Background Events - April-May 1940
Invasion of Norway, Battles of Narvik,
Blitzkrieg on Western Europe, Dunkirk evacuation starts
NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN INCLUDING INVASION OF DENMARK
GERMAN SHIP AND TROOP MOVEMENTS
cruisers KÖLN and KÖNIGSBERG and training ship BREMSE departed Wilhelmshaven
and rendezvoused off Heligoland with torpedo boats WOLF, LEOPARD and the
1st S-Boat Flotilla with parent ship KARL PETERS and S.19, S.21, S.22 and S.24
which departed Cuxhaven. These units, which departed at 0040/8 April, were
carrying two battalions of the 69th Infantry Division for the occupation of
Bergen. Also attached
to this group were naval auxiliary ships Schiff 9 (trawler KOBLENZ, 437grt) and
Schiff 18 (trawler ALTELAND, 419grt). Shortly after rendezvous, S.19 and S.21
collided and S.19 was so severely damaged that torpedo boat WOLF had to tow
her back to port. S.21 was damaged to the point that she could not continue
and also returned to Cuxhaven. Later on the
14th, S.23 and S.25 arrived at Bergen from
Wilhelmshaven as replacements
for the damaged S-boats.
cruiser KARLSRUHE, torpedo boats
LUCHS, SEEADLER, GREIF, the 2nd S-Boat Flotilla with parent ship TSINGTAU and
S.7, S.8, S.17, S.30, S.31, S.32 and S.33 departed Wesermunde at 0530/8 April
with one battalion of the 310 Regiment for Kristiansand.
cruisers LUTZOW (previously pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND) and BLUCHER, light
cruiser EMDEN, torpedo boats ALBATROS, MOEWE, KONDOR, motor minesweepers
R.17, R.18, R.19, R.20, R.21, R.22, R.23, R.24 of the 1st Motor Minesweeper
Flotilla, whalers RAU VII (354grt) and
RAU VIII (354grt) departed Swinemunde at 2200 with two battalions of the
163rd Infantry Regiment for Oslo. Heavy cruiser LUTZOW had originally been designated
to sail with the Trondheim force, but a
failure of her auxiliary machinery on the 7th necessitated her reassignment
to the slower Oslo Force.
minesweepers M.1, M.2, M.9 and M.13 departed Cuxhaven at 0530/8 April
to capture the cable station at Egersund.
minelayers ROLAND, KONIGIN LUISE, COBRA and PREUSSEN departed Cuxhaven escorted by
minesweepers M.6, M.10, M.11 and M.12 to lay two minefields west of the Skagerrak during 8 and 9 April.
departed Kopervik after spending the night at the Norwegian pilot station
waiting for a pilot to guide her through the Leads northward towards Trondheim.
GERMAN INVASION OF DENMARK
for the invasion of Denmark put to sea the
evening of 8 April and early morning of 9 April.
Old battleship SCHLESWIG
HOLSTEIN with experimental ships CLAUS VON BEVERN (ex WW I T 190), NAUTILUS
(M.582 ex-World War 1 (WW1) M.81), PELICAN (M.528 ex-WW1 M.28) and six armed fishing
trawlers departed Kiel with transports CAMPINAS (4541grt) and CORDOBA
(4611grt) for Korsor-Nyborg. SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN ran aground in the
Great Belt before dawn at 0217/9th and was left behind. Minelayer HANSESTADT DANZIG
and icebreaker STETTIN departed Travemunde on the 7th and was
escorted through the Belt on the night of 8/9 April by the converted patrol
boats of the 13th Patrol Boat Flotilla. They arrived at Copenhagen at 0500/9th.
Steamer RUGARD (1358grt) with minesweepers ARKONA (M.517 ex-WW1 M.115),
M.157, OTTO BRAUN (M.529 ex-WW1 M.129), motor minesweepers R.6 and R.7,
patrol vessels Vp.102 (steamer CRESSIDA, 1046grt) and Vp.103 (steamer SILVIA
- 1049grt), submarine chaser UJ.172 (trawler FREIHERR VON STEIN, 198grt),
tugs MONSUN and PASSAT sailed for Middelfart to land three companies of the
170th Infantry Division.
Sloop F 6 (KONIGIN LUISE), minesweepers M.4,
M.20, M.84, M.102, motor minesweepers R.25, R.26, R.27, R.28, R.29, R.30,
R.31, R.32 of the 2nd Motor Minesweeper Flotilla and auxiliary minesweepers
M.1201 (trawler HARVESTEHUDE, 523grt), M.1202 (trawler VON RONZELEN, 468grt),
M.1203 (trawler BURGERMEISTER SMIDT, 500grt), M.1204 (trawler ANNA BUSSE,
468grt), M.1205 (trawler LUDWIG JANSSEN, 470grt), M.1206 (trawler SCHELSIEN,
430grt), M.1207 (trawler FRISIA, 429grt), M.1208 (trawler GAULEITER FORSTER,
425grt) of the 12th Minesweeping Flotilla departed Cuxhaven for Esbjerg and
Nordby on Fano.
The 4th Minesweeping Flotilla with minesweepers M.61, M.89,
M.110, M.111, M.134 and M.136 and the 3rd Motor Minesweeping Flotilla with
mother ship VON DER GROEBEN (ex WW1 M.107) and R.33, R.34, R.35, R.36, R.37, R.38, R.39
and R.40 departed Cuxhaven
at 0630/9th for Tyboron on Limfjord. Battleship SCHLESIEN and a small
escort screen from Kiel operated in
to provide cover fire, in case the Danes resisted the invasion.
Despite a considerable Danish Navy,
Denmark fell early on
the 9th with only a formal resistance by the King of Denmark's Guard. The Danish
Navy at this time consisted of coastal defense ships PEDER SKRAM built in
1908, NIELS IUEL built in 1918, seventeen small torpedo boats, built between
1919 and 1934, of which six were acting as minesweepers, two torpedo boats
under construction, twelve coastal submarines built between 1915 and 1937. Total
losses during the Danish campaign were thirteen killed and twenty three
wounded among Danish forces and the German troops sustained some twenty
On the 9th, British steamer ADELAIDE
STAR (11,000grt) was
seized at Copenhagen and renamed
SEEBURG for German use. Also on the 9th, Icelandic steamer GULLFOSS (1414grt)
was seized at Copenhagen.
Fleet was immobilized under the terms of the surrender. However, on 29 August 1943, when the German Navy attempted to
take over these units for their own use, the Fleet was scuttled in various
ports in Denmark. Before the end
of the war, the German Navy had salved the two coastal defence ships, eight
torpedo boats, six minesweepers, two minelayers, three sloops, and a depot ship
for their own use.
BRITISH MINELAYING OPERATIONS
Between 0432 and
0529, minelaying destroyers ESK (D.20), IMPULSIVE, IVANHOE and ICARUS of the
20th Destroyer Flotilla laid a minefield in Vestfjord off Hovden escorted by
destroyers HARDY, HUNTER, HOTSPUR and HAVOCK of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla.
HYPERION and HERO of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla simulated a minelay by
dropping marker buoys off Bud near Molde. They then
remained off Hustadvika to patrol their minefield until early on
the 9th when Norwegian naval forces took over. Norwegian armed
auxiliary SYRIAN (trawler, 298grt) arrived at 0610 and Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER at 0748. Both
destroyers arrived at Sullom Voe at 1430/9th
for refuelling and departed the next day at 0300 with destroyers INGLEFIELD,
ILEX, ISIS and IMOGEN to join Adm Forbes at sea.
LOSS OF HMS GLOWWORM and DAMAGE TO ADMIRAL HIPPER
GLOWWORM, travelling alone after leaving battlecruiser RENOWN to pick up a man
washed overboard on the 6th, contacted German destroyer LUDEMANN at 0715
eighty miles west of Fro Havet, then destroyer ARNIM which were part of the
Narvik/Trondheim invasion forces. In heavy weather, in which German and
British destroyers, alike, were being
by the weather, ARNIM and GLOWWORM engaged in an indecisive action.
However, the clash was soon settled when ARNIM called for assistance
and brought heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER to the scene. Mortally wounded
by HIPPER's gunfire, GLOWWORM rammed her, tearing away 130 feet of the
cruiser's armour belt and wrenching HIPPER's starboard torpedo tubes
from their mountings. Before sinking in 64‑13N, 06‑28E, GLOWWORM
was able to get off a contact and distress signal at 0749 and Forbes
dispatched battlecruiser REPULSE, light cruiser PENELOPE, and
destroyers BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, PUNJABI and KIMBERLEY from his Main Force
Destroyer GLOWWORM was lost with Lt Cdr G. B. Roope, Lt O. S.
Boothby, Lt M.T. Lawman, Surgeon Lt J. W. Rhys MRCS, LRCP, Lt Cdr (E) James
K. Macleod, RAN (emgcy), Gunner (T) P. S. P. Hoiles, S/Lt R. V. N. Levinge
RNR, S/Lt J. N.
Kennedy RNVR, one hundred and ten of her enlisted men. Lt R. A. Ramsey and
thirty seven ratings were rescued from GLOWWORM. Six of the ratings died in
Off Vestfjord, battlecruiser RENOWN with destroyer GREYHOUND
headed south towards GLOWWORM's last position and ordered the minelaying
destroyers and their escorts to follow. These eight destroyers joined the
RENOWN at 1715 off Skomvaer Light, about seventy miles west of
Bodo. Destroyer HOSTILE, which had been detached from light cruiser BIRMINGHAM to escort
German trawler FRIESLAND to
Scapa Flow on the 8th, was
within forty miles of the GLOWWORM-ADMIRAL HIPPER action. HOSTILE heading
towards that location actually sighted HIPPER in heavy weather, but was not
able to identify her and was in turn, fortunately not sighted. HOSTILE later joined the RENOWN force off Vestfjord.
At noon on the 8th, the German Narvik and
Trondheim groups parted
company. Damage to German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER from her encounter
with Destroyer GLOWWORM was not so severe to prevent her and the four
destroyers from proceeding to Trondheim as planned.
ALLIED WARSHIP OPERATIONS
and Polish destroyer BURZA with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron force attacked a
submarine contact at 1035 in 58‑10N, 1‑08E. This contact later
assessed as probably a wreck.
Late on the 8th,
the German Trondheim Group was sighted by a British flying boat while this
force was steering west to adjust their arrival time at Trondheim. They were
identified as a battlecruiser, two cruisers and two destroyers. The Admiralty
decided that this was a German squadron breaking out into the Atlantic and heavy
cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK,
YORK with light
cruiser GLASGOW were ordered to disembark their Avonmouth troops and head
north to intercept. The cruisers departed at 1400. French light cruiser EMILE
BERTIN, large destroyers MAILLE BREZE and TARTU departed
Scapa Flow at 1800 with
orders to join the DEVONSHIRE force off
Rattray Head. Light cruiser AURORA and the destroyers in the Clyde were ordered to
Flow to await further orders. However, destroyer DELIGHT was
damaged in heavy seas and returned to Greenock that day.
cruisers SOUTHAMPTON and MANCHESTER, of the
recalled ON.25 convoy escort, were off the Shetlands. They were also placed
at the disposal of Admiral Forbes. Battleship WARSPITE was ordered to
discontinue her voyage to the Mediterranean and return to
Scapa Flow. WARSPITE arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1445/9th
escorted by destroyers HESPERUS and HAVANT. Destroyer MACKAY which had been
in WARSPITE's escort was detached at 1610/8th and returned to Liverpool. In the
Mediterranean, aircraft carriers GLORIOUS and ARK ROYAL were ordered to enter
Alexandria and late on the 10th, escorted by destroyers WESTCOTT, BULLDOG and
STUART, joined on the 11th by destroyer WISHART, were steaming at high speed
towards Gibraltar arriving on the 13th.
Late on the 8th,
heavy cruisers YORK, DEVONSHIRE,
BERWICK and light cruiser GLASGOW, soon to be joined by French light cruiser
EMILE BERTIN and her destroyers, were ordered to join the 2nd Cruiser
Squadron at 0500/9th in 59-30N, 2-30E and sweep up the middle of the North
Sea towards Adm Forbes' Main Force. The Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron, further
north, was also ordered to sweep north towards Forbes. Late on the 9th
light cruisers ARETHUSA (above - Navy Photos/Mark Teadham) GALATEA, EMILE BERTIN,
and French destroyers MAILLE BREZE and TARTU were ordered to
pin down German ships at Bergen and
Stavanger and prevent
their reinforcement. This patrol was terminated at 0400/10th. By the next
evening, the Admiralty ruled interference with enemy communications in the
southern areas must be left mainly to submarines, aircraft, mining, and aided by
intermittent sweeps when forces allow.
Admiral Forbes in battleship RODNEY with
battleship VALIANT, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers SOMALI, KELVIN, KASHMIR,
JUPITER, MASHONA and MATABELE turned south on receipt of intelligence of ships
in the Skagerrak and Kattegat to join light cruisers
MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON which were unsupported off Norway's southern
is important to note here that the Germans had broken the British Fleet
Code, which enabled the Germans to avoid nearly all British ship movements
on their way to the Norwegian ports. That is why very few intercepts were
made until after the German ships reached their destinations.)
NORWEGIAN NAVAL FORCES
As the German
Oslo Group neared its destination late on the 8th, the Norwegian Naval Forces
in the area were the old decommissioned coastal defense ships HARALD
HAARFAGRE and TORDENSKJOLD, minelayer OLAV TRYGGVASON which was at Horten for
repairs, fishery protection vessel FRIDTJOF NANSEN, 355 ton minelayers
GLOMMEN and LAUGEN at Melsomvik, 254 ton minelayers VIDAR and NOR, 254 ton
minelayer BRAGE laid up at Melsomvik, minesweepers HAUK, FALK, HVAS, KJAEK at
Tonsberg, and minesweepers OTRA and RAUMA at Horten. Old Norwegian submarines
A.2, A.3 and A.4 of the 1st Submarine Division were berthed at Horten and
submarine B.4 was refitting at Horten.
START OF NARVIK OPERATIONS
In the late
evening of the 8th, the German Narvik Group reached the entrance to Vestfjord
and as the destroyers entered Narvik fjord for Narvik, battlecruisers GNEISENAU
and SCHARNHORST turned out to sea to draw the main part of the Home
Fleet away from the Norwegian coast.
Late on the 8th,
the Admiralty finally awoke to the true nature of the German naval
activity around the Norwegian coast and decided that Narvik was threatened. Battlecruiser
REPULSE, light cruiser PENELOPE, destroyers BEDOUIN, KIMBERLEY, PUNJABI and ESKIMO, which had been detached to assist destroyer GLOWWORM, were sent north
at 1956/8th to join the RENOWN force off Vestfjord. Destroyer HOSTILE joined
the REPULSE force during the night and all arrived off Vestfjord at 1130/9th.
ALLIED SUBMARINE OPERATIONS
was involved in a collision with Estonian steamer OTTO (1954grt) northwest of
Egersund. Only minor damage was sustained with the pressure hull leaking
slightly. SEAL was able to continue patrol, reconnoitering
Stavangersfjord and acting as a beacon ship for the Stavanger bombardment on
the 16th before returning to Rosyth on the 19th. SEAL went on to
Blyth arriving on the
20th and was transferred to the 6th Submarine Flotilla for minelaying mission
ORZEL intercepted German transport RIO DE JANIERO (5261grt)
off Lillesand in 58‑07. 8N, 8‑29. 4E at 1110. After ordering the
crew and troops aboard into lifeboats, ORZEL fired one torpedo at 1145 and
another torpedo at 1155. The transport was sunk. Norwegian destroyers ODIN
and GYLLER and fishing boats picked up the RIO DE JANIERO
personnel. It was learned from the troops aboard the German ship that they
were en route to protect the port of
Bergen. However, no
heed was paid this report, either by the British or the Norwegians.
TRIDENT on patrol in the Northern Skagerrak at 1215 stopped
German tanker POSIDONIA (8036grt) on her maiden voyage off Rauer in 58‑54N,
10‑21E. The crew scuttled the tanker as they abandoned ship. TRIDENT
finished off POSIDONIA with torpedoes at 1320 near Stavern. POSIDONIA
was salvaged in June and renamed STEDINGEN.
submarine TRITON sighted the German Oslo Group and unsuccessfully attacked it
off the Skaw. She was able to fire ten torpedoes
between 1758 and 1906 at heavy cruiser LUTZOW but missed. TRITON
was then heavily counterattacked by German torpedo boat ALBATROS.
SUNFISH also contacted the Oslo Force, but was unable to reach a position to
Scapa Flow was bombed by
the 20 He.111's of KG.26, but as the entire Fleet was already at sea, no damage was
merchant cruiser ORION, breaking out during these operations, first
encountered a merchant ship in the
North Sea escorted by an allied destroyer and later
minelayer TEVIOTBANK and her four destroyers, but was able to proceed
destroyers TARTAR and MAILLE BREZE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900, and
escorted by destroyer ENCOUNTER to the oilers
and buoys. FOUDROYANT (Capitaine de Corvette Paul Fontaine), BRESTOIS (Capitaine de
Fregatte J. L. C. Kraft), and BOULONNAIS (Capitaine de Corvette J. C. F.
