|5 February 1929||The keel was laid. The building contract had been placed with the Deutsche Werke Shipyard, Kiel, as Panzerschiff "A". It was Construction No. 219 at the Deutsche Werke, Kiel.|
|19 May 1931||Deutschland was launched. Christened by Reich President von Hindenburg.|
|Sea Trials and Final Outfitting|
|5 November 1932||Floating trials and engine tests.|
|18 - 19 January 1933||Sea trials.|
|8 February 1933||Sea trials.|
|27 - 28 February 1933||Deutschland transferred to Wilhelmshaven for completion.|
|27 February 1933||Successful acceptance trials were run off Heligoland.|
|1 April 1933||Deutschland was commissioned. Captain was Kapitän zur See Hermann von Fischel.|
|Mid-May 1933||Deutschland's maiden commissioning voyage from Wilhelmshaven via the Skagerrak to Kiel.|
|22 May 1933||Was present, but did not participate in the Fleet Review in Kiel.|
|Until 1 June 1933||After the Fleet Review, Deutschland resumed her maiden voyage. She visited Balholmen in Norway and the Faroes, passed by way of the Denmark Strait to Iceland and, after a short ceremony of commemoration in the Skagerrak for the German dead of the Battle of Jutland, returned to Wilhelmshaven on 1 June.|
|6 June 1933||Deutschland was back in the Baltic to continue her sea trials and working up.|
|10 December 1933||Deutschland had now completed her sea trials and working up. The ship was now ready.|
|Until April 1934||Deutschland carried out exercises.|
|April 1934||With Hitler aboard Deutschland visited Norway.|
|May 1934||Participated in Naval exercises off Warnemünde and Sassnitz.|
|9 June 1934||Deutschland, in company with the light cruiser Köln, left Wilhelmshaven for gunnery exercises in the Western Atlantic.|
|23 June 1934||Deutschland and light cruiser Köln return to Germany.|
|August 1934||During the Autumn naval exercises, Göteborg in Sweden was visited.|
|1 October 1934||Deutschland relieved Schlesien as the Flagship.|
|13 December 1934||After a visit at Leith in Scotland, the ship went to Wilhelmshaven for a refit.|
|21 February 1935||Refit was completed.|
|14 March 1935||Deutschland sailed for Brazil, Trinidad and Aruba. Main purpose for the trip was engine trials.|
|19 April 1935||Deutschland returned to Germany after having travelled 12.286 nm at an average speed of 16 knots.|
|August 1935||Participated in fleet gunnery exercises.|
|30 September 1935||Kapitän zur See Paul Fanger became new captain of Deutschland.|
|20 October 1935||Deutschland, in company with Admiral Scheer, went to the Canaries and Azores for gunnery, rangefinding and towing exercises.|
|9 November 1935||Back in Germany, Deutschland docked for a scheduled engine overhaul. Also work on anti-aircraft and torpedo fittings was carried out.|
|Until late May 1936||Crew training and exercises.|
|29 - 31 May 1936||Deutschland was present at Kiel with the major part of the Fleet for the dedication by Hitler of the new naval monument at Laboe.|
|6 - 19 June 1936||Via Biscay and the Irish Sea, Deutschland visited Copenhagen, Denmark.|
|July 1936||Gunnery and torpedo trials were run in the Baltic.|
|23 July 1936||During exercises off Heligoland, Deutschland was recalled to Wilhelmshaven due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War on 17 July.|
|24 July 1936||Deutschland and sistership Admiral Scheer set off for Spanish waters under command of Vize-Admiral Rolf Carls. The light cruiser Köln and the 2nd Torpedo-boat Flotilla followed shortly afterwards. The purpose was to participate in an international humanitarian operation of bringing refugees to safety. For recognition purposes the two main turrets were painted with black, white and red stripes as was the other ships participating in this and later international operations around and in Spain.|
|26 July 1936||Deutschland arrived in Spain and briefly anchored at San Sebastian. Due to heavy swells Deutschland soon prefered to cruise up and down offshore at a few knots, as this was found more comfortable. A contact was established to both Republican and Nationalist harbours without discrimination and refugees taken aboard were passed on to one of the 26 merchant vessels chartered for evacuation purposes. The international operation involved the use of 62 such transports. About 9.300 refugees, including 4.550 Germans, were brought to safety.|
|End of July 1936||Deutschland arrived at Corunna. On its way it had been at Bilbao and Gijon. Due to an increased danger in the waters both the secondary armament and anti-aircraft guns was on permanent alert.|
|Early August 1936||Deutschland visits Cadiz, Almeria, Ceuta and Malaga together with one or both of the torpedo-boats Luchs and Leopard.|
|9 August 1936||Deutschland anchored at Barcelona which seeded from Spain and declared autonomy 11 August 1936.|
|24 August 1936||After a proposal from the French government four nations (Britain, France, Germany and Italy) signed an treaty to maintain an international non-intervention control of allotted sectors of the Spanish coast. The treaty would come into effect in 1937. The German Kriegsmarine accepted responsibility for the Mediterranean coast between Cabo de Gata (Almeria) and Oropesa. Some of the signatory states followed the recommendations of the treaty only half-heartedly. Whereas the original intention of the German naval presence had been the protection of German lives and property, aggression by the Republican side had tended to identify them as the "enemy". In time, therefore, it would become apparent who was supporting whom.|
|30 August 1936||Deutschland arrived in Wilhelmshaven after having completed its operation in Spanish waters.|
|1 October 1936||Deutschland left Wilhelmshaven for her second tour of duty off Spain.|
|Mid-October 1936||At this time, German naval forces had evacuated 15.397 people (including 5.539 Germans).|
|21 November 1936||Deutschland returns to Wilhelmshaven having patrolled the Bay of Alicante area. Normal peacetime naval exercises were cancelled as available German warships operated a system of alternating reliefs.|
|31 January 1937||Deutschland left Kiel and headed for Spain for the third time.|
|6 February 1937||Deutschland relieved Admiral Graf Spee off Cape Negro.|
|31 March 1937||Deutschland returned to Wilhelmshaven and docked for a refit. The two searchlight masts were replaced by a platform for four searchlights on the funnel. Radio aerial outriggers were installed at the rear of the funnel cap. The former bar-type shipboard crane on the port side and the derrick to starboard amidships were removed in favour of cranes of more modern design and so-called "pressure bulkheads" were installed, improving the protection for the 15 cm gun crews.|
|31 March 1937||Off Valencia, a Republican destroyer made a threatening torpedo-type approach to Admiral Scheer.|
|May 1937||Warships of the four international control powers and the United States exercised jointly for the first time.|
|10 May 1937||Deutschland left Germany and headed for Spain for the fourth time.|
|24 May 1937||Deutschland anchored at Palma, Mallorca, where Republican aircraft attacked the town and harbour installations that morning. Deutschland, the torpedo-boat Albatros, two U-boats and six Italian units were grouped together in the port and received attention, four bombs falling wide within 200 yds.|
|At 1815, 29 May 1937||Following the attacks, Deutschland had left Palma, Mallorca and arrived at Ibiza.|
|At 1840, 29 May 1937||Alarm was raised when four Republican destroyers and two light cruisers, Libertad and Mendez-Nunez, were seen approaching, and immediately afterwards two aircraft were reported 2 km astern, attacking out of the sun at an altitude of 1.000 m. Two 50 kg bombs struck Deutschland while the destroyers, initially closing the German Panzerschiff as if to torpedo, opened an inaccurate fire with their forward armament, the shells falling short. The first bomb hit the roof of Starboard III 15 cm gunhouse, splinters puncturing the fuel tank of the floatplane on the catapult. The leaking aviation spirit caught fire in the area of the Senior NCOs' mess. A motor launch and the aircraft were destroyed.
