German pocket battleship Deutschland
Overview
 
Deutschland was the lead ship
Lead ship
The lead ship or class leader is the first of a series or class of ships all constructed according to the same general design. The term is applicable military ships and larger civilian craft.-Overview:...

 of her class
Deutschland class cruiser
The Deutschland class was a series of three panzerschiffe , a form of heavily armed cruiser, built by the Reichsmarine officially in accordance with restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles...

 of heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range, high speed and an armament of naval guns roughly 203mm calibre . The heavy cruiser can be seen as a lineage of ship design from 1915 until 1945, although the term 'heavy cruiser' only came into formal use in 1930...

s (often termed a pocket battleship) which served with the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Ordered by the Weimar government
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 for the Reichsmarine
Reichsmarine
The Reichsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Weimar Republic and first two years of Nazi Germany. It was the naval branch of the Reichswehr, existing from 1918 to 1935...

, she was laid down at the Deutsche Werke
Deutsche Werke
Deutsche Werke was a German shipbuilding company founded in 1925 when Kaiserliche Werft Kiel and other shipyards were merged. It came as a result of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I that forced the German defence industry to shrink...

shipyard in Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

 in February 1929 and completed by April 1933. Originally classified as an armored ship (Panzerschiff) by the Reichsmarine, in February 1940 the Germans reclassified the remaining two ships of this class as heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range, high speed and an armament of naval guns roughly 203mm calibre . The heavy cruiser can be seen as a lineage of ship design from 1915 until 1945, although the term 'heavy cruiser' only came into formal use in 1930...

s.
Encyclopedia
Deutschland was the lead ship
Lead ship
The lead ship or class leader is the first of a series or class of ships all constructed according to the same general design. The term is applicable military ships and larger civilian craft.-Overview:...

 of her class
Deutschland class cruiser
The Deutschland class was a series of three panzerschiffe , a form of heavily armed cruiser, built by the Reichsmarine officially in accordance with restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles...

 of heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range, high speed and an armament of naval guns roughly 203mm calibre . The heavy cruiser can be seen as a lineage of ship design from 1915 until 1945, although the term 'heavy cruiser' only came into formal use in 1930...

s (often termed a pocket battleship) which served with the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Ordered by the Weimar government
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 for the Reichsmarine
Reichsmarine
The Reichsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Weimar Republic and first two years of Nazi Germany. It was the naval branch of the Reichswehr, existing from 1918 to 1935...

, she was laid down at the Deutsche Werke
Deutsche Werke
Deutsche Werke was a German shipbuilding company founded in 1925 when Kaiserliche Werft Kiel and other shipyards were merged. It came as a result of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I that forced the German defence industry to shrink...

shipyard in Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

 in February 1929 and completed by April 1933. Originally classified as an armored ship (Panzerschiff) by the Reichsmarine, in February 1940 the Germans reclassified the remaining two ships of this class as heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range, high speed and an armament of naval guns roughly 203mm calibre . The heavy cruiser can be seen as a lineage of ship design from 1915 until 1945, although the term 'heavy cruiser' only came into formal use in 1930...

s. In 1940, she was renamed Lützow, after the Admiral Hipper class
Admiral Hipper class cruiser
The Admiral Hipper-class was a group of five heavy cruisers built by the German Kriegsmarine in the mid 1930s. The class comprised Admiral Hipper, the lead ship, Blücher, Prinz Eugen, Seydlitz, and Lützow. Only the first three ships of the class were completed to see action during World War II...

 heavy cruiser Lützow
German cruiser Lützow (1939)
Lützow was a heavy cruiser of the German Kriegsmarine, the fifth and final member of the , but was never completed. The ship was laid down in August 1937 and launched in July 1939, after which the Soviet Union requested to purchase the ship. The Kriegsmarine agreed to the sale in February 1940, and...

 was handed over to the Soviet Union.

