Naval History Homepage and Site Search

 

 

British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day
by Don Kindell

NAVAL EVENTS, APRIL1940 (Part 2 of 4)
Monday 8th - Sunday 14th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Valiant, battleship (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge)

on to APRIL 1940, Part 3

 

Note: all vessels and aircraft are British or Dominion unless otherwise identified - click for abbreviations

Corrections with thanks to Donald Bertke

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

 


Background Events - April-May 1940
Invasion of Norway, Battles of Narvik, Blitzkrieg on Western Europe, Dunkirk evacuation starts


 

 

1940

 

Monday, 8 April

 

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN INCLUDING INVASION OF DENMARK

 

GERMAN SHIP AND TROOP MOVEMENTS

 

German light 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.

 

German light 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.

 

German heavy 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.

 

German minesweepers M.1, M.2, M.9 and M.13 departed Cuxhaven at 0530/8 April to capture the cable station at Egersund.

 

German 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.

_____

 

German tanker SKAGERRAK (6044grt) 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

 

German forces 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 Danish waters 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 casualties.

 

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.

 

The Danish 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.

 

Destroyers 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

 

Destroyer 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 damaged 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 to assist.

 

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 captivity.

 

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

 

Destroyer KELVIN 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 Scapa Flow to await further orders. However, destroyer DELIGHT was damaged in heavy seas and returned to Greenock that day.

 

Light 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 coast.

(Note: It 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

 

Submarine SEAL 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 FD.7.

 

Polish submarine 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.

 

Submarine 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.

 

At 1800, 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.

 

Submarine SUNFISH also contacted the Oslo Force, but was unable to reach a position to fire torpedoes.

 


 

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 done.

_____

 

German armed 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 undetected.

_____

 

French 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 and buoys.

_____

 

Destroyer KEITH 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.

_____

 

Convoy MT.47 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop AUCKLAND, and anti-submarine trawlers of the 19th Anti-Submarine Group, and arrived the next day.

_____

 

Greek steamer OKEANIA (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.

 

 

Tuesday, 9 April

  

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN

 

 

GERMAN OSLO GROUP

 

Just after midnight, Norwegian 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 POL III (trawler, 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.

 

With 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, and submarines A 3, A 4 and B 4. 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 (370grt), HAUK (58grt) and auxiliary patrol boats HVAL III (246grt) and BETA (168grt) 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 (424grt), SKUDD I (247grt), SKUDD II (247grt), OTER I (251grt), HVAL II (224grt), RAMOEN (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.

 

They were followed two days later by eleven steamers carrying the 196th Division. These were ESPANA (7456grt), FRIEDENAU (5219grt), HAMM (5874grt), HANAU (5892grt), KELLERWALD (5032grt), ROSARIO (6079grt), TUCUMAN (4621grt), 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 Frederikstad.

 

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 FLORIDA (6148grt).

 

Three 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

 

German U-boats 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 Bergen. Off 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 group.

 

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 Rotterdam and 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 Trondheim.

_____

 

BATTLECRUISER RENOWN'S ENGAGEMENT WITH SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU

 

At 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 MAIN (7624grt) 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.

_____

 

Destroyers ESCORT, JAVELIN, JANUS, JUNO and ECLIPSE departed Scapa 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

 

Norwegian naval 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).

 

The German 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 British, ran 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

 

The cable 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.

_____

 

GERMAN KRISTANSAND GROUP

 

Norwegian naval 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 KJELL, old torpedo boats LYN (38grt), BLINK (38grt) and KVIK (38grt), auxiliary patrol vessels W. BARENTS (205grt), FIRERN (217grt), LYNGDAL (149grt), HVAL IV (248grt), HVAL VI (248grt) and HVAL VII (247grt) 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.

 

Torpedo boat TEIST, which was at Farsund, when the attack took place, scuttled 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 ORN (55grt) and LOM (55grt) of this division were repairing at Horten and surrendered there on the 9th. Swedish steamer ALBERT (1745grt) was seized by German forces at Kristiansand, and renamed DORA CHRISTOPHERSON for German use.

_____

 

German steamer 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

 

The Norwegian 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 hands.

 

The following vessels were seized by German forces at Bergen and mostly renamed for German service. Swedish merchant ship GALLIA (1419grt), renamed 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 Stockholm. Estonian 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 SEEFAHRER.