The second bomb had a devastating effect, penetrating as far as the "tween" deck at Frame 116, the ensuing explosion and fire destroying the upper deck between Frames 94 and 145. A jet of flame ignited oil and spirits beyond an open bulkhead door at Frame 121 and this fire spread rapidly. The forward 15 cm magazine was flooded immediately as a precaution. The worst of the casualties occurred to the personnel of "A" turret, and it was twenty minutes before these guns could be trained on the approaching Republican destroyers, which ceased fire and turned away when ready ammunition for the 15 cm starboard battery exploded at 1930. At the time of the disaster no special state of alert was in effect aboard Deutschland and the AA guns were probably not manned - a grave omission after the warning in Mallorca a few days previously.
|At 1935, 29 May 1937||Situation was under control and allowed Deutschland to weigh anchor and sail for a rendezvous with Admiral Scheer off Formentera. The final casualty list was 31 dead and 110 wounded, 71 seriously, these being mostly burn cases.|
|30 May 1937||As a reprisal for the attack, on 31 May Admiral Scheer bombarded the harbour at Almeria. Meanwhile Deutschland had landed 35 seriously wounded at Gibraltar.|
|31 May 1937||A further 34 wounded was being put ashore when Deutschland was ordered to sea.|
|1 June 1937||The British authorities arranged a military funeral for the dead in the late afternoon, but on Hitler's order the bodies were exhumed on the 11th, the coffins being brought alongside Deutschland by lighter and placed under "B" turret with an honour guard. During the homeward voyage to Germany no effort was spared in repairing or camouflaging the damage. The bodies of three casualties interred at Ibiza arrived aboard Leopard on 9 June.|
|15 June 1937||Deutschland berthed at Wilhelmshaven in the evening, when the commander and BdL addressed the crew before the coffins were conveyed by lorry in a torchlit procession through crowded streets to the military cemetery.|
|17 June 1937||A mass burial was held in Wilhelmshaven before many thousand onlookers, Hitler being present with a large entourage.
Repairs to Deutschland took ten days, after which the ship took part in restricted naval exercises.
|2 September 1937||Kapitän zur See Paul Wenneker became the ship's third commander|
|5 October 1937||Deutschland returned to Spanish waters and visited El Ferrol, Cadiz, Tangier, Algeciras, Ceuta and Melilla. By then Germany had withdrawn from the international control following two submarine attacks on the light cruiser Leipzig off the Algerian port of Oran on 15 and 18 June.|
|14 November 1937||Deutschland called at the Italian port of Gaeta and spent the Christmas and New Year period at Napoli (Naples), with short excursions to Capri, Amalfi and Taormina accompanied by destroyers and torpedo-boats.|
|11 February 1938||Deutschland arrived at Wilhelmshaven as flagship of the BdP (Befehlshaber der Panzerschiffe, or Cin-C Panzerschiffe), Vizeadmiral von Fischel, her former commander, having embarked at El Ferrol, Spain. In drydock strengthening repairs were carried out on structural defects to the foundations to Motor Rooms I and IV.|
|24 July - 15 August 1938||Deutschland voyaged to Tangier and Gibraltar.|
|22 August 1938||Deutschland was at Kiel for the last great German Naval Review in the presence of Hitler, to mark the launch of the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.|
|20 September 1938||When Deutschland left Kiel for the Atlantic at the time of the Sudeten Crisis, she embarked a "mobilisation supplement" of weapons and other technical officers and prize captains together with tropical clothing.|
|22 September 1938||Deutschland arrived at Vigo in Spain. Since the autumn of 1937 Deutschland had carried a radar aerial in the foretop which was removed in harbour, but during her stay at Vigo between 22 and 27 September the equipment was covered with a tarpaulin.|
|27 September 1938||Deutschland left Vigo, Spain in thick fog to elude British scouting units, and exercises were subsequently held in the Canaries/Azores area with the tanker August Schultze, the naval oiler Samland and U 25, U 27 and U 30, but the German force was constantly shadowed by British warships, including the battlecruiser Hood. After the weather cleared, the ship exercised in the Bay of Cadiz with U 27, U 30 and other units. In the period from May 1933 to the summer of 1938, the ship had cruised 130.000 nautical miles.|
|9 October 1938||Deutschland was at Santa Cruz de la Palma.|
|11 October 1938||Deutschland was at Cadiz.|
|13 October 1938||Deutschland was at Tangier.|
|13 October 1938||Deutschland was at Gibraltar.|
|20 October 1938||Deutschland returned to Germany in company with Admiral Graf Spee.|
|7 - 12 November 1938||Deutschland took part in gunnery exercises in the Baltic.|
|6 - 26 February 1939||Gunnery exercises were carried out with visits to Tenerife, La Palma and El Ferrol in Spain.|
|23 March 1939||Hitler boarded Deutschland at Swinemünde for a voyage to Memel at the time of its restoration into the German Reich.|
|1 April 1939||Deutschland joined other fleet units at Wilhelmshaven on 1 April for the launch of the battleship Tirpitz.|
|17 April 1939||On 17 April she formed part of the first and only large-scale German foreign naval exercise when she accompanied the battlecruiser Gneisenau, flagship of Fleet C-in-C Admiral Carls, the 3rd Destroyer Division, the 6th and 7th U-boat Flotillas, the U-boat tender Erwin Wassner and the oiler Samland. During the manoeuvres a massed U-boat attack was demonstrated. Ports visited were Vigo and Malaga, with a crew excursion to Granada.|
|16 May 1939||Deutschland returned to Wilhelmshaven.|
|12 - 16 June 1939||Deutschland participated in naval exercises in the Baltic following which the ship docked at Wilhelmshaven for strengthening work to the foundations of Motor Rooms II and III.|
|12 - 16 June 1939||Naval oiler Westerwald, assigned to Deutschland, left for the Atlantic. Admiral Graf Spee had left Wilhelmshaven the day before. Deutschland was still in the stationary trials anchorage near Gate 12 of the naval yard. That day four supplementary officers reported and an Ar 196 shipboard floatplane was delivered to replace the old He 60.|
|23 August 1939||Five prize crew captains, wireless monitoring (B-Dienst) personnel, four radar petty officers and a meteorologist joined the ship's company, repair work was terminated and live ammunition was shipped.|
|At 1430, 24 August 1939||Deutschland's engine room was given notice for 17,5 kt and the ship sailed for the appointed North Atlantic holding position off Cape Farewell an hour later.|
|At 1900, 24 August 1939||War watch conditions were introduced and navigation lanterns were extinguished. Intensive battle training occupied the ship's company during the time spent off Greenland.|
|30 August 1939||Deutschland was provisioned and refuelled by Westerwald, after which the two ships practised various methods of bearing- and rangefinding.|
|At 1800, 31 August 1939||Following signal was received on Deutschland:
