by politics, ideology, culture and other crap. Courage is a universal category.
  14. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 30 December 2015 22: 09
    A very interesting article and comments from colleagues. I believe that the Lords of the Admiralty were also interested in the attack on the Scharnhorst because they really wanted to "work out" the de facto defeated PK-17 convoy. At that time, Germany was no longer able to attack the Soviet Arctic, especially since the Red Army was already accumulating forces for an offensive in the North, the Germans by the beginning of 1944 in the North were only defending themselves.
  15. fan1945
    fan1945 3 January 2016 18: 06
    However! Both the WWII and WWII Germans fought very qualitatively. That IMHO is respected.
    At the same time, I personally have special respect for the crews and commanders of the "Ardent" and
    "Akasta" truly fulfilled their duty to the end ...
    And here a comparison of the last battle of the Novik LKR with the Tsushima LKR in the bay suggests itself
    Aniva, where the commander did not show persistence in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy and prematurely left the battle. And then - "drowned himself." In a hopeless
    position had to be fought to the end. Suddenly the last shot would be as successful / happy as the torpedo hit of the Akasta EM. And let the enemy not be destroyed, but you yourself, perishing, will incapacitate the enemy. Thus, you will help your comrades ... This, IMHO, applies equally to the crew of the Varyag CD.
  16. Nubia2
    Nubia2 12 January 2016 19: 32
    Quote: Nehist
    almost all the ships of the British fleet rushed to the battlefield

    firstly, not all, and secondly, and so what?
  17. makarick
    makarick 20 January 2016 12: 50
    If anyone is interested in the topic. Find the book Secrets of English Intelligence. Author-Donald McLachlan. There the whole chapter is devoted to the hunt for Bismarck. Very interesting.
  18. makarick
    makarick 20 January 2016 12: 52
    I don’t understand. Why did my flag change to shtatovsky?
  19. makarick
    makarick 20 January 2016 12: 55
    The comment disappeared. I am writing again. There is a book. By Donald McLachlan. "Secrets of British Intelligence." There is a whole chapter about the hunt for Bismarck.