Naval History Homepage and Site Search

 

CAMPAIGN SUMMARIES OF WORLD WAR 2

NORWAY

including the NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN 1940

HM S/M Oxley, lost September 1939 (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Campaigns of World War 2

 
 

Each Summary is complete in its own right. The same information may therefore be found in a number of related summaries

(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 
 

 
 

1939

 

SEPTEMBER 1939

British Home Fleet submarines on patrol off southwest Norway suffered their first casualty in tragic circumstances. "OXLEY" was torpedoed in error by "Triton" and went down off Obrestad on the 10th.

NOVEMBER 1939

Russo-Finnish War - Negotiations on border changes and control of islands in the Gulf of Finland broke down and Russia invaded on the 30th. The war dragged on to March 1940 with fatal consequences for Norway.

Merchant Shipping War - The first HN/ON convoys sailed between the Firth of Forth and Norway in November covered by the Home Fleet. The convoys were discontinued in April 1940.

 

 

1940

JANUARY 1940

Western Europe - German plans for a Western offensive (Operation 'Gelb') were postponed. Planning went ahead for the invasion of Norway under codename 'Weserubung'.

FEBRUARY 1940

The “Altmark” Incident - "Altmark" was “Graf Spee's” supply ship with Merchant Navy prisoners aboard. She took refuge in Jossingfiord, within Norwegian territorial waters. On the evening of the 16th, destroyer “Cossack” (Capt Vian) went alongside with a boarding party and after a short struggle released the prisoners.

Russo-Finnish War - Britain and France plan to send aid to Finland. This would allow them to occupy Narvik in northern Norway and cut back Swedish iron ore supplies to Germany.

MARCH 1940

Battle of the Atlantic - There was a lull in the Battle of the Atlantic as U-boats were withdrawn for the Norwegian campaign, and before surface raiders started operations and long-range aircraft and U-boats emerged from bases in France and Norway.

Russo-Finnish War - Conclusion - A peace treaty on the 13th brought the war to a close, with Finland ceding the disputed territory to the Soviet Union.

Norway - Later in the month, and in spite of abandoning plans to help Finland, Britain and France decided to disrupt Swedish iron ore traffic to Germany by mining Norwegian waters (Operation 'Wilfred'). Plans were also made to land troops in Norway, from south to north, at Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Narvik to forestall any German retaliation (Operation 'R4). The entire operation was timed for 8th April.

APRIL 1940

“U-50” on patrol off the Shetlands in support of the Norwegian invasion, was sunk by destroyer “Hero” on the 10th.

Faeroe Islands - On the 13th April, following the German invasion of Norway, an advance guard of Royal Marines was landed on the Faeroe Islands, northwest of the Shetland Islands with the eventual agreement of the Danish Governor.

Norwegian Campaign

3rd - The first German troop transports sailed for Norway.

7th - German covering and troop carrying warships headed for Norway

8th - Operation 'Wilfred' - Royal Navy destroyers laid simulated and real minefields at three points off the Norwegian coast between Stadtlandet and Bodo. Battlecruiser “Renown” and other destroyers provided cover. One of the screen, “GLOWWORM” (Lt-Cdr Roope) was detached to search for a man overboard just as 8in-gunned cruiser “Admiral Hipper” headed into Trondheim. They met to the northwest of the port and the destroyer was soon sunk, but not before she rammed and damaged “Hipper”. + Lt-Cdr Gerard Roope RN was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

7th-8th - In response to reported German movements, units of the Home Fleet including “Rodney”, “Valiant”, “Repulse”, four cruisers and 14 destroyers sailed from Scapa Flow and Rosyth. Accompanying them was a French cruiser and two destroyers. Two more British cruisers and nine destroyers left other duties and headed for Norwegian waters. Next day, on the 8th, they were joined by the four troop-carrying cruisers of Operation 'R4', but after the soldiers had been disembarked back in Britain. More than 20 submarines, including three French and one Polish took up positions.