1. Commence hostilities against Poland in home waters 1.9.39 at 0445 hrs.
2. Attitude Western Powers unknown.
3. If Western Powers declare war own naval forces commence hostilities only in self-defence and if specifically ordered.
4. Panzerschiffe Atlantic, U-boats remain in waiting positions for the time being, even against Polish merchant traffic no hostile action at this time.
|At 1745, 1 September 1939||Following signal was received on Deutschland:
"Britain and France have ordered general mobilisation. Further attitude still unclear. Italy will remain neutral in all cases."
|3 September 1939||War was declared on Germany by Britain, and later France.
On Deutschland the ship's company was addressed by the commander during the evening and the situation was explained.
|5 September 1939||In the morning the shipboard aircraft failed to return, but was sighted and recovered by chance several hours later.
A signal (FT 1621) at 1700 rom SKL (naval command) stated:
1. Restrained demeanour France and still hesitant war policy Britain make deployment Panzerschiffe presently inexpedient.
2. In view discernible cessation enemy merchant traffic and presumed planned search for Panzerschiffe, present deployment unfavourable and undesirable with regard to prospects for success.
3. Commerce warfare suspended, remain waiting positions remote from operational areas. Respects North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian Ocean. Radio silence!
|11 September 1939||Deutschland refuelled from naval oiler Westerwald.|
|17 September 1939||Deutschland refuelled from naval oiler Westerwald.|
|20 September 1939||Deutschland provisioned from naval oiler Westerwald.|
|27 September 1939||Deutschland received the following orders:
1. Resume commerce warfare according operational orders by attacks in operational area. Previous special orders respecting France lifted. Proceed as against Britain.
2. SKL assumes Deutschland North Atlantic, Admiral Graf Spee South Atlantic. If correct do not signal but operate in intended operational area.
3. Report position and intentions on contact with enemy warships or if reported by merchant shipping.
|5 October 1939||Deutscland sunk British freighter Stonegate east of Bermuda.|
|9 October 1939||Seizure of the US freighter City of Flint for alleged contraband. Stonegate's crew were transferred aboard and an 18-strong prize party under Leutnant Pussbach took over control and set off for Germany.|
|14 October 1939||Deutschland sunk Norwegian freighter Lorentz W. Hansen east of Newfoundland.|
|November 1939||Meeting with naval oiler Westerwald for refuelling and reprovisioning which lasted two days in a severe storm. Deutschland had sustained major damage. Splits had appeared in the superstructure and Motor Rooms II, III and IV were repeatedly out of action as seas poured down the poorly positioned ventilation ports. The operation had to be abandoned and Deutschland headed for home. In the breakthrough she encountered a hurricane and rolled up to 30 degrees. The motor rooms were frequently unserviceable, although the engine-room personnel were able to cope with the problems.|
|14 November 1939||Deutschland was met by the destroyers Friedrich Eckholdt, Friedrich Ihn, Bruno Heinemann and Erich Steinbrinck and at 0600 the next morning.|
|At 0600, 15 November 1939||The pilot vessel Rugard led the Deutschland through the Great Belt. Off the lightship Fehmarn Belt, Admiral Carls, C-in-C Naval Group East, transferred aboard from the destroyer Anton Schmitt.|
|16 November 1939||Deutschland dropped anchor at Gotenhafen (Gdynia). The commander was promoted to Konteradmiral and replaced by Kapitän zur See August Thiele.|
|At 1400, 21 November 1939||Deutschland sailed from Gotenhafen (Gdynia) and anchored early next day in Wilhelmshaven roads.|
|At 1900, 24 November 1939||Deutschland made a brief excursion to the Skagerrak on an anti-contraband patrol in company with the light cruisers Leipzig (flagship of Konteradmiral Lutjens) and Koln, the destroyers Bernd von Arnim, Karl Galster, Friedrich Ihn and Bruno Heinemann and torpedo-boats of the 6th Flotilla.|
|25 November 1939||Deutschland and her escorting ships returned to Wilhelmshaven.|
|26 November 1939||Deutschland entered the inner harbour and moored alongside quay A4.|
|28 November 1939||Deutschland left for Gotenhafen (Gdynia) via the Kiel Canal. The purpose of these movements was to conceal the sailing of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.|
|December 1939||Deutschland entered the Danzig yard for a refit with a view to undertaking a second Atlantic mission scheduled for mid-February 1940. The crew were meanwhile quartered aboard the former luxury liner Pretoria.|
|21 January 1940||Deutschland's company reboarded on 21 January, and during the next week engine trials were run over the measured mile despite the hindrance of coastal ice.|
|25 January 1940||An announcement intended to "disinform", the OKM reported: "The Panzerschiff Deutschland, which has been engaged in commerce warfare in Atlantic waters since the outbreak of war, has recently returned to Germany. The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht has ordered the Panzerschiff Deutschland to be renamed "heavy cruiser Lützow", since the name "Deutschland" is to be reserved for a larger ship. The heavy cruiser originally launched with the name "Lutzow" is also to be renamed."