The ship saw significant action with the Kriegsmarine, including several non-intervention patrols, during which she was attacked by Republican bombers. At the outbreak of World War II, she was cruising the North Atlantic, prepared to attack Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 merchant traffic. Bad weather hampered her efforts, and she only sank or captured a handful of vessels before returning to Germany. She then participated in Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

, the invasion of Norway. Damaged at the Battle of Drøbak Sound
Battle of Drøbak sound
The Battle of Drøbak Sound took place in the northernmost part of the Oslofjord on 9 April 1940, on the first day of the German invasion of Norway...

, she was recalled to Germany for repairs. While en route, she was torpedoed and seriously damaged by a British submarine.

Repairs were completed by March 1941, Lützow returned to Norway to join the forces arrayed against Allied shipping to the Soviet Union. She ran aground during a planned attack on convoy PQ 17, which necessitated another return to Germany for repairs. She next saw action at the Battle of the Barents Sea
Battle of the Barents Sea
The Battle of the Barents Sea took place on 31 December 1942 between German surface raiders and British ships escorting convoy JW 51B to Kola Inlet in the USSR. The action took place in the Barents Sea north of North Cape, Norway...

 with the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper
German cruiser Admiral Hipper
Admiral Hipper, the first of five ships of her class, was the lead ship of the Admiral Hipper–class of heavy cruisers which served with the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. The ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1935 and launched February 1937; Admiral Hipper...

, which ended with a failure to destroy the convoy JW 51B. Engine problems forced a series of repairs culminating in a complete overhaul at the end of 1943, after which the ship remained in the Baltic
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. Sunk in the Kaiserfahrt in April 1945 by Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) bombers, Lützow was used as a gun battery to support German troops fighting the Soviet Army until 4 May 1945, when she was disabled by her crew. Raised by the Soviet Navy in 1947, she was broken up for scrap over the next two years.

Construction

Deutschland was ordered by the Reichsmarine
Reichsmarine
The Reichsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Weimar Republic and first two years of Nazi Germany. It was the naval branch of the Reichswehr, existing from 1918 to 1935...

 from the Deutsche Werke
Deutsche Werke
Deutsche Werke was a German shipbuilding company founded in 1925 when Kaiserliche Werft Kiel and other shipyards were merged. It came as a result of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I that forced the German defence industry to shrink...

 shipyard in Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

 as Ersatz Preussen, as a replacement for the old battleship . Her keel was laid on 5 February 1929, under construction number 219. The ship was launched on 19 May 1931; at her launching, she was christened by German Chancellor Heinrich Brüning
Heinrich Brüning
Heinrich Brüning was Chancellor of Germany from 1930 to 1932, during the Weimar Republic. He was the longest serving Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, and remains a controversial figure in German politics....

. The ship accidentally started sliding down the slipway while Brüning was giving his christening speech. After the completion of fitting out work, initial sea trials began in November 1932. The ship was commissioned into the Reichsmarine on 1 April 1933.

Deutschland was 186 metres (610.2 ft) long overall and had a beam of 20.69 m (67.9 ft) and a maximum draft of 7.25 m (23.8 ft). The ship had a design displacement of 12630 MT (12,430.5 LT) and a full load displacement of 14290 LT, though the ship was officially stated to be within the 10000 LT limit of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

. Deutschland was powered by four sets of MAN 9-cylinder double-acting two-stroke diesel engines. The ship's top speed was 28 knots (15.2 m/s), at 54000 shp. At a cruising speed of 20 kn (10.9 m/s), the ship could steam for 10000 nautical miles (18,520 km). As designed, her standard complement consisted of 33 officers and 586 enlisted men, though after 1935 this was significantly increased to 30 officers and 921–1,040 sailors.
Deutschlands primary armament was six 28 cm (11 in) SK C/28
28 cm SK C/28 naval gun
The German 28 cm C/28 naval gun was a 283 mm 52-caliber built-up gun designed in 1928 used on the Deutschland class "pocket battleships".-History:-Characteristics:...

 guns mounted in two triple gun turret
Gun turret
A gun turret is a weapon mount that protects the crew or mechanism of a projectile-firing weapon and at the same time lets the weapon be aimed and fired in many directions.The turret is also a rotating weapon platform...

s, one forward and one aft of the superstructure
Superstructure
A superstructure is an upward extension of an existing structure above a baseline. This term is applied to various kinds of physical structures such as buildings, bridges, or ships...