9th - Germany invaded Denmark and Norway (Operation 'Weserubung'): Copenhagen was soon occupied and DENMARK surrendered. In Norway, troops landed at Oslo, Kristiansand and Bergen in the south, Trondheim in the centre and Narvik in the north. The southern forces and those from Trondheim pushed inland and joined up by the end of the month. They then moved north to relieve Narvik, which was isolated by the Allies soon after the first German landings.

German Navy forces included a pocket battleship, six cruisers and 14 destroyers for the landings at the five Norwegian ports, with battlecruisers “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” covering the two most northerly landings. Thirty U-boats patrolled off Norway and British bases, but throughout the campaign they suffered from major torpedo defects.

Early in the morning of the 9th, battlecruiser “Renown” was in action with the two German battlecruisers to the west of Vestfiord. “Gneisenau” was damaged and “Renown” slightly. The Germans withdrew. As “Renown” was in action, German occupation forces heading for Oslo came under heavy fire from Norwegian coastal defences. Shore-sited guns and torpedoes in Oslo Fiord sank heavy cruiser “BLUCHER”. A Home Fleet cruiser force was detached to attack the German warships in Bergen, but ordered to withdraw. They come under continuous air attack and destroyer “GURKHA” was bombed and sunk southwest of Bergen. That evening, German cruiser “KARLSRUHE” left Kristiansand and was torpedoed by submarine “Truant”. She was scuttled next day.

10th - First Battle of Narvik - The 2nd Destroyer Flotilla (Capt. Warburton-Lee) with “Hardy”, “Havock”, “Hostile”, “Hotspur” and “Hunter”, entered Ofotfiord to attack the German ships assigned to the occupation of Narvik. These included 10 large destroyers. Several transports were sunk together with destroyers “ANTON SCHMITT” (AS) and “WILHELM HEIDKAMP” (WM) in Narvik Bay. Other German destroyers were damaged, but as the British 2nd Flotilla retired, “HARDY” was beached, “HUNTER” sunk and “Hotspur” badly damaged by the remaining German ships . + Capt Bernard Warburton-Lee RN was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

By the 10th, the British Home Fleet was reinforced by battleship “Warspite” and carrier “Furious”. On the same day submarine “THISTLE” on patrol off Utsira failed in an attack on “U-4”. Shortly after she was sunk by the same U-boat. Fleet Air Arm Skua dive-bomber’s of 800 and 803 Squadrons flying from the Orkney Islands sank German cruiser "KOENIGSBERG" at her moorings in Bergen. She was damaged earlier by shore batteries in the landings. This was the first major warship sunk by air attack.

11th - Returning from the Oslo landings, German pocket battleship “Lutzow” was torpedoed and badly damaged by submarine “Spearfish” in the Skagerrak. Cruiser “Penelope” on her way into Narvik was damaged running aground in Vestfiord.

13th - Second Battle of Narvik - Battleship “Warspite” and nine destroyers were sent into the Narvik fiords to finish off the remaining German ships. Submarine “U-64” was surprised and sunk by “Warspite's” Swordfish catapult aircraft as it scouted ahead. The eight surviving German destroyers – “BERND VON ARNIM” (BA), “DIETHER VON ROEDER” (DR), “ERICH GIESE” (EG), “ERICH KOELNNER” (EK), “GEORG THIELE” (GT), “HANS LUDEMANN” (HL), “HERMANN KUNNE” (HK) and “WOLFGANG ZENKER” (WZ) were all destroyed or scuttled. The British “Eskimo” and “Cossack” were damaged. By the 13th, the first British troop convoys had left the Scottish Clyde for Narvik, but some ships were diverted to Namsos. German forces were well-established in the south and centre of Norway and had control of the air.

14th - Submarine “TARPON” on patrol off southern Norway was sunk by German minesweeper “M-6”. German gunnery training ship “BRUMMER” was torpedoed and sunk by submarine “Sterlet”.

