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Stauffenberg44

The beauty of Scharnhorst (We are comrades at sea)

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First off who was Scharnhorst?

Spoiler

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Born at Bordenau  near Hanover into a small landowner's family, Waitz von Scharnhorst succeeded in educating himself and in securing admission to the military academy at the Wilhelmheim fortress. In 1778 he received a commission into the Hanoverian service. He employed the intervals of regimental duty in further self-education and literary work. In 1783 he transferred to the artillery  and received an appointment to the new artillery school in Hanover. He had already founded a military journal which, under a series of names, endured until 1805, and in 1788 he designed, and in part published, a Handbook for Officers in the Applied Sections of Military Science (Handbuch für Offiziere in den anwendbaren Teilen der Kriegswissenschaften). He also published in 1792 his Military Handbook for Use in the Field (Militärisches Taschenbuch für den Gebrauch im Felde).

Several German navy ships, including the WWI Armoured cruised SMS Scharnhorst, the WW II battleship Scharnhorst and a post-war frigate and, as well as a district of the city of Dortmund and a school in the city of Hildesheim were named after him.

 

This ship, along with Atago, Hood and Graf Spee to name a few, are some of the most beautiful ships we have; but something about the Scharn sets her above the others... Even in defeat...

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And if you haven't heard of the famous "Channel Dash"  by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau here you go:

Spoiler

On this day, the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, as well as the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, escape from the French port of Brest and make a mad dash up the English Channel to safety in German waters.

The Gneisenau and Scharnhorst had been anchored at Brest since March 1941. The Prinz Eugen had been tied to the French port since the Bismarck sortie in May 1941, when it and the battleship Bismarck made their own mad dash through the Atlantic and the Denmark Strait to elude Royal Navy gunfire. All three were subject to periodic bombing raids–and damage–by the British, as the Brits attempted to ensure that the German warships never left the French coast. But despite the careful watch of British subs and aircraft, German Vice Admiral Otto Ciliax launched Operation Cerberus to lead the ships out of the French port.

The Germans, who had controlled and occupied France since June 1940, drew British fire deliberately, and the Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, and Prinz Eugen used the resulting skirmish as a defensive smoke screen. Six German destroyers and 21 torpedo boats accompanied the ships for protection as they moved north late on the night of February 11.

In the morning, German planes provided air cover as well; ace pilot Adolf Galland led 250 other fighters in an unusually well coordinated joint effort of the German navy and Luftwaffe. The British Royal Air Force also coordinated its attack with the Royal Navy Swordfish squadron, but a late start–the RAF did not realize until the afternoon of February 12 that the German squadron had pushed out to sea–and bad weather hindered their effort. All three German warships made it to a German port on February 13, although the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst had been damaged by British mines along the way.

The British lost 40 aircraft and six Navy Swordfish in the confrontation, while the Germans lost a torpedo boat and 17 aircraft. The “Channel Dash,” as it came to be called, was extremely embarrassing to the British, as it happened right under their noses. They would get revenge of a sort, though: British warships sunk the Scharnhorst in December 1944 as the German ship attempted to attack a Russian convoy. The Gneisenau was destroyed in a bombing raid while still in port undergoing repairs, and the Prinz Eugen survived the war, but was taken over by the U.S. Navy at war’s end.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-channel-dash

 

Wir sind Kamareden auf See (We are comrades at sea):

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stauffenberg44
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