. The ship carried a secondary battery of eight 15 cm (5.9 in) SK C/28
15 cm SK C/28
The 15 cm SK C/28 was a German medium-caliber naval gun used during the Second World War. It served as the secondary armament for the Bismarck class and Scharnhorst-class battleships, Deutschland-class pocket battleships and the Graf Zeppelin class aircraft carrier...

 guns in single turrets grouped amidships. Her anti-aircraft battery originally consisted of three 8.8 cm (3.5 in) L/45 guns, though in 1935 these were replaced with six 8.8 cm L/78
8.8 cm SK C/31 naval gun
The 8.8 cm SK C/31 The 8.8 cm SK C/31 The 8.8 cm SK C/31 (SK - Schnelladekanone (quick loading cannon) C - Construktionsjahr (year of design) was a German naval gun that was used in World War II.-Description:...

 guns. In 1940, the 8.8 cm guns were removed, and six 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/65 guns, four 3.7 cm (1.5 in) guns, and ten 2 cm (0.78740157480315 in) guns were installed in their place. By the end of the war, her anti-aircraft battery had again been reorganized, consisting of six 4 cm (1.6 in) guns, ten 3.7 cm guns, and twenty-eight 2 cm guns.

The ship also carried a pair of quadruple 53.3 cm (21 in) deck-mounted torpedo launchers placed on her stern. The ship was equipped with two Arado Ar 196
Arado Ar 196
-See also:-Bibliography:* Dabrowski, Hans-Peter and Koos, Volker. Arado Ar 196, Germany's Multi-Purpose Seaplane. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1993. ISBN 0-88740-481-2....

 seaplanes and one catapult. Deutschlands armored belt
Belt armor
Belt armor is a layer of heavy metal armor plated on to or within outer hulls of warships, typically on battleships, battlecruisers and cruisers, and on aircraft carriers converted from those types of ships....

 was 60 millimetre thick; her upper deck was 17 mm (0.669291338582677 in) thick while the main armored deck was 17 millimetre thick. The main battery turrets had 140 mm (5.5 in) thick faces and 80 mm thick sides. Radar initially consisted of a FMG G(gO) "Seetakt" set
Seetakt radar
The shipborne Seetakt radar was developed in the 1930s and was used by the German Navy during World War II.In Germany during the late 1920s, Hans Hollmann began working in the field of microwaves, which were to later become the basis of almost all radar systems. In 1935 he published Physics and...

; in 1942, a FuMO 26 set was also installed.

History

Deutschland spent the majority of 1933 and 1934 conducting training maneuvers; early speed trials in May 1933 indicated that a top speed of 25 kn (13.6 m/s) was preferable, but the ship comfortably reached 28 kn (15.2 m/s) on speed trials in June. Trials were completed by December 1933, and the ship was ready for active service with the fleet. The ship also made a series of goodwill visits to foreign ports, including visits to Gothenburg
Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden, and in October 1934, a formal state visit to Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland. In April 1934, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 visited the ship; he reportedly toured the ship alone, speaking informally with crewmen.

The ship conducted a series of long distance training voyages into the Atlantic in 1935. In March 1935, she sailed as far as the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 and South American waters. After returning to Germany, she went into dock for routine maintenance work, as well as installation of additional equipment. She had her aircraft catapult installed in this period, and was provided with two Heinkel He 60 floatplanes. Deutschland participated in fleet maneuvers in German waters in early 1936. She was joined by her newly commissioned sister ship
Sister ship
A sister ship is a ship of the same class as, or of virtually identical design to, another ship. Such vessels share a near-identical hull and superstructure layout, similar displacement, and roughly comparable features and equipment...

 Admiral Scheer for a cruise into the mid-Atlantic, which included a stop in Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

.

Following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 in 1936, Deutschland and Admiral Scheer were deployed to the Spanish coast on 23 July 1936 to conduct non-intervention patrols off the Republican
Republican Faction (Spanish Civil War)
The Republican faction also known as the Republicans was the side in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939 that supported the Second Spanish Republic against the National faction.-Popular Front:-CNT/FAI:-People's Republican Army:...

