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Operation "Berlin" (22 January - 22 March 1941)
The first attempt, starting 28 December 1940, that Scharnhorst and Gneisenau should break out in the Atlantic (Operation "Berlin") failed when the Gneisenau was damaged in a hurricane-like storm. Both units went into Korsfjord near Bergen, Norway, but were ordered back to Germany. This photograph was taken 30 December 1940 and shows the Gneisenau in Korsfjord. Later the same day both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau departed and arrived in Gotenhafen 2 January 1941.
On 22 January 1941 the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau made a second, this time successful, attempt to break out to the Atlantic. Here the Gneisenau can be seen in the Atlantic photographed from the Scharnhorst.
Operation "Berlin" was very successful and 22 ships was sunk by the German battle group. This photograph shows survivors from one of the sunk ships being picked up by the Germans. The Gneisenau being resupplied. One of the Gneisenau's small motor boats have picked up the supply from the German supply ships/tankers that was so vital for the German navy.
Here the Gneisenau is being refuelled during Operation "Berlin".
The Gneisenau being refuelled during Operation "Berlin". While being refuelled a short careened was unavoidable while the lateral fuel bunkers were filled. This combined with the Atlantic swell gives the illusion of a heavy list. The Gneisenau as seen from a small motor boat during Operation "Berlin".
The Gneisenau as seen from the meeting with the German submarine U 124 on 5 March 1941. The Gneisenau in silhouette in the Atlantic during Operation "Berlin".
22 March the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau enters the French port of Brest. Here the Gneisenau can be seen arriving to the port (left photograph) and anchored in the harbour (right photograph). Operation "Berlin" is accomplished.

© John Asmussen, 2001 - 2010. All rights reserved.