There is now an explanation of why she sank so suddenly. Scharnhorst German Battle Cruiser of WW2. Having detected a large object on the seabed, she is now the sonar platform for a joint expedition by the BBC, Norwegian Television (NRK) and the Royal Norwegian Navy. “The Sinking of the ‘Scharnhorst’, Wreck discovery”. The layout of the surviving weaponry, like torpedo launchers and gun-turrets, leaves no doubt. The entire bow section remains together as a mass of wreckage and armour, but separated from the main wreck. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Archaeologists at the Norwegian Maritime Museum studied the sonar data and videos made by Statnett to make a positive identification of the shipwreck, Kvalø said. So he decided to withdraw to Norway, and use to the full her speed advantage of five knots. The naval guns of the German World War II cruiser Karlsruhe surprised its discoverers, who thought they were investigating a much smaller shipwreck. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. En route to its regular seabed mapping operations, Sverdrup had already surveyed the area indicated by both the simulator and the Duke of York's logbook. None of the logs of the other ships taking part in the battle give any positions for the sinking, but there is a unique method to check the accuracy of the log position. Scharnhorst was now alone and blind, facing a total of 13 Allied warships, as four additional destroyers had now joined the cruisers. The Karlsruhe had suffered hits from Norwegian artillery during the attack, but it's unclear how badly it was damaged. The exact location of the sunken ship was unknown for almost 80 years. Seen for the first time in almost 60 years, Scharnhorst's hull lies upside down on the seabed. This is a computer driven warship simulator at the Royal Norwegian Navy's Naval Academy in Bergen. Is it a wreck and more importantly, is it the wreck of Scharnhorst? Not a light cruiser. Scharnhorst was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship or battlecruiser, of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.She was the lead ship of her class, which included one other ship, Gneisenau.The ship was built at the Kriegsmarinewerft dockyard in Wilhelmshaven; she was laid down on 15 June 1935 and launched a year and four months later on 3 October 1936. SCHARNHORST TO NORWAY. Something was wrong with the vessel – she was cursed. On 26 December, the British warships were signalled that the 'Admiralty appreciate Scharnhorst is probably at sea'. 'Lucky', that is, until she was sunk by HMS Duke of York. Visit our corporate site. Scharnhorst. The expedition transferred to the Royal Norwegian Navy's Underwater Recovery Ship, Tyr. Seen for the first time in almost 60 years, Scharnhorst's hull lies upside down on the seabed. why so many soldiers survived the trenches, how Pack Up Your Troubles became the viral hit. It is a wreck - but is it Scharnhorst? Jane's Fighting Ships 1940 lists both the Scharnhorst and Bismarck classes as "Battleships (Sch… The underwater survey vessel Sverdrup II, operated by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, was used to scan the sea floor. The discoverers say the shipwreck of the Karlsruhe is lying upright on its keel beneath about 490 meters ( 1600 feet) of seawater near Norway's southern coast. Read more. Aliens on 1,000 nearby stars could see us, new study suggests. The wreck of a German battleship sunk by the Royal Navy in a decisive First World War battle with the loss of more than 800 lives has been located off the Falkland Islands. The headline was changed to avoid the technical term "battleship," which can refer to the very largest warships. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. In September 2000, in an attempt to answer this question, HU Sverdrup II, an underwater research vessel operated by the Norwegian Defence Research Institute, sailed from Hammerfest in arctic Norway. Scharnhorst propellors The plans for replacement was, however, never executed. Shadowing the westbound convoy, and forming the anvil for the attack, was Force One - the cruisers, Belfast, Norfolk and Sheffield. In the Public Record Office in London, the actual navigational log of HMS Duke of York Admiral Fraser's flagship, records an entirely different position for the sinking from that shown in the official Dispatches. With her flared "clipper" bow and an extraordinary top speed of 33 knots, she had been described as one of the most beautiful warships ever built. OSLO, Norway –– The wreck of the German battleship Scharnhorst has been found in arctic waters more than a half-century after it … However Doenitz persuaded Hitler to send the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Tirpitz to arctic Norway to harass Russian-bound convoys. In order to recreate the battle, the Bergen computers were loaded with navigational data from the log of the flagship, along