Champion) arrived at 1300 and again led in by ENCOUNTER to the oilers
departed Dover at 1000 for
Dunkirk carrying Vice
Admiral B. H. Ramsay CB, MVO. Ramsay was en route for a conference with
Amiral Nord regarding the possibility of French trawlers taking over North
Goodwins Patrol and French trawlers cooperating with British trawlers in
anti-submarine operations in the Straits of Dover. Admiral Ramsay and
destroyer KEITH arrived back at Dover at 1800.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop AUCKLAND, and anti-submarine
trawlers of the 19th Anti-Submarine Group, and arrived the next day.
(4843grt) was sunk in 51‑18N, 02‑04E on a mine (Seekrieg - laid by
Schiff 11), with the Chief Engineer missing. Destroyer BOADICEA on
North Goodwin Patrol and minesweeper HUSSAR proceeded to assist, with
BOADICEA picking up twenty nine survivors and Dutch steamer
BEVERLAND the remainder.
GERMAN OSLO GROUP
submarine A.2 attempted to attack the German Oslo Group as it entered
Oslofjord off Bolaerne, but was damaged in the counterattack by motor
minesweeper R.23 and forced to the surface. A.2 was able to escape, but she
surrendered at Teie on the 13th. Norwegian patrol boat
214grt) then encountered the Oslo Group. She challenged the German ships and
getting no reply opened fire with her single gun. POL III was soon
overcome and sunk by German torpedo boat ALBATROS with the loss of eighteen crew.
Early on the
9th, motor minesweepers R.20 and R.24 landed troops at Rauoy, and R.22 and
R.23 at Bolaerne. However, when R.17 and R.21 attempted to
landed troops at Horten, Norwegian minelayer OLAV TRYGVASSON and minesweeper
RAUMA sank R.17 and damaged torpedo boat ALBATROS and motor minesweeper R.21,
despite covering gunfire from ALBATROS and KONDOR.
Early on the 9th, in the
Drobak Narrows, German heavy
cruiser BLUCHER was sunk by eight and eleven inch gunfire from the
fortifications at Drobak and Kaholm and two torpedoes from the Kaholm
fortification. She was struck by the first eleven inch shell at 0520 and two
torpedoes at 0521. At 0732, she rolled over and sank with Kapt. z. S. H.
Woldag, thirty eight officers, and 985 ratings lost. Heavy cruiser LUTZOW was
struck by three eleven inch shells and
light cruiser EMDEN was hit but not
seriously. With this damage, the German force retired temporarily. Oslo fell to ground
forces brought there by aircraft and the Oslo Naval Group entered Oslo midday on the 10th.
EMDEN and the R-boat
Flotilla remained at Oslo for six weeks
for anti-aircraft defense and garrison duties. They returned to Germany on 21 May.
the fall of Oslo, the Germans gained possession of two unnamed Norwegian destroyers
building at Horten, SLEIPNER class destroyers TOR outfitting at Fredrikstad,
BALDER outfitting at Horten, minelayer OLAV TRYGVASSON,
A 3, A 4 and
The destroyers under constrction were never completed during the war
due to continuing acts of sabotage. TOR and BALDER had been scuttled,
but the Germans were able to salve them and recommission them on 13
June and 26 July, respectively. OLAV TRYGVASSON was commissioned on the
28th as ALBATROS, and later in 1941 renamed BRUMMER. Submarines
A.3 and A.4 were scuttled by German forces on the 16th at Sauholmsundet
near Tonsberg, while B 4, which surrendered at Filtvedt on the 10th,
was considered for use by the German,s but due to her poor condition
was never commissioned.
Norwegian minesweepers RAUMA
(58grt) and auxiliary patrol boats HVAL
III (246grt) and
surrendered at Horten on the 9th. Minesweeper OTRA (370grt) was
seized at Filtvedt on the 10th. Minesweeper HVAS (58grt) was
seized at Stavern on the
12th. Auxiliary patrol vessels ALPHA (235grt) and FURU (85grt) surrendered at
Halvorshamn on the 12th. Minesweepers FALK (58grt). KJAEK (58grt) and
auxiliary patrol vessels FARM
I (247grt), SKUDD II (247grt), OTER I (251grt), HVAL II
(299grt), SAETRE (172grt) and SARPEN (187grt) surrendered at Tonsberg on the
13th. Minelayer BRAGE (236grt) and auxiliary patrol vessel TREFF (204grt)
surrendered at Melsomvik on the 14th. Whale catchers SAIMA (217grt)
and SOUSA (217grt) laid up at Tonsberg were seized on the 9th.
Oslo was supplied by
small tankers EUROLAND (869grt) and SENATOR (845grt) which had departed
Hamburg on the 6th and
cargo ships ANTARES (2593grt), IONIA (3102grt),
ITAURI (6838grt), MUANSA (5472grt) and NEIDENFELS (7838grt) which had departed
Stettin at 0200/7th and arrived as soon as
Oslo was secured.
were followed two days later by eleven steamers carrying the 196th Division.
These were ESPANA (7456grt), FRIEDENAU (5219grt), HAMM (5874grt),
KELLERWALD (5032grt), ROSARIO (6079grt),
WANDSBEK (2388grt), WIGBERT (3648grt) and WOLFRAM (3648grt) which departed Gotenhafen at 1600/8th for
Oslo, and steamer
SCHARHORN (2643grt) which departed Konigsberg at 1600/8th for
Three days later, twelve steamers (72,575grt) departed
Hamburg carrying the
181st Infantry Division. In this group were tanker FRIEDRICH BREME
(10,397grt) which was carrying fuel for aircraft based near Oslo and steamer
days after the third group, another convoy carrying the 214th Infantry
Division and rest of the 196th Infantry Division arrived at Oslo. In addition,
independently-routed supply ships began to regularly arrived at Oslo starting with MOLTKEFELS (7863grt), UTLANDSHORN
(2643grt) and URUNDI
(5791grt) on the 16th,
LEUNA (6856grt) and BUENAS AIRES (6097grt)
on the 18th with Machine Gun Battalion 13, and ENTRERIOS (5179grt), CAMPINAS (4541grt),
CORDOBA (4611grt) and SCHARHORN (2643grt)
on the 22nd.
GERMAN U-BOAT OPERATIONS
operated off Norway in support of
Fleet operations under Operation HARTMUTH. Early on the 9th, they were
deployed as following. In Vestfjord were U.25, U.46, U.51 and U.64 which had departed
Kiel on the 6th and
was en route. Off Trondheim were U.30 and
U.34. Off Bergen were five
submarines - U.9 and U.14 southwest of Bergen, U.56 due
west of Bergen, and U.60 and U.62 northwest of
Stavanger were U.1 and
U.4, with U.1 off the actual harbour entrance and U.4 off the outer
channel in a position to protect Haugesand as well. Northeast of Lerwick, Shetlands
were U.48, U.49, U.52. U.50 was supposed to be southeast of Lerwick, but had been
lost on a mine on the 6th in 54-15N, 5-06E with the entire crew of forty
four dead. U.38 and U.47 were to the north of the Shetlands. U.37 escorted armed
merchant cruiser ATLANTIS as far as the Denmark Strait until being
detached on the 5th, after which she arrived off the Shetlands and joined this
East of the Pentland Firth were U.13 and
U.57 with U.58 and U.59 to the west of Pentland Firth. Off
Stavanger and the Naze
were U.2, U.5, U.6 and later U.3. U.2 was west, southwest of Egersund,U 5 was
west, southwest of Lindesnes,and U.6 was
southeast of Lindesnes. On arrival, U.3 was stationed west,
northwest of Lindesnes. U.2 was forced to return to
Wilhelmshaven on the 12th
with hydroplane defects. The submarine arrived on the 15th for repairs. Southeast
of the Shetlands were U.7, U.10 and U.19. U.7 was southeast of Sumburgh Head,
with U.10 and U.19 east of Fair Island. At the east
end of the English Channel off
Antwerp were U.17,
U.23, U.24 and U.61. The submarine group northeast of the Shetlands was
dispersed on the 11th with U.50 and U.52 redeployed off Trondheim and U.38, U.47,
U.48 and U.49 in Vaagsfjord. U.50, however, had already been lost on a mine on
the 6th before her order for redeployment was sent. The submarine group at
the east end of the English Channel was redeployed
on the 13th with U.17, U.23 and U.24 were ordered to patrol off Bergen and U.61 off
BATTLECRUISER RENOWN'S ENGAGEMENT WITH SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU
0337/9th, Battlecruiser RENOWN with destroyers GREYHOUND, ICARUS,
IVANHOE, ESK, IMPULSIVE, HARDY, HUNTER, HAVOCK and HOTSPUR encountered
German battleships GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST and an action ensued in
67‑22N, 09‑42E. RENOWN hit GNEISENAU's main armament control system
putting it out of order and forcing the German ships to retire. RENOWN
began to pursue the German ships. HARDY and HUNTER were able to keep up
with RENOWN for a time in the heavy weather, but the others fell
behind. At 0658 the destroyers were ordered to patrol the entrance to
Vestfjord. RENOWN scored two more hits on GNEISENAU, one of them
crippled GNEISENAU's forward turret, opening it directly to the sea.
RENOWN received two hits in return. The one hit passing through the
extreme stern without exploding and the second perforating the
foremast, severing all internal cables, but also not exploding. The
searchlights sustained minor damage by splinters. Lt Cdr M.J. Evans was
the only crewman wounded. In the high speed retirement, both
SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU sustained weather damage in the form of
flooding their forward turrets; GNEISENAU's damage being much more
severe because of the shell damage to her gun house from RENOWN's hit.
Three hours after the action began, the German battleships were able to
outdistance RENOWN which returned to her patrol off Vestfjord.
Very early on
the 9th, Norwegian destroyer DRAUG at Haugesand captured German supply ship
carrying mines to Trondheim. Later that
morning, German aircraft bombed and badly damaged MAIN. Destroyer
DRAUG was forced to scuttle
MAIN after taking
aboard her crew of sixty seven. Destroyers MATABELE and SIKH were ordered to
join DRAUG and escort her towards Sullom Voe, where she arrived at 1700/10th.
The destroyers then rejoined Adm Forbes' Main Force. At 2000/10th, French destroyer
BRESTOIS departed Sullom Voe for Kirkwall with the 65
German prisoners brought there by DRAUG, and then went on to Scapa Flow. French
destroyer BOULONNAIS escorted DRAUG directly to Scapa Flow.
ESCORT, JAVELIN, JANUS, JUNO and ECLIPSE departed
Flow at 2130 escorting battleship WARSPITE. Aircraft carrier
FURIOUS with destroyers ASHANTI, MAORI,
DELIGHT and FORTUNE departed the Clyde at 0001 on the
9th. Aircraft carrier FURIOUS flew on nine Swordfish aircraft of the 816
Squadron and nine Swordfish of 818 Squadron. The Skuas of the 801
Squadron were not embarked. DELIGHT suffered weather damage and was
forced to return to Greenock. The WARSPITE and FURIOUS groups proceeded to a
rendezvous ten miles north of Muckle Flugga where they met at 0500/10th. Together, the ships proceeded to join the Commander in Chief Home Fleet on course 115°, 16
knots, in 61-24N, 2W at 0700/10th.
GERMAN NARVIK GROUP
forces at Narvik were coastal defense ships NORGE and EIDSVOLD at Narvik,
submarines B.1 and B.3 of the 3rd Submarine Division were at Liland near
Narvik. The following merchant ships were at Narvik early on the 9th -
Norwegian steamers CATE B (4285grt), ELRID (1712grt), HAALEGG (1758grt) and
SAPHIR (4306grt), Dutch steamer BERNISSE (951grt), Swedish steamers BODEN
(4264grt), OXELOSUND (5613grt) and STRASSA (5603grt), British steamers BLYTHMOOR
(6582grt), MERSINGTON COURT (5141grt), NORTH CORNWALL (4304grt), RIVERTON
(5378grt) and ROMANBY (4887grt), German steamers AACHEN (6388grt), ALTONA
(5398grt), BOCKENHEIM (4902grt), HEIN HOYER(5386grt),MARTHA HENRICH FISSER
(4879grt), NEUENFELS (8096grt), ODIN (5806grt), JAN WELLEM (11,776grt),LIPPE
(7849GRT), FRIELINGHAUS (4339grt) and PLANET
(5881grt), and Swedish tugs DIANA (213grt) and STYRBJORN (167grt).
Narvik Group, less GIESE whose hull was holed in heavy water and had fallen
behind, entered Ofotfjord at 0410 without opposition. The force
entered Ofotfjord and encountered Norwegian fishery protection vessels
MICHAEL SARS (207grt) and SENJA (243grt). They ordered the Norwegian guard
ships to turn about and return to Narvik. German destroyer ROEDER was
detached to patrol off Baroy to await the arrival of destroyer GIESE. She captured
Norwegian auxiliary patrol boat KELT (376grt) while on this patrol. At the Ramnes Narrows, German
destroyer flotilla commander Bonte detached destroyers LUDEMAN and SCHMIDT to land
troops and capture the Narvik fortifications which prove to be nonexistent. Abreast
of Herjansfjord, destroyers ZENKER, KUNNE and KOELLNER were detached to go up
the fjord to Elvegaard where the Norwegian regimental depot for the area was
located. The depot was captured without resistance.
Destroyers HEIDKAMP (Pennant
Bonte), ARNIM and THIELE continued on to the harbour of
Narvik. German steamer
BOCKENHEIM (4902grt), believing the approaching warships to be
aground and set herself afire. These destroyers encountered Norwegian coastal defense ship
EIDSVOLD which HEIDKAMP sank after a perfunctory request for
free passage. EIDSVOLD sank taking with her 177 officers and ratings. Only
eight survivors were rescued. Destroyer ARNIM was already alongside the wharf
when coastal defense ship NORGE opened fire on her, but ARNIM was able to
sink NORGE without damage to herself. NORGE sank with 104 officers and
ratings lost and 97 survivors, one later dying of wounds. Norwegian submarine
B.1 scuttled herself at Liland in Ofotfjord after an unsuccessful attempt to
get to sea. Submarine B.3 was able to escape and reached safety in a fjord
further north on the Norwegian coast.
GERMAN EGERSUND GROUP
station at Egersund and protecting torpedo boat SKARV were taken by surprise
by German minesweepers M.1, M2, M.9 and M.13. Both fell into German hands with
no resistance. On the 11th, submarine CLYDE was ordered to
investigate the landing of troops at Egersund.
forces at Kristiansand were composed of SLEIPNER class destroyers ODIN and
GYLLER, submarines B.2 and B.5, refitting torpedo boat KJELL, which was under
repair, old torpedo boats LYN, BLINK, which was under repair, and KVIK. Norwegian
destroyer SLEIPNER of the 2nd Destroyer Division based at Bergen was at
Kristiansand. German torpedo
boat GREIF of the Kristiansand force was
detached to land troops at Arendal. Although landings were delayed by fog
until 0900, Arendal fell without difficulty to German troops. The German
Kristiansand force entering harbour was forced to retire twice under
bombardment from shore batteries at Odderoy. Later in the morning, a message
in Norwegian code was sent to the Norwegian commander stating that French
destroyers were coming to his aid. Expecting these, light cruiser KARLSRUHE and torpedo
boats LUCHS and SEEADLER were allowed to enter the port by the defending
Norwegian forces and the town was forced to surrender by 1700/9th. The
Norwegian ships surrendered at naval station at Marvika on the 11th.
Destroyers ODIN and GYLLER, submarines B.2 and B.5, torpedo boat
torpedo boats LYN (38grt), BLINK (38grt) and KVIK (38grt), auxiliary patrol
vessels W. BARENTS (205grt), FIRERN (217grt), LYNGDAL (149grt),
(248grt), HVAL VI (248grt) and HVAL
surrendered at Marvika.
The two Norwegian destroyers were taken over on the 11th by the German
Navy and commissioned on the 25th 1940 as LOWE (former GYLLER) and
PANTHER (former ODIN) for duty in the 7th Torpedo Boat Flotilla. The
7th Torpedo Boat Flotilla was later also composed of TIGER (former TOR
which had been scuttled at Horten), commissioned on 13 June 1940 and LEOPARD (former BALDER also taken at
Horten), commissioned on 26 July 1940. In December
1940, the 7th Torpedo Boat Flotilla command was terminated and the former
Norwegian destroyers were transferred to the 27th Submarine Hunting (UJ)
Flotilla. Submarine B.5 was
commissioned at Kristiansand on 20 November
1940 as UC.1, and torpedo boat KJEL
at Kristiansand on the 19th 1940 as TIGER and renamed KT.1 in June 1940.
boat TEIST, which was at Farsund, when the attack took place,
herself near Farsund on the 14th. Old torpedo boats JO (55grt), which had
been at Arendal, GRIB (55grt), which had been at Risor, and
RAVN (55grt), which
had been at Langesund, were scuttled at Lyngor on the 17th. In addition, torpedo boats
(55grt) and LOM (55grt) of this division were repairing at Horten and
surrendered there on the 9th. Swedish steamer ALBERT (1745grt) was
German forces at Kristiansand, and renamed DORA CHRISTOPHERSON for German use.
