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  #76  
Old 16-04-2012, 17:04
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

So OK- the 4.5" hits were made at 0425, when the range was near to 18000 yds;surely that strengthens the case for two hits being from 4.5"guns???
What is it that makes you think the hits were made at 0425; and why is it so significant???

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  #77  
Old 17-04-2012, 04:04
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Here's where the 4:25 time is from:

(Remember the German times are 1 hour ahead, so 5:00 = 4:00 in British accounts)

The map I posted notes a 114 mm (4.5-inch) hit on Turret Anton at 5:15 AM and the foretop hit by the 381 mm (15-inch) shell at 5:25.

However, according to the KBismarck discussion - Gneisenau's war diary puts the foretop hit at 5:16, but Lutjen's log has it at 5:25 - agreeing with the map. Who is right?

The flooding of Anton is what occured heavily at 5:34, which seems to have lead to the assumption that a hit occured at that time. But it may well have been due to the new course of Gneisenau, retreating from Renown at that time, that took her into the wind and waves at increasing speed causing a deluge of seawater over her bows. The damaged turret was therefore inundated.

So I think in my account I may have transposed the times and put the foretop hit first and the smaller hits at the later time... That may not be correct!

Confused? I don't blame you... I don't know if it is even possible to rationalize all this!
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  #78  
Old 17-04-2012, 07:38
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Paul-your fastidiousness is amazing and is to be admired; but when push comes to shove; it still comes down to the fact that these last hits on Gneisenau WERE from 4.5" shells.
The order of the hits; as Vince has them, is possibly incorrect. Anton turret's flooding occurred at 0534 (0434=Vince's given time of the strike on Anton turret)

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  #79  
Old 18-04-2012, 03:32
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Jim, you are way too kind!

I guess it's a little frustating not to be able to dissect this action down to the minute as has been done and done and done with the Denmark Strait, but sometimes you are forced to leave well enough alone!

I really must thank EVERYONE who has contributed to this thread. I've been so gratified by the response (including those who read, but did not post - I thank you for your attention!) and I'm sure we've all learned something.

Renown, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were all great ships in their own right - fast, powerful, beautiful and all made major contributions to the war effort of their respective side.

Though this battle between them was inconclusive, it did set the tone for most future encounters between major British and German warships for the rest the war, based on the German naval directive that opponents of equal or greater strength should be avoided - "No unnecessary risks!". The Kriegsmarine could ill afford to lose its ships - a small, but highly potent and capable force.

The Royal Navy could ill afford not to make every effort to subdue them. As the Admiralty grudgingly stated after the vindication of Admiral Somerville's conduct of the Spartivento action in its ill-advised inquiry:

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No opportunity must be allowed to pass of attaining what is in fact the ultimate objective of the Royal Navy - the destruction of the enemy's forces whenever and wherever encountered.
Renown certainly gave it her all off Stromvaer Light.

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  #80  
Old 18-04-2012, 03:34
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

I note the contradictions in the timing of events and I'll see where I got the times that I cited in my book, hopefully tomorrow. One generic comment I'll make that will come as no surprise to anyone here is that the accounts of most naval actions are full of discrepancies and contradictions. One of my favorite examples can be found in the London Gazette (12 May 1948) account of the action off Sfax on 16 April 1941. The Gazette reprints the reports of the British destroyer captains who participated. Jervis gives the time when she opened fire as 0220, Janus says it was 0222, Nubian 0210 and Mohawk 0205.

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  #81  
Old 18-04-2012, 07:10
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Excellent postscript Paul and one of the finest photographs of the great ship that was Renown.

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  #82  
Old 18-04-2012, 13:48
Vince O'Hara Vince O'Hara is offline
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C. View Post
Here's where the 4:25 time is from:

(Remember the German times are 1 hour ahead, so 5:00 = 4:00 in British accounts)

The map I posted notes a 114 mm (4.5-inch) hit on Turret Anton at 5:15 AM and the foretop hit by the 381 mm (15-inch) shell at 5:25.