Acccording to legend, Hitler initiated the change of name to avoid the psychological and propaganda implications should a ship with the name "Deutschland" be sunk. However, the recommendation in fact originated with Grossadmiral Raeder. In a statement about the matter he said:
"The reasons which persuaded me to recommend to the Führer that the name "Deutschland" should be changed to "Lützow" are the following:
1. The return of the Panzerschiff Deutschland to home waters and the evacuation of the North Atlantic area of operations by German surface units must be concealed from the enemy for as long as possible in order that enemy forces tied down there by her assumed presence should remain and so effectively free Graf Spee for her activities in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The change of name is favoured in view of the secrecy of this purpose.
2. It is intended to sell the heavy cruiser Lützow to the USSR. It is desirable that this fact is concealed for as long as possible. The change of name is helpful for camouflaging the purpose.
3. The need continually to deploy the Panzerschiffe compels us to accept the possibility that eventually one of them may fall victim to a superior enemy force. On the one hand, it would be a highly undesirable psychological blow to the Kriegsmarine and the whole German people; and on the other hand it would be a welcome opportunity for the enemy to make political capital of the fact that an Panzerschiff with the name "Deutschland" had been sunk by them. It is proper to change the name and so avoid the general psychological effect that such a loss would entail.
|31 January 1940||Live ammunition was shipped on Deutschland and fitting-out was completed.|
|6 February 1940||Deutschland received orders for a near future second Atlantic commerce-raiding operation.|
|15 February 1940||The OKW report of 25 January 1940 announcing the renaming of the Deutschland to Lützow and the reclassification of the two remaining ships of the class (Deutschland/Lützow and Admiral Scheer) as heavy cruisers was officially released. The third ship of the class, Admiral Graf Spee, had been scuttled by its own crew off Montevideo, Uruguay on 17 December 1939.|
|16 - 27 February 1940||Battle training took place off Gotenhafen (Gdynia).|
|28 February 1940||A full programme, including torpedo, gunnery and searchlight practice, commenced, during the course of which the starboard propeller was damaged by ice, causing the remainder of the exercises to be run at 12 kt.|
|12 March 1940||Together with the light cruiser Emden and the oiler Nordmark (former Westerwald), Lützow entered the frozen port of Swinemünde and was soon ice-bound.|
|14 March 1940||Lützow was removed to floating dock B at Kiel, where the damaged propeller was replaced. The cruiser's anti-mine gear was tested on 25 and 26 March and gunnery exercises were resumed. Orders had been received on 6 February for a second Atlantic commerce-raiding operation, and for this purpose Lützow moved to anchorage A4 at Wilhelmshaven on 4 April. But other priorities now supervened.|
|25 - 26 March 1940||Lützow's anti-mine gear was tested and gunnery exercises were resumed.|
|4 April 1940||Lützow moved to anchorage A4 at Wilhelmshaven on 4 April to prepare for her second Atlantic commerce-raiding operation. But a planned invasion of Denmark and Norway would soon delay the orders for the Atlantic commerce-raiding operation that Lützow had received already 6 February 1940.|
|7 April 1940||Lutzow was urgently needed in support of Operation "Weserubung", the occupation of Denmark and Norway, and was allocated to Group 2 to seize Trondheim. At the last moment auxiliary motor 1 broke down and the ship had to be reallocated to Group 5 for Oslo. A contingent of 450 Army occupation troops had embarked and Lützow made for Kiel and anchored in the Förde overnight.|
|8 April 1940||Lützow and the rest of Group 5 left Kiel in convoy heading for Oslo. Group 5 was under the command of Vizeadmiral Kummetz aboard his flagship, the new and not fully worked up Blücher, the other units being Lützow, the light cruiser Emden, the torpedo-boats Möwe, Kondor and Albatros, eight R-boats and two converted whalecatchers. The British C-in-C, Vice-Admiral Horton, had ordered all available submarines of the 2nd, 3rd and 6th British and 10th French Flotillas to take up positions in the Kattegat and Skagerrak and along the south-west coast of Norway to protect the impending British landings in Norway, the British being unaware at that point of the German invasion. For the German units there were numerous false alarms on the way, although at 1906, off Skagen, HM Submarine Trident managed to get within range but failed to hit Lützow with any of her complement of ten torpedoes.|
|At 2325, 8 April 1940||Wireless monitors aboard Lützow took down a Norwegian radio announcement that all coastal lights were to be doused. Lützow signalled this information to Konteradmiral Kummetz together with the commander's proposal that Lutzow should go on ahead to penetrate the dangerous Drøbak Narrows at high speed before the black-out came into effect, but the suggestion was disregarded.|
|At dawn, 9 April 1940||In Oslofjord at 7 kt on account of the darkness, Lützow was in line astern of Blücher and at battle stations. Approaching Drøbak Narrows at dawn in drifting mist, speed was increased to 12 kt, but Blücher, illuminated from both banks of the fjord by heavy searchlight batteries, was soon being pounded by 28 cm shells (and, later, torpedoes) at a range of about 500 m. On seeing this, Kapitän zur See Thiele had given the order to reply, the port side medium battery under the command of No 2 Gunnery Officer opening fire at a range of 1,8 km. Shortly before "A" turret could engage, Lützow sustained three 15 cm hits.
The first shell struck the upper side of "A" turret's centre barrel near the crenel shutter. The pressure wave lifted the turret roof by a few millimetres, allowing splinters to penetrate the interior. The cradle for the right barrel collapsed. Cabling and other instruments were shredded, and the barrel resetting apparatus, the hydraulic installation and the main turning motor were put out of action. Four turret crewmen were slightly wounded. The second shell struck near Frame 135, Compartment XIII. The shell had a flat trajectory and entered the "tween" deck through a porthole. It exploded on passing through the ship's side, gouging a tear l m in length. A traverse frame was damaged and the hospital isolation room and upper deck pierced, the latter in three places. Fifteen holes were counted in the bulkhead dividing Compartments XII and XIII. The hospital operating theatre and WC block were damaged. Fires were extinguished in the ship's hospital and upper deck Compartment XIII. Two Army personnel were killed and six badly wounded. One doctor and one crewman were seriously wounded. The third shell struck the port crane, splinters spraying 26 m in all directions as far as the funnel platform. The ship's reserve aircraft was damaged, searchlight cables were ripped and a fire started among the AA ready ammunition. Three men died in Port III 15 cm gunhouse and two were wounded; the battery officer, one petty officer and five ratings were wounded in Port IV 15 cm gunhouse; and one man died and one was slightly wounded at the port AA battery. In addition, two magazine ratings and one searchlight rating were wounded.
