Admiral Scheer

 

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Operational History
Construction
25 June 1931 The keel was laid and the construction took place on Slipway 1. The building contract had been placed with the Marine Werft in Wilhelmshaven, as Panzerschiff "B". It was Construction No. 123 at the Marine Werft, Wilhelmshaven.
1 April 1933 Admiral Scheer was launched. Christened by Frau Marianne Besserer, daughter of the late Admiral Reinhard Scheer.
1 October 1934 Initial shipyard trials.
12 November 1934 Admiral Scheer was commissioned and placed under the command of Kapitän zur See (Captain) Wilhelm Marschall.
Sea Trials and Final Outfitting
March 1935 Admiral Scheer visited the Baltic city of Königsberg.
18 April 1935 Sea trials and working-up completed.
Commission
30 May - 2 June 1935 Admiral Scheer participated in the Jutland Remembrance Day ceremonies at Stettin.
July 1935 Admiral Scheer made a second visit to the Baltic city of Königsberg.
30 August and 1 September 1935 Visit by Admiral Scheer in Danzig.
19 Oktober - 9 November 1935 Gunnery exercises in the Atlantic, visited Madeira. On return to Germany, hurricane force winds were encountered. Whilst running to render assistance to a French steamer in distress on the Amrum Bank, the bow was stove in by heavy seas off Heligoland. Carpenters shored up the damaged section and Admiral Scheer headed for Cuxhaven stern-first to ride out the storm.
29 May 1936 Admiral Scheer takes part in the Naval Review in Kiel.
31 May 1936 Participated in the honour formation at the opening of the naval memorial at Laboe near Kiel.
6 June 1936 Flagship for Admiral Förster on a round trip to the British Isles in company with sistership Deutschland.
23 - 29 June 1936 In Sweden. Swedish King Gustav V visited the ship in Stockholm.
2 July 1936 Admiral Scheer returns to Kiel from Sweden.
17:00 on 23 July 1936 The ship arrived to Wilhelmshaven to prepare a journey to Spain. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, 17 July, Admiral Scheer and sistership Deutschland got the task of removing German citizens and people of other nationalities from the danger area.
24 July 1936 Together with Deutschland (Flagship), Admiral Scheer left Wilhelmshaven heading for Spain.
26 July 1936 While Deutschland remained in the Bay of Biscay, Admiral Scheer rounded Cape Finisterre on its way to the Mediterranean.
27 July 1936 Admiral Scheer passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, went to Malaga and stayed there for six hours. She left Malaga at 1700 heading for Barcelona.
14:00 on 28 July 1936 Admiral Scheer arrived at Barcelona.
3 August 1936 Visited Almeria.
4 August 1936 Visited Tarrangona.
26-27 August 1936 At Gibraltar.
28 August 1936 Admiral Scheer left Spain to meet with sistership Deutschland and the torpedo-boats Luchs and Leopard to return to Germany.
30 August 1936 Admiral Scheer entered the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal at midday and arrived at Kiel by nightfall.
22 September 1936 Kapitän zur See Otto Ciliax became the new captain of Admiral Scheer.
2 October - 3 December 1936 Admiral Scheer left Wilhelmshaven for a second tour of duty to Spain. The ship had calls at numerous ports. When Admiral Scheer returned she went into drydock in Kiel.
15 March - 7 April 1937 Admiral Scheer was on a third Spanish tour.
9 May 1937 Admiral Scheer left Kiel for a fourth journey to Spain.
21 May 1937 Off Cartagena, Spanish Republican destroyers approached Admiral Scheer, but turned away. It was unclear if there had been any hostile intent.
26 May 1937 Admiral Scheer headed for Palma. Reports that an Italian warship had been attacked Admiral Scheer from then on maintained a war-watch status.
27 May 1937 Admiral Scheer arrived off Ibiza and anchored there a few hours.
29 May 1937 Admiral Scheer was on patrol off Cartagena when at evening the alarm bells notified of an emergency. Sistership Deutschland had been attacked and bombed by Spanish Republican aircraft while at anchor at Ibiza. Deutschland had sustained serious casualties and damage. Admiral Scheer rushed to meet her sistership to assist her. Admiral Scheer met the still burning Deutschland towards midnight. She accompanied Deutschland to Malaga before turning back to meet with four torpedo-boats (Seeadler, Albatros, Luchs and Leopard) to await further development in the situation.
30 May 1937 While Admiral Scheer was refuelling off Alicante, Republican warships approached, but withdrew swiftly when caught by the German ship's searchlights.
04:00 on 31 May 1937 (Jutland Day) Orders were given to bombard the Republican-held town of Almeria as a reprisal for the attack on Deutschland. With paravanes streamed and the four torpedo-boats, Seeadler, Albatros, Luchs and Leopard on her flanks for security.
07:29 on 31 May 1937 (Jutland Day) Admiral Scheer's main and secondary armament, plus 8,8 cm AA guns, were given permission to open fire on the coastal batteries, the port and harbour installations and any shipping in Almeria.