 

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

 

The primary 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.

 

Cruiser 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.

 

The Trondheim supply ships, tanker MOONSUND (321grt), had departed Brunsbuttel on the 9th, steamers MAIN (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 bunkers.

_____

 

By mid-morning 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 British 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.

_____

 

Destroyers JANUS 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 wreck.

_____

 

Destroyers 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 British, 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.

_____

 

At Boknfjord, 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.

 

Greek steamer SPYRIDON (3527grt) arrived at Stavanger on the 9th for repairs, seized by German forces and renamed EKENES for German service.

_____

 

U.56 at 0920 sighted Battleship RODNEY and VALIANT southwest of Stadlandet steering south and radioed this information to the German command.

_____

 

At 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 downed.

 

Destroyer GURKHA, 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.

 

Battleship 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 BLYTHMOOR (6582grt), MERSINGTON COURT (5141grt), 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 seized 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 safekeeping.

_____

 

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 Bight.

 

At 1700, submarine SUNFISH sank German steamer AMASIS (7129grt) with two torpedoes northeast of the Skaw off Goteborg in 58‑13N, 11‑13E.

 

Submarine UNITY in the Heligoland Bight reported that she had been depth charged by a merchant ship.

 

Submarine TRUANT 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 and defects.

_____

 

German steamer 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.

_____

 

At 1815/9th, 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 1900/10th.

_____

 

During the 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.

_____

 

German naval auxiliary Schiff 111 (lumbership JUPITER, 2152grt) arrived at Bergen with a cargo of mines to mine the harbour.

_____

 

At 0600, destroyers FAULKNOR (D.8), FOXHOUND and FORESTER arrived at Scapa Flow from the Clyde, then departed at 1500 to rendezvous with the Commander in Chief Home Fleet.

_____

 

Destroyer GRENADE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1230 to refuel.

_____

 

Destroyers GRENADE and ENCOUNTER departed Scapa Flow at 1600 with oiler BRITISH LADY (6098grt) for Vestfjord arriving at 1700/12th.

_____

 

French large destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL arrived at Scapa Flow at 0830 and was led into harbour by destroyer ENCOUNTER.

_____

 

French destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS departed Scapa Flow with British tanker ALDERSDALE, arriving at Sullom Voe at 1300/10th.

_____

 

Off Vestfjord 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.

_____

 

German supply 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 sunk late 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).

_____

 

Norwegian fishery protection vessels FRIDTJOF NANSEN and HEIMDAL were stationed at Honningsvaag and Tromso, respectively, on this date.

 


 

Escort vessel WINCHESTER completed conversion at Portsmouth. Following working up at Portland, she joined Convoy C operating from Rosyth.

_____

 

Leading Airman 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 killed.

_____

 

Petty 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.

_____

 

Swedish fishing vessel DAGNY (47grt) was sunk on a mine north of Hantsholm. Six crew were lost.

_____

 

Swedish steamer FRAMNAS (721grt) was seized near Kopervik, renamed BURGEN and used as a German meteorological ship.

_____

 

Convoy OA.126 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WINDSOR from the 9th to 10th, and dispersed on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy OB.126 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.

_____

 

Convoy BC.32 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.

_____

 

Convoy FN.141 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop LOWESTOFT, and arrived in the Tyne on the 11th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.141 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and AUCKLAND, and arrived at Southend on the 11th.

_____

 

French 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.

_____

 

Destroyer VIDETTE was taken in hand for refitting at Gibraltar.  

_____

 

Submarine 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.

 

 

Wednesday, 10 April

 

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN

 

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 RNR, Warrant Engineer G. A. Bowen, and the entire crew of forty eight ratings were lost.

 

Submarine TARPON (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.

 

At 1150, submarine SUNFISH fired one torpedo at German steamer HANAU (5892grt) three miles off Masekar Light, Sweden.

 

At 1520, 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.

 

At 1626/10th, 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 58-38N, 10-32E.

 

At 2000, 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.

 

Submarine 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.

_____

 

German heavy 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.

 

Submarine SPEARFISH 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.

_____

  

Light cruiser MANCHESTER, returning to Scapa Flow for refuelling, reported running over a submerging German submarine in the North Sea at 0057.