Lützow had also been raked by cannon and machinegun fire. Seeing the hopeless plight of the flagship, Thiele ordered Lützow full astern out of the danger area while smoke from the fire below decks continued to envelop the ship. The damage control party succeeded in extinguishing the fire in Compartment XIII "tween" deck and hospital at 0459. The sealing of splinter and bullet holes took twenty minutes. It was found that a splinter from a nearmiss had slashed open trim tank XII 4,4 20 cm below the waterline.
"A" turret's right barrel was restored after five minutes; the left barrel was working again after 30 minutes by the use of electrical and later hydraulic leverage gear. The centre barrel remained unserviceable. The shipboard AA fired at various targets until 0543, when the ship was sufficiently clear of the danger area to turn in mid-stream and head down-fjord.
The experience served to confirm the virtual impossibility for even large warships to cope with well-sited and concealed shore gun and torpedo emplacements. Blücher had lost the use of her foretop in the first few moments of the action and controlled fire was subsequently only possible from the shipboard AA. She capsized and sank with the loss of about 300 lives at 0732. Kapitän zur See Thiele, aboard Lützow, assumed command of Group 5 following the loss of the flagship and disembarked troops down-fjord at Sonsbukten for a land assault on the Drøbak defences and Oslo. Coastal emplacements were bombarded before the Group withdrew to the naval base at Horten. Drøbak was secured by German troops that evening, the garrison not being required to lower the Norwegian flag out of respect for their military achievement.
|At 0845, 10 April 1940||Lützow, Emden, Möwe and the minor vessels passed through Drøbak and, under pilotage, made fast at Vippetange Quay, Oslo, at 1145.|
|From 1540, 10 April 1940||Lützow sailed for Kiel for repairs and to fit out for the still-scheduled Atlantic commerce-raiding operation. Along the fjord she made stops to pick up and set down various passengers before releasing her two escorts, Mowe and Kondor, to assist their sister vessel Albatros, aground and sinking near Søstrene, at 2200. On entering the Skagerrak, the cruiser found a northeast wind Force 4, Sea State 3, on a clear starry night with exceptional visibility. Lützow was soon steering 117° at 24 kt, Thiele remarking in the War Diary that, as British submarines were known to be stationed along the Swedish coast, he proposed to give them ample sea room by "standing off a little to the west at high speed".|
|At 0020, 11 April 1940||Lützow passed the Skagen-Paternoster line on course 138°.|
|At 0120, 11 April 1940||Radar reports object astern at 6°, 1,5 km.|
|At 0126, 11 April 1940||Turned to port at 1,15 km. Nothing seen, no further radar contacts, starboard rudder to original bearing to get us through Skagen Narrows as soon as possible.|
|At 0129, 11 April 1940||Lützow still turning. Enormous shock astern. Torpedo track reported acute angle port side. Assume submarine attack.|
|At 0130, 11 April 1940||Lützow still turning, rudder jammed starboard 20°. Compartment 11 does not answer or obey engine telegraph. Reported to bridge, "Manual rudder room cannot be manned. Stern flooding, ship listing to port and gradually settling." I intend to steer by propellers, port astern, starboard forward, at 18 kt.
HM Submarine Spearfish had fired a fan of her last four torpedoes at Lutzow and obtained a single hit astern, knocking off both screws and the rudder and breaking the stern.
|At 0220, 11 April 1940||0220: Signal to Group East: "My position is 233°, 10 nautical miles off Skagen. Am unmanoeuvrable, flooding held, both screws lost. Lützow situation: ship drifting broadside to sea at 2 kt SW towards Skagen. I hope to find a lee and calm waters in Aalback Bay. As the ship is visible from afar, further submarine attacks are to be expected. Boats made ready for lowering, all crew members wearing lifejackets, all lower decks evacuated with exception of damage control personnel. "B" turret has jettisoned all ammunition to help lighten the stern. All Flak guns closed up, sharp anti-submarine watch set."|
|At 0318, 11 April 1940||Sent off ObltzS V. in the motor cutter to Skagen to request tugs and escort vessels.|
|0305 - 0337, 11 April 1940||Signals from Group East, "Torpedo-boats Luchs, Seeadler, Jaguar, Falke, Mowe and Kondor, 17th UJ Flotilla, 2nd E-boat Flotilla and UJ 172 on way to assist."|
|At 0340, 11 April 1940||At 0340 the ship's launch was set down to circle the stricken cruiser "as anti-submarine protection" and at 0433 the first vessels of 17th UJ Flotilla hove into sight, to be joined at 0500 by the 19th Minesweeping Flotilla. Some of the ship's company was then transferred off and Lutzow was taken in tow. A few minutes later "ObltzS V." returned from shore in company with numerous fishing vessels and the Skagen lifeboat.
The cruiser had 1.300 tonnes of seawater below decks and a 12 m draught astern, which led to a number of groundings. As the wind and sea began to rise, it was feared that the stern section, attached to the rest of the ship by the two screw-less drive shafts, would drop off at the Compartment III/IV bulkhead. The Danish tug Garm assisted by taking the towing hawser.
|At 1420, 11 April 1940||The tugs Wotan and Seeteufel joined the group, Norder and Thor promised to arrive by the morning of the 12 April 1940.|
|At 2022, 14 April 1940||The salvage team and Lützow eventually made the Deutsche Werke yard at Kiel. The repairs would last well into 1941. The Norwegian operation cost the cruiser 19 dead - four at Drøbak, buried in Oslo, and 15 when the torpedo struck, also interred with full military honours, at Kiel.
When surveyed in drydock, the extent of the damage surpassed the worst fears. The gash between the aftership and the remainder of the hull was extremely large and on the starboard side the armoured deck above the armour belt was ripped. The affected area below the waterline was just mangled steel. A long lay-up under repair was indicated.