After the bombardment, Admiral Scheer headed for a pre-arranged meeting point near Gibraltar with sistership Deutschland and all remaining German Mediterranean units. Admiral Scheer flew the old Imperial War Flag at the foretop to commemorate Jutland Day.
6 June 1937 After having followed the southern shoreline, the German squadron refuelled and spent a few days at Tangier.
10 - 23 June 1937 Control duties were resumed. Admiral Scheer was the Flagship of Konteradmiral von Fischel.
26 June 1937 Admiral Scheer was relieved by Admiral Graf Spee at Cadiz. Admiral Scheer headed for Germany.
1 July 1937 Admiral Scheer arrived at Wilhelmshaven.
30 July 1937 Admiral Scheer went on a fifth journey to Spain as Fleet Flagship.
11 October 1937 Admiral Scheer returned to Wilhelmshaven for an overhaul.
Until February 1938 A significant number of the crew had been replaced during 1937, so after the overhaul, the ship went to the Baltic Sea for crew training.
12 February - 14 March 1938 Admiral Scheer went on a sixth Spanish control mission.
19 March - 29 June 1938 Seventh and final tour for Admiral Scheer to Spain.
Remaining time of 1938 Admiral Scheer went on comprehensive programme of fleet manoeuvres, gunnery exercises and battle training.
22 August 1938 In Kiel for the Naval Review on the occasion of the launching of the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.
31 October 1938 Kapitän zur See Hans-Heinrich Wurmbach became Admiral Scheer's third commander.
14 February 1939 Admiral Scheer was at Hamburg for the launch of the battleship Bismarck.
22 - 24 March 1939 Flagship of the Konteradmiral Wilhelm Marschall. Admiral Scheer formed part of the fleet squadron escorting Hitler to the Memel, when the territory was reincorporated into the German Reich.
18 April 1939 Admiral Scheer went to the Atlantic for exercises.
22 - 27 April 1939 Visited Portugal.
3 May 1939 Returned to Wilhelmshaven.
Until 3 September 1939 Crew training, working up and various tests and trials.
4 September 1939 On 4 September the first sirens wailed over Frisia when three Whitley bombers of No. 51 Squadron RAF overflew North Germany dropping leaflets. That same afternoon ten Bristol Blenheim bombers of Nos. 107 and 110 Squadrons approached the Jade estuary with orders to attack any German warships found either in the Schilling roadstead or in harbour at Wilhelmshaven.

The aircraft divided into two formations of five, No. 110 Squadron attacking Admiral Scheer. One aircraft obtained three hits with 500 lb bombs, all of which failed to explode and were jettisoned. Shipboard Flak accounted for one bomber. Four of the five Blenheims of the other group were shot down by Flak over Wilhelmshaven, one crashing into the water near the light cruiser Emden which was manoeuvring in harbour, thus occasioning the first Kriegsmarine war dead of the new conflict.

