7 January 1939 to 26 December 1943
25 January 1934
15 June 1935
3 October 1936
7 January 1939
35,540 tons standard. 38,100 tons full
3 × Brown Boveri geared turbines
producing up to 165,930 hp
3 bladed propellers, 4.8 m diameter
7,100 nautical miles at 19 knots
1,968 men and officers
9 × 28.3 cm L/54.5 SK C/34 range 42,600 m
carried 945 to 1350 rounds
12 × 15 cm L/55 SK C/28 range 22,000 m
carried 1,600 to 1,800 rounds
14 × 10.5 cm L/65 SK C/33 range 17,700 m
carried 5,600 rounds
16 × 3.7 cm L/83 SK C/30
carried 32,000 to 76,000 rounds
10 × 2 cm MG L/65 C/30
6 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes after 1942
18 torpedo's carried
Belt 350 mm, Deck 95 mm
4 × Arado
manned the guns of the HMS Rawalpindi
Scharnhorst was a prominent World War 2 capital ship, the
lead of her class, cited as either a light battleship or a
battlecruiser. This 38,100 t ship was named after the Prussian
general and army reformer Gerhard von Scharnhorst, to honour
the World War I armoured cruiser SMS Scharnhorst which was
sunk in the Battle at the Falkland Islands in December 1914.
Scharnhorst often sailed into combat along with her sistership,
Gneisenau. She was sunk after being pounded by Allied forces
at the Battle of North Cape in December 1943.
7 January 1939
The Scharnhorst is commissioned
8 October 1939
The Scharnhorst patrol the Atlantic along with Gneisenau,
light cruisers Köln and Leipzig and the destroyers Friedrich
Ihn, Wilhelm Heidkamp, Karl Galster, Bernd von Arnim, Paul
Jakobi, Friedrich Eckoldt, Erich Steinbrinck, Diether von
Roeder and Max Schulz.
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sinks the Armed Merchant Cruiser
The Scharnhorst takes part in operation "Nordmark (German
attacks on Allied North Sea convoys) along with Gneisenau,
Admiral Hipper and the destroyers Wolfgang Zenker , Karl Galster
and Wilhlem Heidkamp are sent to engage British convoys between
Bergen and England.
8 April 1940
The Scharnhorst takes part in operation Weserübung (Invasion
of Denmark and Norway) along with Gneisenau. They engage the
British battlecruiser HMS Renown and HMS Birmingham without
a decisive result.
4 June 1940
Gneisenau takes part in operation Juno (operation to disrupt
Allied supplies to Norway) along with Scharnhorst, Admiral
Hipper and the destroyers Hermann Schoemann, Erich Steinbrinck,
Karl Galster and Hans Lody.
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau engage the British aircraft
carrier HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent and HMS Acasta. All British
Royal navy ships are sunk. The Scharnhorst was hit by a torpedo
of from HMS Acasta.
10 June 1940
The Scharnhorst returns to Drontheim for repairs the Gneisenau
was torpedoed by the submarine HMS Clyde and Returns to Drontheim
13 June 1940
The Scharnhorst is attacked by aircraft from the British fleet
air arm at Trondheim Fjord. However little damage is done.
21 June 1940
The Scharnhorst is attacked by aircraft from RAF coastal command,
at around 1500 hrs, six swordfish torpedo planes attacked,
but were easily repulsed by Scharnhorst anti-aircraft guns.
25 September 1940
The Scharnhorst is attacked by aircraft from RAF 51 Squadron
and 78 Squadron. However, both attacks were easily repulsed
by the Scharnhorst anti-aircraft guns.
28 December 1940
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau fail in there attempt to break
out into the North Atlantic.
22 January 1941
The Scharnhorst takes part in operation Berlin, along with
Gneisenau and this time manage to break out into the North
8 February 1941
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attempt to engage convoy HX-108
but after sighting HMS Ramiles decide to retreat.
7 to 9 March 1941
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau engage convoy SL-67 but disengage
when the British HMS Malaya is sighted. Instead they shadowed
the convoy and direct two U-boats in attacking the convoy
and sink 5 merchants.
15 to 16 March 1941
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau engage and sink 16 merchants
east of Newfoundland. Gneisenau is sighted by the British
HMS Rodney which requests identification. The Gneisenau replies
HMS Emerald and manages to escape.
22 March 1941
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau enter the port of Brest. They
had managed to sink a total of 22 ships with (115,600 t) Gneisenau
14 with (66,300 t).
11 to 13 February 1942
The Scharnhorst takes part in operation Cerberus (Channel
Dash) along with her sister ship the Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen
escorted by 6 destroyers Friedrich Ihn, Hermann Schoemann,
Paul Jakobi, Richard Beitzen, Z25, Z29 plus 14 torpedo boats.
The Gneisenau is hit by a mine on her way to Kiel.
6 to 7 September 1943
The Scharnhorst takes part in operation Sizilien (German raid
and temporary occupation of Spitsbergen) along with Tirpitz
and 9 destroyers Karl Galster, Hans Lody, Erich Steinbrink,
Theodor Riedel, Z27, Z29, Z30, Z31 and Z33 attack the enemy
base on Spitzbergen.
25 December 1943
The Scharnhorst takes part in operation Ostfront (East front,
Intercept convoy JW-55B) along with Z29, Z30, Z33, Z34 and
Z38 tries to locate convoy JW-55B on its way to Murmansk.
The Scharnhorst is sighted by HMS Belfast, HMS Norfolk, and
HMS Sheffield after taking damage she leaves her escorts.
After several attempts, the British HMS Duke of York locates
the Scharnhorst and she is subjected to heavy fire and sustaineds
26 December 1943
The Scharnhorst after several hours of attack from the British
fleet is left battered and crippled, HMS Jamaica finished
her of with torpedoe's. Only 36 crew members survive.
Takes command on 7 January 1939
Ends command on 23 September 1939
Takes command on 23 September 1939
Ends command on 31 March 1942
Takes command on 31 March 1942
Ends command on 13 October 1943
Takes command on 13 October 1943
Ends command on 26 December 1943
German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
German warships of the Second World War.
For a complete list of sources