Fregattenkapitän Fritz Krauss acted as caretaker-commander from April to June and the position was vacant from June to August, when Kapitänleutnant Heller took control of the ship's business until March 1941.
|9 July 1940||Kiel was the target for RAF raids and Lützow was hit on the starboard side near "A" turret, Frame 142/143, by a large bomb which penetrated to the 'tween" deck, where it failed to explode.|
|8 August 1940||Due to the expected long lay-up under repair Lützow was decommissioned, only a small detail plus the Flak personnel remaining aboard.
During this repair in drydock Lützow received a new stern, propellers, shafts and rudder, and other modifications included a platform on the battle-mast for radar equipment and an additional observation post at the foretop.
|18 November 1940||An S-Anlage (an AEG remote-controlled active hydrophone installation, developed in 1940) was fitted.|
|5 December 1940||Lützow moved from the drydock to an anchorage.|
|16 December 1940||The accommodation decks on Lützow were declared ready for occupation.|
|1 - 20 January 1941||"A" turret received a new gun cradle and centre barrel.|
|21 January 1941||Trials were run with the port engine.|
|1 February 1941||All crew rooms were ready for habitation.|
|21 March 1941||Gunnery co-ordination work commenced.|
|28 March 1941||A trial run was made.|
|29 March 1941||Radio equipment was charged up.|
|31 March 1941||Lützow was recommissioned by Kapitän zur See Leo Kreisch on 31 March without undue fuss and the heavy cruiser was at sea the same day for signals trials before embarking on weeks of working up for the Atlantic commerce-raiding cruise postponed from April 1940 and which was now scheduled to proceed in June with Trondheim as the jumping-off point. The naval oiler Uckermark (ex Altmark) and the supply ship Egerland had been earmarked for replenishment duties. Sistership Admiral Scheer and her oiler Nordmark, recently returned from a long and successful operation in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, had also been given notice for a repeat operation to commence one month after the Lützow's departure.|
|12 June 1941 - Operation "Sommerreise"||Lützow left Kiel for Norway on Operation "Sommerreise" (Summer Cruise) with the destroyers Z 23, Z 24, Hans Lody, Friedrich Eckholdt and Karl Galster as escorts. U 79 and U 559 scouted ahead for the group. Before the voyage began the B-Dienst had reported intense activity by the RAF on 10 and 11 June, indicating that the intended sailing was known to the enemy. The German convoy remained undetected in the Kattegat and Skagerrak.|
|13 June 1941||Shortly after midnight the B-Dienst alerted the commander to enemy shadowers.
The group was under the protection of a Luftwaffe umbrella, but the usual communication difficulties existed between ships and aircraft. An RAF Beaufort torpedobomber, a type similar to the German Bf 110, had established the German recognition signal and been accepted into the Luftwaffe escort. Off Egersund the British aircraft swooped down to within 600 m of Lützow, released its torpedo and escaped.
The torpedo hit the cruiser, travelling at 21 kt, on the port side of Frame 82 in the torpedo bulkhead above the stabiliser keel. On the other side of the bulkhead was Motor Room (port) II. A violent shock was felt throughout the ship, which took on an immediate list. The drive room was severely damaged and both diesels were dislodged. All motors stopped and all electrical plant failed. The ship drifted out ofcontrol, black smoke billowing through all rooms from the damaged smoke-making apparatus in the stern. Fortunately for Lützow, the smoke swiftly enveloped the ship and the second British aircraft arriving to deliver the coup de grace was unable to see the target and the torpedo ran wide. Without electrical power it was impossible to adjust the trim or institute compensatory flooding until power was restored in one electrical plant, and the cruiser remained with a 21-degree list until the following morning. Magazine VII 7,1 was flooded when threatened by the fire in Drive Room I.
The initial damage reports confirmed that the generators in electrical plants 2 and 3 were flooded and all others threatened and that cables in Drive Room I and Motor Room II were torn out of the torpedo bulkhead and shortcircuiting. After provisional repairs, the heavy cruiser headed for Kiel on one shaft at 16 kt with all watertight doors and hatches shut. By 1100 she had a second electrical plant functioning.
At Kiel, Lützow entered Deutsche Werke Drydock VI for repairs that would last over six months. A survey of the damage at the shipyard revealed that the stabiliser keel, hull wall, inner and outer wall passage bulkheads and transverse bulkhead 83 were seriously holed and split. In the armoured deck, frames in the vicinity of the hit, ground vent VII 4,2. and a hydrant pipe in Compartment VIII had been destroyed; the "tween" deck had been distorted upwards and the torpedo bulkhead severely dented. The wall passages between Frames 62 and 94, the double bottom between Frames 72 and 94 and the "tween" deck from Frames 55 to 105 had been flooded. Elsewhere, the AA direction centre and command relay installation had been knocked out by the shock of the detonation, with instruments unserviceable; the rotator motors for searchlights II, III and IV were out of action and in any case no searchlight had electrical power. The surface gunnery command relay system was partially out of commission, two electrical plants were completely unserviceable and the two main turrets had intermittent supplies of current only; and the ammunition hoists for 15 cm guns I and VII were flooded.