with her documented performance data. Gneisenau was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.She was the second vessel of her class, which included her sister ship, Scharnhorst.The ship was built at the Deutsche Werke dockyard in Kiel; she was laid down on 6 May 1935 and launched on 8 December 1936.Completed in May 1938, the ship was … According to news reports, there was a Nazi swastika symbol on the warship. By [lower-alpha 2] Their adversary, the Royal Navy, rated them as battlecruisers though after the war classified them as battleships. —Mayday! The simulator's computers download a different area for the sinking - an area of the seabed approximately 20 sea-miles north of the position given in Fraser's official Dispatches. German battleship Scharnhorst. However, it could be a geological feature on the seabed. 06-09 March 1943: Operation Paderborn.In favourable weather Scharnhorst succeeds in breaking out and is finally trasferred from Germany to Narvik where she is to join the battleship Tirpitz and the heavy cruiser Lützow (ex-Deutschland).. 09-23 March 1943: Anchored at Bogen Bay near Narvik. Some 55 torpedoes were launched at Scharnhorst, and 11 are believed to have found their target. It was as good as over. All the heavy ships of the German Navy should be reduced to scrap, their guns removed and used for coastal defences. The wreck now lies upright on the seafloor beneath 1,607 feet (490 m) of seawater, about 13 nautical miles (24 kilometers) from the port city of Kristiansand on Norway's southern coast. Photographed through a porthole on the battleship Scharnhorst, during the winter of 1939-40. (Image credit: U.S. It was 570 feet (174 meters) long and could reach a top speed of 32 knots (37 mph or 59 km/h) — quite fast for the time. Of the Scharnhorst's total crew of 1,968 men, only 36 survived. The loss of the Scharnhorst marked the beginning of the end for the era of the big gun.  © Furthermore, no WW2 era German battleships had 9 15 inch guns, the most carried were 8 on the Bismarck and Tirpitz. Fraser then signalled Home Fleet Headquarters 'Scharnhorst sunk'. One of the decisive factors in the identification were the distinctive asymmetrical aft gun turrets of the Karlsruhe, which can be seen on the wreck, he said. However, her escape bid was foiled when one of her boiler rooms took a direct hit, slowing her dramatically. Its auxiliary battery consisted of twelve 15 cm L/55 guns, sixteen 3.7 cm SK C/30 L/83, and fourteen 10.5 cm L/65. Scharnhorst was now alone and blind, facing a total of 13 Allied warships... Scharnhorst made a second attempt to attack the convoy, and this time it was she who inflicted damage on HMS Norfolk. and a destroyer replied that she has already picked up survivors. New York, Scharnhorst, a 13,000-ton armoured cruiser, was the flagship of the German imperial navy’s east Asia raiding squadron, commanded by Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee and based in China. Read more. SMS Scharnhorst was the flagship of Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee's East Asia Squadron. The wreck of a German warship torpedoed and sunk by a British submarine in 1940 has been discovered in deep water off the North Sea coast of southern Norway.  © Mayday! The Scharnhorst had disappeared when HMS Belfast attempted to deliver its second torpedo attack. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. Two days later, the German flotilla intercepted the British auxiliary cruiser … This was confirmed at Bletchley Park, which had cracked the German Navy 'Enigma' code, and was listening into German radio traffic. One of those destroyers was the Royal Norwegian Navy's destroyer Stord. Bowes, Claire (26 December 2011). The sinking of the Scharnhorst was an enormous psychological blow for the German nation, at the height of World War Two. Adolf Hitler was very proud of the Scharnhorst, a war ship carefully built to defeat Allied navies. The wreck has recently been discovered on the sea bed, giving us new information about a gripping tale of war. It was this loss which must have roused the Nazi government to desperation. Almost 60 years later, a Norwegian underwater survey vessel searched the 25 square kilometres of the seabed surrounding that official position. Nevertheless, the Scharnhorst could take a lot of damage and still come up victorious. For comprehensive pictorial coverage of Scharnhorst, see: The massive battleship, which was 234.9 m (771 ft) long, was indeed a … BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Seven hours later, at the climax of the re-fought battle, the virtual Scharnhorst is sunk. In his official Dispatches, Admiral Fraser stated that 'no ship saw the enemy sink' but, regardless of this, he proceeded to record an official position for that sinking. From the look of it. The SMS Scharnhorst has been located off the Falkland Islands. The German cruiser Karlsruhe