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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.
Quote:
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
Rupert Rupert is offline
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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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