14th-16th - The first Allied landings took place between the 14th and 16th. In the north, British troops occupied Harstad in preparation for an attack on Narvik. They were reinforced by French and Polish units through into May. Royal Marines led British and French troops into Namsos ready for an attack south towards Trondheim. The British went ashore in the Andalsnes area to try to hold central Norway with the Norwegian Army. Neither of these operations proved possible and on the 27th April the decision was taken to pull out of central Norway.

15th - As the Harstad-bound troopships approached their destination, escorting destroyers “Brazen” and “Fearless” located and sank “U-49”. Southwest of Stavanger, “U-1” went to the bottom after striking a mine.

17th - Heavy cruiser “Suffolk” bombarded installations at Stavanger, but on her return was badly damaged by Ju-88 bombers and barely made Scapa Flow with her stern awash.

18th - Four days after sinking the “Brummer”, “STERLET” was presumed sunk in the Skagerrak by German anti-submarine trawlers

24th - After four days continuous AA duty off Andalsnes, cruiser “Curacoa” was badly damaged by bombs. Carrier “Glorious” flew off obsolescent Gladiator biplanes for shore operations.

27th - Allied plans to attack towards Trondheim and hold central Norway proved impossible. The decision was taken to pull out of central Norway and the evacuation of Andalsnes and Namsos got under way.

30th - Sloop “BITTERN” was sunk by Ju-87 dive-bombers off Namsos.

MAY 1940

Norwegian Campaign - continued

2nd/3rd - In three days and nights the last 10,000 British and French troops were evacuated from Namsos and around Andalsnes following the failure to attack towards Trondheim and hold central Norway. Other troops were later landed further north, including at Bodo in an attempt to block the German advance from Trondheim towards Narvik. The Allies continued to build up forces for the attack on Narvik. + Lt-Cdr Richard Stannard RNR, commanding officer of HM trawler Arab of the 15th Anti-Submarine Striking Force, was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry under air attack during operations off Namsos.

3rd - Retiring northwest from Namsos, destroyers “AFRIDI” and the French “BISON” were sunk by Ju-87 Stuka dive-bombers.

4th - As preparations continued in northern Norway for the attack on Narvik, Polish destroyer “GROM” was bombed and sunk.

5th - Submarine “SEAL” successfully laid mines in the southern Kattegat on the 4th before being damaged by a German mine. Trying to make for neutral Sweden on the surface, she was attacked and captured off The Skaw by German air and sea patrols.

17th - Cruiser “EFFINGHAM” ran aground on an uncharted rock in Vestfiord carrying troops to Bodo to help block the German advance on Narvik. She was later torpedoed and abandoned.

23rd - By now carriers “Furious” and “Glorious” had flown ashore the first modern RAF fighters.

24th - The Allies decided to pull out of Norway altogether, but not before Narvik was captured and the port installations destroyed.

26th - During the attack on Narvik, AA cruiser “CURLEW” was bombed and sunk in nearby Lavang Fjord.

28th - Two days after the loss of sister ship “Curlew”, “Cairo” was badly damaged off the town of Narvik just as French and Polish troops completed its capture. The Norwegian Campaign shortly drew to a close.

Britain - Following a 10th May House of Commons debate on the Norwegian campaign, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned and Winston Churchill assumed leadership. Albert V. Alexander succeeded him as First Lord of the Admiralty. The planned attack on Narvik would still go ahead, but that same day the German Blitzkrieg on Holland, Belgium and France was launched.

JUNE 1940

Battle of the Atlantic - The Allied loss of Norway brought German warships and U-boats many hundreds of miles closer to the Atlantic convoy routes and in time within close range of the Russian convoys that followed the June 1941 German invasion. Britain's blockade line from the Orkneys to southern Norway was simply outflanked. Within a matter of days the first U-boats were sailing from the Norwegian port of Bergen.