At Brunsbüttel, fourteen Wellington bombers from Nos. 9 and 149 Squadrons RAF made an unsuccessful attack on the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Two British aircraft was shot down by Messerschmitt Bf 109s of JG 77.
Until end of January 1940 Admiral Scheer spent the final quarter of the year crew training in the Baltic, where frequent diesel breakdowns dictated the advent of the planned and long overdue major overhaul - particularly for the engine plant - which eventually extended to the ship being rebuilt.
31 October 1939 Kapitän zur See Theodor Krancke became the ship's fourth commander.
1 February 1940 The planned refit and major engine overhaul began at Wilhelmshaven.
15 February 1940 Admiral Scheer together with her remaining sistership, Deutschland, was officially reclassified as heavy cruiser and no longer Panzerschiff (armoured ship).
31 July 1940 Admiral Scheer emerged from the shipyard on 31 July with an altered appearance.

From Frame 112 forward the stem had been modified better to combat breaking seas and the ship's length overall had been increased by 1,9 m.

The anchor cluses at the bow had been re-sited to reduce the ingress of water.

The characteristic pagoda-like mast had been replaced by a tubular mast and the foretop had been remodelled to accommodate FuMO 26 radar equipment.

The funnel platform had been enlarged and a slightly raked funnel cap fitted.

About 1,8 m abaft the funnel a new mainmast had been erected with its support struts against the funnel.

