By Gordon Williamson
During this, the 1st of a 5 quantity sequence overlaying the capital ships of the German army of global conflict II, Gordon Williamson examines the layout, improvement and operational use of the battleships utilized by the Kriegsmarine. The ‘Schlesien' and ‘Schleswig-Hostein' have been used ordinarily as education ships till the tip of the conflict after they took half in bombardment of Soviet troop routine in East Prussia. The ‘Scharnhorst' had a profitable occupation till her sinking on the conflict of the North Cape, and the ‘Gneisenau' together with her ignominious finish as a block-ship. Bismarck's brief yet excellent profession and Tirpitz's lonely vigil in Norway's far-off Fjords till sunk by means of RAF bombers utilizing the big 'Tallboy' bombs also are coated.
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Extra resources for German Battleships 1939-45 (New Vanguard, Volume 71)
On 5 May Hitler paid a formal visit to his latest battleship and also to her sister, Bismarck, which was also anchored at Gdynia. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, in June 1941, the Germans feared that the Soviet fleet would attempt to break out from its bases into the Baltic. Accordingly, the light cruisers Emden, Leipzig, Köln and Nürnberg, the heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer and, for a short period, the Tirpitz were formed into a ‘Baltic Fleet’ to counter any such eventuality.
Almost 450 of Tirpitz’s crew were either killed or wounded, but despite the number of bomb hits she had suffered, only around one month was required for the repair workers on site to remedy the damage, and Tirpitz was once again ready for trials by the beginning of July. A subsequent British attack shortly afterwards was detected early enough for a fully effective smokescreen to be laid around the ship and no damage was suffered, the attackers being driven off by heavy German anti-aircraft fire.
Scharnhorst also had this improvement carried out in 1942. Both ships sometime in late 1941 or early 1942 also had a FuMO 27 apparatus affixed to the stern rangefinder housing. The FuMB 4 Samos (Funkmessbeobachtungs-Gerät) radar array was also affixed to the foretop housing Heavy work for crewmen of the Scharnhorst as they clean out the bore of one of the main 28cm guns. Boredom was a major problem for crewmembers in their lonely Norwegian outpost. Here we see members of an entertainment troupe performing for the crew on Tirpitz’s quarterdeck.