-held coast of Spain. During the deployment, her gun turrets were painted with large black, white, and red bands to aid in identification from the air and indicate her neutral status. Her duties during the deployment included evacuating refugees fleeing from the fighting, protecting German ships carrying supplies for Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's Nationalists
National Faction (Spanish Civil War)
The National faction also known as Nationalists or Nationals , was a major faction in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. It was composed of a variety of political groups opposed to the Second Spanish Republic, including the Falange, the CEDA, and two rival monarchist claimants: the Alfonsists...

, and gathering intelligence for the Nationalists.
In May 1937, the ship was docked in the port of Palma on the island of Majorca, along with several other neutral warships, including vessels from the British and Italian navies. The port was attacked by Republican aircraft, though anti-aircraft fire from the warships drove them off. The torpedo boats Seeadler and Albatross escorted Deutschland to the island of Ibiza
Ibiza
Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

 on 24 May. While moored in port there, she was again attacked by Republican bombers; a pair of Soviet-built SB-2
Tupolev SB
The Tupolev ANT-40, also known by its service name Tupolev SB , and development co-name TsAGI-40, was a high speed twin-engined three-seat monoplane bomber, first flown in 1934....

 bombers, secretly flown by Soviet Air Force pilots, bombed the ship. Two bombs struck the ship; the first penetrated the upper deck near the bridge and exploded above the main armored deck while the second hit near the third starboard 15 cm gun, causing serious fires below decks. The attack killed 31 German sailors and wounded 74.

Deutschland quickly weighed anchor and left port. She rendezvoused with Admiral Scheer to take on additional doctors before proceeding to Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 where the dead were buried with full military honors. Ten days later, however, Hitler ordered the men be exhumed and returned for burial in Germany. The ship's wounded men were also evacuated in Gibraltar for treatment. Hitler, furious over the attack, ordered Admiral Scheer to bombard the port of Almería
Almería
Almería is a city in Andalusia, Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the province of the same name.-Toponym:Tradition says that the name Almería stems from the Arabic المرية Al-Mariyya: "The Mirror", comparing it to "The Mirror of the Sea"...

 in retaliation for the so-called "Deutschland incident". Stalin subsequently issued orders that further attacks on German and Italian warships were strictly prohibited.

Deutschland spent the majority of 1938 and 1939 conducting training maneuvers with the rest of the fleet and making goodwill visits to various foreign ports. She made an official visit to Spain following the Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War 1939. The ship participated in a major fleet exercise into the Atlantic with her sister Admiral Graf Spee
German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee
Admiral Graf Spee was a Deutschland-class heavy cruiser which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. The vessel was named after Admiral Maximilian von Spee, commander of the East Asia Squadron that fought the battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands in World War I...

, the light cruiser
Light cruiser
A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck...

s Köln
German cruiser Köln
Köln was a German light cruiser prior to and during World War II, one of three K-Class cruisers named after cities starting with the letter K. This ship was named after the city of Köln . The others in her class were the Königsberg and the Karlsruhe...

, Leipzig
German cruiser Leipzig
The German light cruiser Leipzig was the lead ship of her class . She was the fourth German warship to carry the name of the city of Leipzig.-History:...

, and Nürnberg
German cruiser Nürnberg
The Nürnberg, was a German light cruiser of the Leipzig class named after the city of Nuremberg. Some sources consider the Leipzig and Nürnberg to be of separate, single ship, classes...

, and several destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s, U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s, and support vessels.

World War II

On 24 August 1939, a week before the German invasion of Poland, Deutschland set sail from Wilhelmshaven, bound for a position south of Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

. Here, she would be ready to attack Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 merchant traffic in the event of a general war following the attack on Poland. The supply ship Westerwald was assigned to support Deutschland during the operation. Deutschland was ordered to strictly observe prize rules, which required raiders to stop and search ships for contraband
Contraband
The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold....

 before sinking them, and to ensure that their crews are safely evacuated. The ship was also ordered to avoid combat with even inferior naval forces, as commerce disruption was the primary objective. Hitler hoped to secure a negotiated peace with Britain and France after he overran Poland, and he therefore did not authorize Deutschland to begin her raiding mission against British and French shipping until 26 September. By this time, Deutschland had moved south to hunt in the Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

-Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

 sea lane.