However, according to the KBismarck discussion - Gneisenau's war diary puts the foretop hit at 5:16, but Lutjen's log has it at 5:25 - agreeing with the map. Who is right?

The flooding of Anton is what occured heavily at 5:34, which seems to have lead to the assumption that a hit occured at that time. But it may well have been due to the new course of Gneisenau, retreating from Renown at that time, that took her into the wind and waves at increasing speed causing a deluge of seawater over her bows. The damaged turret was therefore inundated.

So I think in my account I may have transposed the times and put the foretop hit first and the smaller hits at the later time... That may not be correct!

Confused? I don't blame you... I don't know if it is even possible to rationalize all this!
The 0434 time cited for the second hit comes from the British Naval Staff History reprinted in Naval Operations of the Campaign in Norway which states on page 21: "At 0434 the Gneisenau received a second hit which struck 'A' turret by the left hood of the rangefinder."

The war diary for Gneisenau reprinted in Battleships of the Scharnhorst class has this entry for 0534 (German times are an hour ahead) "'A' turret flooding due to heavy seas. Large pumps requested. Heavy quantities seawater coming in through left optic of rangefinder cupola after hit knocked away cover."

I don't know if this relieves the confusion any but at least it provides an authority for the 0434 time. Looking at it now and in light of this discussion, I'd guess the first 4.5-inch hit occured some minutes before 0434.

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  #83  
Old 18-04-2012, 14:00
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

The above statement from Vince echoes what I said in #78.

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  #84  
Old 27-12-2013, 13:41
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Hi ,i am at home with my grandads medals,photos and pendant HMS RENOWN (action 1940)this is a great read for me things i just did not now. my grandad was a stoker W.V.DAVEY . THANKS ANDY.
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Originally Posted by Paul C. View Post
Hi all,

I did a search and could not find a thread devoted to the details of this action, so I thought I'd put something together. Hope you'll enjoy reading it and will add your comments.


Basic Background

This action took place during the ultimately successful invasion of Norway by the Germans in April 1940. With British and German naval forces at sea carrying out various operations it was inevitable that clashes would and did occur.


Main References:

Peter C. Smith – The Battlecruiser Renown 1916-1948
Garzke & Dulin – Battleships – Axis and Neutral Battleships of WW2
Fritz Otto Busch – The Sinking of the Scharnhorst
John Jordan – An Illustrated Guide to Battleships and Battlecruisers
KBismarck Forum Thread – “Battle of Stromvaer”
WNS Forum Thread – “Galloper’s Good Gunnery”
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  #85  
Old 02-01-2014, 08:50
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

In terms of what the RN could have done better, the one possibility that has not been discussed (I think) is for the destroyers to hold fire. It is not clear that their presence would have been known without the fireflashes.

Holding fire could have encouraged to the German ships to turn and close on (apparent) lone RN vessel.

Far from certain and only with the benefit of hindsight, but it is a possibility
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  #86  
Old 04-01-2014, 16:15
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote from#1
The British destroyers made a spirited attempt to take part in the battle, firing their 4.7-inch guns, but they were eventually left behind, unable to keep pace with the speeding Renown in the heavy seas. Their gun flashes, however, looked impressive enough to the Germans to influence their continuation of the action.