SEATTLE (7369grt), which had departed Curacao on 5/6 March
and called at Tromso on 31 March, arrived off Kristiansand as the German
force arrived. She was sunk by gunfire from Norwegian destroyer GYLLER.
(Seekrieg - destroyer Sleipner)
Supplies for the
Kristiansand and Arendal German troops were embarked on German steamers
AUGUST LEONHARDT (2593grt), which was lost at sea en route, KRETA (2359grt),
which arrived three days late, WESTSEE (5911grt) and WIEGAND (5869grt) which had
all departed Stettin at 1700/6th.
GERMAN BERGEN GROUP
naval vessels at Bergen were torpedo boats STORM and SAEL, minelayers TYR
(281grt) at Klokkarvik, VALE at Littlebergen, ULLER at Bergen and GOR at Herdia
of the 2nd Minelayer Division, plus armed auxiliaries HAUS (135grt),
LINDAAS (138grt), ALVERSUND (178grt), MANGER (153grt) and OYGAR (128grt). The
1st Destroyer Division was based at Bergen, with GARM at Herdla, north of
Bergen, TROLL at
Maloy, and DRAUG at Haugesand. The 2nd Destroyer Division was also based at
Bergen, with AEGER at
Stavanger and SLEIPNER at Kristiansund. Old torpedo boats DJERV and DRISTIG were at Littlebergen.
The 1st Torpedo Boat Division was based at Bergen, with SNOGG was at
Floro and STEGG at Skudesneshavn. The 4th Torpedo Boat Division was based at at
Bergen, with STORM at
Hummelsund, BRAND at Bergen, and SAEL at
Brandasund. The 5th Torpedo Boat Division was originally based at Trondheim, but was in the
Bergen area with
SKREI at Hestvika on
Hita (scuttled 8 May at Aspoy), SILD at Kristiansand (scuttled 5 May at Svanholmen) while
SAKS was under repair at Trondheim and surrendered
on the 13th.
The German Bergen Group arrived off
Bergen and the
cruisers identified themselves as HMS CAIRO and HMS CALCUTTA and KARL PETERS
identified herself as HMS HALCYON which were regular callers at Bergen since being
assigned to the ON/HN convoy escorts. As such, German light cruisers KOLN and
KONIGSBERG were allowed to
enter the fjord, but the shore batteries at Kvarven awoke to the deception
and put three eight inch shells into KONIGSBERG and one into
training ship BREMSE. On KONIGSBERG sixteen crew
were killed and thirty one wounded. Norwegian minelayer TYR hurriedly dropped
eight mines between Sotra and Leroy and withdrew undetected at the mouth of
the fjord. Norwegian torpedo boat STORM torpedoed the leading German torpedo
boat, but the torpedo failed to explode. Bergen surrendered
before dawn on the 9th. All the defending Norwegian naval vessels were able
to escape into nearby Hardangersfjord. The fortifications at Sandviken fired
on light cruiser KOLN at anchor in the harbour, but when
KOLN returned fire,
the fort ceased firing. By 0930, both Kvarven and Sandviken were in German
The following vessels were seized by German forces at Bergen and mostly renamed for German service.
Swedish merchant ship
DEIME. Swedish steamer FAVERVIK (1912grt), renamed
TURKHEIM. Swedish steamer MONARK (1786grt) was lost when the German
prize crew attempted to sail her back to Germany in early May. Finnish
steamer ANTON H. (1436grt), renamed
ADMIRAL KARL HERING. Finnish steamer USKO (1876grt) , renamed
DIETRICK OLDENDORF. Estonian steamer KADLI (1818grt), renamed
HUMMEL. Estonian steamer ARCTURUS (1682grt), whose crew was
returned to Tallinn, via
steamer AKSI (844grt), renamed STRASSBURG. Danish steamer
GERDA (1151grt) had
arrived at Bergen on the 4th, was later ordered to
Stavanger, and en route, struck a mine on 8 May off Flesland and drifted ashore. Panamanian steamer
ANGLO (2978grt) renamed
Supplies for the
German Bergen force were embarked on tanker BELT (322grt), which departed
Brunsbuttel on the 9th, steamers CURITYBA (4969grt), MARIE LEONHARDT
(2594grt), and RIO DE JANIERO (5261grt) which departed
Stettin at 0400/6th.
However, RIO DE JANIERO was lost en route and CURITYBA was considerably delayed. On the 7th, four miles north of
Helsingborg, she ran
aground, two tugs and one anti-submarine patrol boat arrived to assist and
CURITYBA was refloated on the 8th to continue her voyage.
A RAF Coastal
Command Blenheim of 254 Squadron, carrying observer Lt Cdr G. Hare RN, of 712
Squadron in light cruiser SHEFFIELD, sighted the
German warships at Bergen during the
morning. At 1900, twelve Hampden bombers of 50 Squadron, six Wellington
bombers of 9 Squadron, and six Wellington bombers of 115 Squadron of Bomber
Command attacked light cruisers KOLN, KONIGSBERG and training ship BREMSE
at anchor at Bergen but did not score any hits. During the evening of the 9th,
KOLN with torpedo boats WOLF and LEOPARD was preparing to
leave Bergen, KONIGSBERG was unfit for sea and left behind for
repairs. KOLN put to sea at
2100 with the two torpedo boats and followed the Leads south, anchoring at
Maurangersfjord until the afternoon of the 10th before continuing. Off the
Elbe at 0545/11th,
they were joined by German destroyers SCHOEMANN and BEITZEN which escorted
them to Wilhelmshaven, arriving at
1700 that evening.
GERMAN TRONDHEIM GROUP
Norwegian naval unit at Trondheim was minelayer
FROYA, which was en route from the Kirkenes to Horten. On the 9th, she was in
Skjornfjord in Trondheimsfjord. Also at Trondheim was the 14th
Patrol Boat Division with auxiliary patrol boats HEILHORN (192grt) at Beiarn
and STENKJAER (158grt) and FOSEN (273grt) at Agdenes. The two patrol boats at
Agdenes surrendered at Hasselvika on the 9th. Finally, patrol boat NAUMA (219grt) of this
division was under repair at Trondheim and surrendered
on the 13th. The Trondheim Group entered Trondheimsfjord without
firing a shot. Destroyers JACOBI, RIEDEL, HEINEMANN were detached near the
fortifications of Brettingen and Hysnes with landing parties to neutralize
the forts, while heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER and destroyer ECKHOLDT continued
on to Trondheim.
ADMIRAL HIPPER had already passed the fortifications when the guns at
Hysnes opened fire. Destroyer RIEDEL getting underway rapidly,
accidentally ran aground doing considerable damage to her hull. Gunfire
from ADMIRAL HIPPER sent up clouds and smoke and dust spoiling the aim
of the fort's gunners. RIEDEL was able to get herself off only by the
crew all going aft. The destroyer was then beached in Strommen Bay for repairs
until 20 April. ADMIRAL HIPPER and destroyer ECKHOLDT anchored
in Trondheim harbour at 0525
and the town surrendered without a shot. Norwegian minelayer FROYA attempted
to escape from Trondheimsfjord, but was damaged by German coastal artillery
and forced aground where she was scuttled by her crew on the 13th
(Seekrieg - sunk by U.34 in Drontheim Fjord). Finnish
steamer EMMI (1592grt) was seized by German forces at Trondheim and renamed
SCHIRMECK for German service.
supply ships, tanker MOONSUND (321grt), had departed Brunsbuttel on the 9th,
(7624grt) and SAO PAULO (4977grt) were
lost en route; SAO PAULO late on the 9th at Brantholm in 60‑30N, 05‑10E.
The fourth supply ship, steamer LEVANTE (4770grt) did not arrive until 12 April.
Just after dark
on the 10th, heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER left Trondheim, bombarding the
fortifications once as she left the fjord. She took destroyer ECKHOLDT with
her, but in heavy seas, the destroyer was forced to return to Trondheim. The other
three German destroyers were immobile. Destroyer RIEDEL, which had run
aground, and HEINEMANN, which had defects, were cripples and JACOBI was too low
on fuel to even attempt the return trip. The non arrival of tanker SKAGERRAK (6044grt),
which was delayed at Kopervik, and the loss of supply ship SAO PAULO (4977grt),
which was mined near Bergen, was greatly affecting German destroyer activity. The fuel supply was so acute that
ADMIRAL HIPPER had to return without refuelling and arrived back in Germany
with only 123 tons of fuel (two and a half hours steaming) remaining in her
on the 9th, reinforcements had reached Admiral Forbes in the form of heavy
cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK and YORK of the 1st
Cruiser Squadron, light cruisers ARETHUSA and GALATEA of the 2nd Cruiser
Squadron, GLASGOW, SOUTHAMPTON and MANCHESTER of the 18th Cruiser Squadron,
French light cruiser EMILE BERTIN, destroyers ELECTRA, CODRINGTON, GRIFFIN,
ESCAPADE, GURKHA, SIKH, AFRIDI, MOHAWK, ZULU and COSSACK, Polish destroyers
GROM, BURZA and BLYSKAWICA and French large destroyers MAILLE BREZE and TARTU. At
0400, destroyer KELVIN ran into KASHMIR's stern in 60‑28N,
2‑25E. KASHMIR's stern was badly damaged and Temporary
Surgeon Lt J. N. Haggar RNVR, of KASHMIR, killed in
his bunk. Destroyer COSSACK was ordered to tow KASHMIR to Lerwick
escorted by destroyers ZULU and the damaged KELVIN.
At 1415, destroyer ZULU
attacked U.19 north of the Orkneys after the submarine surfaced near the
British ships, but she escaped with no more than light damage. The
British ships arrived safely at Lerwick on the 9th. Destroyers COSSACK and
ZULU immediately departed after refuelling on the 10th to rejoin the
forces off Norway. French
destroyers BRESTOIS and FOUDROYANT departed Scapa Flow at 1325/12th
for Lerwick. On the 12th, destroyers KELVIN, proceeding stern first, and KASHMIR departed Lerwick
for the Tyne, and were met at sea by the French
destroyers. They all safely arrived on the 13th at 2030. KELVIN
arrived at Scapa Flow after repairs on 28 May and
KASHMIR returned to
service on 13 June.
and ECLIPSE carried out six depth charge attacks at 1355 on a submarine
contact in 59‑01N, 2‑24W. This contact was later found to be a
HYPERION and HERO arrived at Sullom Voe to refuel at 1430.
Convoy HN.25 had
departed Bergen on the 7th, but
was recalled, and on the morning of the 9th was waiting in a fjord
near Hovden, north of Bergen, when word was
received that Bergen had fallen to
German troops. When German tanker SKAGERRAK (6044grt)
arrived at Hovden at noon on the 9th en
route to Trondheim, Captain J. S.
Pinkney, acting convoy commodore and Master of steamer FYLINGDALE (3918grt)
left with the convoy at 1400. Convoy HN.25 was composed of twelve
nine Norwegian, eight Swedish, five Danish, two Finnish and three Estonian
ships. It was formed into four columns with steamers FYLINGDALE
(3918grt), GLEN TILT (871grt), BRIGHTON (5359grt) and LEO
(1140grt) as column leaders. In this convoy were British steamers NYANZA
(4974grt) and NORTH DEVON
(3658grt) which were in fjord after arriving from the aborted ON.25
convoy. NYANZA was the last steamer to leave Hovden. Destroyer
ZULU and Polish destroyers GROM, BURZA and BLYSKAWICA were ordered to
join convoy HN.25 and escort it into the Firth of Forth, but ZULU was
replaced by destroyer TARTAR before joining the convoy. At 1500/9th,
the allied destroyers joined convoy HN.25, and at 1700/11th,
TARTAR attacked a submarine contact, which brought up air and
oil, but no submarine was lost at that time. The last Norwegian convoy
arrived safely at Methil at 1300/12th.
near Stavanger, Norwegian
destroyer AEGER sank German steamer RODA (6780grt), carrying
anti-aircraft guns. RODA, which had departed Hamburg on the 3rd, was
bringing these guns and other supplies to two battalions of German
paratroopers which had captured Sola airfield. Later on the 9th, AEGER was sunk by German Ju.88 aircraft of KG.4, already based at Sola on the 9th.
Seven crew were killed, one fatally wounded, and one severely wounded.
SPYRIDON (3527grt) arrived at Stavanger on the 9th for
repairs, seized by German forces and renamed EKENES for German
U.56 at 0920
sighted Battleship RODNEY and VALIANT southwest of Stadlandet steering south
and radioed this information to the German command.
1130, Admiral Forbes dispatched light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON, MANCHESTER,
SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW of the 18th Cruiser Squadron with destroyers
GURKHA, SIKH, MOHAWK, MATABELE, MASHONA, SOMALI and AFRIDI for a raid
on Bergen where the damaged German ships KONIGSBERG and BREMSE and
undamaged cruiser KOLN were located. At 1400, the Admiralty cancelled
the operation and ordered the force to set course to return to the Main
Fleet which had turned north to open the distance between themselves
and German land based aircraft. As the Bergen raiding force arrived
back at the Main Fleet, the Luftwaffe, which was alerted by U.56's
report arrived on the scene with 47 Ju.88 bombers from KG.30 and 41
He.111 bombers from KG.25, southwest of Bergen. German attacks on the
British fleet continued from 1430 to 1730, and four JU.88's were
which had reduced speed to improve her gunnery in heavy seas, was fatally
damaged by near misses aft in these attacks 100 miles southwest of
Bergen. Lt M.F. J.
Ferguson, Lt D. O. Smith, Lt Cdr (E) I. C. Howden, Probationary S/Lt N. C. J.
S. Hutchings RNVR, Temporary Surgeon Lt D. N. B. Morgan RNVR, ten ratings
were lost with GURKHA, which was left behind in a sinking
condition as the Main Fleet continued on under heavy bombing attacks
(Seekrieg - sunk by He.111's of KG.26).
Light cruiser AURORA, en route from Scapa Flow
to join Adm Forbes, came upon the sinking GURKHA, and fought off
five air assaults while picking up 194 survivors and attempting to tow
the damaged ship. Destroyer MASHONA picked up five survivors and one
dead rating. GURKHA sank four and a half hours after receiving her
fatal damage, and her survivors taken directly to Scapa Flow.
RODNEY was struck by a 500 kilogram bomb which failed to penetrate the armour
belt and caused only injuries to Paymaster Midshipman W. R. H. Lapper,
Commissioned Gunner F. G. Roper, Midshipman J. C. S. Wright, and seven ratings. Attacks
on heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE caused some splinter damage from near
misses. Light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON and GLASGOW were damaged by near misses.
SOUTHAMPTON's damage was
minor and no time was spent out of service. GLASGOW's damage from
two near misses took 'A' turret out of action for a short time and the ship's
speed was reduced for about thirty minutes. Damage to GLASGOW was repaired in
two days while continuing patrol at sea. Two ratings were killed and five
ratings, one dying of wounds, were wounded in GLASGOW. Light cruiser
ARETHUSA and French destroyers TARTU and MAILLE
BREZE were near missed by bombs, but not damaged. Among the German claims for
these attacks was the sinking of the French heavy cruiser FOCH. In later
communiques, this claim was changed to light cruiser EMILE BERTIN which
was present, but undamaged.
At Narvik, steamers
NORTH CORNWALL (4304grt),
ROMANBY (4887grt) and RIVERTON (5378grt) were seized by German forces and their
crews taken prisoner and placed aboard German tanker JAN WELLEM (11,776grt). A
working party from the German steamer LIPPE (7849grt) removed the deck guns from
the captured steamers for coastal defense of the German positions.
At Trondheim, steamer
THISTLEBRAE (4747grt) in drydock for a 4 April collision at Trondheim, was
by German forces, renamed ALTKIRCH for German service, and later
renamed INSTER. Her thirty three man crew was made
prisoners of war. American steamer MORMACSEA (4996grt) was also at Trondheim. However, her
captain would not allow German guards aboard the ship. Finally, on the 14th,
MORMACSEA was allowed to sail with a hidden cargo of four and a half million
dollars in Swedish gold bullion for transport to the United States for
ALLIED SUBMARINE OPERATIONS
At 1324/9th, the
Admiralty gave Vice Admiral Horton permission for his submarines to
sink without warning any German merchant ship in the Skagerrak, the
Kattegat and Heligoland
submarine SUNFISH sank German steamer AMASIS (7129grt) with two torpedoes
northeast of the Skaw off
Goteborg in 58‑13N,
in the Heligoland Bight reported that she had been depth charged by a
off Kristiansand at 1856 sighted
the German light cruiser KARLSRUHE and torpedo
boats LUCHS, SEEADLER, GREIF as they left harbour that evening on their
voyage back to Germany. Submarine
TRUANT fired ten torpedoes at the German cruiser, one of which wrecked her
stern and put her engines out of commission. Slowly settling and without
means to contain the flooding, KARLSRUHE
was abandoned and her crew were aboard the torpedo boats. Torpedo boat
GREIF administered the coup de grace at 2250 in 57-56N, 8-14E.