On 5 October, she found and sank the British transport ship Stonegate, though not before the freighter was able to send a distress signal informing vessels in the area of Deutschlands presence. She then turned north to the Halifax route, where on 9 October, she encountered the American ship City of Flint. The freighter was found to be carrying contraband, and so was seized. A prize crew was dispatched to the ship; they took the ship with the original crew held prisoner to Germany via Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

. The ship was seized by Norway when she anchored in Haugesund
Haugesund
is a town and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway.-Location:Haugesund was separated from Torvastad as a town and municipality of its own in 1855. The rural municipality of Skåre was merged with Haugesund on January 1, 1958. Haugesund is a small municipality, only 73 km²...

, however, and control of the ship was returned to the original crew. Meanwhile, on 14 October, Deutschland encountered and sank the Norwegian transport Lorentz W Hansen, of some . The same day, she stopped the neutral Danish steamer Kongsdal, though when it became apparent that she was headed for a neutral port, the prisoners from Lorentz W Hansen were placed aboard her and she was allowed to proceed. Kongsdal would eventually report to the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 the incident and confirm Deutschland as the raider operating in the North Atlantic.

Severe weather in the North Atlantic hampered Deutschlands raiding mission, though she did tie down several British warships assigned to track her down. The French Force de Raid
Force de Raid
The Force de Raid was a French naval unit based at Brest until 1940. It included some of the most modern capital ships of its day organised into two squadrons, commanded at the outbreak of World War II by Vice Amiral Marcel Gensoul...

, centered on the battleship Dunkerque
French battleship Dunkerque
The Dunkerque was the first unit of a new class of warships of the French Navy built in the 1930s, officially rated as battleships, or even «navires de ligne» , as Dunkerque and Strasbourg constituted, from the commissionig of Strasbourg to some days after Mers-el Kebir, the «1ère Division de Ligne»...

, was occupied with protecting convoys around Britain to prevent them from being attacked by Deutschland. In early November, the Naval High Command recalled Deutschland; she passed through the Denmark Strait
Denmark Strait
The Denmark Strait or Greenland Strait |Sound]]) is an oceanic strait between Greenland and Iceland...

 on 15 November and anchored in Gotenhafen on the 17th. In the course of her raiding mission, she sank only two vessels and captured a third. In 1940, the ship underwent a major overhaul, during which a raked clipper
Clipper
A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century that had three or more masts and a square rig. They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area...

 bow was installed to improve the sea-keeping qualities of the ship. At this time, she was re-rated as a heavy cruiser and renamed Lützow. Grand Admiral
Grand Admiral
Grand admiral is a historic naval rank, generally being the highest such rank present in any particular country. Its most notable use was in Germany — the German word is Großadmiral.-France:...

 Erich Raeder
Erich Raeder
Erich Johann Albert Raeder was a naval leader in Germany before and during World War II. Raeder attained the highest possible naval rank—that of Großadmiral — in 1939, becoming the first person to hold that rank since Alfred von Tirpitz...

, the commander in chief of the Kriegsmarine, made the decision to rename the ship, for several reasons. First, renaming the ship would confuse Allied intelligence; Raeder also recognized the propaganda value of the sinking of a ship that bore the name of its country. The Lützow
German cruiser Lützow (1939)
Lützow was a heavy cruiser of the German Kriegsmarine, the fifth and final member of the , but was never completed. The ship was laid down in August 1937 and launched in July 1939, after which the Soviet Union requested to purchase the ship. The Kriegsmarine agreed to the sale in February 1940, and...

 was designated for sale to the Soviet Navy
Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...

, and it was hoped that the usage of her name for Deutschland would hide the transaction. The refit lasted until March 1940, after which it was intended to send the ship on another commerce raiding operation into the South Atlantic. In April, however, she was assigned to forces participating in the invasion of Norway.