_____

 

Destroyers HESPERUS and HAVANT departed Scapa Flow at 1430 to search for a German submarine reported by aircraft in 58‑37N, 1‑54W.

_____

 

Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM,returning to 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.

_____

 

U.37 sank Swedish steamer SVEABORG (9076grt) in 62‑52N, 07‑34W, with the loss of five crew. Norwegian steamer TOSCA (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).

_____

 

Swedish fishing vessel INES (48grt) was sunk on a mine northwest of Hantsholm, with the loss of her crew of six.

_____

 

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 British attack 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, British steamer BLYTHMOOR (6582grt), Norwegian steamers SAPHIR (4306grt) and ELRID (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 explosion.

 

German destroyers 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 lost with 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 exposure.

 

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, KIMBERLEY, HAVOCK 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 sea.

_____

 

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.

_____

 

Admiral Forbes' 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.

_____

 

Light cruiser AURORA arrived in Scapa Flow with destroyer GURKHA survivors during another air raid by German bombers. Light cruisers SHEFFIELD and 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.

_____

 

Destroyer FEARLESS arrived at Sullom Voe at 0630 to refuel.

_____

 

Mid-morning on 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, FOXHOUND, FAULKNOR.

_____

 

Destroyers HERO 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.

_____

 

German steamer 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.

_____

 

On 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 minefield.

_____

 

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.

_____

 

German minelayer HANSESTADT DANZIG landed troops at Roenne to occupy the island of Bornholm.

 


 

Minesweeper HALCYON arrived at Dover at 1045 to join the 6th Mine Sweeping Flotilla.

_____

 

Minesweeper LEDA departed Dover at 1437 to rejoin the 5th Mine Sweeping Flotilla in the Humber.

_____

 

Tug 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.

_____

 

Convoy OA.127 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.

_____

 

Convoy OB.127 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 Gibraltar.

_____

 

Convoy FN.142 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIMIERIA and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.48 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER, sloop LONDONDERRY, anti-submarine trawlers of the 1ST Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived in the Tyne, later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.142 departed the Tyne, escorted destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy HG.26F 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.

_____

 

Convoy HX.34 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA, SAGUENAY, RESTIGOUCHE, 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.

_____

 

French 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.

 

 

Thursday, 11 April

 

Aircraft carrier 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.

 

The 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.

_____

 

Troopships 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 Liverpool.

_____

 

At 0055, 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.

_____

 

At 1648, 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.

_____

 

At 2145, submarine SEVERN fired two torpedoes at a German merchantship of some 6000grt near Kristiansand. Both torpedoes missed.

_____

 

Destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, AFRIDI, SIKH, MOHAWK, CODRINGTON, BRAZEN, JUPITER, ESCAPADE, ELECTRA, GRIFFIN and FEARLESS 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.

_____

 

Light cruisers 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.

_____

 

Destroyer CODRINGTON departed Sullom Voe at 2300 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200/12th.

_____

 

Destroyer FORTUNE arrived at Kirkwall at 0530 with Danish steamer KINA (9823grt). Destroyer FORTUNE continued on to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Submarine TAKU, 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.

_____

 

U.5 encountered 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.

_____

 

At about 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.

 

At Bodo, 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 detonated 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.

_____

 

During German 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 and HYPERION.

 

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 Scapa Flow. 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 September 1940.

_____

 

At 1956/11th, 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.

_____

 

Light cruiser FIJI, completing construction at Clydebank, on trials at sea was escorted by destroyers WANDERER and WALKER on 11 to 13 April.

_____

 

While 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.

_____

 

Norwegian 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.

_____

 

Convoy MT.49 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.

_____

 

Convoy FS.143 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops PELICAN and WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.

_____

 

German minelayers ROLAND, COBRA, PREUSSEN, KONIGIN LUISE laid two mine barrages off the Skagerrak from 11 to 13 April.

_____

 

French 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.

_____

 

French destroyer 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. AMC COLOMBIE arrived at Brest on the 15th and PRESIDENT DOUMIER on the 16th for Norwegian operations.

 

 

Friday, 12 April

 

Destroyers 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.

_____

 

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE departed Portsmouth for Scapa Flow and service off Norway.

