2nd volume, no. 2, Page 6
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cover / introduction table of contents

Setback

In German military circles, there is no denying that the submarines have been less successful in the last months. According to the military reports, the following results were achieved:
From January to March 1943: 320 merchant ships with 2,025,400 GRT.
From April to July 1943: 264 merchant ships with 1,552,241 GRT.
From August to November 1943: 215 merchant ships with 1,300,000 GRT.
The German Luftwaffe had an increasing share in these figures. In the German military report of September 24th, it was emphasized that, after weeks of rest, the submarines had sunk 9 merchant ships with a total of 46,500 gross register tons. So, it appears that on the German side, there is no value attached to concealing the fact that there has been a significant change in naval warfare. – 14-12

The sinking of the Scharnhorst – 28/12
Regarding the attack on the enemy convoy destined for Murmansk, the supreme command of the navy has provided the following details: Several days earlier, the German aerial reconnaissance had spotted an enemy convoy en route to Murmansk, carrying war material and provisions for the Soviet front. A combat group of the German fleet was deployed to engage this convoy, and it encountered the enemy near the North Cape. Around 11 a.m. on December 26th, the battleship Scharnhorst, on which the commander of the torpedo destroyers, Rear Admiral Bey, had embarked as the leader of the combat group, engaged in combat with the enemy escort fleet consisting of cruisers and torpedo destroyers. In bad weather visibility was limited. Shortly after the start of the battle, a heavy enemy warship also joined in. As the battle continued, the enemy managed to unexpectedly gather more heavy forces, which were not seen beforehand due to the poor visibility. After several hours of intense fighting, the Scharnhorst, under the command of Captain-at-Sea Hintze, was surrounded by the enemy warships. At around 7:30 p.m., the battleship sank with the flag still flying, after inflicting heavy damage on the enemy until the last shell was fired. The other German forces, participating in the operation, did not suffer any losses. Information about the fate of the crew of the Scharnhorst will be conveyed to their relatives as soon as reports are received.

The submarine weapon is
No longer very effective,
So claims the First Lord
Firm and positive.

And even by Germany it is acknowledged,
The truth of these words,
Much less than what they were used to
Is drilled to the ground.

The face of the current
Naval warfare has changed,
And the monthly report is desolate,
The figures are disappointing.

In the past, many a gross register ton
Made clearly a difference,
They found that it was impossible
To continue like this any longer.

And Hitler was in a tight spot
And then made the decision
According to his command
The “Scharnhorst” should set out.

That would settle the account again
And make up for the damage,
The people who were already feeling down
Would regain new courage.

The „Scharnhorst“ always performed best,
You still know the story,
Recently she escaped from Brest
And sailed through the Channel,

Evading the British fleet
That had been lying in wait for her,
In Germany, there was great joy,
England found it troublesome.

It became a victory celebration
“Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau”
Have been ahead of England‘s ships,
Escaping from the narrow spot.

The battleship “Scharnhorst” set out
For an easy prey
And suddenly spotted a juicy target
An enemy convoy.

It didn‘t seem heavily guarded,
A grateful target for attack,
And when one would be successful,
That would have had an impact.

The victory won’t be difficult,
It will become a triumph,
All in all, that’s what the,
German admiral thought,

But it turned out differently than at Brest,
He was heavily mistaken,
And the mistake proved disastrous,
Emerging from the mist

Unexpectedly, more cruisers appeared
Than Hintze had expected,
Now we are in trouble,
Said the Rear Admiral then,

The “Scharnhorst” saw itself in a ring
That couldn‘t be broken,
How unpleasant that circle was,
They tightened it around its neck.

Yes, on the second Christmas Day
They sent her to the ground,
A hard blow for Germany,
As everyone thought.

One spoons sadly and sorrowful
Winter Relief one-pot pea soup,
And mourns, because the Scharnhorst ship
Now became a submarine.

Post-Editing: Marloes Abeling