Operation Weserübung

Lützow was assigned to Group 5, alongside the new heavy cruiser Blücher
German cruiser Blücher
Blücher was the second of five heavy cruisers of the German Kriegsmarine, built after the rise of the Nazi Party and the repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles. Named for Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the victor of the Battle of Waterloo, the ship was laid down in August 1936 and launched in...

 and the light cruiser Emden
German cruiser Emden
The German light cruiser Emden was the only ship of its class. The third cruiser to bear the name Emden was the first new warship built in Germany after World War I....

, under the command of Konteradmiral Oskar Kummetz
Oskar Kummetz
Oskar Kummetz was a Generaladmiral with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He also served in the Kaiserliche Marine during World War I. Kummetz was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions in the Battle of Drøbak Sound, during which his command, the was sunk by Norwegian...

. Kummetz flew his flag in Blücher. Group 5 was tasked with capturing Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, the capital of Norway, and transported a force of 2,000 mountain troops from the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

. Lützow embarked over 400 of the soldiers for the voyage to Norway. The force left Germany on 8 April and passed through the Kattegat
Kattegat
The Kattegat , or Kattegatt is a sea area bounded by the Jutland peninsula and the Straits islands of Denmark on the west and south, and the provinces of Västergötland, Scania, Halland and Bohuslän in Sweden on the east. The Baltic Sea drains into the Kattegat through the Øresund and the Danish...

. While en route, the British submarine attacked the flotilla, though her torpedoes missed. German torpedo boats attacked the submarine and drove her off.

Shortly before midnight on the night of 8 April, Group 5, with Blücher in the lead, passed the outer ring of Norwegian coastal batteries. Lützow followed directly behind the flagship, with Emden astern. Heavy fog and neutrality requirements, which required the Norwegians to fire warning shots, permitted the Germans to avoid damage. The Norwegians, including those manning the guns at the Oscarsborg Fortress
Oscarsborg Fortress
Oscarsborg Fortress is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak. The fortress is situated on two small islets, and on the mainland to the west and east, in the fjord and was military territory until 2003 when it was made a publicly available resort island...

 were on alert, however. Steaming into the Oslofjord
Oslofjord
The Oslofjord is a bay in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north....

 at a speed of 12 knots (6.5 m/s), the Germans came into range of the Norwegian guns; the 28 cm, 15 cm and 57 mm guns opened fire on the invaders. During the ensuing Battle of Drøbak Sound
Battle of Drøbak sound
The Battle of Drøbak Sound took place in the northernmost part of the Oslofjord on 9 April 1940, on the first day of the German invasion of Norway...

, Blücher was hit badly by many shells and two torpedoes. She quickly capsized and sank with the loss of around 1,000 sailors and soldiers. Lützow was hit three times by 15 cm shells from Oscarsborg's Kopås battery, causing significant damage.

Lützows forward gun turret was hit by one of the 15 cm rounds, which disabled the center gun and damaged the right barrel. Four men were wounded. A second shell struck the ship's deck and penetrated the upper and main armored decks; starting a fire in the cruiser's hospital and operating theater, killing two soldiers and severely wounding six others. A third struck her superstructure
Superstructure
A superstructure is an upward extension of an existing structure above a baseline. This term is applied to various kinds of physical structures such as buildings, bridges, or ships...

 behind the port-side aircraft crane. One of the aircraft on board was damaged, and four gunners were killed by the third shell. The ship was only able to fire her secondary battery in return. The heavy damage forced Lützow and the rest of the squadron to reverse course and exit the fjord. She eventually landed her troop complement in Verle Bay, after which she used her operational 28 cm guns to provide fire support. By the afternoon of 9 April, most of the Norwegian fortresses had been captured and the commander of the remaining Norwegian forces opened negotiations for surrender. The delay had, however, allowed enough time for the Norwegian government and royal family to flee Oslo.

