M 745 - DKM Scharnhorst


Tri-ang Minic Ships - M 745 DKM Scharnhorst

This is the Tri-ang Minic Ships model of the famous Second World War German battle cruiser DKM Scharnhorst which was named after a First World War German Navy ship that was sunk in the Battle of the Falklands.

The first major Second World War operation for Scharnhorst and her sister ship Gneisenau was covering the German conquest of Norway in spring 1940 in the course of which they engaged the British battle cruiser HMS Renown on 9th April 1940. Scharnhorst suffered significant damage to her front turret from heavy seas as well as trouble with her turbines during this operation and both ships returned to Wilhelmshaven where Scharnhorst underwent an extensive overhaul of her armament and propulsion systems.

On 8th June 1940 Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were again in action off Norway where they engaged and sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her two escort destroyers. During the course of this action Scharnhorst was severely damaged by a torpedo from one of the destroyers and was under repair for most of the rest of 1940.

During the first three months of 1941 Scharnhorst and Gneisenau operated in the Atlantic sinking several ships and severely threatening British seaborne supply lines. While at Brest after this operation both ships were the targets of repeated air attacks and the resultant damage kept them non-operational into late 1941. In early 1942 the two ships were redeployed to Norway making a daring "dash" up the English Channel to reach Germany during which they managed to avoid air and surface attacks but were both damaged by mines.

Repair work, a grounding and her troublesome steam power plant kept Scharnhorst out of action until March 1943 when she went to northern Norway to join the battleship Tirpitz and other German ships threatening the Russian convoys.

On Christmas day 1943 Scharnhorst and several destroyers put to sea to attack a convoy northwest of Norway but were intercepted by a Royal Navy force as a result of Enigma decodes. Scharnhorst was cut off by HMS Duke of York and her escorting cruisers and destroyers and in a three-hour battle was battered by gunfire and sunk by torpedoes with the loss of 1932 men. There were only 36 survivors.

The Scharnhorst's wreck was located and photographed by a Norwegian Navy underwater exploration group in the year 2000.

The model of DKM Scharnhorst was one of the "Fighting Ships" series made in Hong Kong by Hornby under the Minic Ships name. In common with all the Hong Kong produced models Scharnhorst has a red plastic bottom fitted with two plastic rollers.


Specifications

Builder: Marinewerft (Kreigsmarine Werft), Wilhelmshaven
Laid Down: 14th February 1934
Launched: 3rd October 1936
Commissioned: 7th January 1939
Displacement: 38,092 tons Full Load
Length (OA): 753 ft 11 in ( 229.8 m )
Beam: 98 ft 5 in ( 30.0 m )
Draft: 32 ft 7 in ( 9.93 m ) maximum
Armament: 9 x 11" main guns in three triple turrets 2 forward, 1 aft
12 x 6" secondary guns in four twin turrets and four single turrets 4 port, 4 starboard
14 x 105 mm anti-aircraft guns in seven twin mounts 3 port, 3 starboard, 1 aft
16 x 37 mm anti-aircraft guns in eight twin mounts
10 x 20 mm anti-aircraft guns
2 x Triple 21" torpedo launcher
Protection (Armour): 6.7" - 12.6" armour belt, 5.9" forward transverse bulkhead, 1.9" - 5.9" deck, 7.5" - 14.1" turrets, 13.8" barbettes 
Propulsion: 12 Wagner 3 drum type High Pressure boilers, 3 Brown-Boveri turbine sets, 3 shafts, 160,050 shp
Maximum Speed: 31.65 knots
Aircraft: 1 double catapult amidships, 3 Arado Ar 196 aircraft
Complement: 1968 in final battle - 1932 men lost, 36 survivors
Disposal: 26th December 1943 sunk in action with superior British force 
( Statistical information from Scharnhorst & Gneisenau Web Site )

Photograph courtesy of US Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center


Further details can be obtained from the following linkss -
Scharnhorst & Gneisenau Web Site http://www.scharnhorst-class.dk
US Dept of the Navy - Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/germany/gersh-s/scharn2.htm
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