TRUANT was able to escape with only minor damage, despite a determined
effort by the torpedo boats and motor torpedo boats in a five hour
submarine hunt. She returned to Rosyth on the 12th to make good damage
KRETA (2359grt) reported that she was under attack by a submarine near
Faerder Lightship in the Skagerrak. Later overdue
at Kristiansand, she was presumed
lost but she arrived on the 12th unharmed.
U.49 sighted Forbes' Main Fleet steering north of the Norwegian coast
northwest of Bergen.
Late on the 9th,
Admiral Forbes ordered all his light cruisers and most of his destroyers to
return to Scapa Flow or Sullom Voe for refuelling. The last
units arrived about noon on the 11th. At
1530/10th, light cruisers SHEFFIELD, GLASGOW, MANCHESTER, SOUTHAMPTON and
destroyers AFRIDI, SOMALI (D.6), CODRINGTON (D.1), MOHAWK, MASHONA, JUPITER,
BRAZEN, ESCAPADE and ELECTRA arrived at Sullom Voe foe refuelling. Light
cruisers BIRMINGHAM refuelled at
Scapa Flow, AURORA at Rosyth., and GALATEA
and ARETHUSA refuelled, all on the 11th. French large destroyers TARTU and MAILLE
BREZE arrived at Scapa Flow with the British cruiser force at
evening of 9 April, German destroyer FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT penetrated Trondheimsfjord
as far as the neighbourhood of Inderoy where Trondheimsfjord branches into
the smaller Beitstadfjord. German destroyer PAUL JACOBI, after refuelling
from damaged destroyer THEODOR RIEDEL, joined FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT on the
morning of 10 April. However, heavy ice in the fjord prevented the destroyers
from progressing beyond Inderoy.
auxiliary Schiff 111 (lumbership JUPITER, 2152grt) arrived at Bergen with a cargo of
mines to mine the harbour.
destroyers FAULKNOR (D.8), FOXHOUND and FORESTER arrived at Scapa Flow from the
departed at 1500 to rendezvous with the Commander
in Chief Home Fleet.
GRENADE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1230 to
GRENADE and ENCOUNTER departed Scapa Flow at 1600 with oiler BRITISH LADY (6098grt) for Vestfjord arriving at 1700/12th.
destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL arrived at Scapa Flow at 0830 and was
led into harbour by destroyer ENCOUNTER.
destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS departed Scapa Flow with
tanker ALDERSDALE, arriving at Sullom Voe at 1300/10th.
late on the 9th were Minelaying destroyers ESK, IVANHOE, ICARUS, HARDY,
HOTSPUR, HUNTER, HAVOCK and GREYHOUND. Destroyer IMPULSIVE with a damaged
paravane boom was sent to Scapa Flow arriving at
0445/11th. Battlecruiser RENOWN, reinforced by battlecruiser REPULSE, light
cruiser PENELOPE, and destroyers ESKIMO, KIMBERLEY, PUNJABI,
BEDOUIN and HOSTILE which had arrived off Vestfjord at 1130/9th were out to
seaward of Vestfjord on patrol.
On orders from
the Admiralty, the destroyers of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, HARDY (Captain
B. A. W. Warburton-Lee, D 2), HOTSPUR, HAVOCK and HUNTER proceeded up Vestfjord
on Operation TN towards Narvik leaving the destroyers of the 20th Destroyer
Flotilla to patrol the minefield. Destroyer HOSTILE with the battlecruisers
at sea was detached and joined the 2nd Flotilla off Tranoy. At 2022 on the
9th, U.51 sighted the five Destroyers of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in
Vestfjord steering westbound, apparently leaving the fjord. However, this
westward movement was only to adjust the destroyers' arrival time off Narvik
allowing them to arrive off that port at dawn.
ship ALSTER (8514grt) and tanker KATTEGAT (6031grt),
which had been delayed at Kopervik over the night of 5/6 April, were in the
Bodo area. KATTEGAT was
on the 9th by Norwegian patrol boat NORDKAPP off Neverdal in Tannholmford,
south of Bodo. ALSTER was stopped on the 8th by Norwegian
patrol vessel SYRIAN (298grt) and sent into Bodo, but was captured by
destroyer ICARUS on the 11th. Also at Bodo was Norwegian auxiliary patrol
vessel SVALBARD 2 (270grt).
fishery protection vessels FRIDTJOF NANSEN and HEIMDAL were stationed at
Honningsvaag and Tromso, respectively, on this date.
conversion at Portsmouth. Following
working up at Portland, she joined
Convoy C operating from Rosyth.
H. E. Cook was killed when his RAF Battle of 1 SFTS Netheravon crashed near
Collingbourne Kingston, Wilts. Passenger AC 2/c W. I. Hammond was also
Officer W. E. Chinn and Naval Airman T. G. L. Burgess were killed when their
Skua of 803 Squadron from Hatston crashed on convoy duty.
vessel DAGNY (47grt) was sunk on a mine north of Hantsholm. Six crew were
FRAMNAS (721grt) was seized near Kopervik, renamed BURGEN and used as a German meteorological ship.
departed Southend escorted by destroyer WINDSOR from the 9th to 10th, and dispersed on the 12th.
departed Liverpool escorted by sloop
LEITH from the 9th to 12th,
when she detached to convoy SL.26. Destroyer VENETIA and
anti-submarine trawler YORK CITY joined the escort on the 9th and 10th.
The convoy was dispersed on the 13th.
of four steamers, including BARON KINNARID, JOHN HOLT (Commodore) and PIZARRO
departed the Loire escorted by destroyer MONTROSE, and arrived in the
Bristol Channel on the 11th.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop LOWESTOFT, and arrived in the
Tyne on the 11th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and
AUCKLAND, and arrived at Southend on the 11th.
battleships DUNKERQUE and STRASBOURG with light
cruisers GLOIRE, MONTCALM and destroyers MOGADOR, L'INDOMPTABLE,
L'TRIOMPHANT and LE MALIN departed Oran for
Brest, arriving on
the 12th. Destroyer TERRIBLE which had come with this group from Brest departed
Oran on the 11th,
escorting armed merchant cruiser COLOMBIE, and arrived at Brest on the 15th.
VIDETTE was taken in hand for refitting at Gibraltar.
PANDORA departed Hong Kong on this date,
Singapore on the 14th,
Colombo on the 21st,
Aden on the 29th, and was at
Suez on 3 and 4 May.
She arrived at Alexandria on the 5th for
operations with the Home Fleet.
ALLIED SUBMARINE OPERATIONS
At 1604/9th in
59-00N, 05-10E, submarine THISTLE fired six torpedoes at U.4 which submerged
in time to evade the torpedoes. THISTLE received orders to dive
into Stavanger harbour and
attack merchant ships there, but when she reported her encounter with the
German submarine, was instructed to remain in the area for another chance
at the submarine. THISTLE with only two torpedo warheads remaining
was then to return to Rosyth. At 0113/10th, U.4 torpedoed and sank THISTLE, which was recharging her batteries on the surface, northwest of
Stavanger off Skudesnes in 59.00N, 05.00E. Lt
Cdr W. F. Hanselfoot, Lt K. J. Harper, Lt L. A. Jones, Lt R. P. N. Ennor
Engineer G. A. Bowen, and the entire crew of forty eight ratings were
(Lt Cdr H. J. Caldwell), which was on her first patrol and working up,
encountered by German Schiff 40 (trawler ARTHUR DUNCKER - 278grt) in 56‑43.
5N, 06‑20. 33E in the North Sea. At 0620,
TARPON fired two torpedoes at the German ship which was outfitted
as a Q ship, but in the counterattack, was lost to depth charges. Lt Cdr Caldwell,
Lt Cdr C. B. L. Wren RNR (Ret), Lt L. H.
Kettle, S/Lt H. D. A. Weatherall, Warrant Engineer R. W. Sherry, and forty eight
ratings were lost.
submarine SUNFISH fired one torpedo at German steamer HANAU (5892grt) three
miles off Masekar Light,
submarine SUNFISH fired two torpedoes at a German steamer off Masekar Light. The
attack was observed by a trawler of the German 7th VP Flotilla.
submarine TRITON in the Kattegat in 57-50N,
11-23E sighted the 2nd German Transport Convoy. Submarine TRITON fired six
torpedoes and sank steamers FRIEDENAU (5219grt), WIGBERT (3648grt) and
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.1507 (trawler RAU VI, 354grt). Nine hundred German
soldiers of the 340th and 345th Infantry Regiments of the 196th Division were
drowned on the two German transports. TRITON
escaped the counter attack without severe damage.
At 1822, Polish
submarine ORZEL fired two torpedoes at German trawler VP 705 (German trawler
CARSTEN - 258grt) off Larvik in the Skagerrak.
At 1845, submarine TRIDENT fired two torpedoes at German steamer WANDSBEK (2388grt) in
submarine SUNFISH hit German steamer ANTARES (2598grt) with one torpedo off
Skagen in 58‑11N, 11‑17E, near Lysekill,
Sweden, and she sank by the stern at 2230.
SPEARFISH was under attack by anti-submarine trawlers of the 11th UJ.Flotilla
east, southeast of Kristiansand from 1730 to
1840 and again at 2000.
cruiser LUTZOW left Oslo in the early
afternoon of the 19th at 1440 as she was required back at Kiel to prepare for
a raid into the Atlantic. As there were no fast escorts in the
Oslo Force, it was decided that LUTZOW's speed and darkness would be
sufficient protection. Intelligence reports of the presence and sinkings by
submarines TRITON and SUNFISH caused LUTZOW to take a course to the west of
these submarines' patrol areas. Ten miles north of the Skaw at 0029/11th,
LUTZOW entered submarine SPEARFISH's patrol area.
sighted and fired six torpedoes at the German cruiser at 0033. She was able
to strike LUTZOW with one torpedo, wrecking her propellers and rudder. Some
1300 tons of water flooded into LUTZOW. Not knowing LUTZOW was unescorted,
SPEARFISH made off. Captain Thiele of the LUTZOW considered running his ship
aground near Laeso Island, but word that
auxiliary minesweepers of the 19th Flotilla and auxiliary submarine chasers
of the 17th UJ Flotilla along with two German and Danish tug GARM coming to
his aid held him off. At 0900/11th, four torpedo boats, including torpedo
boats LUCHS, SEEADLER, GREIF, four escort ships, including auxiliary
minesweepers M.1907 (trawler HEINRICH BAUMGARTEN, 467grt) and M.1908 (trawler
YORCK, 470grt), the tugs arrived and six hundred men were taken off LUTZOW
and taken to Frederikshavn. LUTZOW was towed back to Kiel arriving late
on the 13th.
MANCHESTER, returning to
Scapa Flow for refuelling,
reported running over a submerging German submarine in the North Sea at 0057.
HESPERUS and HAVANT departed Scapa Flow at 1430 to
search for a German submarine reported by aircraft in 58‑37N, 1‑54W.
Scapa Flow for refuelling,
sighted a submarine in 59‑28N, 3‑23W, but no damage was done to
either ship. Destroyers HESPERUS and HAVANT were sent at 1700 to the area to
search for the submarine. After this patrol, the destroyers patrolled north
of the Shetlands.
Swedish steamer SVEABORG (9076grt) in 62‑52N, 07‑34W, with the loss of five crew. Norwegian steamer
(5128grt) received SVEABORG's distress signal, arrived on the scene to
rescue survivors, and was then herself sunk by U.37, in 62‑52N, 07‑34W.
Two crew were lost, and the survivors from both ships rescued by armed
boarding vessel NORTHERN CHIEF (655grt).
vessel INES (48grt) was sunk on a mine northwest of Hantsholm, with the loss of her crew of
U.49 sighted two
British cruisers west of Stadlandet at 0159.
FIRST BATTLE OF NARVIK
Early on the
10th, German destroyer DIETHER VON ROEDER (VR - see map) was supposed to be on patrol across the mouth
of Ofotfjord, but the approaches were unguarded. ROEDER was supposed to
remain on patrol until relieved by HANS LUDEMANN (HL), but in ROEDER's diary there was the
entry "Am relieving SCHMIDT from 0300 as anti-submarine patrol until
dawn." ROEDER left her patrol area across Ofotofjord and turned towards
Narvik with the British 2nd Destroyer Flotilla less than a mile behind in
heavy snow and mist. ROEDER anchored at Narvik at 0420. German
refuelling was far behind schedule. While tanker JAN WELLEM (11,776grt) had
arrived on schedule, the second tanker,
KATTEGAT (6031grt) was
sunk late on the 9th before reaching Narvik. LUDEMANN and
HERMANN KUNNE (HK) were alongside the converted whaler JAN WELLEM when the
began at 0430.
Destroyer HARDY went in first into the harbour and fired seven
torpedoes. One exploded in the after magazine of destroyer WILHELM HEIDKAMP (WH) blowing
off her stern; eighty one crew members including Commodore Bonte were killed.
Finally, on the 11th at 0600, as a result of culminating damage, HEIDKAMP
capsized and sank. Other torpedoes from HARDY struck merchant ships in the
harbour. As destroyer HARDY withdrew, destroyers HUNTER and HAVOCK entered
the harbour firing torpedoes. Torpedoes from HAVOCK struck ANTON SCHMITT (AS) , seriously
damaging her. Destroyer KUNNE, getting underway from alongside the tanker,
was near SCHMITT when the torpedoes hit and sustained damage to her engines
from the concussion. SCHMITT, rolling over, settled onto KUNNE immobilising
her for forty minutes. Sixty three crew were killed on the destroyer SCHMITT.
German destroyer LUDEMAN had a gun knocked out from shellfire and a fire
which necessitated flooding of her after magazine. Two crew were killed on
the destroyer LUDEMAN.
Destroyers HOSTILE and HOTSPUR had been detailed to
neutralize nonexistent coastal batteries on the north shore of
Narvik. Upon finding
no batteries, the destroyers entered the harbour fight. Destroyer HOTSPUR
fired torpedoes at numerous merchant ships in the harbour and HOSTILE went
into a gun action with German destroyer ROEDER damaging her so severely that
the German captain ordered his ship abandoned. As the destroyers withdrew,
destroyers HOSTILE and HOTSPUR laid a smoke screen and HOSTILE fired her
torpedoes against merchant ships in the harbour. The 2nd Destroyer Flotilla
then began its withdrawal out of the fjord. During this battle,
steamer BLYTHMOOR (6582grt), Norwegian steamers SAPHIR (4306grt) and
(1712grt), Swedish steamers STRASSA (5602grt) and BODEN (4265grt), German
steamers FRIELINGHAUS (4339grt), HEIN HOYER (5836grt), NEUENFELS (8096grt),
MARTHA HEINDRIK FISSER (4879grt), AACHEN (6388grt), ALTONA
(5398grt) were lost to British torpedoes and British and German
gunfire. Six of crew of the BLYTHMOOR were lost. Thirty crew were
interned in Sweden. Seven of the
British steamer crew were picked up by HM ships and returned to England. The entire
crew of Norwegian steamer ELRID was rescued. The wreck of ELRID was
sunk on 5
May. The wreck of Swedish steamer STRASSA was sunk on 11 May by an internal
WOLFGANG ZENKER (WK), ERICH GIESE (EG), and ERICH KOELLNER (EK) in Herjansfjord, waiting
to refuel, got the alarm of the British intrusion at 0515 and got underway at
0530. They chased the British ships up the fjord and theywere
on the verge of escaping as the German destroyers did not have fuel to
continue the chase further. However, German destroyers GEORG THIELE (GT) and
BERND VON ARNIM (BA),
getting underway from Ballengenfjord at 0540, contacted the British force and
attacked. In the ensuing fray, THIELE had two guns knocked out, a magazine
flooded, was set afire and ARNIM was hit five times and had a boiler room
flooded. Destroyers ZENKER, KOELLNER and GIESE expended more than half of their
ammunition. Fifteen crew were killed and twenty three wounded on destroyer
THIELE. Two crew was killed on destroyer ARNIM.
In the exchange, destroyer
HARDY was badly damaged and was run aground near Virek to prevent sinking.
Captain B. A. W. Warburton-Lee, Lt E. K. U. Clark, MVO, Lt C. P. W. Cross,
sixteen ratings were killed. The surviving crew went ashore. Lt Cdr R. C.
Gordon-Smith, Paymaster Lt G. H. Stanning, Temporary Surgeon A. P. B. Waind
RNVR, six ratings were seriously wounded. Gordon-Smith died of wounds on
17 July 1940. Three other ratings were less seriously
wounded. Waind, left in a local hospital, was later captured by the Germans.