The above is from paul C's original post and certainly bears out Rupert's assertion that the destroyers shell flashes may well have influenced the German decision to break off the action-the destroyers, in any case; being left behind. In those circumstances the RN could not have done better

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  #87  
Old 08-07-2014, 13:32
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Gneisenau and Scharnhorst closed formation and reduced speed because of flooding in their forward turrets.Despite their complaints that Renown fired fast and continuously while they were being handicapped by the heavy seas and machinery breakdowns;and the top heavy Renown laboured much harder in the heavy weather that the two modern battleships.
Renown fired 230 15" rounds- mostly from A and B turrets;and 1065 5.5" rounds,Severe blast damage allowed sea water to flood into her A and Y shell rooms. Scharnhorst fired 195 11" rounds from from Caesar turret and 91 5.9" rounds. Gneisenau fired only 54 main battery rounds and nothing from her secondary armament.
German 11" shells hit Renown twice for a hit rate of 0.8%.Renown landed but one 15" shell hit Gneisenau's foretop, for a hit rate of 0.4%.The German's mounted 18 X 11" guns to Renown's 6 X 15" guns .In the circumstances Whitworth was lucky that Lutjens chose to run rather than fight-what if they had chosen to stay,deploy and fight?? Question is -why didn't he???
The German battleships returned to Germany on 12th April;after the British sank all ten destroyers they were supposed to support.

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  #88  
Old 08-07-2014, 15:20
M. A. Rozon M. A. Rozon is offline
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote:
Originally Posted by jainso31 View Post
In the circumstances Whitworth was lucky that Lutjens chose to run rather than fight-what if they had chosen to stay,deploy and fight?? Question is -why didn't he???jainso31
Admittedly a quote from Wikipedia but, perhaps to answer some of this particular question:

"At the outbreak of World War II, Lütjens was Commander of Scouting Forces. In April 1940, during the invasion of Denmark and Norway (Operation Weserübung), he served as Vice Admiral, commanding the distant cover forces in the North Sea—which consisted of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. His superior, Vizeadmiral Wilhelm Marschall, had fallen ill just before the operation, so he assumed command of the Narvik and Trondheim landings.

Lütjens' mission was to draw British units away from Narvik and facilitate the landings there. During the landing phase, his forces were approached by an Royal Navy task-force led by the battlecruiser HMS Renown. The British ship engaged at 05:05 and Lütjens was forced to fight an inconclusive battle with Renown. He succeeded in extracting the German vessels without incurring major battle damage. He viewed his operation as a success.

It may have been possible for him to turn on and sink Renown by attacking from different directions, using Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, but the accompanying British destroyers were well placed to join the fight had he done so. His Commander-in-Chief, Erich Raeder, endorsed his actions which would have placed him against a clear eastern horizon as opposed to an enemy that was positioned against a darkened western horizon. Action at that time would have given the enemy a clearer silhouette to aim at while obscuring the British ships somewhat. Under those circumstances, Raeder felt the British would have had a tactical advantage. Lütjens later rendezvoused with the Admiral Hipper and reached Wilhelmshaven on 12 April, having avoided a major fleet action.

Lütjens nearly changed his mind during the battle, believing a pitched fight may bring relief to the German destroyer force at Narvik—a force which he had effectively been forced to abandon in the face of enemy sea superiority. But the prospect of running into HMS Rodney, now known by German naval intelligence to be in the vicinity, was too much of a risk. In the resultant Battles of Narvik 10 German destroyers were sunk and the campaign for the port lasted until June. In the wake of Lütjens return, he learned Marschall had recovered to assume command."

In short, it would seem that his orders were not to seek battle but to draw heavy enemy forces away from other German naval operations. He carried out his orders and for this he was rewarded. Marschall would later seek battle against orders, sinking Glorious but taking serious damage in the course of that engagement and was sacked.

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  #89  
Old 08-07-2014, 15:53
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

"Quote by M A Rozon

"Lütjens nearly changed his mind during the battle, believing a pitched fight may bring relief to the German destroyer force at Narvik—a force which he had effectively been forced to abandon in the face of enemy sea superiority. But the prospect of running into HMS Rodney, now known by German naval intelligence to be in the vicinity, was too much of a risk. In the resultant Battles of Narvik 10 German destroyers were sunk and the campaign for the port lasted until June. In the wake of Lütjens return, he learned Marschall had recovered to assume command."