A degaussing system had been installed and the useless anti-roll device discarded.
31 July 1940 On 31 July the heavy cruiser transferred to the Baltic port of Gotenhafen (Gdynia) for intensive working-up. Minor engine problems were dealt with in collaboration with shipyard technicians at Danzig. The ship as soon reported ready for operational service. reported operational readiness relatively quickly, and on 23 October, during a crew muster, the commander announced the impending Atlantic commerce-raiding mission.
23 October 1940 Admiral Scheer's captain, Theodor Kranke, announced, during a crew muster, that the ship would go on a commerce-raiding operation.
27 October 1940 After passing through the Kaiser Wilhelm Kanal, Admiral Scheer sailed from Brunsbüttel for Stavanger, Norway in company with her escorting oiler Nordmark and three torpedoboats.
31 October - 1 November 1940 In heavy weather Admiral Scheer broke out in the North Atlantic through the Denmark Strait.
October 1940 - April 1941 Commerce-raiding cruise in the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
5 November 1940 Sank Mopan, British ship (5.389 brt). Attacked convoy HX84 and sank British armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay (14.164 brt), British freighters Maidan (7.908 brt), Trewellard (5.201 brt), Beaverford (10.042 brt), Kanbane Head (5.225 brt) and Fresno City (4.955 brt).
12 November 1940 Replenishment from tanker Eurofeld.
14 November 1940 Replenishment from oiler Nordmark.
24 November 1940 Sank British refrigerator ship Port Hobart (7.448 brt).
1 December 1940 Sank British freighter Tribesman (6.242).
14-15 December 1940 Replenishment from oiler Nordmark.
18 December 1940 Captured British refrigerator ship Duquesa (8.561 brt). Duquesa had a cargo of 14 million eggs and 3.000 tons of frozen meat. Duquesa was soon nicknamed "The Floating Delicatessen" and "Wilhelmshaven South Catering Store".
25 December 1940 - 5 January 1941 Rendezvous with oiler Nordmark, tanker Eurofeld, raider Thor and prize Storstad.
18 January 1941 Captured Dutch freighter Barneveld (5.200 brt), ship scuttled 20 January 1941.
Sank British ship Stanpark (5.600 brt).
24 - 28 January 1941 Rendezvous with oiler Nordmark and prize Sandefjord.
14 - 17 February 1941 Rendezvous with raider Atlantis, blockade-runner Tannenfels and prizes Ketty Brövig (tanker) and Speybank.
18 February 1941 British refrigerator ship Duquesa (prize from 18 December 1940) scuttled by raider Pinquin.
20 February 1941 Captured (British) tanker British Advocate (6.994 brt). Ship sent to France as prize.
21 February 1941 Sank neutral Greek freighter Gregorious (2.546 brt).
Sank Canadian merchantman Canadian Cruiser (7.178 brt).
23 February 1941 Sank Dutch collier Rantau Pandjang (2.542 brt).
16 March 1941 Rendezvous with raider Kormoran and uboat U-124.
26 - 27 March 1941 Admiral Scheer broke back through the Denmark Strait.
30 March 1941 Admiral Scheer met by destroyers Z 23 and Z 24 and torpedoboat Iltis off Bergen, Norway.
1 April 1941 Arrived and anchored at Kiel. Grand Admiral Erich Raeder embarked ship to greet and congratulate the ship's company with their success. 17 merchant vessels of 113.233 brt was sunk plus the armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay. In the period between 23 October 1940 and 1 April 1941 the ship covered 46.419 nautic miles in 161 days. Admiral Scheer's diesel engines proved exceptionally reliable.
15 April - 1 July 1941 Admiral Scheer was at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel for an overhaul.
12 June 1941 Kapitan zur See Wilhelm Meendsen-Bohlken became the ship's fifth commander.
July 1941 Admiral Scheer was planned to go on a second commerce-raiding voyage scheduled for July 1941. But following the loss of Bismarck and a failed break-out to the North Atlantic by sistership Lützow the operation was cancelled.
Until early September 1941 Working-up period in the Baltic Sea.
4 - 8 September 1941 Admiral Scheer was transferred to Norway. Shortly after the ship was called back to Germany to form part of the so-called "Baltic Fleet".
23 September 1941 Admiral Scheer sailed from Swinemünde in company with the battleship Tirpitz, the light cruisers Nürnberg and Köln and the destroyers Z 25, Z 26 and Z 27.
25 September 1941 Following the explosion on deck of two depth charges as the result of crew handling error, Admiral Scheer was released from the "Baltic Fleet" and sailed for the Blohm & Voss shipyard at Hamburg via the Kaiser Wilhelm Kanal for urgent engine repairs.
29 September - 24 October 1941 Admiral Scheer was at the Blohm & Voss shipyard at Hamburg for repairs.
October 1941 - February 1942 Admiral Scheer returned to the Baltic Sea for crew training interrupted by a further lay-up at the Deutsche Werke shipyard at Kiel.
3 February 1942 Admiral Scheer went through the Kaiser Wilhelm Kanal to Brunsbüttel. It was planned that she would join up with Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen following their Operation "Cerberus" ("Channel Dash") from Brest and proceed at once to Norway. However the two battleships were mined during the latter part of their voyage and needed repairs in home waters.
20 February 1942 Admiral Scheer and Prinz Eugen, escorted by the destroyers Richard Beitzen, Friedrich Ihn, Paul Jacobi and Z 25 and the torpedo-boat Seeadler, left Brunsbüttel and headed for Norway. The destroyer Hermann Schoemann and the torpedo-boat Iltis joined the group later.
22 February 1942 The heavy cruisers Admiral Scheer and Prinz Eugen, destroyers Richard Beitzen, Friedrich Ihn, Paul Jacobi, Hermann Schoemann and Z 25 and the torpedoboats Seeadler and Iltis anchored in Grimstadfjord at Bergen, Norway.
23 February 1942 The heavy cruisers Admiral Scheer and Prinz Eugen, destroyers Richard Beitzen, Friedrich Ihn, Paul Jacobi, Hermann Schoemann and Z 25 and the torpedoboats Seeadler and Iltis left Bergen and headed for Narvik.