The damage Lützow sustained prompted the Kriegsmarine to order her to return to Germany for repairs. The rest of Group 5 remained in Norway, so Lützow cruised at top speed to avoid submarines. Regardless, the British submarine attacked the ship and scored a serious hit. The torpedo destroyed Lützows stern, causing it to collapse and nearly fall off, and blew off her steering gear. Unable to steer, she was towed back to port and decommissioned for repairs, which lasted for nearly a year. During the attack on Norway, the ship suffered nineteen dead, and another fifteen were killed by the torpedo strike. Despite the setback, KzS August Thiele
August Thiele
August Adolf Karl Hermann Thiele was a Vizeadmiral with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and commander of the heavy cruiser "Lützow". He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves...

, Lützows commander, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was a grade of the 1939 version of the 1813 created Iron Cross . The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was the highest award of Germany to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership during World War II...

 for his actions during the Battle of Drøbak Sound, during which he took command of the task force after the loss of Blücher.

She was recommissioned for service on 31 March 1941, after which the Kriegsmarine initially planned to send the ship on the commerce raiding operation planned the previous year. Her sister Admiral Scheer was to join Lützow for the operation, and on 12 June, she departed for Norway with an escort of destroyers. British torpedo bombers attacked the ship off Egersund
Egersund
The town of Egersund was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 . It was merged with the surrounding municipality of Eigersund January 1, 1965....

 and scored a single hit that disabled her electrical system and rendered the ship motionless. The crew effected emergency repairs that allowed her to return to Germany; repair work in Kiel lasted for six months. By 10 May 1942, the ship was finally pronounced ready for action.

Deployment to Norway

Lützow left Germany on 15 May 1942 for Norway; by 25 May she had joined Admiral Scheer in Bogen Bay
Bogen, Evenes
Bogen is the administrative centre of Evenes municipality, Norway. Its population is 392.Historically, Bogen is most notable for small-scale iron ore mining in the early 20th century as well as being a temporary base for the German battleship Tirpitz and cruiser Admiral Hipper.-References:...

. She was made the flagship of the now Vizeadmiral Kummetz, the commander of Kampfgruppe 2. Fuel shortages restricted operations, although Lützow and Admiral Scheer were able to conduct limited battle training exercises. Kampfgruppe 2 was assigned to Operation Rösselsprung, a planned attack on the Allied convoy PQ 17, which was headed to the Soviet Union. On 3 July, the force left their anchorages, and in heavy fog Lützow and three destroyers ran aground and suffered significant damage. The British detected the German departure and ordered the convoy to scatter. Aware that surprise had been lost, the Germans broke off the surface attack and turned the destruction of PQ-17 over to the U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s and Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

. Twenty-four of the convoy's thirty-five transports were sunk. Lützow returned to Germany for repairs, which lasted until the end of October. She began a brief set of trials starting on 30 October. She returned to Norway in early November with a destroyer escort, arriving in Narvik
Narvik
is the third largest city and municipality in Nordland county, Norway by population. Narvik is located on the shores of the Narvik Fjord . The municipality is part of the Ofoten traditional region of North Norway, inside the arctic circle...

 on the 12th.

On 30 December, Lützow, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper
German cruiser Admiral Hipper
Admiral Hipper, the first of five ships of her class, was the lead ship of the Admiral Hipper–class of heavy cruisers which served with the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. The ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1935 and launched February 1937; Admiral Hipper...

, and six destroyers left Narvik for Operation Regenbogen
Operation Regenbogen (Arctic)
Operation Regenbogen was the sortie in 1942 into the Arctic Ocean by warships of the German Navy during World War II...

, an attack on convoy JW 51B, which was reported by German intelligence to be lightly escorted. Kummetz's plan was to divide his force in half; he would take Admiral Hipper and three destroyers north of the convoy to attack it and draw away the escorts. Lützow and the remaining three destroyers would then attack the undefended convoy from the south. At 09:15 on the 31st, the British destroyer spotted the three destroyers screening for Admiral Hipper; the Germans opened fire first. Four of the other five destroyers escorting the convoy rushed to join the fight, while laid a smoke screen to cover the convoy. Kummetz then turned back north to draw the destroyers away. Captain Robert Sherbrooke, the British escort commander, left two destroyers to cover the convoy while he took the remaining four to pursue Admiral Hipper.