4th-8th - Norwegian Campaign - It's Conclusion ...... Following the capture of Narvik, Allied forces totalling 25,000 men were evacuated in four days from northern Norway, by which time King Haakon VII and his Government were on their way to Britain aboard heavy cruiser “Devonshire”.

8th - At the end of the evacuation, fleet carrier “GLORIOUS” and escorting destroyers “ACASTA” and “ARDENT” sailed for Britain independently of the other withdrawing forces. West of Lofoten Islands they met the 11in gun battlecruisers “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” sailing to attack suspected Allied shipping off Harstad. The British ships were soon overwhelmed and sunk, but not before “Acasta” hit “Scharnhorst” with a torpedo. Few of the Royal Navy crews survived.

Allied submarines working with the Royal Navy continued to play a part in operations off Norway and had their share of losses. On the last day of the campaign the Polish “ORZEL” on passage to her patrol area and made famous after escaping from invaded Poland, was presumed mined. Another Allied boat was lost twelve days later.

9th-20th ..... and Immediate Aftermath - The surviving Norwegian troops surrendered to the German Army and the Norwegian Campaign was over. NORWAY and its people were not liberated until after the German surrender in May 1945. During that time, many Norwegians escape to fight with the Allies, resistance movements grew in effectiveness, and large German forces were held down there at Hitler’s command in case the Allies invaded. Naval losses on both sides were heavy, and in the case of the Germans included damage to battlecruiser "Scharnhorst" (followed shortly by "Gneisenau") and pocket battleship "Lutzow".

Warship types

Royal Navy

Allied Navies

German Navy

Carriers

1

-

-

Cruisers

2

-

3

Destroyers 

7

2

10

Submarines 

4

1

4

Totals 

14 

17 

13th - Five days after the sinking of “Glorious”, aircraft from “Ark Royal” attacked the damaged “Scharnhorst” in Trondheim but to little effect.

20th - Dutch submarine “O-13” also on passage to her Norwegian patrol area was torpedoed in error by Polish “Wilk”. More recent research suggests she was more likely sunk 13 June 1940 in a German minefield in 56-55N, -03-40E.

20th - As the damaged battlecruiser “Scharnhorst” headed for Germany, “Gneisenau” feinted towards Iceland. West of Trondheim she was torpedoed and damaged by British submarine “Clyde”. Both battlecruisers were out of action during the critical phases of the Battle for Britain until the end of the year.

German Warships - By now, of the 23 surface ships of destroyer size and above that took part in the invasion of Norway, 17 had been sunk or damaged.

JULY 1940

British Home Fleet submarines carried out patrols off the coast of southwest Norway, but with heavy losses in July. Late on the 5th, "SHARK" was badly damaged by German aircraft and next morning on the 6th scuttled off Skudenses.

As the damaged "Gneisenau" made for Germany from Norway, submarine "Swordfish" carried out an attack on the 26th and sank escorting torpedo boat "LUCHS".

AUGUST 1940

Submarine "NARWHAL" was paid off on the 1st. After leaving the English east coast Humber Estuary on 22nd July for a minelaying mission off Norway, she failed to return.

OCTOBER 1940

Battle of the Atlantic - Focke-Wulf Kondor bombers continued to range the waters off Ireland. The Luftwaffe's long-range aircraft were now flying from bases in Norway as well as France.

 

1941

MARCH 1941

Lofoten Islands Raid - A successful Combined Operations commando raid was carried out on the Lofoten Islands, off northwest Norway with installations destroyed and shipping sunk. Escort was provided by destroyers and cover by units of the Home Fleet. In the raid, spare rotors for German Enigma coding machines were found - another piece in the British Ultra code-breaking puzzle.

APRIL 1941

German Aircraft Attacks - In April 1941, aircraft sank 116 ships of 323,000 tons, the highest rate for any month of the whole war. This were partly due to the long-range aircraft operating off Ireland from bases in France and Norway.