was launched in 1927 and was equipped with nine 15-centimeter guns. Her main mast and her rangefinders are the right way up on the seabed some distance away. Related: Photos: Explore a WWII shipwreck in virtual reality. The Scharnhorst, the flagship of Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee’s East Asia Squadron, was sunk in December 1914 during the Battle of the Falkland Islands, a crucial naval battle […] Germany was forbidden to even commission battleships at the time. The Karlsruhe was severely damaged by torpedoes, but the discoverers report that it is surprisingly well-preserved in the deep water. The Battle of the North Cape was a Second World War naval battle which occurred on 26 December 1943, as part of the Arctic campaign.German battleship Scharnhorst, on an operation to attack Arctic Convoys of war materiel from the Western Allies to the Soviet Union, was brought to battle and sunk by the Royal Navy – the battleship HMS Duke of York with … 1,519 men were lost from the three ships. By Norman Fenton The simulator transforms itself into the bridge of HMS Duke of York as it was at noon on 26 December 1943. For other ships of the same name, see Scharnhorst. The Karlsruhe was the flagship of an attack group on the port city of Kristiansand during the German invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940. "Apart from the bow, which blew up when the last German torpedo hit the ammunition storage, the ship is practically intact," he said. According to Wiki*, the Scharnhorst was sunk on 26 December 1943 to the extreme north of Norway in the Battle of the North Cape, so the location of it's wreck … Scharnhorst's loss was an enormous psychological blow to the German nation. However, the wreck wasn't found. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Norway's electric grid operator Statnett located the shipwreck near its underwater power cables on sonar scans of the seafloor in 2017, according to a Statnett statement. The Tirpitz was a wreck, only kept afloat by the constant attention of a salvage ship; the Gneisenau was … Thank you for signing up to Live Science. The wreck was positively identified b… In this wartime painting, flares illuminate the night sky on the day after Christmas 1943, as elements of the British Royal Navy led by the battleship Duke of York surround and overwhelm the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst, sending her to a watery grave in what came to be known as the Battle of the North Cape. Last updated 2011-02-17. It could have been you.'. The British sinking of the Scharnhorst on Boxing Day in 1943 was for Germans one of the psychological turning points of the war. Well on the way to escaping, she signalled Doenitz: 'Scharnhorst will ever reign supreme'. "The ship was an important actor at a crucial time of Norwegian modern history," Kvalø told Live Science in an email. According to the Reuters news agency, Norwegian broadcasters also reported that the underwater images taken by the ROV included a medallion on the warship decorated with a Nazi swastika symbol. Naval Historical Center). Enigma: The Battle for the Code by Hugh Sebag-Montifiore (2000-01), The Death of the Scharnhorst by John Winton (1983), Scharnhorst and Gneisenau: The Elusive Sisters by Richard Garrett (1978), Very Special Intelligence: The Story of the Admiralty's Operational Intelligence Centre - 1939-45 by Patrick Beesly (1977), The Loss of the 'Scharnhorst' by A J Watts (1970), The Russian Convoys by BB Schofield (1964), Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days by Gross-Admiral Karl Doenitz (1959), The Drama of the 'Scharnhorst': A Factual Account from the German Viewpoint by Corvette-Captain Fitz-Otto Busch (1956), Hitler and His Admirals by Anthony Martienssen (1948). The discoverers say the shipwreck of the Karlsruhe is lying upright on its keel beneath about 490 metres ( 1600 feet) of seawater near Norway's southern coast. 'Grand. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Scientists and technologists used all of their expertise to plan building the battleship… A total of 55 torpedoes are fired at Scharnhorst, and 11 found their target. Battlecruiser Gneisenau is at left, with Scharnhorst in the left middle distance and heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper in right centre. To preserve his speed advantage, Bey released his slower destroyer escorts to make their own way back to Norway. Unknown to the German command, the convoy’s British escort, led by Admiral Sir Robert Burnett and Admiral Bruce Fraser, had successfully intercepted the Scharnhorst’s radio communications. Please revise your article in both headline and content. At this time, the exact position for HMS Duke of York is precisely recorded in her navigational log. "Most big warships in deep waters have turned [over] on the way down to the seabed because of their large superstructure, but the