Prinz Eugen on the coast of Finland

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Christian W.
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Prinz Eugen on the coast of Finland

Post by Christian W. » 23 Sep 2004 18:04

The German heavy cruiser, Prinze Eugen, was stationed on Finnish coast in July 1944 and was there for a long time. I'd like to know whenever Prinz Eugen had any role in the Lapland War, and why exactly was Prinz Eugen stationed on the coast of Finland?
Last edited by Christian W. on 15 Sep 2005 12:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Uninen
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Post by Uninen » 23 Sep 2004 20:36

As far as i can recall the cruiser was used to underline some German demands after the "peace" with soviets / after clashes with germans.. IE forced finns to release some captured german vessel (cable layer?) etc..

(Finns had to release the vessel as the cruiser out ranged the local coastal guns..)

But im sure somebody has more accurate information..

and also im pretty sure it would have been used in aborted operation TANNE WEST (planned invasion on Åland)... (aborted due failure of operation TANNE OST, which was German attempt to seize Suursaari..)

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 23 Sep 2004 21:12

Did Prinze Eugen shell Suursaari?
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 23 Sep 2004 22:11

Heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen was close to Åland Islands about since 19th June until mid-July 1944. I think Germans wanted to back-up that Finland will not going to make any sudden peace agreements. I wouldn't be so sure about the direct connection to Tanne West (capturing of Åland Islands) but it is possible, the plan was ready. I'm not quite sure about the real meaning of this visit and I don't remember the exact location of Prinz Eugen.

If you have not know also German Focke-Wulf FW 190A fighters of 1. Staffel / Jadgeschwader 54 (1./JG 54) arrived in Turku (Artukainen) on 19.6.1944 to protect German naval forces in the northern Baltic Sea. Nachtjagd-Leitschiff Togo was also there to provide radar cover. Staffel left Finland in mid-July 1944 (I don't know the exact date). It didn't belong to Gefechtsverband Kuhlmey.

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Post by varjag » 24 Sep 2004 02:05

In Fritz-Otto Busch's book,PRINZ EUGEN it is only briefly stated that the P/E was sent as a 'distant covering force' for the illfated German attempt at Suursaari. The ship with her destroyer escorts, was 'standing by' at the entrance to the Gulf of Finland for five days, Sept. 14-18th. The attendant maps are a bit 'woolly' but it seems that the P/E never ventured east of Hanko but was cruising between Utö and Kökar with a brief sweep east of Aaland up to about the latitude of Mariehamn - before returning to base. Given the density of the mine-fields in the Gulf - it would seem folly to risk such an expensive ship actually entering the Gulf of Finland.

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 24 Sep 2004 04:31

(to be deleted)
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JariL
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Post by JariL » 24 Sep 2004 14:17

Hi,

Prinz Eugen was in the Finnish water for a number of reasons. One of them was to have some fire power available in case the Soviet Navy would try to break out from Leningrad. It was also a threat to Finnish sea routes to the west but in that respect it was vulnerable. The third reason for Prinz to be in the Finnish South-West archipelago was that there it was out of reach of RAF.

Prinz Eugen had her anchor place that was protected with submarine net near Jurmo which is the South-Westernmost island in the archipelago. Anchor palce had been reserved also for an other capital ship (Admiral Scheer) but I don't remember if she ever actually was there. Anyway, when the Germans left they snak the submarine nets and Finns had the pleasure of recovering and fixing them aand handing them over to the Soviet Union as "German property" after the peace was made.

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Jari

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 24 Sep 2004 16:48

Like we have noticed Prinz Eugen was close to Finland at least twice: in the summer and early autumn 1944. I think it mainly supported German land forces with other ships on the coast of Baltic States.

JariL wrote:Prinz Eugen was in the Finnish water for a number of reasons. One of them was to have some fire power available in case the Soviet Navy would try to break out from Leningrad. It was also a threat to Finnish sea routes to the west but in that respect it was vulnerable. The third reason for Prinz to be in the Finnish South-West archipelago was that there it was out of reach of RAF.


These are obvious "official reasons" but was there "a presseure aspect" too in June/July? Were Germans ready to attack Åland Islands then? I doubt Soviets had any large warships combat-ready in the summer 1944, only submarines and smaller vessels. They had to pass the closed (mines and submarine net) Gulf of Finland which was fatal to virtually every Soviet submarines in 1943 and before autumn 1944.

JariL wrote:Prinz Eugen had her anchor place that was protected with submarine net near Jurmo which is the South-Westernmost island in the archipelago. Anchor palce had been reserved also for an other capital ship (Admiral Scheer) but I don't remember if she ever actually was there.


I think Admiral Scheer was not on Finnish waters.

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 24 Sep 2004 16:53

Harri I should know this but what was the month/year that Finland dropped out as a German Allie ?

The Prinz was usually escorted by at least 1-2 Z boots as well as T-booten that provided some AA coverage, while the Zerstorers if able could provide off shore support with their heavier guns.......

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 24 Sep 2004 17:45

Erich wrote:Harri I should know this but what was the month/year that Finland dropped out as a German Allie ?


The truce between Finnish and Soviet troops started on 4. (or on Soviet side 5. :roll: ) September 1944. Germans' unsuccesful conquer attempt to Suursaari island on Gulf of Finland (Tanne Ost) took place on 15.9.1944. Germans had to left Finnish soil by that date which is also the starting point of the so called Lapland War.

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 25 Sep 2004 14:38

IIRC, some other Kriegsmarine ship/s accompanied Prinz Eugen during her journey to Finland.
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Drobjatski Sergei
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Post by Drobjatski Sergei » 13 Nov 2004 11:33

Hitler gave a direct order to Donitz, that germany must hold the soviet fleet in the Gulf of Finland... cause the soviet assault began and Hitler was affraid of loosing oil-shales in Estonia(Rakvere & Jõhvi), and of course Sweedesh iron-ore State deliveries would be in danger. Donitz send battleships "Admiral Sheer" and "Lutzov", heavy cruisers "Prinz Eugen" and "Hipper", light cruiser "Leipzig" to Baltics. The other reason is indeed the RAF. :)

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 13 Nov 2004 13:52

Dont forget the nickel mines in Finland. :wink: Im sure Hitler was afraid of losing them and Hitler wouldnt have been too happy if they would have been lost. Hitler himself said " Germany will not win without the nickel of Petsamo ".

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Drobjatski Sergei
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Post by Drobjatski Sergei » 15 Nov 2004 10:55

I bet he was afraid, neighbour :wink: .. Germany depended on our countries, as far as on others too.
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Post by Drobjatski Sergei » 15 Nov 2004 19:23

I would like to know if some of the german war ships stayed at harbours of Tallinn...
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