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Battle of Narvik

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Tomba, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. Tomba

    Tomba New Member

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    Thought I'd start a thread on the battle of Narvik, off the coast and in the Fjords of Norway. (Both 1st and 2nd battles)

    Feel free to post ideas and start the discussion off.

    Personally, I find it a very good example of great tactics in the Fjords, and of silly Axis with shore batteries which they didn't see :grin:

    I have a book on it, will check exact numbers of losses and post later.

    Tomba
     
  2. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Can't remember hearing anything about shore battries in relation to Narvik but I will admit I'm no expert on the topic. The Second Battle of Narvik is always the one that gets the most attention with HMS Warspite going for the simple yet fun approach of blasting everything in sight.
     
  3. Tomba

    Tomba New Member

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    I believe that when a German Ship (name and class escapes me, I believe it was an 8inch cruiser though) sailed into one of the fjords, it was blasted to crap by the shore batteries :bang: :kill:

    I will check out the details though.

    Tomba
     
  4. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Nope wrong bit of the country. The ship your thinking of was Heavy Cruiser BLUCHER. She was part of a force that attacked Oslo. They tried to bluff their way past the old shore fort but the gun crews merely let them get in close before they pulled the old 'Eat hot lead!' routine.
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Warspite garnered a rare claim for a battleship when her Swordfish floatplane sank a U-boat in the fjord.
     
  6. Tomba

    Tomba New Member

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    Yeah, that was in between the two battles.

    Will type info up on losses for the two battles when I got more time.

    Tomba
     
  7. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Among all the other problems BLUCHER had at Oslo, it was discovered, when she tried to return fire, that many of the shells in her magazines were the wrong size. Seems that the Kriegsmarine rushed her fitting out in order for her to make the invasion on time. :roll:
     
  8. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I'm skeptical. How can shells be the wrong size?
     
  9. Tomba

    Tomba New Member

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    LOL! Cool! (not for them I suppose :) )

    Tomba
     
  10. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Trust me, it can happen. All you have to have is some desk jockey fill out a form wrong, then couple it with a captain and crew being too rushed to check on it.
     
  11. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    How can 8in shells be the wrong size?
     
  12. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Eight inch length rather than diameter.

    Or alternatively just as they are about to load someone might say:
    "Crap! This is an 8" shell! We need a 20.32 cm shell!"

    :D
     
  13. Man

    Man New Member

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    I just visited the old fort, and patted the guns that sank the Blucher.

    short background on the coastal fort

    Oscarsborg (Oscars fort) was built in the late 17th century. Its purpose was to stop invading ships from quite simply sailing up the Oslofjord and arriving in the capital! Its guns started out in typical 17th century fashion but where continually modernized untill 1898 (28 cm Krupp cannons firing 250 kg projectiles), which was their last update. The fort itselfs is quite large, with underground shelters, ditches, a moat, etc.

    Its situated on a small island in the middle of the Oslofjord, so any ships that want to sail on must pass it at near point blank range.


    The sinking of the Blücher


    The Blücher was labelled a heavy cruiser, weighed 12,000 tons and was in 1940 one of Germanies newest and most modern ships. It spearheaded the German naval invasion of the Oslofjord. Other ships in the task force included was the cruiser Lützow (10,000 tons), the light cruiser Emden (5,400 tons) and the artillery ship Brummer (2,400 tons) + other mine clearers, landing craft, E-boats, etc.

    The biggest hindrance to the task forces entry into Oslo was of course Oscarsborg, and the German navy was not quite sure how the fort would respond to their unbidded prescence. Quite a few officers disagreed with the Blücher leading the way, as they were not sure if the waters were mined or not.

    The fort was undermanned, only about 25% of the fighting force was prescent on site when they saw the Blücher sail through the mist. The officer in command, Cl. Birger Eriksen, immediately ordered the cannons into action. He organized civilians to haul ammo, and they thus managed to mobilize two of the 28 cm Krupp cannons and open fire at 1400 meters distance.

    They got off a few shots, and the Blücher caught fire. It was hit by torpedoes and eventually sunk slowly. The Lützow retreated to 17 kilometers and opened fire on the fort, scoring a single hit (maximum range on the Krupp cannons 16 km). The fort was then bombed heavily by He-111 airplanes, with 0 Norwegian casualties.

    conclusions

    The sinking of the Blücher was an ironic blow to the Germans, with antique cannons sinking their prized warship!

    More importantly, it allowed the monarchy and the government to escape, which enabled a Norwegian goverment-in-exile to be set up in Britain, and a "free" king no doubt helped morale alot! It delayed the German operation by over 30 hours.

    *All of this is taking directly from my memory after the museum visit, so some of it might be wrong. If it is, please correct me!
     
  14. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I can't comment on the accuracy of the account, but I can nitpick at the ship descriptions. Lutzow was more like 12,000 tons, and Blucher, 14,000 tons. It was correct to call her a heavy cruiser and incorrect to call her a battleship.
     
  15. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Sadly most people wouldn't know a battleship if they fell over one. Also in the eyes of the unwashed masses anything with a gun armament of greater than three shoguns can, and often is, described as a battleship. :cry:
     
  16. Tomba

    Tomba New Member

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    Great info Panzerman! Btw, may I ask what town the museum is in?

    Ty,

    Tomba
     
  17. Man

    Man New Member

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  18. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I was talking about the shell diameter. If the shells do not fit the guns, the guns cannot be fired. That can be a real bummer if someone's shooting at you and you want to fire back. :wink:
     
  19. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Yeah, but I'm afaid that's got to go into the nonsense pile. Do you really think that busy crewmen would mistake a 100-lb 15cm shell for a 260-lb 20.3mm shell?
     
  20. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Well, I had heard about the bluffing attempt but the wrong shells is a new one on me and like Tiornu, I'm a bit sceptical.
     

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