|July 1941||Kapitän zur See Rudolf Stange was appointed the cruiser's seventh commander.|
|7 September 1941||During the night Wohnboot III, which housed the heavy cruiser's secretarial offices with all secret files and other documents dating from 1 January 1939 was completely destroyed during an RAF air raid on Kiel.|
|22 September 1941||"Training Company Lützow" was set up ashore under Kapitänleutnant Kähler; it consisted of five officers, eleven warrant officers, 41 NCOs and 389 lower rates. During the absence of Kapitan zur See Stange, Kapitan zur See Leo Kreisch was acting commander from September 1941 to January 1942. Flak, damage control and some engine room personnel remained aboard the ship while she was undergoing repairs. Lützow survived unscathed a number of heavy air attacks on Kiel and its naval dockyard, the worst of which occurred on 30 September and during the nights of 23 and 24 October.|
|Early January 1942||The repairs on Lützow were nearing completion, despite increasing enemy air supremacy, and Lützow loaded ammunition, carried out inclination tests, tested her anti-mine gear, charged up the radio installations etc..|
|17 January 1942||Lützow emerged from the shipyard in Kiel.|
|18 January 1942||Lützow left Kiel and headed for Gotenhafen (Gdynia) for working up. Heavy icing in the Baltic interfered with these plans, and after sustaining propeller damage in an ice-field Lützow laid up at Swinemünde. By April the situation had not eased appreciably, and even an appointment to have a new radar unit installed at Danzig on 2 April had to be postponed until 10 April because of the weather.|
|21 April 1942||Grossadmiral Erich Raeder inspected Lützow and its crew prior to a programme of radar, mine clearance and gunnery exercises in combination with destroyers, U-boats and aircraft.|
|10 May 1942||Lützow reported herself battle-ready.|
|12 May 1942||Lützow left Swinemünde for the Baltic island of Bornholm as a staging post for the run to Norway.|
|15 May 1942||Lützow fell in behind the mine destructor ship Sperrbrecher 13 and, escorted by the destroyers Z 29 and Richard Beitzen (and later Z 27 and Hans Lody) and the fleet escort ship F 1, set out northwards. The group was shadowed by British radar all the way, but despite frequent air and submarine alarms no attack materialised.|
|At 0520, 17 May 1942||Lützow and its escorting ships anchored in daylight at Kravenesfjord near Kristiansand. The heavy cruiser sailed at nightfall, escorted by Z 27, Z 29 and Richard Beitzen. The submarine danger off the western Norwegian coast was particularly acute, and enemy reconnaissance flights were almost continuous. When spotted off Bergen, the group sheltered at an anchorage in Grimstadfjord and continued at nightfall, the escort strengthened by the torpedo-boat T 15.|
|At 0615, 19 May 1942||Lützow moored inside a box of anti-torpedo nets at Lofjord near Trondheim.|
|24 May 1942||Lützow resumed course for Narvik with Z 27, Z 29, Richard Beitzen, T 7, five E-boats and the naval oiler Nordmark in attendance and at 2345 that night anchored in Bogen near Narvik, where she found an assembly comprising her sister-ship Admiral Scheer, the floating Flak battery Nymphe, Z 24, Z 28, Z 30, T 5, T 7, the naval oiler Dithmarschen, the supply ship Pelagos and the E-boat depot ship Tanga.|
|4 June 1942||Lützow, Admiral Scheer and the other German ships anchored in Bogen were designated No 2 Battle Group with Lützow as the flagship of Vizeadmiral Kummetz, BdK (C-in-C Cruisers).|
|8 - 10 June 1942||Exercises were held with Admiral Scheer.|
|11 June 1942||Lützow was back in her anchorage in Bogen.|
|Beginning of July 1942||An operation was announced to destroy Allied convoy PQ 17.|
|2 July 1942||Lützow, Admiral Scheer, the destroyers Z 24, Z 27, Z 28, Z 29, Z 30 and the naval oiler Dithmarschen raised anchor in Bogen to make for a rendezvous with the battleship Tirpitz and other units.|
|At 0242, 3 July 1942||Lützow grounded in Tjeldsund and assumed a list of 23 degrees. Trim tanks in Compartments XIII and VIII and fuel bunkers in the double bottom of Compartments IX and X had sprung leaks. After Kummetz had transferred his flag to Admiral Scheer, Lützow returned to Bogen.|
|At 0904, 3 July 1942||Lützow dropped anchor inside her nets, where divers found a 30 cm dent in Compartments X and XI with rips and a number of popped rivets. Smaller holes about a metre above the keel were discovered (Compartments XIII XII). Seven trim tanks in the outer wall passage, six bunkers and one waste oil tank in the double bottom had flooded, and about 290 cubic metres of seawater stood beneath three diesel motors and two drive rooms. The outer shell plating had damage over a length of about 70-80 m. Lützow returned to the routine of air alarms, battle training at anchor and idling while awaiting the return of the battle group, but the participation of the regular warships had been cancelled and convoy PQ 17 was left to aircraft and the U-boats.|
|9 July 1942||After refuelling from Dithmarschen, the cruiser set off for the first stage of the return home with Z 24, Friedrich Ihn, T 7 and T 15 as escorts, and entered Trondheim the next day on the port engine, the starboard engine having been shut down following pollution of the diesel fuel with lubricating oil through a leaking tank.|
|9 August 1942||Lützow left Lofjord near Trondheim on 9 August and headed for Swinemünde.|
|12 August 1942||Undetected, despite numerous aircraft alarms, Lützow made fast at Swinemunde.|
|13 August 1942||Lützow went to Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel and unloaded her ammunition and fuel.|
|31 August 1942||Lützow went to drydock VI for repair. During the course of the work about 250 square metres of outer plating, including framing, was renewed between longitudinal Frames III and IV. The period was marked by a number of minor incidents: on 23 September there was a dockyard blaze; on the 27th there was a fire in magazine VII 8.1; the next day a fire occurred in a basket of papers; and on 3 November, after the ship had left dock, "B" turret struck a floating crane while traversing, the left barrel being knocked 7 mm out of true. Thirty-three per cent of the officers, 16 per cent of the NCOs and 18 per cent of the other rates had been replaced meanwhile. Half of the watchkeeping officers were new to the ship, as were 67 per cent of the watch engineers.|
|30 October 1942||The shipyard repairs were finally completed.|
|9 November 1942||Lützow left Kiel in company with the destroyers ZH 1 and Karl Galster for the eastern Baltic to begin trials and battle training off Cape Arkona.|
|4 December 1942||Gunnery practice followed a run over the measured mile.|
|8 December 1942||Lützow left Gotenhafen (Gdynia) for Norway with the destroyers Karl Galster, Theodor Riedel and Z 31 escorting. The group was shadowed and subjected to repeated attacks by aircraft.|
|10 December 1942||Lützow and escort passed Egersund.|
|12 December 1942||Lützow and escorting destroyers arrived undamaged at Bogen near Narvik.|
|16 December 1942||Lützow in company with Z 31 and Theodor Riedel left Bogen and arrived at night in Altafjord. Altafjord was the hide-out of the Group flagship, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, the light cruisers Nürnberg and Köln and various smaller units. Admiral Scheer was released on Lützow's arrival.|
|Christmas Eve - 24 December 1942||Notice was given of impending Operation "Regenbogen" (Rainbow) against Allied convoy JW51B, which had been identified by air reconnaissance and the B-Dienst.|
|30 December 1942||Lützow, Admiral Hipper and the destroyers Richard Beitzen, Friedrich Eckholdt, Z 24, Z 30, Z 31 and Theodor Riedel sailed along the Norwegian coast before heading out to sea. The objective, the fourteen-ship Allied convoy, had sailed from Loch Ewe on 22 December, but the German admiral was unaware of the strength of its escort. Close in were the British destroyers Onslow, Oribi, Obedient, Obdurate, Orwell and Achates, the radar-equipped minesweeper Bramble, the corvettes Rhododendron and Hyderabad and two trawlers. As loose escort were the cruisers Sheffield and Jamaica and the destroyer Opportune plus, later, Matchless. As distant escort were the battleship Anson, the heavy cruiser Cumberland and the destroyers Forester, Impulsive and Icarus. Lining the route out from Altafjord were the submarines Trespasser, Seadog, Unruly and Graph.