Lützow meanwhile steamed toward the convoy from the south, and at 11:42 she opened fire. The harsh conditions negatively affected her shooting, which ceased by 12:03 without any hits. Rear Admiral Robert Burnett
Robert Burnett
Admiral Sir Robert Lindsay Burnett, GBE, KCB, CStJ, DSO was an officer in the Royal Navy.-Naval career:Educated at Bedford School, Burnett joined the Royal Navy in 1902. He served on the China Station from 1904 and then with the Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets from 1908...

's Force R, centered on the cruisers and , standing by in distant support of the Allied convoy, raced to the scene. The cruisers engaged Admiral Hipper, which had been firing to port at the destroyer . Burnett's ships approached from Admiral Hippers starboard side and achieved complete surprise. Lützow was then ordered to break off the attack on the convoy and reinforce Admiral Hipper. Lützow inadvertently came alongside Sheffield and Jamaica, and after identifying them as hostile, engaged them, though her fire remained inaccurate. The British cruisers turned toward Lützow and came under fire from both German cruisers. Burnett quickly decided to withdraw in the face of superior German firepower; his ships were armed with 6 in (15.2 cm) guns, while Admiral Hipper and Lützow carried 20.3 cm (8 in) and 28 cm (11 in) guns, respectively.

Operations in the Baltic

Hitler was furious over the failure to destroy the convoy, and ordered that all remaining German major warships be broken up for scrap. In protest, Raeder resigned; Hitler replaced him with Admiral Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy during World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of , the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner...

, who persuaded Hitler to rescind the order to dismantle the Kriegmarine's surface ships. In March, Lützow moved to Altafjord
Altafjord
Altafjord is a fjord in the municipality Alta in Finnmark county, Norway, and is about 38 kilometres long. In the inner southern part of the fjord, near the town of Alta, is the outlet of the 200 kilometre long river Altaelva...

, where she experienced problems with her diesel engines. The propulsion system proved to be so problematic that repairs in Germany were necessary. She briefly returned to Norway, but by the end of September 1943, a thorough overhaul was required. The work was completed in Kiel by January 1944, after which she remained in the Baltic Sea to conduct training cruises for new naval personnel.

In 13 April 1945, twenty-four Avro Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

 bombers attacked Lützow and Prinz Eugen
German cruiser Prinz Eugen
Prinz Eugen was an Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruiser, the third member of the class of five vessels. She served with the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. The ship was laid down in April 1936 and launched August 1938; Prinz Eugen entered service after the outbreak of war, in August 1940...

 without success due to cloud cover. The RAF made another failed attack two days later, but on 16 April, a force of eighteen Lancasters scored a single hit and several near misses on Lützow with Tallboy bomb
Tallboy bomb
The Tallboy or Bomb, Medium Capacity, 12,000 lb, was an earthquake bomb developed by the British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and deployed by the RAF in 1944...

s in the Kaiserfahrt. The water was shallow enough that her main deck was still 2 m (6.6 ft) above water, permitting her use as a stationary gun battery against advancing Soviet forces. She continued in this role until 4 May, by which time she had expended her main battery ammunition. Her crew rigged scuttling charges to destroy the hull, but a fire caused the explosives to detonate prematurely. The ultimate fate of Lützow is unclear, as with most of the ships seized by the Soviet Navy
Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...

. According to historians Erich Gröner and M. J. Whitley, the Soviet Navy raised the ship in September 1947 and broke her up for scrap in 1948–1949. Historians Hildebrand, Röhr and Steinmetz, in their book Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe, state that she instead sank off Kolberg, claiming that the Lützow broken up in the late 1940s was instead the Lützow
German cruiser Lützow (1939)
Lützow was a heavy cruiser of the German Kriegsmarine, the fifth and final member of the , but was never completed. The ship was laid down in August 1937 and launched in July 1939, after which the Soviet Union requested to purchase the ship. The Kriegsmarine agreed to the sale in February 1940, and...

that had been sold to the Soviet Union in 1940.

Footnotes

Notes
Citations
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