HMS Hunter, Sunk During First Battle of Narvik 10 April 1940, Found in One Thousand Feet of Water – Part 19


German battleship Scharnhorst sunk by the Royal Navy 26 December 1943 in the Battle of the North Cape.

Fearing the British could detect her radar waves, Scharnhorst proceeded without using her radar. Since her destroyer screen could not maintain station on the fast moving battleship because of heavy weather, the ship just left them behind, not reducing her speed. This had the effect of leaving the Scharnhorst completely blind. Literally out of nowhere fourteen inch shells from HMS Duke of York bracketed the Scharnhorst.

She was pounded into a flaming wreck by the radar controlled main-battery fire of the RN battleship HMS Duke of York, flagship of the British Home Fleet, and her heavy cruiser escort.

Gun crews of HMS Duke of York under the ship’s 14 inch guns at Scapa Flow on 1 January 1944 after the sinking of the German warship Scharnhorst on 26 December 1943.

It is an interesting commentary on the utility of battleships in the modern era that HMS Duke of York was in commission less than ten years (1941-1951) before being withdrawn from service. She was broken up in 1957. She was a King George V class battleship of which five were built: HMS King George V, HMS Duke of York, HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Anson, and HMS Howe. All five were gradually withdrawn from service and scraped by 1957.

Waves crashing over the bow, HMS Duke of York steaming at 20 to 25 knots during an Arctic convoy, PQ-12, to Russia (photographed from the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious). Date 2 – 9 March 1942.

[Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia.]