He was repatriated in 1944. Destroyer HUNTER was also badly damaged. As she
lost speed, she swerved into the path of destroyer HOTSPUR which was unable
to avoid ramming her. In this condition, HUNTER was sunk and HOTSPUR was
badly damaged by German gunfire. Lt Cdr L. de Villiers, Lt K. B. P. Pearson,
Lt H. R. M.Maidlow, Probationary S/Lt P. N. Lancaster RNVR, Probationary
Temporary Surgeon Lt H. G. Evans RNVR, ninety eight ratings were
HUNTER. Forty six survivors, including Lt H. A. Stuart-Menteth, Lt (E) A. G.
Reid, Acting Gunner (T) J. H. Coombe, were picked up by German destroyers
ZENKER, KOELLNER, GIESE. They were put ashore on the 13th from destroyer
GIESE where they had been held. Stuart-Menteth and thirty seven ratings were
later able to escape to Sweden. Lt Reid and
eight ratings remained prisoners of war through the end of the war. Gunner
Coombe died of wounds on the 23rd and four ratings also died of wounds and
Destroyers HOSTILE and HAVOCK escaped without serious damage, but
HOTSPUR suffered thirteen ratings and the NAAFI manager killed, with three
other ratings dying of wounds, S/Lt L. J. Tillie and ten ratings wounded. Retiring
up the Fjord, destroyers HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, HOSTILE encountered the German
supply ship RAUENFELS (8460grt) carrying the Narvik force's ammunition
supplies. Destroyers HAVOCK and HOSTILE hit RAUENFELS several times with
gunfire and a fire was started that soon detonated the ammunition and
destroyed RAUENFELS. Destroyer HAVOCK picked up the Captain and eighteen crew
from one boat from the German steamer. The two other boats rowed ashore and
were captured by Norwegian forces. Destroyer HAVOCK sustained some hull
damage from the concussion, but the German forces at Narvik now had no
reserve ammunition which was sorely needed.
Light cruiser PENELOPE and
destroyers BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, PUNJABI, KIMBERLEY hastened into
Vestfjord to guard the retirement of destroyers HOSTILE, HAVOCK, HOTSPUR. On
meeting the retiring the 2nd Flotilla, PENELOPE, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, PUNJABI,
returned to support the 20th Destroyer Flotilla guarding the Vestfjord
minefields. Damaged destroyer HOTSPUR arrived at Skelfjord at 1640 escorted
by destroyer HOSTILE. Destroyer HOTSPUR departed Skelfjord during the
forenoon of 20 April and arrived at Scapa Flow at 2200/23rd. Destroyer
HOTSPUR departed Scapa Flow at 2030/26th in the company of damaged
anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA for Chatham, arriving on 1
May, for repairs completed in mid July 1940.
German destroyers GIESE and ZENKER were refuelled by early afternoon, but
KOELLNER would not be ready until midnight. Destroyer ROEDER
was so badly damaged that she could not leave the pier, so she was assigned
in an immobile harbour defence role. The other four surviving German
destroyers at Narvik required much work before they would be fully combatant
units again; two days would be required to make the ships merely fit to go to
LIGHT CRUISER KONIGSBERG BOMBED AND SUNK
Early on the
10th, five Fleet Air Arm Skuas from 800 Squadron (Captain R. T. Partridge,
RM; Petty Officer Airman H. A. Monk, Petty Officer Airman Jack Hadley, Lt E.
W. T. Taylour, Lt J. A. Rooper) and eleven from 803 Squadron (Lt W. P. Lucy;
Captain E. D. MacIver, RM, Lt A. B. F. Harris, Lt H. E. R. Torin, Lt L. A.
Harris, Lt W. C. A. Church, Lt B. J. Smeeton, Lt C. H. Filmer, Acting Petty
Officer Airman T. F. Riddler, Lt K. V. V. Spurway, Acting Petty Officer Airman
J. A. Gardner) from Hatston, attacked the German light cruiser KONIGSBERG at
Bergen sinking her with three direct hits and two near misses. Captain
Partridge and Lt E. W. T. Taylour of the 800 Squadron, Lt C. H. Filmer, Lt A.
B. Fraser-Harris, Lt E. D. Mciver, RM, of the 803 Squadron made damaging
attacks. One Skua of the 803 Squadron with Acting Lt B. J. Smeeton and
Midshipman (A) F. Watkinson was lost. Eleven crew were killed in the cruiser.
The Germans were later able to refloat KONIGSBERG in 1942, but
the cruiser capsized on 29 July 1944. The cruiser
was stripped for equipment and scrapped after the war.
On the 10th,
German torpedo boat ALBATROS after damage by gunfire was ran aground in Oslofjord at Bolarne. Her damaged was found to be beyond repair,
and she was abandoned, towed into deep water and sunk.
Main Fleet was reinforced at about 0800 by the arrival of battleship WARSPITE
with destroyers ESCORT, ECLIPSE, JANUS, JUNO, JAVELIN from
Scapa Flow and aircraft carrier FURIOUS with destroyers ASHANTI, MAORI,
FORTUNE from the Clyde.
AURORA arrived in Scapa Flow with destroyer
GURKHA survivors during another air raid by German bombers. Light cruisers
GLASGOW were in harbour
refuelling. As on the 8th, the raid, which took place between 2102 and 2148,
caused no damage.
At 1525, off
Varoy in 67‑33. 5N, 12‑47. 5E, destroyer GREYHOUND escorting
destroyer HAVOCK attacked U.64 without success. GREYHOUND dropped
one pattern of depth charges and the submarine was presumed sunk or badly
damaged, but no damage was done.
FEARLESS arrived at Sullom Voe at 0630 to refuel.
the 10th, the aircraft carrier FURIOUS was being considered for an air strike
on Bergen, but the decision was made to leave Bergen to the Fleet Air Arm and
the Royal Air Force and the FURIOUS would launch her planes against ships at
Trondheim. Admiral Forbes now had with him battleships RODNEY, VALIANT,
WARSPITE, carrier FURIOUS, heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK, YORK, destroyers
ASHANTI, COSSACK, ZULU, MAORI, ECLIPSE, ESCORT, ISIS, ILEX, IMOGEN,
INGLEFIELD, JANUS, JAVELIN, JUNO, FORESTER,
and HYPERION left Sullom Voe at 0300 after refuelling on the 10th and joined
Forbes at sea. North, northeast of the Shetlands at 1007, HERO
attacked a submarine contact which was later throught to have been U.50 on
her second war patrol. However, the target was not a submarine and U.50 had
already been lost.
With this force,
Forbes steered north to a position where FURIOUS could fly off her aircraft
against Trondheim on the 11th and
cover the movement of convoy HN.25 to Rosyth.
MUANSA (5472grt) was lost on a mine near Oslofjord.
Just after dark
on the 10th, German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER and destroyer FRIEDRICH
ECKHOLDT left Trondheimsfjord but in heavy seas, ECKHOLDT had to turn back
and make her way back to Trondheim. Due to the non
arrival of German tanker SKAGERRAK (6044grt),
ADMIRAL HIPPER was forced to return to Germany without
refuelling and she would ultimately arrive at Wilhelmshaven with 123 tons
of fuel remaining in her bunkers. German battleships GNEISENAU and
SCHARNHORST had been patrolling in the Arctic waiting to escort the Narvik
group back to Germany, but the damage done to the destroyer force by the
British 2nd Destroyer Flotilla precluded the necessity of a escort at this
time. Battleships GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST refuelled from their supply ship
NORDMARK (10,845grt) and later rendezvoused with German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL
HIPPER at 0830/12th.
The German force was sighted off Egersund at 0721 on the
12th by a British Hudson of 224 Squadron, but contact was
lost at 0925. Seven Blenheims of 224 and twelve of 233 Squadrons of Coastal Command were airborne
searching in the area. Thirty six Wellington of 9 (nine aircraft), 37 and 75
(eleven aircraft), 38 and 149 Squadrons (twelve aircraft) and twenty four
Hampton bombers of 44 (seven aircraft), 50 (five aircraft), 61, 144 Squadrons
of Bomber Command aircraft attempted to attack but none contacted the German
force due to snow, sleet, low visibility. The twelve Hamptons of 61 and 144
Squadron turned back due to being unable to locate the target. Four Hamptons
of 50 Squadron and two of 44 Squadron, one Wellington bomber from 9,
one from 38 Squadron, two from 149 Squadrons, one Hudson from 233 Squadron
were lost to air attacks. At 1000/12 April, the German force was joined by
German destroyers BEITZEN and SCHOEMANN and all arrived at Wilhelmshaven during the
evening of 12 April.
The evening of
10 April, destroyers BEDOUIN and ESKIMO were south of Tjeldoy. Destroyers
PUNJABI and KIMBERLEY were northeast
of Tranoy. Light cruiser PENELOPE was off Tranoy Light. Destroyers GREYHOUND
and HAVOCK were submarine hunting off Rost. Destroyers ESK (D.20), ICARUS,
IVANHOE were patrolling in Vestjord with battlecruisers REPULSE and RENOWN
out to seaward. Destroyers HOSTILE and HOTSPUR were anchored at Skelfjord.
the night of 10 April, destroyers BEDOUIN and ESKIMO on patrol at Baroy
were attacked by U.25, which fired torpedoes at BEDOUIN, but they
prematurely exploded. BEDOUIN was undamaged and continued patrol,
thinking the explosions were detonations of a radio controlled
On the night of
10 April, Captain Erich Bey, senior surviving officer of the Narvik Destroyer
Group, took his only operational destroyers, GIESE and ZENKER, to sea in an
attempt to break out. However, they soon encountered near Tranoy Light
cruiser PENELOPE and destroyers PUNJABI and KIMBERLEY and were forced
to return to Narvik, undetected.
HANSESTADT DANZIG landed troops at Roenne to occupy the island of
HALCYON arrived at Dover at 1045 to join
the 6th Mine Sweeping Flotilla.
departed Dover at 1437 to
rejoin the 5th Mine Sweeping Flotilla in the Humber.
FAIRPLAY and two lighters grounded at 1900 on the Goodwins. The vessels were
refloated at 0830/11th by tug LADY BRASSEY. The lighters were
undamaged. Tug FAIRPLAY proceeded to Ramsgate for inspection.
departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL from 10 to 12 April.
Destroyer WILD SWAN joined on the 12th and remained with the convoy until
dispersal on the 13th.
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE from 10
to 11 April and VANQUISHER from 10 to 13 April. Destroyer VANQUISHER was
detached to convoy HX.32 on the 13th. The convoy dispersed on the 14th.
Convoy OG.25 was
formed from convoys OA.125G, which departed Southend, escorted by destroyers
WAKEFUL and BROKE from 8 to 10 April, OB.125G, which departed Liverpool on the 8th,
escorted by destroyer VERITY. The convoy was escorted by destroyers WAKEFUL,
BROKE, VERITY from 10 April. On the 10th, WAKEFUL was detached to convoy
HG.25 as was destroyer BROKE on the 11th. Destroyer VERITY was detached on
the 11th. French destroyer CHACAL escorted the convoy from 11 to 14 April.
French torpedo boat BATAILLEUSE escorted the convoy from 11 to 16 April. Destroyer
VORTIGERN escorted the convoy from 14 to 16 April when the convoy arrived at
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIMIERIA and sloop BLACK SWAN. The
convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 12th.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER, sloop
trawlers of the 1ST Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived in the Tyne, later that
departed the Tyne, escorted destroyers WHITLEY and
WESTMINSTER and sloop
LONDONDERRY. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 12th.
departed Gibraltar with seventeen ships. The convoy was
escorted by destroyer VELOX from 10 to 13 April. French destroyer LYNX and auxiliary
patrol vessel MINERVE escorted the convoy from 10 to 16 April. Sloop DEPTFORD
escorted the convoy from 16 to 19 April. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 19th.
departed Halifax at 0800
escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA,
which were detached on the 11th. At 1650, Canadian destroyer OTTAWA returned to
Halifax after colliding
with Canadian tug BANSURF (175grt). The ocean escort for the convoy was
Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, which was leaving the command for duty with the
Mediterranean Fleet. The battleship was detached on the 20th. Destroyer OTTAWA was repaired at
Halifax completing on 13 June. Destroyers
WARWICK and WINDSOR escorted the convoy from 23 to 26 April, then the convoy
arrived at Liverpool.
destroyers TRAMONTANE, TORNADE, TYPHON departed Toulon on the 10th and
proceeded to Casablanca for escort
duties. Destroyer TYPHON arrived at Gibraltar on the 15th
after escorting convoy 87 KF, which departed Casablanca on the 13th.
The destroyer departed for Casablanca on the 16th.
FURIOUS launched nine torpedo bombers of 816 Squadron and nine torpedo
bombers of 818 Squadron at 0400 against Trondheim and German heavy cruiser
BLUCHER which was thought to be there. German destroyers RIEDEL and HEINEMANN
and U.34 were the only targets found in port. Due to the shallow waters of
the harbour, the torpedo attacks were ineffective and no damage was done to
any of the German ships. U.48 contacted the British Main Force off Trondheim. At about 1230,
U.48 fired torpedoes at either heavy cruisers
DEVONSHIRE or BERWICK and
two of the torpedoes missed and the third failed to explode. The explosion of
one of the torpedoes was felt in both cruisers. During the early afternoon of
11 April, destroyers ILEX and ISIS were detached on a reconnaissance, ordered
on the 10th, made an independent approach to the mouth of Trondheimsfjord.
ISIS searched Froy
Suls and South Frohavet and intended on searching Skjoen
and beyond with destroyer ILEX. At 1325, ISIS was fired upon by
shore guns at Skjornfjord in 63-39N, 6-48E, which had fallen to German troops
only a few hours before, returned fire. Although the firing of the Norwegian
fortifications was wild and ineffective, their mere presence weighted heavily
on later operations. The destroyers were ordered at 1331 to return to the
Main Force. At 1500 DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK
with destroyers INGLEFIELD, IMOGEN, ISIS, ILEX were ordered to sweep north
from the Trondheim Leads to 66‑17N by 12 April. ISIS and ILEX were
again detached. They were ordered to search Namsenfjord and the approaches to
Namsos. The destroyers were instructed to rejoin the heavy cruisers at 2100
in 64-38N, 10-10E. The destroyers found no shipping in Namsenfjord and at
Namsos. INGLEFIELD and IMOGEN were sent to Indrelein.
destroyers entered and left at Buholmraasa in 64-26N, 10-30E. The destroyers
were also to meet the heavy cruisers at 2100. No shipping was found in the
Inner Leads, Sves Skjervoer, Brands, Berfjorn, Skjora Fjords. At 0500/12th,
ISIS and IMOGEN were detached off Kya Light in 64-28N, 10-13E to
attempt to get pilots at Rovik. DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK
with INGLEFIELD and ILEX worked north. ISIS rejoined at
1530/12th. She reported no German ships of troops between Namsenfjord and
Aasvaerfjord. ISIS had spoken to
Norwegian fishery protection vessel NORDKAPP at Aluangen in 66-03N, 12-35E.
She was informed that the Norwegians had sunk a German tanker (the KATTEGAT). At 2030/12th,
DEVONSHIRE sighted Italian steamer VOLTA (1191grt).
On the 12th, BERWICK's speed was reduced to twenty six knots
due to excessive vibration in the inner HP turbine. The heavy cruisers
rejoined the Main Force at 0930/13th. The destroyers were detached to
Skelfjord to refuel from tanker BRITISH LADY.
FRANCONIA (20,175grt) and SOBIESKI (11,030grt)
left Liverpool escorted by destroyers MACKAY and
WALPOLE. They arrived in the Clyde later that day
and WALPOLE returned to
submarine TRIAD fired two torpedoes at German steamer IONIA (3102grt) in
58-00N, 11-12E near Larvik at the mouth of Oslofjord. One torpedo struck the
German steamer. The German steamer was taken in tow by an auxiliary patrol
boat of the 7th Patrol Boat Flotilla and was towed towards Stavern.
IONIA sank at
0705/11th in 58-30N, 10-35E.
submarine SEALION, stationed in the Kattegat to intercept German naval units
coming out from Kiel, fired two torpedoes at AUGUST LEONHARDT (2593grt)
thirteen miles south of Anholt Island in 56‑30N, 11‑30E. The
German steamer was struck by one torpedo and sank.
submarine SEVERN fired two torpedoes at a German
merchantship of some 6000grt near Kristiansand. Both torpedoes missed.
SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, AFRIDI, SIKH, MOHAWK, CODRINGTON, BRAZEN, JUPITER,
ESCAPADE, ELECTRA, GRIFFIN
completed refuelling at Sullom Voe early on the 11th. At 0400, SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, AFRIDI, SIKH, MOHAWK, ESCAPADE
and ELECTRA departed Sullom Voe to embark ammunition at Scapa Flow where they
arrived at 1300.