Leaving the "what if" (Rodney) out of the issue-what does the statement "in the face of enemy sea superiority " mean precisely in this particular case.The British destroyers made a spirited attempt to take part in the battle, firing their 4.7-inch guns, but they were eventually left behind, unable to keep pace with the speeding Renown in the heavy seas.

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  #90  
Old 08-07-2014, 16:41
PhilipG PhilipG is offline
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote:
Originally Posted by jainso31 View Post

Leaving the "what if" (Rodney) out of the issue-what does the statement "in the face of enemy sea superiority " mean precisely in this particular case
Jim I feel that the phrase comes from German intelligence, Rodney was meant to be close by, Renown was known to be there as they had engaged, there were probably over a dozen RN destroyers with the capital ships and the aircraft carrier Glorious was not too far away.

As a German Navy leader in this position, with ships that had been damaged by shell fire and the weather, the thought of dealing with any of these more powerful fleet units would have been daunting if not verging on the insane.

I am not sure what effect on German battle doctrine the loss of the Admiral Graf Spee had, the Kriegsmarine did not have many major units.

What would have been interesting is if Glorious and Ark Royal had been in the area, the Germans must have been aware that Glorious was back with the Home Fleet after her refit in Malta.
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  #91  
Old 08-07-2014, 17:18
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote Philip

"Jim I feel that the phrase comes from German intelligence, Rodney was meant to be close by, Renown was known to be there as they had engaged, there were probably over a dozen RN destroyers with the capital ships and the aircraft carrier Glorious was not too far away."

I see where you are coming from Philip but :-
1 Rodney was not close by- she was with the HF leaving Scapa on the 8th
2 Renown's destroyers had been left behind during the chase and
3 Glorious was proceeding to GB and was sunk by Scharnhorst as she left the scene of action with Gneisenau

However I concede that these "what ifs" would have to be taken into the German viewpoint as being "real" dangers.They had carried out part of the task, by luring Renown away from the scene at Narvik.

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  #92  
Old 09-07-2014, 03:31
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Hi all,

I find the Rodney reference a bit ironic since Luetjens was on Gneisenau whose spotters had identified Renown as "Nelson" - hence they fired mostly base-fused HE shells after 2 opening salvos of AP. It was Scharnhorst that correctly identified the Renown.

I would think they would have figured out that it could not be a Nelson when they had such a hard time getting away.

Jim, I don't see why Renown was "top heavy" - her full reconstruction made her handle "like a destroyer". It was Hood and Repulse that may have had that problem with all their pre-war and wartime additions that cost them freeboard. Her main problem with her hull in the heavy seas was her bulges which were torn away.

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  #93  
Old 09-07-2014, 07:32
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Paul-In 1936 it was decided to give Renown a massive rebuild, in the line of the rebuilds of the Queen Elizabeth-class ships. Her entire superstructure was torn down to the deck and completely rebuilt. Her engines were replaced with modern, more powerful, machinery. After the rebuild, Renown was actually capable of surpassing the speed of one of the fastest battlecruisers in the fleet: HMS Hood.
Her secondary battery was also completely overhauled, removing the 4" guns and replacing them with dual-purpose 4.5"/45 Mark I and III guns. The torpedo tubes were removed and the AA guns were replaced by three octuple 2-pounder Pom-Pom AA emplacements.According to her 1939 statistics-she was 4000 tons heavier.

Perhaps my original source misconstrued this aspect.

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  #94  
Old 09-07-2014, 10:42
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

The eminent naval historian Correli Barnett in his book "Engage the Enemy more Closely"pub 1992 p111 and I quote:-

"In the event it was Whitworth with Renown who encountered the Scharnhost and Gneisenau and their destroyer escort at 0337 9th April,some 50 miles off Vestfjord; as the German ships were steering north on their "diversionary" course-simulating a breakout into the Atlantic.It was now blowing a full gale,with mountainous seas and sudden curtains of snow or rain.

