HMS Belfast and the sinking of the Scharnhorst

HMS Belfast and the sinking of the Scharnhorst

Scharnhorst was one of the most dangerous German warships of the Second World War, and the last of her kind. In late December 1943, she was sunk, after attempting to intercept two Arctic convoys. What happened at the Battle of North Cape?

On Boxing Day 1943, Vice Admiral Robert Burnett was in Soviet Russia on board HMS Belfast, having escorted an Arctic convoy there. Burnett’s warships were preparing to escort the next convoy back to Britain, when intelligence reached them from the Admiralty in London. The battleship Scharnhorst and five destroyers had left their Norwegian base. These convoys had baited out one of the Allies’ most wanted warships. HMS Belfast and the rest of the convoy were no longer embarking on a return journey home, they were heading for battle.

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