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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
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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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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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<a href=http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/image.php?u=4345&type=sigpic&dateline=1228940259 target=_blank>http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...ine=1228940259</a>

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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 The pilot of a Fairey Swordfish MKII guides his aircraft towards the landing ramp of HMS Victorious following a sortie in the Mediterranean Sea 1940

Safe Return by Ivan Berryman.
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With the British Mediterranean Fleet riding at anchor in Grand  Harbour Malta, HMS  Majestic is shown preparing to leave harbour as local fisherman look on. 

Majestic Malta by Randall Wilson (AP)
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 Forming part of the Eastern Task Force covering the landings at Normandy in June 1944, the cruiser HMS Mauritius is shown in company with the monitor HMS Roberts and the cruiser HMS Frobisher shelling German batteries at Merville, Houlgate and Benerville as the combined British and American forces embark upon what would become known forever as D-Day.

Operation Neptune by Ivan Berryman (P)
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 HMS Benbow was completed in 1914, built by Beardmore (launched 12th November 1913). On the 10th of December she joined the Grand Fleet serving with the 4th Battle squadron. She was the flagship to Admiral Douglas Gamble until he was replaced in February 1915 by Sir Doveton Sturdee. During  the Battle of Jutland. she suffered no damage. After the war she served from 1919 in the Mediterranean providing Gun fire support to the white Russians in the Black Sea until 1920. She remained in the Mediterranean until 1926 joining the Atlantic fleet for the next three years until 1929 when she was paid off and scrapped in March 1931.

HMS Benbow at the Battle of Jutland by Anthony Saunders. 
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SPORT PRINTS

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Celebrating Sir Alexs magnificent orchestration of Manchester Uniteds historic treble cup success of 1999.

Sir Alex Ferguson by Darren Baker.
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David Coulthard made his Grand Prix debut at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1994.  Only an electrical problem with his Williams Renault stopped Coulthard finishing 3rd in his first ever Grand Prix.  This performance was enough to confirm his potential and earn a drive for the 1995 season.  Winning at Estoril, on the podium at Interlagos, Magny-Cours, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Hungaroring and T I Aida, placed him third in the championship in his first full Grand Prix season.  Coulthard moved to McLaren for the 1996 season proving on many occasions that he could match the pace of team leader Mika Hakkinen, who has a reputation as one of the fastest.  For 1997, Coulthard took over the mantle of Britains No.1 driver and was well qualified to do so.  Winning at Melbourne and Monza, second at A1 Ring and Jerez.  Fourth in the championship prior to Schumachers exclusion.  Coulthard drives with a balance of flair and aggression which earned him considerable respect.  After nearly fifteen years as a top flight driver, Coulthard has now retired from driving, leaving a remarkable legacy behind him.  Twice winner of the British Grand Prix in 1999 and 2000, he has represented Scotland and Great Britain at the highest level of motorsport for well over a decade.

Tribute to David Coulthard by Stuart McIntyre
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Europe 18.5 - 9.5 USA.  The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland, 22-24 September 2006. <br><br>Europe; Ian Woosnam - captain - Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, David Howell, Sergio Garcia, Paul McGinley, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Jose Maria Olazabel, Robert Karlsson, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson. <br><br>USA; Tom Lehman - captain - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, JJ Henry, David Tomms, Brett Wetterick, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell, Chris DiMarco, Vaughan Taylor, Zach Johnson, Scott Verplank.
36th Ryder Cup 2006 by James Owen.
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Johnny Herbert is shown in the Benetton B195.  Herbert took a deserved victory at his home British Grand Prix at Silverstone, beating the Ferrari of Frenchman Jean Alesi into second place by more than 16 seconds, and ahead of fellow briton David Coulthard in the third placed Williams.  He also claimed victory at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.  Along with Michael Schumachers nine victories, Herbert  helped Benetton win their first constructors championship in the 1995 season.  The Formula One Benetton B195 was designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn for use in the 1995 Formula One season by Benetton.  The B195 was almost identical to the B194 but for a change of engine supplier from Ford to Renault V10 engine, the same type the rival Williams team was using.  With his first two Formula One wins under his belt in 1995, Johnny Herbert won just one more race, winning at the Nurburgring at the European Grand Prix in 1999, racing for Stewart Ford.  He retired from Formula One in 2000.