At 0405 Renown opened fire with her 15" guns at a range of about 15000yds-twelve minutes later she knocked out Gneisenau's main gunnery control system,which persuaded the enemy to run for it.In the stern chase that ensued,Whitworth hit Gneisenau twice at 0434 and knocked out a forward turret.However the weather was on the side of the German ships and which caused the Renown to slow down in order to fight her fore turrets and the speeding Germans to fight their after turrets.

Although at times Whitworth drove Renown up to 29kts,the two German ships had disappeared from view amid a squall.Nevertheless,a british force had asserted a moral supremacy.The fact that Whitworth had been compelled to fight two modern battlecruisers was mark of the Admiralt's failure to read German strategic intentions correctly and concentrate Britain's naval resources in the key areas-as opposed to protecting minelayers elsewhere"

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  #95  
Old 09-07-2014, 11:21
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote:
The eminent naval historian Correli Barnett in his book "Engage the Enemy more Closely"pub 1992 p111 and I quote:-

"In the event it was Whitworth with Renown who encountered the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and their destroyer escort
Uh oh...Mr. Barnett seems to have switched the side of the destroyer escort!

Quote:
The fact that Whitworth had been compelled to fight two modern battlecruisers was mark of the Admiralt's failure to read German strategic intentions correctly and concentrate Britain's naval resources in the key areas-as opposed to protecting minelayers elsewhere"
Well we know that Repulse was in the general area and joined with Renown later that day (about 1400), obviously way too late. It would have been an interesting scenario if she'd been there for the battle.
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  #96  
Old 09-07-2014, 11:45
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

I would assume here Paul- that they (S&G) were shepherding the destroyers to the Narvik area-yes- all ten of them; and which they signalled to go on to their appointed areas when they came under fire from Renown; and these were the destroyers that were sunk in the Vestfjord on the 10th to 13th April 1940. So no I do not think he got them wrong but misnamed them, by calling them "escort"; but again what else would they do "en voyage"???

Re. Repulse-she may have made a difference- IF she were deployed such that she was NOT also following in the wake of the German capital ships.

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  #97  
Old 09-07-2014, 18:28
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

[quote][...The fact that Whitworth had been compelled to fight two modern battlecruisers was mark of the Admiralt's failure to read German strategic intentions correctly and concentrate Britain's naval resources in the key areas-as opposed to protecting minelayers elsewhere"
/QUOTE]

But it would certainly have suited British 'strategic intentions' if one or both of the German battleships had failed to make it back to port.
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Battlecruiser Renown in 1936 - looking as splendid as ever.
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  #98  
Old 10-07-2014, 06:05
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Default Re: "Duel off Stromvaer" - Renown vs. Gneisenau & Scharnhorst

Quote Monty

"But it would certainly have suited British 'strategic intentions' if one or both of the German battleships had failed to make it back to port".

Unfortunate that was ,at the time,something we were unable to do;although Renown had tried hard enough.She hit Gneisenau- but failed to stop/slow down or otherwise put her in a position- where she could have sunk the German battlecruiser.

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HMS Coventry by Ivan Berryman.
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 In the early morning murk of 24th May 1941, the forward 15in guns of HMS Hood fire the first shots against the mighty German battleship Bismarck. Both Bismarck and her escort, the Prinz Eugen, immediately responded, the latter causing a fierce fire on Hoods upper deck, while plunging shot from Bismarck penetrated deep into the British ships hull, causing an explosion that ripped the Hood apart, sinking her in an instant. Tragically, just three survivors were rescued from the water.

