Thursday, 26 December 2013

Recollections of War: The Sinking of the Scharnhorst - December 26, 1943

        Today is the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the last of Germany's hard-hitting battleships in World War II - the "Scharnhorst".  In a short but fierce conflict, the British Royal Navy located, hunted down, and sunk the 26,000 ton warship off the northern coast of Sweden over the days of 25 - 26 December, 1943.

        After several attempts, the British ship, HMS Duke of York located and shadowed the Scharnhorst on December 25.  Calling upon other British warships in the vicinity, the Duke of York battled and chased the Scharnhorst for the better part of twelve hours.  On the 26th, the combined British forces caught up to the doomed ship - and sank her from close range.

        Thus the end began of Germany's hold of the seas - all of her ships were sunk, and she knew that this was only the beginning of the Allied offensive to defeat the Third Reich.  Six months later, a combined Canadian, British, and American force would land on the shores of France - beginning the end to the Second World War.

        Over the course of this coming year, I will chronicling the major events of WWII in the year 1944 - as it is the 70th Anniversary in 2014.  See you then!

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