Karlsruhe has gone straight down and is resting on its keel.". The Sinking of the Scharnhorst: A Factual Account From the German Viewpoint; Siegfried Breyer – Die Schlachtschiffe der Scharnhorst-Klasse. Her conning tower was … Well done.' 17 mysterious shipwrecks you can see on Google Earth. Something must be done at all costs to check the flow of supplies to her, before something should happen to the Scharnhorst as well. Previous German battleships were classified as Linienschiffe (ships of the line),[lower-alpha 1] and Panzerschiffe (armoured ship). On board HMS Duke of York, Admiral Fraser ceased firing, and ordered his combined forces to attack with torpedoes. —10 epic battles that changed history By Stephen Sherman, June, 2011.Updated March 21, 2012. The total dimensions are consistent with those of the battle cruiser. But 'Lucky' Scharnhorst still had her greatest weapon - speed. There was a problem. Tom Metcalfe - Live Science Contributor On 19 December 1943, during a conference held in Hitler's Wolfsschanze headquarters, Admiral Doenitz informed the Fuhrer that 'Scharnhorst will attack the next allied convoy headed from England to Russia.' T he wreck of a First World War German battlecruiser sunk by the Royal Navy in 1914 has been found off the coast of the Falkland Islands.. She was laid down in June 1935, launched on 3rd October 1936, and completed in January 1939 at the Kriegsmarinewerft dockyard, Wilhelmshaven. Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct a statement that said Karlsruhe was was equipped with nine 15-inch guns. In 1943 the Allies rewarded Hitler for his shortsighted order, [1] which had been responsible not only for the U-boat losses whose … Producer Norman Fenton's interest in locating the Scharnhorst resulted from his successful search in the Arctic for the wreck of the Hull trawler Gaul, during a television investigation into the use of trawlers to spy on the Soviet Union's Northern Fleet. The commander of Scharnhorst broadcast to his crew that 'I shake you all by the hand for the last time'. However, would a search of this new area of seabed be any more fruitful? Scharnhorst presented an imposing silhouette, with three triple turrets, a heavy bridge superstructure, and a single large stack. German battleships Scharnhorst (left) and Gneisenau In a German port, circa 1939-41. Scharnhorst wreck 11 September 2020. A simple wikipedia check shows that the headline is wrong: the Karlsruhe was a light cruiser, not a battleship. John Hale was on board the cruiser Jamaica when Scharnhorst sank: 'We were all of the same mind. © In the sea north of Tromsø in Norway, the great German battleship Scharnhorst was on a mission to sink an Allied supply convoy bound for Russia. It also had ten 2cm … You will receive a verification email shortly. Admiral Fraser signalled: 'Has Scharnhorst sunk?' Aboard the 14-inch gun battleship, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, commanding the Home Fleet, suspected a sortie by Scharnhorst might be in the wind, and he made plans accordingly. The history of Adolph Hitler’s vanity and delight, the Scharnhorst, first appeared to be cursed when she was being constructed. "Lucky Scharnhorst", as she was known in Germany, was a focus for national pride. The vessel has been discovered almost 105 years to the day after it sank, on 8 December 1914 during the Battle of the Falkland Islands. SMS Scharnhorst was the flagship of German Vice-Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee's East Asia Squadron. They were the first class of German ships to be officially classified by the Kriegsmarine as Schlachtschiff (battleship). After locating a large submerged object, the research team then used the Royal Norwegian Navy's underwater recovery vessel HNoMS Tyrto examine the object visually. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. The British ships could only hope to shadow her at ever-increasing distances, rather than pursue her. Scharnhorst's wreck was located and photographed by a Norwegian Navy underwater exploration group in the year 2000. In 1940, off Norway, the Scharnhorst and her sister-ship Gneisenau sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her escort destroyers Acasta and Ardent. In September 2000, a joint expedition to find the sunken battleship conducted by the BBC, NRK, and the Royal Norwegian Navy began. L ike the Royal Navy's ill-fated Hood, the Scharnhorst was technically a battle-cruiser, but is generally called a battleship. Our hearts have mellowed now, but in wartime those hearts are hardened. The vessel's multibeam sonar produces an image of two objects, one 170m long, the other 70m long, and positioned at an angle to the first. The ROV, which was tethered to the offshore support ship Olympic Taurus, sent back detailed images that suggested the wreck was that of the German cruiser Karlsruhe. The Royal Navy knew that the Scharnhorst was on her