HMS Hood Opens Fire Upon the Bismarck by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 The battered Bismarck fires its final salvos, during the last stage of the battle, 27th May 1941.
Death of the Bismarck by Brian Wood.
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To increase the strength of the US fleet in the Pacific during the critical early months of the war, USS Indiana went through the Panama Canal.  On the 28th of November 1942 USS Indiana joined Rear Admiral Lee's aircraft carrier screening force.  For the next 11 months, USS Indiana helped protect USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga, which had been supporting the US invasion on the Solomon Islands.  On the 21st of October 1943 USS Indiana went to Pearl Harbor, but after only a couple of weeks left to support forces designated for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.  The battleship protected the carriers which supported the Marines during the bloody fight for Tarawa atoll.  Then, in late January 1944, she bombarded Kwajalein for eight days prior to the  Marshall Island landings on 1st February 1944.  USS Indiana collided with the battleship USS Washington while refuelling destroyers, killing several men.  Temporary repairs to her starboard side were made at Majuro and USS Indiana returned to Pearl Harbor on 13th February 1944 for additional repair work.  The painting shows USS Indiana with one of the two carriers she protected.

USS Indiana, First Tour of Duty by Anthony Saunders (Y)
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Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 HMS Prince of Wales is shown firing on the Bismarck and in the background a huge black cloud is all that is left of HMS Hood.

HMS Prince of Wales by Brian Wood (P)
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Captain Charles Vane was born in 1680, and was an English pirate who preyed upon English and French shipping.  Vane began piracy in 1716 and lasted 3 years. Vane captured a Barbados sloop and then a large 12-gun brigantine, which he renamed the Ranger.   Vane was among the pirate captains who operated out of the Bohama at the notorious base at New Providence after the colony had been abandoned by the British.  His pirate attacks made Captain Charles Vane well known to the Royal Navy and in February of 1718 Vincent Pearse, commander of HMS Phoenix cornered Vane on his ship the Lark.  Vane  had heard of the recent royal pardons that had been offered to pirates in exchange for a guarantee they would quit plundering, so Vane claimed he had actually been en route to surrender to Pearse and accepted the pardon on the spot,  Charle Vane gained his freedom but as soon as he was free of Pearse he ignored the pardon and resumed his pirate ways.  Charles Vane was again captured and in 1721 was executed by hanging at Gallows Point, Port Royal, Jamaica on March 29th 1721.

Captain Charles Vane by Chris Collingwood.
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SPORT PRINTS

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Unarguably the most famous Flying Finn of the past years has been Mika Häkkinen who won the F1 championship twice 1998-1999 and also raced in DTM between 2005 and 2007.

The Flying Finn by Ray Goldsbrough
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David Coulthard driving the 1998 McLaren MP4/13.

The Silver Arrow by Ray Goldsbrough
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 In 1992 Matthew graduated in Geography from St. Catherine's College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Rowing Club.  He took part in the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1990 and 1991, when Oxford beat Cambridge by substantial distances.  Also in 1992, at the age of only 21, Matthew had his first taste of Olympic success, when in a coxless pair with partner Sir Steve Redgrave, he won the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics.  Prior to that Olympic win he and Redgrave had enjoyed an unbeaten international season, and it was already obvious that Matthew was developing to become one of the world's greatest oarsmen.  At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 the Pinsent / Redgrave duo won another gold medal and throughout the nineties their outstanding combination also brought them seven world championship golds.  Their unbroken run of success continued through to the millennium Olympic games in Sydney when Pinsent, again with Redgrave (now in a coxless four with James Cracknell and Tim Foster) again triumphed earning Pinsent his third Olympic gold medal.  The race in which he did it was voted Britain's greatest sporting moment and the crew secured themselves a very special place in the heart of the nation.  After Sydney, Matthew formed a seemingly invincible coxless pair partnership with James Cracknell MBE.  Undefeated throughout 2001, they went on to complete a unique feat in the history of rowing, by winning the coxless pair at the world championships in Lucerne, a mere two hours after winning the coxed pairs.  In the 2002 world championships in Seville they defended their coxless pairs title, beating an experienced Australian crew who had beaten them in Lucerne earlier in the year and breaking the world record by 4 seconds in the process.  On Saturday 21st August 2004 at the Athens Olympic games, Matthew Pinsent CBE entered Olympic history.  In one of the classic sporting moments of all time, he led the Great Britain coxless four to victory over the Canadian world champions by only eight hundredths of a second.  Matthew was awarded the MBE in the 1993 New Year's Honours List and the CBE in the New Year's Honours List 2003.  In the 2005 New Year's Honours List he was awarded a knighthood.

Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE by James Owen.
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SP4AP.  Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.

Desert Orchid by Mark Churms (AP)
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AVIATION PRINTS

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 R5689 (VN-N) - a Lancaster B.1 of 50 Squadron based at Swinderby. This aircraft crash-landed in Lincolnshire while returning from a mission on 19th September 1942, after both port engines failed as the aircraft was preparing to land.  The aircraft never flew again.  The crew on the final mission were : <br>Sgt E J Morley RAAF,<br>P/O G W M Harrison,<br>Sgt H Male,<br>Sgt S C Garrett,<br>Sgt J W Dalby,<br>Sgt J Fraser<br>and<br>Sgt J R Gibbons RCAF, the sole member of the crew killed in the crash.

Avro Lancaster B.1 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 Phantom II of US Marine Corps, VMFA-531 (Grey Ghosts) Vietnam, Danang April 1965.

Phantom II by David Pentland.
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 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War. Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing. This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 Pinnacles of technology and nature at the roof of the world.  Northrop Grumman B2 Spirit from Wightman AFB, Missouri soars high over majestic snow-covered peaks, still climbing to its operational altitude of 50,000 feet.

The High and Mighty by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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MILITARY PRINTS

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 1st Battalion in action at Escaut Canal, Belgium, May 1940. The last Highland Regiment to wear a kilt in battle, attacking the Germans at the River Escaut.  From the Diary of Captain R. Leah, 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders : Tuesday 21st May : Bn left Ere about 2 a.m. to march back. Fortunately Coy Cmdr. were required for some sort of recce and we went in C.O.s car.  Arrived Taintignies 3 a.m. and self went out again with Wilkie in C.O.s car to look for for C Coy which had gone astray, and to see Q.M. about Bn rations in Wez-Velvain.  Could not find either.  Met the Battalion arriving from Ere when I left the village at 3 a.m.  Got back myself at 4 a.m. found empty house which I entered by window and slept well for 5 hours. Officers mess going in house beside M.T. park, and had good breakfast.  Fairly quiet morning and orders to move this afternoon to Bn assembly position S of Wez-Velvain.  Thence we were directed to Merlin and prepared for counter-attack to drive enemy off Western side of Escaut.

The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders by David Rowlands (C)
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Leading 30th Corps assault across the Seine at Vernon, 43rd Wessex Division gained an initial foothold on the east bank.  Heroic efforts however by the Royal Engineers of 71st, 72nd and 73rd Field Companies, succeeded in constructing a Class 9 Bailey bridge (David, shown left) and a Second Class 40 bridge (Goliath, shown right)  Despite constant enemy fire this amazing feat was achieved in only 2 days, and allowed 15/19th Hussars Cromwells and 4.7th Dragoons Guards Shermans to cross just in time to repulse a serious German counter attack by Tiger IIs of SS Panzer Abteilung 101.

David and Goliath, Vernon, France, 27th August 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 M3 Lee tanks and troops from General Slims 14th Army clear Japanese resistance form the village of Ywathitgyi in their drive to Mandalay.

Road to Mandalay, Burma, February 1945 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 Juno Beach, Normandy, 6th June 1944.  Sdkfz 232 armoured cars of 12th SS Reconnaissance Battalion commanded by  Obersturmfuhrer Peter Hansmann observe the Canadian beachhead at Juno Beach.  His small team was tasked with finding out if an invasion was actually underway and it drove some 80km, arriving at the coast near Tracy at 7.30 in the morning to witness the landings in progress.

D-Day Recce by David Pentland. (P)
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