During this voyage, Prinz Eugen had her stern blown off by a torpedo from HM Submarine Trident, but Admiral Scheer reached Lofjord near Trondheim undamaged at midday and idled there for almost three months.
10 May 1942 Admiral Scheer left Lofjord and arrived at Bogen, near Narvik in company with Z 30, Z 38, two torpedoboats and the oiler Dithmarschen.
25 May 1942 Admiral Scheer was joined by sistership Lützow, three more destroyers and the oiler Nordmark at Bogen, near Narvik.
4 June 1942 Admiral Scheer, Lützow and escorting destroyers and torpedoboats were designated "No. 2 Battle Group" under the command of Vizeadmiral Kummetz, BdK (Befehlshaber der Kreuzer, or C-in-C Cruisers) with his flag aboard Lutzow.
2 July 1942 Admiral Scheer, Lützow and five destroyers moved to Kåfjord to amalgamate with No 1 Battle Group consisting of the battleship Tirpitz, flagship of Admiral Schniewind, Fleet C-in-C, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, two destroyers and two torpedo-boats. The purpose of assembling this powerful force was Operation "Rosselsprung" (Knight's Move), aimed at the destruction of Murmansk convoy PQ 17.
5 July 1942 Admiral Scheer, Tirpitz, Admiral Hipper (Lützow ran aground before leaving the fjord), seven destroyers and two torpedo-boats headed for the open sea, but put back the following day when the participation of the surface forces was cancelled.
6 July 1942 Admiral Scheer returned to Narvik with the destroyers Z 24 and Friedrich Ihn, the torpedo-boats T 15 and T 17 and the oiler Dithmarschen and remained at her moorings in Skjomenfjord for several months
16 August 1942 - Operation "Wunderland" Around noon Admiral Scheer left Skjomenfjord with destroyers Friedrich Eckholdt, Erich Steinbrinck and Richard Beitzen as escorts and passed the North Cape on a heading for Bear Island and Franz Josef Land. Towards Bear Island the destroyers were released and the cruiser continued alone. Two uboats was assigned for the operation and was U-601 (Kapitanleutnant Peter Grau) and U-251 (Korvettenkapitan Heinrich Timm). Admiral Scheer's shipboard aircraft was kept aloft for reconnaissance.

The further east Admiral Scheer progressed the thicker she found the ice-field, and numerous icebergs were encountered. Variable winds, depending on their direction, brought fog, mist or clear visibility. The drift ice was so thick in places that the cruiser had to manoeuvre with great caution to avoid becoming iced-in, and to protect the propellers against damage. With her powerful engines she succeeded in escaping whenever endangered, and on the single occasion when the ship became trapped she forced a way clear.
24 August 1942 - Operation "Wunderland" A lone ship, the ice-breaker Alexander Sibirijakow, was sighted and when ordered to stop with a shot across her bows returned fire and had to be sunk. As this vessel had wirelessed, Admiral Scheer's mission was compromised and the commander, Kapitän zur See Wilhelm Meendsen-Bohlken, chosed to carrying out attacks on an important coastal point, Port Dickson.

The harbour and shore installations were subjected to concentric fire, to which the coastal batteries made an ineffective reply. After disengaging, Admiral Scheer headed north to wireless home her report and met up with U 255 (Kapitanleutnant Reinhard Reche) north of Novaya Zemlya for meteorological and ice reports. The commander was then ordered to return by Admiral Polar Seas and met the same three-destroyer escort off Bear Island, anchoring at Bogen Bay on 30 August.
September - October 1942 Admiral Scheer remained in Norway during September and October, alternating on occasions between anchorages.
6 November 1942 Admiral Scheer left Trondheim with destroyers Z 23, Z 28 and Z 29 and headed back to Germany.
10 November 1942 Admiral Scheer and destroyers Z 23, Z 28 and Z 29 safely arrived at Swinemünde.
November 1942 - January 1943 Fregattenkapitan Ernst Gruber acted as caretaker commander from November until January 1943. He became the ship's sixth commander.
Late December 1942 Admiral Scheer docked at the Kriegsmarine Werft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven for a long overdue engine - and armaments overhaul. While at the shipyard 50% of the crew were replaced. Admiral Scheer was not even at Anti-Aircraft readiness, and the auxiliary machinery had been returned to the manufacturers for renovation. Because of the comprehensive crew changes the ship would have to work up from scratch, and instruction was limited to "dry training".
1 February 1943 Kapitän zur See Richard Rothe-Roth became the ship's seventh commander.
26 February 1943 During the second of two air raids on Wilhelmshaven that day, a mixed RAF/USAAF force of 60-70 four-engine aircraft dropped 207 HE bombs of various sizes from an altitude of 6.000-7.000 m on the docks and harbour installations. Advance warning had been given at 1052, but an unfavourable wind was responsible for the attempted smoke screens failing to deploy correctly. Admiral Scheer, in drydock V, was therefore a clear target. She was hit by one bomb which failed to explode, and ten others went off in Docks IV and VI, from which the cruiser received splinter damage. Important areas of the shipyard itself escaped lightly, a few lighter and smaller auxiliary craft being sunk. The death toll aboard Admiral Scheer was one crewman. The raid as a whole cost the lives of four Navy men plus an Italian in the Flak control centre, and fourteen civilians. Fifty people were wounded, eight of them Wehrmacht personnel.