way, because members of the Norwegian Resistance had radioed that she had sailed. “How Germany’s feared Scharnhorst ship was sunk in WWII”. A gale was blowing from the south-west with snow squalls and bitter cold, but the German ships were able to make 25kt to the north. It's the ships you're after - not the men. Equally important to the Allied war effort, the routes of the Murmansk convoys were now much more secure. Admiral Bey, on board the Scharnhorst, had orders from Doenitz to withdraw 'if heavy forces encountered'. I shake you all by the hand for the last time. HMS Duke of York fired 80 broadsides; and the Allied ships fired a total of 2,195 shells during the engagement. The intent of the operation was to draw out British units and ease the pressure on the heavy cruiser ("pocket battleship") Admiral Graf Spee, which was being pursued in the South Atlantic. We must help'. The battlecruiser was a symbol of Germany's global reach. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, She signalled: 'To the Fuhrer. From now till the sinking of Scharnhorst, the simulator will reproduce every movement of HMS Duke of York. It added to the galloping sense of defeat stoked up by German losses on the Eastern front. Editor’s note: The following is extracted from Defeat At Sea: The Struggle and Eventual Destruction of the German Navy, 1939-1945, by C. D. Bekker (published 1955).. See also: The Sinking of the Scharnhorst: A British Perspective. Remembering the incident, Rex Chard, Navigating Officer on one of the destroyers, remarked, 'in sea-warfare one is always very sorry for the sailors. NY 10036. As is her entire poop deck, with the stern anchor still in place. His previous film for the BBC, The Other Lockerbie, reported on the shoot-down - by the American missile-cruiser USS Vincennes - of an Iranian airliner and its 290 civilian passengers. For the radar-less Scharnhorst, a ten-gun broadside from the Duke of York announced the arrival of Force Two. German Battleships 1939–45. The sinking of the Scharnhorst was an enormous psychological blow for the German nation, at the height of World War Two. However, she was unaware that three British cruisers were approaching from the east. The Russian offensive was rolling along unchecked. Related: 24 underwater drones — The boom in robotics beneath the waves, "When the ROV results showed us a ship that was torpedoed, we realized it was from the war," said project engineer Ole Petter Hobberstad. 'Lucky' Scharnhorst, as she was known in Germany, was a focus for national pride. The ship was armed with 11 inch C/34 guns in triple turrets on its main battery, with plans of replacing the guns with six 15 inch SK C/34 guns. —The 20 most mysterious shipwrecks ever A massive internal explosion - probably in an ammunition magazine below a forward gun turret, had blown off her bow. Although there were 38 survivors, none had been picked up by the German warships. Many of those had been ordered to abandon ship, but were left behind in the water when the Allied ships quickly departed the area. replied the Admiralty. The hammer was Force Two - the battleship Duke of York, the cruiser Jamaica, and four destroyers, which were approaching from the west. We had to win. A virtual Battle of North Cape could now be fought. BBC Fenton, Norman (17 February 2011). When they opened fire, Scharnhorst was taken totally by surprise, and a shell from HMS Norfolk destroyed the Scharnhorst's radar. However, an attack by British midget submarines badly damaged the Tirpitz, leaving the Scharnhorst to operate alone. He had drilled his force in night tactics, and on the 24th even rehearsed an attack on Scharnhorst with Jamaica playing the role of the German warship. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. What's behind the mysterious, earth-shaking boom of the 'Seneca Guns'. It then left Kristiansand later that day, bound for Germany; along the way, it was hit by torpedoes from the British submarine Truant, which blasted large holes in the hull. The capabilities of the warship proved significant during the attack, according to archaeologist Frode Kvalø of the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Oslo. In future, aircraft-carriers would dictate the outcome of major naval engagements. It was their ship, their pride and joy, and after the Home Fleet had finished with her, she was at the bottom of the Barents Sea.'. 17 mysterious shipwrecks you can see on Google Earth, Porn is the top source of 'sex education' for young adults, Chinese researchers to send an 'uncrackable' quantum message to space, Apollo 15 landing site is strikingly clear in image captured from Earth, South African coronavirus variant: All your questions answered. Karlsruhe was a cadet training ship in the 1930 and was part of German patrols off the coast of Spain during the Spanish Civil War from 1936. 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