Johnny Herbert/ Benetton B.195 by Ivan Berryman
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AVIATION PRINTS

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 Jaguar GR3A from 41 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coltishall and flown by Squadron Leader Ian Smith thunders down a Norwegian fjord.  Coltishall Jaguars regularly deploy on exercise in northern Norway as part of NATO's protection of its northern flank.  However, Spring of 2006 saw the closure of RAF Coltishall, the loss of an historic airfield.

Snowcat by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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 Shown in the colours of Jasta Boelke and carrying Baumers personal red / white /  black flash on the fuselage, Fokker DR.1 204/17 was the aircraft in which he scored many of his 43 victories. Although the Sopwith Triplane had been withdrawn from service, German pilots frequently found their DR.1s being mistakenly attacked by their own flak batteries and, sometimes, by other pilots. For this reason, in march 1918, Baumers aircraft bore additional crosses on the centre of the tailplane and on the lower wings to aid identification. For some reason, his rudder displayed what appeared to be an incomplete border to the national marking. Nicknamed Der Eiserne Adler – The Iron Eagle – Paul Baumer survived the war, but died in a flying accident near Copenhagen whilst testing the Rohrbach Rofix fighter.  He is shown in action having just downed an RE.8 while, above him, Leutnant Otto Lofflers DR.1 190/17 banks into the sun to begin another attack.

Leutnant Paul Baumer by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 On 31st August 1944, 6 Mosquitoes of 305 Polish Squadron, Lasham, 2nd TAF were led by Wing Commander Orlinski to attack oil refineries at Nomexy, south of Nancy, France. Diving down and releasing their bombs before escaping at tree top height they destroyed 4 large containers and several smaller ones. All aircraft safely returned after their four and a half hour sortie. Fl Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar) and his navigator Fl Lt Majer can be seen exiting the area to reform on the other 3 Mosquitoes who have already finished their bombing run. This was Atkins 61st operation, finishing the war with 78 ops over 3 tours.

Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
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 Bristol Blenheim Mk.IVF of No.68 Squadron.  The night-fighter squadron flew Blenheims from mid1941 to early 1942 before converting to Beaufighters.  Aircraft WM-Z is shown in combat with a marauding Dornier Do17.

Blenheim Mk.IVF of No.68 Sqn by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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MILITARY PRINTS

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 Panzer IVF2 tanks of 6th Panzer Division, Panzer Armee Hoth, attempt to fight their way through to the beleaguered Sixth Army at Stalingrad, 12th December 1942.  On the 21st the operation was abandoned when the expected breakout from Stalingrad failed to materialise, the relief column was only 25 miles from the city.

Operation Winter Tempest by David Pentland.
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 As 1944 drew to a close, Hitler made his final gamble of the war, mounting a massive strike force aimed at splitting the Allies forces advancing upon Germany. His armour, supported from the air, would rip through the Ardennes to Antwerp, capture the Allied fuel supplies, and cut off all the opposing forces to the north. Hitlers commanders were dubious of the outcome but nevertheless obeyed orders, and the operation was launched on 16th December. Allied intelligence had discounted any German counter-offensive and the initial wave, comprising 8 Panzer divisions, took the Allied forces completely by surprise. A parachute drop of English-speaking German soldiers in American uniforms behind the assault zone added to the confusion. Advancing some 30 miles, and almost in sight of the River Meuse, by 26th December the SS Panzers had ground to a halt with empty fuel tanks, and were at the mercy of Allied counter-attacks. By 16th January the German penetration was repulsed and Hitlers beloved Panzer units retreated in tatters. The Fuhrers last gamble had failed. Fw190s of JG1 provide close support to the 9th SS Panzer Division, as they spearhead Germanys final major offensive of World War II. Seen advancing on the 82nd Airborne Division, the King Tiger tanks, with the aid of Luftwaffe ground-attack fighters, drive the Americans back through the snowy fields of the Ardennes on Christmas Day, 1944. It was the last, short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful advance made by the German forces during World War II. <br><br><b>Published 2001.</b>

Ardennes Offensive by Nicolas Trudgian (Y)
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 The men of the US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment ambushed the German 1st Battalion, 6th Fallschrimjager Regiment making their way to Carentan, the Battle of Hells Corner ensued.

Hells Corner, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 Oberfeldwebel Albert Kerscher, commander of 2nd company 511 Heavy Tank Battalion aided by a Panzer IV, two Hetzers, a Kingtiger and a Pak gun, successfully defended against concerted Soviet air and armoured attacks, his action buying valuable time for the evacuation of German wounded from Pilau and scoring his 100th victory in the process.

Kerschers Defence of Neuhauser Forest by David Pentland. (AP)
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