GLASGOW and SHEFFIELD with destroyers SOMALI (D.6), MASHONA,
MATABELE, AFRIDI (D.4), SIKH, MOHAWK departed Scapa Flow for operations
on the Norwegian coast. Sweeps of the Indreled were carried out by
destroyers, but no contact was made.
CODRINGTON departed Sullom Voe at 2300 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200/12th.
FORTUNE arrived at Kirkwall at 0530 with
Danish steamer KINA (9823grt). Destroyer FORTUNE continued on to Scapa Flow.
just completed, had been escorted from Portsmouth by destroyer
FOXHOUND to the Clyde, arriving on the 5th for working up. Submarine
TAKU was lent to the 2nd Submarine Flotilla and departed the Clyde for
Scapa Flow on the 11th
escorted by trawler NOTTS COUNTY (541grt) in
preparation of setting out on patrol.
a Submarine west, southwest of Lindesnes.
Submarine U.7 at
Marstein Island occupied the
Norwegian Light House. The submarine remained at Marstein Island until 14 April.
0030/11th, reports from Norwegian sources indicated that a German tanker and
also perhaps a warship were at Bodo. Light cruiser PENELOPE and destroyers
KIMBERLEY and ESKIMO in
Vestfjord were ordered to Bodo to attack the German ships. At 1500, en route
to Bodo, light cruiser PENELOPE ran aground off Fleinver near Bodo and was
badly damaged. PENELOPE was towed to Skelfjord by destroyer ESKIMO and
destroyer KIMBERLEY continued on
alone. Light cruiser PENELOPE after emergency repairs at Skelfjord and damage
from a near miss of a German air bombing on 10 May departed under tow late on
10 May for the Clyde with the protection of anti-aircraft
cruisers CALCUTTA and
COVENTRY. She safely
arrived on 16 May and was undergoing temporary repairs until 2 July 1940. PENELOPE arrived at the
Tyne on 26 August
and was under repair until 2 July 1941.
destroyer KIMBERLEY found the
German steamer ALSTER (8514grt) which had been captured that morning by
destroyer ICARUS in 67‑48N, 13‑15E. ALSTER had attempted to
scuttle herself and had
one scuttling charge , but was not
seriously damaged. German steamer ALSTER was taken to Skelfjord and renamed
EMPIRE ENDURANCE for British service. Earlier, late on the 9th, German tanker
KATTEGAT (6031grt) had
been sunk by Norwegian patrol boat NORDKAPP at Tannholmsfjord near Bodo.
bombing from 1540 to 1700, destroyer ECLIPSE of Forbes' Main Force was bombed
and badly damaged at 1700 with a hit in the engine room northwest of Trondheim
in 64‑48N, 07‑52E. Lt (E) L B Curgenven and two ratings were killed .
One further rating died of wounds and two ratings were wounded. ECLIPSE
was abandoned under heavy air attacks, but was later reboarded by men
from destroyer ESCORT. She was taken in tow by ESCORT. Heavy cruiser YORK was detached from the Commander in
Chief's Main Force to screen the retirement of ECLIPSE. YORK took off the wounded and one hundred
crew from the destroyer. YORK soon relieved
ESCORT. Towed by YORK, ECLIPSE was only able to proceed at five knots screened by destroyers ESCORT
At 2115 off Trondheim, U.48 was able
to fire torpedoes at YORK, but the torpedoes all prematured. ESCORT took over the tow
at 1200/13th in 64-10N, 4-43E. ESCORT slowly towed ECLIPSE at only
one knot in poor weather towards Lerwick supported by anti-air craft cruiser
CAIRO. On 15 April,
YORK arrived in
At 0145/16th, the tow parted in 61-12N, 1-00E, but it was soon regained
with HYPERION's aid. Later that day, ESCORT was relieved by tug ST
MELLONS (860grt) which had left Lerwick at 0840/16th. Destroyers FURY
and HESPERUS arrived with the tug and acted as destroyer escort.
HYPERION and HESPERUS were detached and arrived at Sullom Voe at
2100/16th for refuelling. After refuelling, HYPERION took tanker
ALDERSDALE (8402grt) to Scapa Flow. HESPERUS returned to ECLIPSE's escort. Light
cruisers SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW were involved in screening
the withdrawal of the damaged destroyer. ECLIPSE arrived at Lerwick
1130/17th escorted by ESCORT and FURY. FURY was immediately
detached to assist damaged heavy cruiser SUFFOLK. ECLIPSE later proceeded to the
Clyde arriving at
1800 on 7 May for repairs completed on 7
submarines were given permission to attack all ships without warning within
ten miles of the Norwegian coast from Bergen south.
Convoy NP 1,
composed of liners EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (19,665grt), REINA DEL PACIFICO
(17,707grt), MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt), escorted by repair ship
VINDICTIVE and destroyer AMAZON, departed the Clyde for Narvik. Polish
troopships CHROBRY (11,442grt) and BATORY (14,287grt) with destroyers
HIGHLANDER of the 9th Destroyer Flotilla, VANOC and WHIRLWIND of the 11th
Destroyer Flotilla, VOLUNTEER and WITHERINGTON of the 15th Destroyer Flotilla
and netlayer PROTECTOR left Greenock at 0145/10th and arrived at Scapa Flow
at 0700/11th. These units departed Scapa Flow at 1300/12th
and joined NP 1 at sea. VINDICTIVE and destroyers ARDENT
and ACASTA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1300/12th. Destroyers
ACASTA and ARDENT had departed Plymouth on the 9th,
refuelled at Belfast, before
arriving at Scapa Flow for refuelling. On 13 April, light cruisers
MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM, destroyers ACASTA, ARDENT, CODRINGTON (SO of the
escort force) and repair ship VINDICTIVE which departed Scapa Flow on the
12th and anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyers FEARLESS, BRAZEN, GRIFFIN
which departed Sullom Voe on the 12th, joined the convoy for support.
construction at Clydebank, on trials at sea was escorted by
destroyers WANDERER and WALKER on 11 to 13 April.
maneuvering in Narvik harbour during the night of 11/12 April, German
destroyers ZENKER and KOELLNER ran aground. ZENKER damaged her
propellers and was restricted to only twenty knots. KOELLNER was so badly
damaged that she was unrepairable and the Germans intended to moor her at
Tarstad in the same capacity as ROEDER - an immobile defense battery - once
she was patched up enough to move.
minelayer TYR laid sixteen mines near Vatlestraumen in the southern
approaches to Bergen on the 9th. German
naval auxiliary Schiff 9 (trawler KOBLENZ, 437grt) and
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.105 (trawler CREMON, 268grt) were sweeping mines in
this field on the 11th. Schiff 9 was lost in a mining near Bergen on this
minefield. Auxiliary patrol boat Vp.105, going to Schiff 9's assistance was
also sunk by a mine.
departed Methil, escorted by sloops PELICAN and WESTON and anti-submarine
trawlers of the 19th Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived later that day
in the Tyne.
departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops PELICAN and WESTON.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.
minelayers ROLAND, COBRA, PREUSSEN, KONIGIN LUISE laid two mine barrages off
the Skagerrak from 11 to 13 April.
battleship PROVENCE and heavy
cruisers DUQUESNE and COLBERT departed Dakar. They were
joined by destroyer TROMBE from Casablanca. On 16 April,
the battleship and the destroyer arrived at Oran. The heavy
cruisers arrived at Toulon on the 17th.
LE TERRIBLE departing Oran on the 11th
escorted armed merchant cruiser COLOMBIE from Algier and destroyer ORAGE from
Oran escorted steamer PRESIDENT DOUMIER
from Marseille. Destroyer FORBIN departed Casablanca on the 10th
escorting steamer DJENNE, arriving at Brest on the 13th.
arrived at Brest on the 15th and
PRESIDENT DOUMIER on the 16th for Norwegian operations.
HAVANT and HESPERUS were recalled from anti-submarine hunting and arrived at
Scapa Flow at 2200/11th. They
departed Scapa Flow at 2300/11th and arrived at Thorshavn on
the 12th to inform the Governor of the Faroes Islands that a garrison
of Royal Marines would be garrisoned there to forestall German invasion. The
destroyers then went back out to sea to await the arrival of heavy cruiser
SUFFOLK. This garrison
movement was codenamed VALENTINE. Armed boarding vessels NORTHERN FOAM and
NORTHERN SKY arrived at Thorshavn at 0700/13th.SUFFOLK,
which departed the Clyde on the 12th,
arrived early on the 13th and landed the 250 man Marine detachment. The
operation was completed at 2200/13th. Following this duty, SUFFOLK proceeded to
patrol off Vestfjord and HAVANT and HESPERUS arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1030/14th. NORTHERN
SKY returned to Northern Patrol duties. NORTHERN
FOAM was left at Thorshavn to transport troops and to escort Danish, Norwegian
and neutral shipping from the Faroes to Kirkwall. This garrison
was relieved on 25 May by a force carried by steamer ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt),
escorted by destroyers ARDENT and ACASTA.
Scapa Flow and service off
IMPULSIVE's bow protection boom was removed by depot ship WOOLWICH and was
carried on the deck of destroyer IMPULSIVE. Destroyer IMPULSIVE, after
emergency repairs, departed Scapa Flow for Immingham
to repair her paravane boom.
arrived at Rosyth after patrol.
submarines ANTIOPE and AMAZONE arrived at Harwich after their first patrols
in the 10th Submarine Flotilla. French submarine ANTIOPE departed Harwich
later that day to return to patrol.
torpedo boat STORM was run aground a total loss after German air attack south
of Bergen at Bomlo.
arrived at Scapa Flow for duty after repairs at Newport. Destroyer
NUBIAN arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600 for
duty after repairs in the Tyne.
SNAPPER on patrol in the Skagerrak at 0340
encountered the small German tanker MOONSUND (321grt) near Larvik, south of
Oslofjord in 58-53N, 10-43E. SNAPPER fired two torpedoes which missed. The
submarine then chased the tanker for seven miles before being able to stop
it, took off the crew and sank her with
submarine SUNFISH fired a torpedo at a trawler, probably either Schiff 35 or
Schiff 40, near Maseskar Light. The torpedo missed.
STERLET fired torpedoes at 2130 at a convoy of three merchant ships and
escorts in 57-47N, 9-39E. The torpedoes missed.
BRITISH LADY (6098grt), escorted by destroyers GRENADE and ENCOUNTER, which
departed Scapa Flow at 1600 on 9 April,arrived at Skelfjord
at 1700 to replenish British ships in the Vestfjord area.
SOUTHAMPTON with destroyers ELECTRA and ESCAPADE departed Scapa Flow at 1320 with
General Mackesy to command the Narvik ground forces en route to Narvik on
AURORA arrived at Rosyth on the 11th from Scapa Flow. Light cruiser AURORA
departed Rosyth on the 12th with Lord Cord Orrery, Naval Commander of the
Narvik Expedition.AURORA made the voyage, for the most part, unescorted.
NUBIAN and FORTUNE departed Scapa Flow at 1930 with
tanker WAR PINDARI for Skelfjord, but they were diverted en route to
PUNJABI in Vestfjord engaged a German Do.18 aircraft at 1906.
Destroyers ASHANTI and MAORI
arrived at Sullom Voe for refueling. Refuelling was completed at 2030.
NORTHERNSPRAY (SO), NORTHERN DAWN, NORTHERN GEM, NORTHERN
PRIDE, NORTHERN WAVE of the 12th
Antisubmarine Striking Force departed Aberdeen for Skjelfjord.
Six Skuas of 800 Squadron (Captain R.T. Partridge RM, Acting Lt E.W.T. Taylour,
Petty Officer Airman J. Hadley, Lt E.G. Finch-Noyes, Lt J.A. Rooper, Petty
Officer Airman H.A. Monk),six of 801 Squadron (Lt Cdr P. Bramwell, Lt R.L.
Strange, Probationary Temporary S/Lt (A) B.F. Wigginton RNVR, Lt (A) W. H.
Martyn, Probationary Temporary S/Lt (A) J.B. March RNVR, Petty Officer Airman
H.C. Kimber, eight of 803 Squadron (Lt W.P. Lucy, Lt C.H. Filmer, Lt H.E.R.
Torin, Lt L.A. Harris RM, Lt (A) W.C.A. Church, Lt K.V.V. Spurway, Acting
Petty Officer T.F. Riddler, Petty Officer J.A. Gardner) from Hatston attacked
Bergen. Several near misses were scored on merchant ships and motor torpedo
boat S.24 was strafed by Lt Lucy's aircraft and sustained three crew wounded.
A Skua of 803 Squadron forced landed in Korsfjord. Petty Officer J.A. Gardner
and Naval Airman A. Todd were rescued and returned to Hatston by air on the
U.37 sank steamer
(4511grt) forty five miles northeast of Unst Island, Shetlands. Twenty
two crew were lost. On 16 April, survivors
arrived on the north coast of
Scotland in their
U.38 reported a destroyer and two merchant
ships in Vestfjord on a northeasterly course.
ship LEVANTE (4770grt) arrived safely at Trondheim, three days
THORLAND (5208grt), which had been laid up since 1937, was seized by German
forces at Sandefjord.
Early on the
12th, Admiral Forbes joined Battlecruisers RENOWN and REPULSE off Vestfjord. The
plans for destroying German naval forces, believed to include two light
cruisers, at Narvik was to be an attack by a battleship heavily escorted by
destroyers in conjunction with an airstrike by aircraft carrier FURIOUS
aircraft. Swordfish aircraft were launched against the Narvik area by
aircraft carrier FURIOUS. 818 Squadron with nine aircraft under Lt Cdr P.G.
Sydney-Turner reached Narvik, despite poor weather, but was driven off by
anti-aircraft fire without causing any damage to the German ships, except
slight splinter damage to destroyer GIESE. Three small Norwegian craft, taken
over by the Germans were sunk and Dutch steamer BERNISSE (951grt) was
scuttled during the attack. Two planes, piloted by Sydney-Turner with Lt W.B.
Kellett, Petty Officer W.H. Dillnutt and S/Lt S.G.J. Appleby with Leading
Airman E. Tapping, were shot down, but their crews were picked up by
destroyers PUNJABI and GRENADE, respectively. 816 Squadron with nine
Swordfish under Lt Cdr H.H. Gardner did not even reach Narvik and did not
return to FURIOUS until after dark. An aircraft landing from this group,
piloted by Lt M D Donati, plunged off the flightdeck of the carrier.
Destroyer HERO picked up Donati and Leading Airman F.A.J. Smith.
destroyers FEARLESS, GRIFFIN, BRAZEN
departed Sullom Voe to rendezvous with the northbound convoy, then screen
battleship VALIANT during her passage north.
RESOLUTION with destroyers ANTELOPE and WITCH arrived in the Clyde from
Plymouth in preparation
of going to Norway.
BASILISK arrived at Dover to rejoin the
19th Destroyer Flotilla after repairs.
Troopship ORION (23,456grt) departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITLEY
Convoy FN.143 departed Southend, destroyer
WOLSEY and sloop FLEETWOOD. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 14th.
Convoy FS.144 departed the Tyne, escorted by
sloops PELICAN and WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th. Convoy
FS.145 was cancelled.
WILHELM REINHOLD (259grt) was seized by Norwegian forces, but was
sunk by German bombing before the end of the month in the Skagerrak.
NORDLAND, BLANKENBURG under
control arrived at Aberdeen during the
night of 12/13 April. Later on 18 May, trawler NORDLAND sailed for Glasgow for fitting out
and BLANKENBURG departed on 19 May for North Shields for fitting out.
steamer VELOCITAS (197grt) was lost on a mine in 51‑25N, 01‑50E. Three
crew were lost and two rescued by British steamer
chaser C.107 was lost in a collision with French steamer SHELSPRA (1951grt)
in the River Loire.
DAINTY and DIAMOND arrived at Gibraltar, escorting
destroyer depot ship RESOURCE from Freetown.
MEXIQUE departed Marseilles and was
escorted by destroyer LE MARS from Gibraltar. The steamer
arrived at Brest on the 16th.
En route to duty
in the Malaya Force, following conversion, Australian armed merchant cruiser
WESTRALIA captured Norwegian steamer FERNLANE (4310grt) north of Australia and sent her
under a prize crew to Singapore.
U.34 scuttled Norwegian minelayer
which had been run aground in Trondheimsfjord after severe damage from German
coastal artillery on 9 April.
Submarine CACHALOT departed Portsmouth for the
Tyne on the 10th. The submarine arrived at Blyth on the 12th. CACHALOT departed
Blyth on the 13th en route to Immingham to embark mines. The submarine was
damaged in a collision with Italian merchant ship BEPPE (4859grt) from convoy
FN.43 near Whitby. The merchant ship proceeded to Wallsend. CACHALOT was able to
proceed under her own power to the Tyne arriving on the 14th.She was taken to
Sheerness on the 27th escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER. Escorted by sloop
FOXGLOVE, she then was taken to Chatham, arriving on 1 May for drydocking.
