Basing of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in France question

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Felix C
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Basing of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in France question

Post by Felix C » 26 Jul 2019 19:06

Why were they based at Brest and not St. Nazaire?

St. Nazaire had the large drydock and was further away from UK airfields.
I mean during their active raiding period, not towards the end when attempting the Dash.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Basing of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in France question

Post by Sheldrake » 26 Jul 2019 20:19

The Scharnhorst had engine trouble when she and Gneisenau sought shelter in Brest. After repairs she steamed to La Pallice (la Rochelle) even further south than St Nazaire to avoid a concentration of ships, but the RAF found her and bombed Brest and La Pallice the same night on 24 July 1941 causing extensive damage. She steamed back to Brest the next day for repairs.

The Germans may not have had huge numbers of marine specialists in France and maybe they concentrated repairs in Brest. They had a lot of work to do on Gneisenau.

The RAF did quite a good job of keeping at least one of these battle cruisers in dock for most of 1941. Took lots of losses. One torpedo attack resulted in a VC.

Felix C
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Re: Basing of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in France question

Post by Felix C » 26 Jul 2019 20:43

Thanks. Solid points. Much appreciated. Did not know regarding the movement to La Pallice. Again thanks.

AKahl
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Re: Basing of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in France question

Post by AKahl » 01 Sep 2019 20:39

It may have also been easier to harden one location with massive flak, smoke generators, torpedo nets, etc... than two.
Remain yourself, in spite of all the mighty do.

Goethe

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