MAY 1941

Hunt for the "Bismarck" - On the 18th new German 15in battleship "Bismarck" and heavy cruiser "Prinz Eugen" sailed from Gdynia in the Baltic for the Atlantic. On the evening of the 21st they were sighted in a fiord south of Bergen, Norway. Next day they were reported at sea. Within a matter of days British battlecruiser "Hood" as well as "Bismarck" had been destroyed

JUNE 1941

Pocket battleship "Lutzow" attempted to break out into the Atlantic. Attacked on the 13th off the Norwegian coast by an RAF Beaufort, she was hit by one torpedo and only just made it back to Germany.

Russian Convoys (map above) - The invasion of Russia soon led to the introduction of the Russian or Arctic convoys with their dreadful conditions and after some months had elapsed, high losses in men and ships. However, the Royal Navy's presence in the Arctic was first made known in August when submarines started operating, with some success, against German shipping supporting the Axis attack from Norway towards Murmansk. The port was never captured. Conditions with the Russian convoys were at the very least difficult. Both summer and winter routes were close to good German bases in Norway from which U-boats, aircraft and surface ships could operate.

DECEMBER 1941

Lofoten & Vaagso Raids - Separate commando raids took place in northern Norway on the Lofoten Islands and further south on Vaagso Island. The aim was to destroy installations and sank and capture shipping. The first force was led by cruiser “Arethusa” with limited results. The second with cruiser “Kenya” was more successful.

 

1942

FEBRUARY 1942

German Surface Warships - Pocket battleship "Admiral Scheer" and heavy cruiser "Prinz Eugen" sailed to join "Tirpitz" in Norway. Off Trondheim on the 23rd, submarine "Trident" torpedoed and heavily damaged "Prinz Eugen"

MARCH 1942

German Surface Warships - By now German battleship "Tirpitz", the ship that dictated Royal Navy policies in northern waters for so long, had been joined in Norway by pocket battleship "Admiral Scheer".

MAY 1942

German Surface Warships - In addition to aircraft and U-boats, the Germans now had "Tirpitz", "Admiral Scheer", "Lutzow", "Hipper" and nearly a dozen big destroyers at Narvik and Trondheim, Norway. With by now continuous daylight throughout the journey, the Admiralty pressed for the Russian convoys to be discontinued until the days shorten. For political reasons they went ahead.

JULY 1942

Destruction of Russian Convoy PQ17 - The British Admiralty believed the Germans were concentrating their heavy ships in northern Norway. In fact pocket battleship "Lutzow" had run aground off Narvik, but this still left battleship "Tirpitz", pocket battleship "Admiral Scheer" and heavy cruiser "Admiral Hipper" - all formidable adversaries, which reached Altenfiord on the 3rd. Sailing on the 5th, they did not took part in any of the convoy sinkings.

SEPTEMBER 1942

Russian Convoy PQ18 and Return QP14 - Submarines patrolled off the Norwegian Lofoten Islands and northern Norway.

OCTOBER 1942

Attack on "Tirpitz" - The German battleship posed such a threat to Russian convoys and held down so much of Home Fleet's strength that almost any measures to immobilise her were justified. One gallant attempt was made in October 1942 when a small Norwegian fishing vessel "Arthur", penetrated to within a few miles of the battleship in Trondheimfiord with Chariot human torpedoes slung underneath. Just short of the target they broke away and the operation failed.

DECEMBER 1942

Battle of the Barents Sea & Russian Convoys JW51A and JW51B - By now "Tirpitz", pocket battleship "Lutzow", heavy cruiser "Admiral Hipper", light cruisers "Koln" and "Nurnberg" and a number of 5in and 5.9in gun destroyers were in Norwegian waters. The Admiralty assumed they were for attacks on Russian convoys. In fact, they were in Norway because of Hitler's invasion fears.

 

1943

FEBRUARY 1943

"U"-class submarine "UREDD" of the Royal Norwegian Navy was sunk off Norway on the 24th.