For a raid to be concentrated wholly on the dockyard suggested that Admiral Scheer had been the target and that similar raids would follow. Accordingly the commander received orders to make the ship seaworthy as soon as possible for transfer to Swinemünde. This was achieved within fourteen days.
From March 1943 A full Flak complement was aboard when Admiral Scheer sailed in a half-finished condition replete with all the deficiencies of a dockyard lay-up. She safely reached Swinemünde, the highest praise being accorded her crew, half of whom had had the benefit of no more than the briefest shipboard training.

The remaining repairs were difficult to carry out at Swinemünde, which had no drydock and few installations such as cranes and workshops, but miracles were achieved as a result of collaboration between shipyard and crew, and it was soon possible to commence crew training.

Following the fiasco in the Barents Sea at the end of 1942 which had resulted in Hitler's decommissioning order for the heavy units, Admiral Scheer, after partially working up, was attached to the newly formed Fleet Training Group whose main task it was to train cadets. This was achieved by embarking up to 500 cadets at a time to do the work of members of the permanent company they displaced. Within a few months these officer recruits were supposed to learn everything necessary to stand them in good stead during their future careers. This work continued into 1944.
Summer 1944 Admiral Scheer visited Copenhagen for a few days, but spent the remainder of time at sea with short calls along the Baltic coast, particularly at Gotenhafen (Gdynia).
9 October 1944

Admiral Scheer had just left the port of Gotenhafen (Gdynia) when Eighth Air Force heavy bombers attacked vessels at their moorings and sank the hospital ship Stuttgart.

November 1944 On Admiral Scheer the cadet training continued and every effort being made to keep the ship at full war readiness. On land the German Army was in retreat against an enemy many times superior in numbers, and the Kriegsmarine was requested to support the defence by shore bombardment. After two extra 3,7 cm twin Flak guns had been fitted at short notice at Gotenhafen (Gdynia), Admiral Scheer sailed for the peninsula of Sworbe (Estonia) in company with the destroyers Z 25 and Z 35 and the torpedoboats T 3, T 5, T 9, T 12, T 13 and T 16.

Between 22 and 24 November the group concentrated fire on Soviet positions and armoured columns, thus enabling the German defences to evacuate the peninsula without suffering heavy losses. During the operation in the narrow channels off Sworbe the ship came under repeated attacks by Soviet bombers and torpedo aircraft. Two torpedoes missed narrowly and all bombs were near-misses except for a single hit on the upper deck above Compartment XVI which failed to explode or penetrate the decking. The shipboard Ar 196 was shot down by Russian fighters.

At the termination of the Sworbe operation the cruiser returned to Gotenhafen because of a fuel shortage but remained at full readiness.
January 1945 Admiral Scheer spent most of her time at Pillau.
2 - 5 February 1945 Admiral Scheer was engaged as floating artillery battery in action against Russian assembly points and advancing columns off the Samland coast in company with the torpedo-boats T 23, T 35 and T 36.
9 - 10 February 1945 Admiral Scheer was engaged against Russian forces off Frauenburg with the torpedo-boats Z 34, T 23, T 28 and T 36.
At 2300, 18 February 1945 At Pillau, Admiral Scheer made fast astern of the night fighter direction ship Togo while her stern was towed round to bring her full broadside to bear shoreward.
Before dawn, 19 February 1945 Admiral Scheer opened fire with all 28 cm guns and the port 15 cm battery in support of the German land offensive to re-open the Konigsberg/Pillau land corridor for the escape of refugees.
From 0500, 20 February 1945 Admiral Scheer bombarded Soviet positions for two hours. Admiral Scheer and the German land offensive achieved their objective to re-open the Konigsberg/Pillau land corridor for the escape of refugees.