Later, she went to Plymouth for permanent repairs completed on 16 July. This
accident removed CACHALOT from minelaying mission FD.7. Submarine SEAL was
scheduled on completion of her current patrol to drydock at Chatham. However,
CACHALOT took over SEAL's drydocking time and SEAL assumed the FD.7 duties.
and Polish destroyers GROM, BURZA, BLYSKAWICA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0630 from
JUPITER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1100 from
Convoy NS.1 of steamers LOMBARDY (3379grt) and LOCHEE (964grt) arrived at
Flow at 0800 escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE and VANESSA. After
refuelling, the destroyers proceeded to Devonport at 1200.
SECOND BATTLE OF NARVIK
Early on the
13th, destroyer ICARUS led the minesweeper sweep followed by destroyers HERO,
FOXHOUND and FORESTER streaming minesweeps. These ships swept for mines in
Vestfjord prior to battleship WARSPITE's entry into the Fjord for Operation
DW. At 0730, the Narvik attack force was composed of battleship
WARSPITE (Captain V.A.C. Crutchley, now flying the flag of Vice Admiral
Whitworth) with destroyers FORESTER, FOXHOUND, HERO and COSSACK joining
destroyers BEDOUIN, KIMBERLEY,
ESKIMO and PUNJABI, which formerly operated with light cruiser PENELOPE
and destroyer minelayer ICARUS of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla.
Destroyer IVANHOE of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla and destroyer HOSTILE
of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, while not taking part in the attack,
entered the fjord after the WARSPITE force on general duties which
would include screening damaged ships and picking up survivors. At
1040, U.48 was discovered by ESKIMO in Vestfjord. Destroyers ESK,
IVANHOE, HOSTILE, HAVOCK were sent to hunt the submarine and ESKIMO
continued with the WARSPITE group. The submarine was attacked, but no
damage was done. WARSPITE's aircraft scouting ahead of the force
located U.64, on her first war patrol, on the surface off Bjevik and sank her with bombs in 68‑29N, 17‑30E. Thirty six crew
of the forty four man crew were able to swim ashore and were assisted by
German Alpine troops. The crew of U.64 was returned to Germany commencing on
the 13th on the Swedish railway and arriving on the 26th on a German
Ten Swordfish of 816 and 818 Squadrons under Captain A.R.
Burch RM, from aircraft carrier FURIOUS attacked the German destroyers.
HERMANN KUNNE (HK - see map) and BERND VON ARMIM (BA) were near missed, but not significantly damaged. Two
Swordfish of 818 Squadron were shot down by the German forces. The crew of
one from 816 Squadron, piloted by Midshipman (A) D H Dammers, was rescued
after the plane landed in a snowdrift.Dammers was wounded; his TAG Leading Airman
A.J. Sturgess was unhurt. Acting S/Lt (A) G.R. Hampden and Naval Airman R.
Dale of the other SWORDFISH were missing.
U.46, five miles up the fjord from Baroy, made an approach at periscope
depth on WARSPITE. Maneuvering submerged, she struck an unchartered
rock and broke surface. U.46 was able to escape, however, on the
surface as the British force was occupied with the sighting of German
destroyer KUNNE. ERICH KOELLNER (EK), escorted by KUNNE, on her way to
Taarstad sighted the WARSPITE force at 1300 as it was approaching the
Narrows. KUNNE sounded the alarm and destroyers HANS LUDEMAN (HL),
WOLFGANG ZENKER (WZ) and ARNIM got underway. KOELLNER slowly made her
way to Djupvik Bay to wait in
ambush as she was in no shape to offer battle. However, KOELLNER's fate was
sealed when she was located by WARSPITE's aircraft. The two leading
destroyers, BEDOUIN and ESKIMO, alerted by the WARSPITE
scouting plane, sighted KOELLNER as they rounded the point of Djupvik and sank
her in a few minutes. Thirty one crew were killed and forty wounded on KOELLNER. KUNNE exchanged shots with the
force as she retired down the Fjord, but at such long range, nothing came of
it. As KUNNE retired towards Narvik, she encountered LUDEMAN and ZENKER and
they turned towards the British force. Just as they came into
sight, the German force was strengthened by the arrival of ARNIM. Destroyer
PUNJABI was hit by many five inch shells and was seriously damaged with
large fires. She retired up the Fjord for
a time, putting out her fires. PUNJABI then returned to the battle, but was
limited to fifteen knots and had a jagged hole in her bow. Six were killed,
and seventeen, including Lt Cdr (E) R.R. Shorto, were wounded. One wounded
died of wounds the next day on board WARSPITE.
By this time, KUNNE, ZENKER and ARNIM were all damaged by shellfire and
had exhausted their ammunition. KUNNE, retiring up Herjangsfjord and
pursued by ESKIMO, ran herself aground. ESKIMO fired torpedoes into
KUNNE to complete the destruction. There were no casualties on KUNNE.
German destroyer ERICH GIESE (EG), now with steam up, sailed out of
Narvik harbour and was sunk by gunfire from COSSACK, BEDOUIN, FOXHOUND,
FORESTER, HERO and ICARUS. Eighty three crew were killed, many wounded,
and nine crew were captured from GIESE. As the British force was
nearing Narvik, they were taken under fire by destroyer DIETHER VON
ROEDER (VR), but the gunfire was mistaken for coming from a shore gun.
As COSSACK made her way between the wrecks in the harbour, she was
taken under fire by ROEDER and hit eight times by five inch shells; two
of which inflicted serious damage. One shell exploded against the fore
end of the forward superstructure killing or wounding all the
ammunition party inside. The other shell burst in the forward boiler
room, killing the stokers and severing the leads from the bridge to the
steering engine and the engine room telegraphs and fractured the main
steam pipes. Without steerage or means to stop the engines, COSSACK ran
hard aground on the south shore opposite the harbour. For the next
twelve hours, she remained on this perch, sniped at by General Dietl's
troops. Fortunately, most of the mountain guns carried on the
destroyers for Dietl were swept away in heavy seas encountered on the
voyage to Narvik. Eight ratings were killed and nineteen crew, two
dying of wounds, were wounded on destroyer COSSACK.
COSSACK from her location,
seeing that ROEDER had now been abandoned, ordered FOXHOUND into the harbour
to board her. As FOXHOUND neared ROEDER, a burst of
machine gun fire and rifle fire from the shore erupted and FOXHOUND stood off
while she returned the fire. While this exchange was going on, ROEDER exploded
and was totally demolished. There were no casualties on ROEDER. Destroyers
ESKIMO, FORESTER, HERO, BEDOUIN and ICARUS went up Rombaksfjord in pursuit of ZENKER, ARNIM, LUDEMAN
and GEORG THIELE (GT). Destroyer ESKIMO
encountered LUDEMAN and THIELE which opened up with the last of their main
armament ammunition. ESKIMO was the joined by FORESTER and HERO. LUDEMAN fired torpedoes at them
but they were evaded by ESKIMO and outrun by FORESTER and HERO. LUDEMAN was hit a
number of times by shellfire from the three destroyers and retired up the
fjord to join ZENKER and ARNIM where all three scuttled themselves
and their crews went ashore. There were a number of casualties in the number
4 and 5 guns on LUDEMAN. There were no casualties on ZENKER and ARNIM. THIELE fired torpedoes at the
ships and then, badly damaged herself, ran aground and capsized. One of the
torpedoes struck ESKIMO under the forecastle blasting away the forward part
of the ship. The forward turret was out of action, but B turret managed to
keep up the fire. FORESTER and PUNJABI stood by ESKIMO, while
HERO, ICARUS and KIMBERLEY
continued up the fjord. There were fourteen killed and twenty eight
wounded on THIELE. There were fifteen ratings killed and ten crew
wounded on ESKIMO.
HERO, ICARUS and KIMBERLEY found THIELE, LUDEMAN
and ZENKER, all aground and abandoned. As they
approached, ZENKER slid off the rocks and sank. A boarding party was put
aboard LUDEMAN but after discovering that all the documents had been
destroyed prior to abandoning ship, the landing party left and a torpedo was fired to complete the destruction. There was one
rating killed and two wounded on FORESTER, and one crewman
wounded on KIMBERLEY.
At 1755, WARSPITE
escorted by destroyers FOXHOUND, BEDOUIN, HERO and ICARUS retired from the area and got as
far as Vestfjord at 2050 when she reversed course and returned to Ofotfjord
to assist the damaged COSSACK, ESKIMO and PUNJABI. KIMBERLEY had been left
to stand by COSSACK, while PUNJABI and FORESTER had been left to stand
by ESKIMO. Two other destroyers, IVANHOE and HOSTILE, which had arrived were
left off Narvik to investigate the merchant ships, but the detail was soon
abandoned when the destroyers were ordered to hunt a German submarine.
the battle, Norwegian steamer CATE B (4285grt) and merchant tanker RODSKJAEL
(133grt), Swedish steamers TORNE
OXELOSUND (5613grt) and tug STYRBJOEN (167grt), German tanker
JAN WELLEM (11,776grt) were lost, but later salved. Swedish
steamer OXELOSUND was sunk on 8 May by an internal explosion. U.51 had been at Narvik
when the British attack began and, believing the attack to be an air raid,
went into the harbour to bottom. Later, U.51 slipped out of the harbour, undetected, to
attack the British force but without success. Destroyer FOXHOUND dropped
depth charges on U.25 off Tjellebotn doing minor damage to her at
1840. During the night of 13/14 April, destroyer IVANHOE found the destroyer
HARDY survivors and the crew of the British Narvik merchant ships that had
been put ashore from the German tanker JAN WELLEM during the First Battle of
Narvik. IVANHOE embarked these men at Ballengen and took them back
Shortly after 2000, destroyer KIMBERLEY
unsuccessfully tried to tow COSSACK off the ground. It was not until
0315/14th that COSSACK finally got underway on her own in high water.
COSSACK proceeded to WARSPITE to offload her casualties. Then with
destroyer FORESTER escorting, COSSACK proceeded stern first to
Skelfjord. At Skelfjord emergency repairs were made to COSSACK. Her
ammunition was transferred to destroyer ZULU and her torpedoes to
destroyer BEDOUIN. COSSACK departed Skelfjord at 2300/23rd after more
emergency repairs with British tanker WAR PINDARI and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0830/27th. COSSACK departed
Scapa Flow at 1510/28th and arrived at
Portsmouth on the 30th for
repairs which were completed on 15 June 1940.
ESKIMO also arrived at Skelfjord early on the 14th towed by BEDOUIN and
escorted by HOSTILE and IVANHOE. After emergency repairs at Skelfjord,
ESKIMO departed under the tow of British repair ship VINDICTIVE on 14
May to Tjelsundet when Skelfjord was abandoned as a base. ESKIMO
proceeded under own power to Hol. She was at various anchorages before
berthing at the jetty at Harstad on 17 May. On 25 May, ESKIMO was ready
to be moved to England and left
stern first under tow for the Clyde where she
arrived on 4 June. ESKIMO was under repairs until the first week of September
PUNJABI after emergency repairs at Skelfjord departed
Skelfjord during the forenoon of 20 April. PUNJABI arrived at Scapa Flow at 2200/23rd, departed
at 2000/25th and went to Plymouth arriving at
1700/27th. The repairs to PUNJABI were completed on 12 June 1940.
With the loss of
the German Narvik destroyers, provisions were made in Germany to supply the
stranded Narvik troops. Submarines in German shipyards were loaded with
supplies and sent off to Narvik. However, because of the
naval control in the area of Narvik, the submarines were diverted en route to
On 12 April,
U.26 and U.43 with twelve and eighteen tons, respectively, of military stores
set out from Wilhelmshaven. They both
arrived at Trondheim on the 18th.
U.29 with twenty tons of ammunition and
thirty tons of fuel departed Wilhelmshaven on the 17th.U
32 with twenty tons of ammunition, an 88 mm gun, thirty tons of fuel and U.A
with fifty tons of ammunition and eighty tons of fuel departed Wilhelmshaven on the 27th.U
101 with thirty six tons of military supplies departed Kiel on the 29th.
U.32 was almost lost en route when the benzine fumes penetrated into the submarine itself. U.29 arrived at
Bergen on the 19th and
departed on the 20th. At Fro Havet, the submarine was attacked by two
Destroyers as she entered harbour on the 22nd.She arrived on the 23rd at
Trondheim and remained
until 27 April. U.32 was attacked by
three destroyers on 1 May.She sustained no damage and arrived on 5 May at
Trondheim. Three days later U.32 departed Trondheim to return to
Germany.She was attacked three times by destroyers.She was attacked twice on
8 May by two destroyers and the next day by three destroyers. The submarine
arrived at Wilhelmshaven on 13 May with
engine defects which were corrected at Kiel in three days.
U.A arrived on 2 May at Trondheim. U.101 arrived at Trondheim on 3 May.
U.26 departed Wilhelmshaven on 23 May and
safely at Trondheim on a second
supply mission. German U.122 departed Kiel on 16 May and
arrived with fifty tons of ammunition and eighty tons of fuel on 21 May.
GALATEA and ARETHUSA were ordered to Rosyth from Scapa Flow to embark troops
which had been aboard Cruiser Squadron1 at the start of the Norwegian
campaign.Troopships ORION (23,456grt), DUCHESS OF ATHOLL (20,119grt),
SOBIESKI (11,030grt) in convoy TP 1 were to have been used, but in light of
the danger from air attacks, these large troopship were removed from the
operation and anti-aircraft cruisers CARLISLE and CURACOA were substituted. The
troops embarked on the 14th were to be landed at Namsos, but these plans were
later changed and the landing eventually took place at Aandalsnes. The small
storeships of this operation, CEDARBANK (5159grt), ST SUNNIVA (1368grt), ST
MAGNUS (1312grt) arrived at Aandalsnes early on the 21st.
which had departed the Clyde on the 11th and
Flow on the 12th received orders to send a section of the convoy
to Namsos. Vice Admiral Layton on light cruiser MANCHESTER was ordered to
take troopships CHROBRY (11,442grt) and EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (19,665grt)
escorted by his light cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM, anti-aircraft
cruiser CAIRO, destroyers VANOC, WHIRLWIND, HIGHLANDER to land troops and
supplies at Namsos. Layton arrived safely
on the 15th with his force, designated Force WX, at Lillesjona, 66-14N,
13-00E, from where the troops would be ferried on to Namsos.
battleship VALIANT and battlecruiser REPULSE with destroyers JANUS, JUNO, JAVELIN,
coming south from their patrol off Vestfjord to cover convoy NP.1, were
joined by destroyers FEARLESS, BRAZEN, GRIFFIN, which had departed Sullom Voe
on the 12th. Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers JANUS, JUNO, JAVELIN
covered the convoy in passing and continued on to Scapa Flow, arriving
1200/14th. Battleship VALIANT with destroyers FEARLESS, BRAZEN, GRIFFIN escorted the
convoy back to Vestfjord.
evening of 12 April, light cruisers GLASGOW (Captain F. H. Pegram) and SHEFFIELD and destroyers
SOMALI, AFRIDI, MOHAWK, SIKH, MATABELE, MASHONA had been searching the Leads
from 62-28N and northwards for enemy shipping. The cruisers had been sweeping
north from Stadlandet and the destroyers had been scouting Aalesund,
Aandalsnes, Molde, Namsos. The destroyers under Captain D 6 were attacked by
twelve German bombers near Aalesund. No damage was done to the
British ships. At
1234/13th north of the Shetlands, U.37 launched torpedoes against light
cruisers GLASGOW and SHEFFIELD, which had pulled away from the Norwegian
coast during the daylight hours, but the attack failed due to torpedo defects.
Late on the 13th, the destroyers were sent to Aalesund to investigate a
merchant ship report. On arrival, they learned that the vessels were
Norwegian merchant ships and the destroyers returned to the light cruisers'
cruiser EMILE BERTIN, large destroyers TARTU, MAILLE BREZE, CHEVALIER PAUL,
destroyer BOULONNAIS departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for the Clyde.
NARWHAL laid mines fifty miles at 1628 north of Laeso Island near Cape Skagen
in 57-26N, 10-45E. On this minefield, designated FD.5, German auxiliary
minesweeper M.1101 (trawler FOCH & HUBERT, 518grt) was lost on the 14th;
auxiliary minesweepers M.1703 (trawler MIDLUM, 341grt, later salved)
on the 16th; and auxiliary minesweeper M.1302 (trawler SCHWABEN, 436grt)
on the 23rd. German steamer TOGO (5054grt) was
damaged on this minefield on the 21st.
submarine SUNFISH fired two torpedoes at German naval auxiliary Schiff 40
(steamer SCHURBEK, 2448grt), which was outfitted as a Q ship, north of Marstrand,
Sweden in 58‑01N,
11‑27E. One torpedo struck Schiff 40, badly damaged her
and she was run ashore at Gronskren. Later Schiff 40 was taken to Wilhelmshaven for repairs.
submarine NARWHAL fired six torpedoes at one large and one small vessel with
two small escorts off Aalbeck Light. All the torpedoes missed.