_____

 

Destroyer 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.

_____

 

Submarine TRUANT arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

_____

 

French 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.

_____

 

Norwegian torpedo boat STORM was run aground a total loss after German air attack south of Bergen at Bomlo.

_____

 

Destroyer FURY 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.

_____

 

Submarine 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 gunfire.

_____

 

At 0415, submarine SUNFISH fired a torpedo at a trawler, probably either Schiff 35 or Schiff 40, near Maseskar Light. The torpedo missed.

_____

 

Submarine STERLET fired torpedoes at 2130 at a convoy of three merchant ships and escorts in 57-47N, 9-39E. The torpedoes missed.

_____

 

Tanker 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.

_____

 

Light cruiser 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 convoy NP.1.

 _____

 

Light cruiser 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.

_____

 

Destroyers NUBIAN and FORTUNE departed Scapa Flow at 1930 with tanker WAR PINDARI for Skelfjord, but they were diverted en route to Lillesjona.

_____

 

Destroyer 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.

_____

 

Antisubmarine trawlers 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 27th.

_____

 

 U.37 sank steamer STANCLIFFE (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 lifeboats.

_____

 

 U.38 reported a destroyer and two merchant ships in Vestfjord on a northeasterly course.

_____

 

German supply ship LEVANTE (4770grt) arrived safely at Trondheim, three days behind schedule.

_____

 

Steamer 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.

_____

 

At 2345, destroyers FEARLESS, GRIFFIN, BRAZEN departed Sullom Voe to rendezvous with the northbound convoy, then screen battleship VALIANT during her passage north.

_____

 

Battleship RESOLUTION with destroyers ANTELOPE and WITCH arrived in the Clyde from Plymouth in preparation of going to Norway.

_____

 

Destroyer BASILISK arrived at Dover to rejoin the 19th Destroyer Flotilla after repairs.

_____

 

Troopship ORION (23,456grt) departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITLEY for Leith.

_____

 

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.

_____

 

German trawler WILHELM REINHOLD (259grt) was seized by Norwegian forces, but was sunk by German bombing before the end of the month in the Skagerrak.

_____

 

Captured German trawlers FRIESLAND, NORDLAND, BLANKENBURG under British 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.

_____

 

Dutch coastal steamer VELOCITAS (197grt) was lost on a mine in 51‑25N, 01‑50E. Three crew were lost and two rescued by British steamer MAVIS (935grt).

_____

 

French submarine chaser C.107 was lost in a collision with French steamer SHELSPRA (1951grt) in the River Loire.

_____

 

Destroyers DAINTY and DIAMOND arrived at Gibraltar, escorting destroyer depot ship RESOURCE from Freetown.

_____

 

French steamer 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.

 

 

Saturday, 13 April

 

 U.34 scuttled Norwegian minelayer FROYA 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.

 _____

 

Destroyer TARTAR and Polish destroyers GROM, BURZA, BLYSKAWICA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0630 from Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyer JUPITER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1100 from Sullom Voe.

_____

 

Convoy NS.1 of steamers LOMBARDY (3379grt) and LOCHEE (964grt) arrived at Scapa 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 passenger ship.

 

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 British 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 British 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.

 

During the battle, Norwegian steamer CATE B (4285grt) and merchant tanker RODSKJAEL (133grt), Swedish steamers TORNE (3792grt) and 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 to England.

 

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 1940.

 

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 British naval control in the area of Narvik, the submarines were diverted en route to Trondheim.

 

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.

_____

 

Light cruisers 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.

_____

 

Convoy NP.1 which had departed the Clyde on the 11th and Scapa 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.

_____

 

Meanwhile, 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.

_____

 

Since the 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' screen.

_____

 

French light cruiser EMILE BERTIN, large destroyers TARTU, MAILLE BREZE, CHEVALIER PAUL, destroyer BOULONNAIS departed Scapa Flow at 2000 for the Clyde.

_____

 

Submarine 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.

_____

 

At 1222, 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.

_____

 

At 2158, submarine NARWHAL fired six torpedoes at one large and one small vessel with two small escorts off Aalbeck Light. All the torpedoes missed.

_____

 

Submarine 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.

_____

 

German trawler GAZELLE (212grt) was lost to enemy action.