Among Admiral Scheer's tasks included the care of refugees, protecting the over-full hospital trains and ships and rendering assistance to wounded and refugees boarding these latter and other craft.
8 March 1945 As the result of this continued gunnery all barrels on Admiral Scheer were in urgent need of a re-bore. As the only workshop and machinery for the task were at Kiel, the ship sailed for the port, calling in at Gotenhafen (Gdynia) to take on board 800 refugees and 200 wounded.
9 March 1945 Off Bornholm, the commander of Admiral Scheer was warned that it was unsafe to proceed as he would have to negotiate an uncleared minefield, and he took the ship to Swinemunde to disembark his passengers, where Admiral Scheer was at once pressed into service to assist the Army and in the course of the next few days bombarded Soviet positions between Kolberg and Dievenow.

After the bombardments Admiral Scheer suffered from lack of 28 cm ammunition which was not available in Swinemünde.
16 March 1945 Admiral Scheer sailed for Kiel on 16 March with a fresh intake of 400 refugees and wounded.
18 March 1945 Admiral Scheer made fast in the fitting-out basin of the Deutsche Werke, Kiel near the cruisers Admiral Hipper and Emden.

On docking, Admiral Scheer unshipped her Flak guns and ammunition. The heavy armament was unserviceable because of the proposed barrel changeovers.
8 April 1945 Admiral Scheer's "B" turret completed the exchange of barrels.

Because of constant British air attacks Admiral Scheer's commander was proposing to move out into Heikendorf Bay on 10 April and have a floating crane assist in the exchange of "A" turret's barrels. Some of the ship's company had been given furlough and most of the cadets had been disembarked, and the complement of shipboard personnel was very much reduced in consequence.
At 2150, 9 April 1945 Following an air-raid warning most of the remaining crewmen went to bunkers ashore, leaving aboard only the 90 or so officers and men of the damage control parties, which included command relay, fire-fighting and electrical plant personnel.
At 2230, 9 April 1945 Bombs began falling.
At 2238, 9 April 1945 Admiral Scheer was hit by first bomb.
At 2245, 9 April 1945 Bomb hits caused the lighting and command relay systems to fail and the cruiser assumed a list of 16 degrees to starboard, but power was restored long enough to get the ground vents open and make compensatory flooding to halt the list at 18 degrees.
Shortly after 2245, 9 April 1945 As a consequence of further hits and near-misses, the list increased quickly to 28 degrees. Engineer officer of the watch, Oberleutnant Strempel, gave the command to leave the electrical plant running and abandon ship. This order did not reach all centres because of electrical failure, although individual posts were abandoned as soon as the gravity of the situation became apparent.

Climbing through burning and smoke-filled rooms to reach companionways and portholes, some cewmen were killed or injured by falling machinery and components. Despite the asphyxiating conditions and their exhaustion, groups dragged injured and unconscious shipmates to safety. Some sailors swam to the quayside and those sailors that was too exhausted was picked up in the water by small craft.

Salvage workers from Emden cut into the hull in several places and rescue teams scoured the upturned hull for 42 hours in the search of further survivors.

Having discharged her ammunition and fuel, Admiral Scheer was high out of the water and ballasted with only 600 m³ of seawater in the double bottom. She capsized over a period of about 12 to 17 minutes in 15 m of water, the primary cause being a large gash on the starboard side caused by near-misses. All eight members of Damage Control Party I and seven other crew members, including three engineer cadets, were left entombed in the mangled remains of the ship.
From July 1945
Work on breaking up the wreck began under the supervision of the British authorities. All valuable metals and the gunhouses and turrets were removed before the bare torso of the ship was abandoned where she lay. When work commenced on the new naval arsenal, the remains were covered over with rubble to become the foundations for a large car park.


© John Asmussen, 2004 - 2010. All rights reserved.