PORPOISE departed Rosyth to relieve submarine CLYDE off Egersund.
S/Lt (A) L.C. Franklin of 771 Squadron, lent
to Bomber Command, was killed when the Wellington of 38 Squadron he was in
crashed 22 miles north of Whitby.
Convoy FN.144 departed Southend, escorted by
destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 15th.
Convoy MT.50 departed Methil, escorted by
destroyer WALLACE, sloop FLAMINGO, anti-submarine trawlers of the 1st
Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.
GAZELLE (212grt) was lost to enemy action.
MALANGEN (487grt) was captured by Norwegian forces and renamed HONNINGSVAAG
for Norwegian service.
minesweeper M.1108 (trawler DR EICHELBAUM, 476grt) was lost in a collision
with a Danish steamer in the Great Belt.
submarine chaser IDA reported
sinking a British submarine south of Oslofjord.
with thirty two ships departed Gibraltar escorted by
destroyers DOUGLAS and WRESTLER on the 13th. Destroyer VIVACIOUS escorted the
convoy from 14 to 16 April. Destroyers DOUGLAS and WRESTLER accompanied this
convoy to Portsmouth to give leave. Convoy
HG.26 arrived at Liverpool on the 23rd. In Home Waters, convoy
HG.26 A was escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS.
cruiser HOBART departed on the 13th Colombo en route to
Aden.Shortly after departure, she encountered Danish steamer AFRIKA (8597grt)
which she sent into Colombo. Light cruiser HOBART arrived at Aden on the 18th for
duty in the Red Sea.
carriers ARK ROYAL and
GLORIOUS with destroyrs STUART, BULLDOG, WESTCOTT with destroyer WISHARD as
additional local escort arrived at Gibraltar from
submarines PASCAL, ARGO, ACHERON, escorted by destroyer LA PALME, departed
Casablanca. The four arrived at Bizerte on the 18th.
SWAN intercepted Norwegian steamer SOLHEIM (8070grt) off Fremantle and took
her into harbour. Australian armed merchant cruiser WESTRALIA, en route from
Balikpapen to Darwin, intercepted Norwegian tanker HAVBOR (7614grt) and
escorted her to Darwin. On 15 April, Australian armed merchant cruiser
MANOORA, which had been relieved by WESTRALIA on Malaya Force duties,
departed Darwin with Norwegian
tankers HAVBOR and THORDIS (8210grt).She also collected Norwegian steamers
HOEGH GIANT (10,990grt) and ANDERS JAHRE (9970grt) at Thursday Island and all arrived
at Brisbane on the 19th.
New Zealand armed merchant
cruiser HECTOR departed Auckland on the 13th.She
arrived at the mouth of the Brisbane River on the 17th and
found Norwegian tankers THORSHOV (9955grt) and SOLOR (8262grt) there under
armed guard. The three departed on the 19th for Wellington. On 23 April at
sea, armed merchant cruiser HECTOR was in a collision with Norwegian tanker
THORSHOV.Damage to HECTOR required three weeks to repair.
Light cruiser FIJI, returning from trials, was
in a minor collision with armed merchant cruiser DERBYSHIRE in the Clyde.
French submarines ORPHEE (Lieutenant de
Vaisseau R.H.A. Meynier) of the 16th Submarine Division and DORIS (Capitaine de
Corvette J.E.M. Favreul) and CIRCE (Lieutenant de Vaisseau A. Frossard) of the
13th Submarine Division arrived at Harwich from Brest to reinforce the 10th
Submarine Flotilla for patrols in the southern North Sea.
BLACKHEATH (4637grt) of convoy NM.1 and CEDARBANK (5159grt) of convoy TM.1
departed the Downs on the 11th for Rosyth where they safely
arrived at 0605/13th, escorted by destroyers ARROW and ACHERON, respectively.
These two steamers and steamers CYCLOPS (9076grt) and CHARLBURY
(4836grt) formed convoy NM.1 for Namsos. Convoy NS.1 of steamers
LOMBARDY (3379grt) and
LOCHEE (964grt) sailed from the Clyde escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE and
VANESSA to join convoy NM.1. Destroyers FAME, DIANA, GRAFTON
arrived at Rosyth at 0700/15th from the Humber. Convoy NM.1 of
CEDARBANK, CYCLOPS, BLACKHEATH, CHARLBURY departed Leith at 1200/15th
escorted by destroyers FAME, IMPERIAL,
DIANA with destroyer GRAFTON to join en route.
Steamer LOMBARDY dragged anchors
in a gale and struck steamer LOCHEE on the 15th.Both steamers were unable to
proceed with the convoy. En route at 1418/16th, a Hurricane crashed near the
convoy 30 miles 115° from Wick within sight of the convoy and destroyers
DIANA and IMPERIAL unsuccessfully searched for the pilot. The convoy called
at Scapa Flow on the 16th to empty the radiators of
the vehicles in the steamers. Convoy NSM 1, with
steamers CYCLOPS and CHARLBURY of NM.1, BLACKHEATH, MACGREGOR LAIRD
(4015grt),tanker INVERARDER (5578grt) and collier BALMAHA (1428grt), departed
Flow for Namsos at 0800/17th escorted by destroyer DELIGHT, DIANA,
IMPERIAL. Destroyer MAORI departed Scapa Flow at 1345/17th to
join the convoy. On 22 April, destroyer DELIGHT (escort SO) was ordered to
take the convoy to Vaagsfjord.
minesweeper M.6 of the 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla in the North Sea attacked a
submarine contact. It was at one time thought this contact was TARPON, but she
had already been lost by this time.
ALLIED SUBMARINE OPERATIONS
submarine SNAPPER fired a torpedo at a darkened ship, which may have been Q
ship Schiff 35, in 58-00N, 11-00E.
submarine SNAPPER fired five torpedoes at German steamer
carrying ammunition and supplies to Oslo, in convoy off
Skagen, in 57‑50N, 10-57E. The steamer was struck and sank in 57-59N,
10-51E. SNAPPER returned to England with no
submarine SUNFISH fired two torpedoes at German naval auxiliary Schiff 35
(steamer OLDENBURG, 2312grt), which was outfitted as a Q ship, east of
Laeso Island near Skagen. Both
torpedoes struck Schiff 35 and the ship sank in 57-50N, 11-15E. SUNFISH returned to
England with only one
submarine TRIAD fired two torpedoes at two merchant ships, escorted by an
escort ship, near the mouth of Oslofjord.
arrived at Rosyth after patrol.
At 2100 near the
Skaw in the
Kattegat in 58-42N,
STERLET hit German gunnery training ship BRUMMER with one torpedo, as she was returning to
Stavanger from convoy duty.
Survivors were picked up escorting torpedo boats JAGUAR, FALKE and escort
ship F.5 and she sank under tow during the morning of the 16th, 1/2 mile 52° of Tvesten Light in 58-55N, 9-55E.
rendezvoused with Norwegian submarine B 3 in Vestfjord.
As light cruiser
arrived in Vestfjord, she was unsuccessfully attacked by U.38. Later
that day SOUTHAMPTON with destroyers ELECTRA and ESCAPADE arrived at
Salangen. General Mackesy and troops aboard, two companies of the Scots
Guards of the 1st Scots Guards Battalion, were disembarked a few miles
west of Sjovegan in Salangenfjord.
AURORA, with Lord Cord Orrery aboard, arrived at Skelfjord.
HAVELOCK (D.9) arrived at Scapa Flow at 1045 to join
the Commander in Chief Home Fleet to act as an anti-submarine striking force.
WARSPITE, escorted by two destroyers, was attacked by U.46 and later by U.48
in Vestfjord. Fortunately for WARSPITE, all the torpedoes fired exploded
aircraft of 800 Squadron (Captain R.T. Partridge RM, Lt E.W.T. Taylour, Petty
Officer Airman J. Hadley, Lt E.G. Finch-Noyes, Lt J.A. Rooper, Petty Officer
Airman H.A. Monk) and nine Skua aircraft of 803 Squadron (Lt W.P. Lucy, Lt
A.B. Fraser-Harris, Captain E.D. McIver RM, et al) departed Hatston to attack
Bergen. Six aircraft of the 803 Squadron (Harris, Torin, Church, Filmer,
RIddler, Spurway) did not locate the target. German motor torpedo boats S.23
and S.25, arriving from Wilhelmshaven, were strafed
with slight casualties. U.60 and U.7
were attacked on the surface, but were not damaged. Captain E.D. McIver RM,
Leading Airman A.A. Barnard of 803 Squadron in a Skua were lost in the raid. German
supply ship BARENFELS (7569grt), originally to have gone to Narvik, was badly
damaged by Lt Lucy while unloading at Bergen.
REPULSE and destroyers JUNO, JANUS, JAVELIN
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200 after having been covered in
passing the progress of convoy NP.1 towards Vestfjord.
ENTERPRISE, which had
departed Portsmouth on the 12th,
arrived at Scapa Flow for duty with the Home Fleet off
Late on the
14th, light cruiser SHEFFIELD transferred a
landing party to the destroyers SOMALI (D.6), MASHONA, MATABELE of the 6th
Destroyer Flotilla and AFRIDI (D.4), SIKH, MOHAWK of the 4th Destroyer
Flotilla and the party was ferried ashore east of Namsos. Alanding party from
light cruiser GLASGOW was ferried ashore at Bangsund. These landings, code
named HENRY, commenced one hour before dark. Destroyer SOMALI, joined by anti-aircraft
cruiser CURLEW on the 16th, remained at Namsos to support these three hundred
and fifty seamen and Royal Marines and Pegram's force returned to sea.
Destroyer KIMBERLEY at
approximately 1500 sent an investigating party of twelve men in a cutter with
a crew of three ashore to Narvik. The cutter got as far as a flying boat
moored at a buoy before being taken under fire from German troops in a
railway tunnel, Lt H.T.D. Glynn and four ratings were killed and eight men
SWAN, AUCKLAND, FLAMINGO,
BITTERN embarked 700 Royal Marines taken from companies of repairing capital
ships NELSON, BARHAM, HOOD. Sloop AUCKLAND with a
contingent from battleship BARHAM departed Rosyth on the 14th.She was to have
arrived at Aalesund twenty four hours ahead of the other three sloops. Sloops
BLACK SWAN, FLAMINGO, BITTERN departed Rosyth at 0320/15th.In heavy seas, the
three sloops overtook sloop AUCKLAND and all four
spent the night of 15/16 at Invergordon. All four sloops departed at
1030/16th from Invergordon to land these troops at Aandalsnes on Operation
PRIMROSE. The original plan had been for sloop AUCKLAND to have arrived
and landed her troops at dawn on the 16 April.
German destroyers HEINEMANN and ECKHOLDT, both with engine room defects,
departed Trondheim for
Wilhelmshaven where they
safely arrived in the morning of 16 April.
at Skelfjord, destroyers INGLEFIELD, IMOGEN, ISIS, ILEX rejoined heavy
cruiser DEVONSHIRE at 0700/14th in 69-30N, 16-05E.
ISIS and ILEX were
sent ahead to investigate Ringvassoy and Kvatsoy Fjord. Heavy cruiser BERWICK
with INGLEFIELD (D.3) and IMOGEN examined Andfjord, Gratangsbotn,
Vaagsfjorden and area on the 14th. Anti-submarine patrols were set up by
ILEX and ISIS at the north and south entrances to Tromsofjord. DEVONSHIRE (Flagship Vice Admiral John Cunningham,
CS 1) arrived at Tromso after sweeping for German shipping. At 2100 DEVONSHIRE, ISIS and ILEX put to
sea. ISIS and ILEX were detached at 0100/15th off
Arnoy Island in 70-15N,
20-28E to meet aircraft carrier FURIOUS. IMOGEN later joined the
aircraft carrier's screen. DEVONSHIRE joined BERWICK and INGLEFIELD ten miles north of
North Cape at 0700/15th.
DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK with INGLEFIELD
arrived at Kirkenes at 1630/15th.
Reports of warships off Petsamo caused CS 1
to order INGLEFIELD to investigate, she departed Kirkenes at 1800/15th, and found these to be
two Russian destroyers. She also encountered a Russian submarine. The heavy
cruisers put to sea from Kirkenes at 2000/15 April to cover the passage of a
Norwegian convoy of Danish transport DRONNING MAUD (1779grt) and Norwegian
motor transport KONG HAAKON (874grt) to Tromso. INGLEFIELD joined
BERWICK in escorting the convoy. On 16 April, BERWICK experienced some minor flooding caused by damage from a near miss of
DEVONSHIRE arrived at
Tromso at 1645/16th and departed again at 2000. The convoy arrived at Tromso
during the night of 16/17 April. BERWICK and INGLEFIELD arrived at Tromso at 0730/17th.
DEVONSHIRE arrived back in
the Kirkenes at 1638/16th and joined FURIOUS with
ILEX and ISIS which had arrived there. They all soon departed Kirkenes again
and arrived at Tromso on the 17th. IMOGEN departed Kirkenes as the
convoy escort at 2200/17th and arrived at Tromso with the convoy at 2130/19th.
These two Norwegian convoys were carrying troops that had been engaged in the
Neutrality Watch near the Finnish border.
SKAGERRAK (6044grt) northwest of Vaagso in 64‑05N,
02‑00E, and she scuttled herself rather than be captured.
torpedo boat HVAS was placed in service as an auxiliary submarine chaser by
German forces at Stavern.
and ASHANTI departed Sullom
Voe at 1840 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0530/15th.
and the Polish GROM and BLYSKAWICA departed Scapa Flow at 1400 to
sweep from Lister to Bommelford from 2200/14th to daylight on the 15 April. The
operation was cancelled due to adverse weather and they arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0845/15th.
KIPLING, HEREWARD and DELIGHT arrived at Scapa Flow for duty after
refittings in the Tyne at 0600,
Portsmouth at 1200, the
Clyde at 1400,
destroyers BRESTOIS and FOUDROYANT arrived at Scapa Flow from the
Tyne at 1200. They refuelled and went on to the
Clyde arriving at
departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL from 14 to 17 April,
when the convoy was dispersed. The destroyer joined conovy HX.33.
departed Liverpool escorted by sloop
ROCHESTER, which was with
the convoy from 14 to 17 April, when the sloop joined convoy HX.33. The
convoy was dispersed on the 18th.
was formed with convoys OA.128GF, which departed Southend on the 12th,
OB.128GF, which departed Liverpool on the 12th,
with fifty four ships. The convoy was escorted by sloop ENCHANTRESS on the
14th and sloop SANDWICH from 14 to 20 April when the convoy
arrived at Gibraltar. Sloop ENCHANTRESS was withdrawn from the
convoy shortly after sailing. On arrival at Gibraltar, sloop
SANDWICH was temporarily
attached to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla as replacements for destroyers
WISHART and ACTIVE which departed in convoy HG.27 to give leave in the UK.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VEGA and sloops HASTINGS and PELICAN.
The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 16th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and
VALOROUS. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 16th.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and VALOROUS. The convoy
arrived later in the day at the Tyne.
aircraft carrier GLORIOUS (Flag Vice Admiral Aircraft Carriers transferred
from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL aboard) escorted by destroyers VELOX, WATCHMAN and
the Australian STUART departed Gibraltar. GLORIOUS
arrived in the Clyde late on the 18th escorted by destroyers
WALKER and WALPOLE. STUART after this escort duty departed Gibraltar on the 17th for
Malta. ARK ROYAL departed
Gibraltar on the 16th for
exercises in the vicinity of Alboran Island, but was
recalled. At 1700/16th, ARK ROYAL escorted by destroyers VORTIGERN, WESTCOTT and BULLDOG departed
Cape Finisterre on the 17th, VORTIGERN was detached and arrived back at
JUNO and HASTY
departed Greenock at 0145/20th to join ARK ROYAL and
SALADIN. ARK ROYAL with JUNO, HASTY and SALADIN
arrived in the Clyde on the 20th. BULLDOG and
WESTCOTT arrived at Plymouth.
Due to a French
report of sixteen ships off Texel, all destroyers
at Dover were brought to immediate notice.
This was later reduced to one hour's notice. Commander in Chief, Western
Approaches, was ordered to detail all available destroyers to Dover. Destroyers
CAMPBELL, BROKE, VESPER, ANTELOPE, WOLVERINE and WREN were detached from the
Western Approaches to Dover.
GENERAL METZINGER and CHENONEAUX departed Marseilles and were
escorted by destroyer TEMPETE from Oran. They arrived at
Brest on the 20th.
departed Halifax at 0700
escorted by Canadian destroyers ST LAURENT and
RESTIGOUCHE, which were detached on the 14th. At 0700/15th, the destroyers
turned the convoy over to Armed merchant cruiser LACONIA, which was
detached on the 26th. Sloop ENCHANTRESS escorted the convoy from 26 to 29 April,
when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.