APRIL 1943

Submarine "Tuna" on Norwegian Arctic patrol sank "U-644" northwest of Narvik, Norway on the 7th.

JUNE 1943

Northern Transit Area - In the waters through which Norwegian-based U-boats had to sail for their patrol areas, two submarines were sunk. Submarine "Truculent" on anti-U-boat patrol between Norway and Iceland sank "U-308" north of the Faeroe Islands on the 4th. A RAF Fortress accounted for "U-417" in the same northern transit area on the 11th.

JULY 1943

After six months effort the bombing campaign against U-boat bases claimed its first success on the 24th when "U-622" was badly damaged in a USAAF raid on Trondheim, Norway and paid off.

SEPTEMBER 1943

Attack on "Tirpitz" - Now it was the turn of midget submarines to attack battleship "Tirpitz". These were the X-craft each with two 2-ton saddle charges. Six left for northern Norway towed by 'S' or 'T' class submarines. Two were lost on passage, but on the 20th off Altenfiord, "X-5", "X-6" and "X-7" set out to attack "Tirpitz" and "X-10" for the "Scharnhorst". "X-5" was lost and "X-10" was unable to attack, but "X-6" (Lt Cameron) and "X-7" (Lt Place) penetrated the defences to reach "Tirpitz" laying in Kaafiord at the far end of Altenfiord. Both dropped their charges under or near the battleship before they sank and some of their crews escaped. "Tirpitz" managed to shift her position slightly, but not enough to avoid damage when the charges went up. She was out of action for six months. Lt Donald Cameron RNR and Lt Basil Place RN were awarded the Victoria Cross.

OCTOBER 1943

Attacks on Shipping - Covered by battleships "Anson" and "Duke of York" and other units of the Home Fleet, US carrier "Ranger" launched air attacks against shipping off Bodo, northern Norway on the 4th. Four ships were sunk and others damaged.

 

1944

FEBRUARY 1944

Norway - Norwegian resistance fighters sank a cargo of heavy water bound for Germany for nuclear research.

MARCH 1944

British submarine "SYRTIS" was lost on Norwegian patrol. After sinking a small ship off Bodo a few days before, she was sunk in the minefields flanking the port on the 28th.

APRIL 1944

Attack on "Tirpitz"- The damage inflicted by midget submarines on "Tirpitz" in September 1943 was nearly repaired and the Admiralty decided to launch a Fleet Air Arm attack. On the 30th March, Adm Fraser left Scapa Flow with battleships "Duke of York" and "Anson", fleet carriers "Victorious" and the old "Furious", escort carriers "Emperor", "Fencer", "Pursuer" and "Searcher", cruisers and destroyers, split into two forces, and headed north, partly to cover Russian Convoy JW58. By the 2nd the two forces had joined up 120 miles off Altenfiord and early next morning on the 3rd, two waves each of 20 Barracuda bombers with fighter cover surprised "Tirpitz" at anchor. A total of 14 hits were made, but the damage was not serious. However, the battleship was out of action for another three months. Home Fleet was back in Scapa on the 6th. A similar operation was attempted later in the month, but bad weather prevented any attacks. Instead, a German convoy was found in the area and three ships sunk. The weather again saved "Tirpitz" from two sorties in May 1944, but the fleet and escort carrier aircraft did manage to sink several more merchant ships at these and other times during the month.

Norwegian submarine "Ula" working with the Home Fleet flotillas and on patrol off Stavanger, SW Norway sank "U-974" on the 19th.

MAY 1944

Russian Convoys - Return Russian convoy RA59 was attacked by U-boats to the northwest of Norway. One ship was lost, but in return the Swordfish of 842 Squadron from "Fencer" sank three with depth charges - "U-277" on the 1st and "U-674" and "U-959" next day.