_____

 

German trawler MALANGEN (487grt) was captured by Norwegian forces and renamed HONNINGSVAAG for Norwegian service.

_____

 

German auxiliary minesweeper M.1108 (trawler DR EICHELBAUM, 476grt) was lost in a collision with a Danish steamer in the Great Belt.

_____

 

German auxiliary submarine chaser IDA reported sinking a British submarine south of Oslofjord.

_____

 

Convoys HG.26 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.

_____

 

Australian light 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.

_____

 

Aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL and GLORIOUS with destroyrs STUART, BULLDOG, WESTCOTT with destroyer WISHARD as additional local escort arrived at Gibraltar from Malta.

_____

 

French submarines PASCAL, ARGO, ACHERON, escorted by destroyer LA PALME, departed Casablanca. The four arrived at Bizerte on the 18th.

_____

 

Australian sloop 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.

 

 

Sunday, 14 April

 

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.

_____

 

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN

 

Steamers 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 Scapa 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.

_____

 

German 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

 

At 0140, submarine SNAPPER fired a torpedo at a darkened ship, which may have been Q ship Schiff 35, in 58-00N, 11-00E.

 

At 1407, submarine SNAPPER fired five torpedoes at German steamer FLORIDA (6148grt), 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 torpedoes remaining.

 

At 1945, 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 torpedo remaining.

 

At 1800, submarine TRIAD fired two torpedoes at two merchant ships, escorted by an escort ship, near the mouth of Oslofjord.

 

Submarine TRITON arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

 

At 2100 near the Skaw in the Kattegat in 58-42N, 10-00E, submarine 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.

_____

 

Destroyer HAVOCK rendezvoused with Norwegian submarine B 3 in Vestfjord.

_____

 

As light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON 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.

_____

 

Light cruiser AURORA, with Lord Cord Orrery aboard, arrived at Skelfjord.

_____

 

Destroyer 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.

_____

 

Battleship 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 prematurely.

_____

 

Six Skua 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.

_____

 

Battlecruiser 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.

_____

 

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE, which had departed Portsmouth on the 12th, arrived at Scapa Flow for duty with the Home Fleet off Norway.

_____

 

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 were wounded.

_____

 

Sloops BLACK 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.

_____

 

At 1800/14th, German destroyers HEINEMANN and ECKHOLDT, both with engine room defects, departed Trondheim for Wilhelmshaven where they safely arrived in the morning of 16 April.

_____

 

After refuelling 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 German bombing.

 

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.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK intercepted German tanker SKAGERRAK (6044grt) northwest of Vaagso in 64‑05N, 02‑00E, and she scuttled herself rather than be captured.

_____

 

Norwegian torpedo boat HVAS was placed in service as an auxiliary submarine chaser by German forces at Stavern.

_____

 

Destroyers MAORI and ASHANTI departed Sullom Voe at 1840 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0530/15th.

_____

 

Destroyer TARTAR 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.

_____

 

Destroyers KIPLING, HEREWARD and DELIGHT arrived at Scapa Flow for duty after refittings in the Tyne at 0600, Portsmouth at 1200, the Clyde at 1400, respectively.

_____

 

French destroyers BRESTOIS and FOUDROYANT arrived at Scapa Flow from the Tyne at 1200. They refuelled and went on to the Clyde arriving at 1930/15th.

 


 

Convoy OA.129 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL from 14 to 17 April, when the convoy was dispersed. The destroyer joined conovy HX.33.

_____

 

Convoy OB.129 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.

_____

 

Convoy OG.26F 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.

_____

 

Convoy FN.145 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VEGA and sloops HASTINGS and PELICAN. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 16th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.146 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and VALOROUS. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 16th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.51 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and VALOROUS. The convoy arrived later in the day at the Tyne.

_____

 

At 2130, 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 Gibraltar. Off Cape Finisterre on the 17th, VORTIGERN was detached and arrived back at Gibraltar. Destroyers 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.

_____

 

French steamers GENERAL METZINGER and CHENONEAUX departed Marseilles and were escorted by destroyer TEMPETE from Oran. They arrived at Brest on the 20th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.35 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.

 

on to Naval Events, APRIL 1940, Part 3
or back to RN Day-by-Day Homepage

revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

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