Battle of the Atlantic - RAF Coastal Command and one of its Norwegian squadrons were particularly successful between the 16th and 27th against the U-boats passing through the Northern Transit Area off south and west Norway. In the space of 12 days, "U-240", "U-241", "U-476", "U-675", "U-990" and "U-292" were sunk.

JUNE 1944

Battle of the Atlantic - U-boats continued to suffer badly at the hands of the aircraft of the Northern Transit Area patrol. Throughout the month, seven were sunk and one severely damaged by RAF, RCAF and Norwegian aircraft.

AUGUST 1944

As most of the U-boats evacuate the French Biscay bases and headed for Norway, frigate "Louis" on patrol off St Nazaire sank "U-445" on the 24th.

SEPTEMBER 1944

Attack on "Tirpitz" - Now it was RAF Bomber Command's turn to hit at battleship "Tirpitz" in Altenfiord in the far north of Norway. Flying in difficult conditions from Russian bases near Archangel on the 15th, the Lancasters managed to get one hit in spite of the usual smokescreens. Partly because of the damage, the battleship was moved south to Tromso.

OCTOBER 1944

Outward bound from Norway, "U-1006" was located by the patrolling 6th EG south of the Faeroes and sunk by Canadian frigate "Annan" on the 16th.

During Home Fleet operations against German shipping off Norway, aircraft of 1771 Squadron from fleet carrier "Implacable" drove "U-1060" ashore near Namsos on the 27th. She was finished off two days later by aircraft of Nos 311 (Czech) and 502 Squadrons RAF. Earlier in the month four more U-boats were lost in RAF raids on Bergen and another three by accident in Norwegian waters.

Eastern Front - In the Arctic, the Russians started a series of attacks and amphibious hops which by the end of the month had driven the Germans back from the Murmansk area just over the border into Norway. The Russians, now joined by Norwegian troops, came to a halt.

NOVEMBER 1944

Destruction of "Tirpitz" - The damaged "TIRPITZ" was finally destroyed on the 12th as she lay at anchor off Tromso, Norway. Lancasters of Nos 9 and 617 (Dambuster) Squadrons, RAF Bomber Command using 12,000lb bombs put paid to the ship that had tied down the Home Fleet for so long. After several hits and near misses by bombs weighing over 5 tons each, she turned turtle trapping nearly 1,000 men inside

On passage out to the North Atlantic, "U-322" was sunk west of the Shetlands on the 25th by a Norwegian Sunderland flying boat of No 330 Squadron and patrolling frigate "Ascension".

DECEMBER 1944

In Norwegian waters one U-boat was lost in a RAF raid and another by collision off the Lofoten Islands.

 

1945

FEBRUARY 1945

Submarine "Venturer" on patrol off Bergen, Norway torpedoed and sank "U-864" on the 9th. Two more U-boats were lost off Norway, one by accident and the other mined.

APRIL 1945

Home Fleet submarines gained another success when "Tapir" sank outward-bound "U-486" off Bergen, Norway on the 12th.

MAY 1945

End of the U-boats - Right to the end of the war there was no let-up in the struggle against the U-boats, especially faced with the threat from the new and dangerous Types XXI and XXIII. Between the 2nd and 6th, 23 U-boats of all types were destroyed by the Typhoons, Beaufighters, Mosquitoes and Liberators of the RAF and Allied Tactical Air Forces. As the German fighter defences crumbled, Allied aircraft roamed the Kattegat and nearby waters catching many of the U-boats in the Baltic or sailing for Norway.

4th - A Royal Navy task force consisting of escort carriers "Queen", "Searcher" and "Trumpeter" with cruisers and destroyers and under the command of Vice-Adm R. R. McGrigor returning from Murmansk, launched strikes against shipping off Norway, and "U-711" was sunk near Narvik.

7th - West of Bergen, a RAF Catalina of No 210 Squadron on Northern Transit Area patrol destroyed "U-320", the very last U-boat casualty.

 

back to Campaigns of World War 2
or Naval-History.Net

revised 9/7/11


 

if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net