The general weather situation was extremely adverse. The whole operation was a disaster, and it was surely a tactical error to have spread the German force, which was apparently done in order to locate the convoy by means of a broad line of search (the line was 85 nm long with Admiral Hipper at its northern end, Lützow at the southern end and the six destroyers in between). This put the German battle group in a weak position upon encountering the enemy escorts, which might have been expected but nevertheless came as a complete surprise. Admiral Hipper bore the brunt of the skirmish and received three hits, one of which did great damage in her boiler room.
The decisive factor in the fiasco was the vague and woolly wording of the operational orders issued by the shore command centres. The instructions were "open on all sides" and ordered commanders to "exercise restraint in the face of an equal enemy force, as acceptance of a greater risk is undesirable for the cruisers". "Greater risk" was qualified and explained as "unnecessary risk": where the enemy force was stronger, commanders had to refuse battle. When Lutzow eventually penetrated to within shooting distance of the merchant vessels of the convoy, the BdK signalled "Break off action forthwith and retire to the west!"
The destroyer Friedrich Eckholdt was lost with all hands and Admiral Hipper was reduced to 15 kt, while Lützow and the five surviving destroyers returned home undamaged. The British lost the destroyer Achates and the minesweeper Bramble and had three "O" class destroyers damaged, all at the hands of Admiral Hipper. However, the operation was an utter failure since no merchant ship of the convoy was lost.
|1 January 1943||The German task force, from the so-called Battle of the Barents Sea, returned and anchored in the Norwegian fjords. Lützow remained in northern Norway and alternated irregularly between Bogen and Kåfjord to confuse Allied air reconnaissance.|
|March 1943||In March, on the arrival of Tirpitz and Scharnhorst at Bogen, Lützow shifted to Kåfjord near Alta.|
|20 July 1943||Lützow was experiencing problems with her diesels, and as a consequence this led to the cancellation of Operation "Husar" in the Kara Sea, which had been intended to emulate Operation "Wunderland" carried out the previous year by Admiral Scheer.|
|From 23 June 1943||The Fleet C-in-C and C-in-C Naval Group North, Generaladmiral Schniewind, visited the ship in company with the BdK, Admiral Kummetz. Later Lützow exercised with Tirpitz.|
|5 July 1943||A general exercise was held involving all units of the group.|
|9 July 1943||Lützow was now at full readiness.|
|13 - 14 July 1943||Lützow exercised in company with the naval oiler Nordmark. 14 July she also received notice of her impending return to Germany. The ship was required to be battleworthy at all times, and this could not be guaranteed because of the continuing engine problems. Once the diesels were serviceable again, Lützow resumed her part in Group exercises.|
|6 September 1943||When Tirpitz and Scharnhorst sortied to Spitzbergen for Operation "Sizilien", Lützow occupied the net defences vacated by Tirpitz in order to confuse Allied air reconnaissance. After the original stations were occupied on their return, Tirpitz was seriously damaged at Kaafjord in the attack by British X-craft on the 23rd, but Lützow was in a remote inlet and escaped attention. This was also the last day of her Norwegian sojourn as the decision had already been taken to return her to home waters.|
|At night, 23 September 1943||In company with the destroyers Erich Steinbrinck, Friedrich Ihn, Paul Jacobi and Z 27, Lützow began her voyage south in stages.|
|24 September 1943||Lützow and her escort anchored at Skjomenfjord.|
|26 September 1943||Lützow and her escort passed the Arctic Circle.|
|28 September 1943||Lützow and her escort arrived off Kristiansand, where Z 27 and Friedrich Ihn were released and replaced by Z 38.|
|29 September 1943||Lützow released the destroyer Z 38 and safely arrived in Kiel with Paul Jacobi and Erich Steinbrinck.|
|1 October 1943||Lützow called at Gotenhafen (Gdynia) and then entered the shipyard at Libau, Gotenhafen (Gdynia) which was no longer secure against air attack since the introduction by the Allies of long-range bombers whose radius of action allowed them to strike at almost any place in the Reich.|
|9 October 1943||The USAAF attacked Gotenhafen (Gdynia) and sank the hospital ship Stuttgart. Lützow escaped unharmed.|
|November 1943||Kapitän zur See Stange stepped down as commander and Fregattenkapitän Biesterfeld took over as acting commander.|
|January 1944||Kapitän zur See Knoke was appointed commander of Lützow.|
|27 February||After completion of the overhaul standing trials were conducted.|
|5 March 1944||Lützow moved to an outer anchorage at Libau from where she ran sea trials.|
|11 March 1944||On Lützow the full war complement of 1.156 officers and men was aboard.|
|15 March 1944||Lützow's working up period began. It was important as since February the ship had been designated part of the newly formed Fleet Training Group. The following weeks saw intensive training, the ship exercised both alone and in company with Prinz Eugen, Admiral Scheer, Nürnberg, Emden, torpedo-boats, E-boats, U-boats and the gunnery target ship Hessen.|
|16 June 1944||Lützow was at Gotenhafen (Gdynia), where shore bombardment was practised.|
|24 June 1944||In company with Prinz Eugen, T 3, T 4 and T 12, Lützow sailed to the rocky coast of south-west Finland for battle training and inspection.|
|27 June 1944||Exercises were held in the Gulf of Finland. The reason for the visit to these waters was the feared withdrawal of Finland from the Axis alliance.|
|From 8 July 1944||Lützow was again at Gotenhafen (Gdynia), from where she made various Baltic excursions. On the occasion of the Fleet C-in-C Generaladmiral Schniewind relinquishing his post to Admiral Meendsen-Bohlken, Lützow took part in the last Naval Review of German warships. Both admirals were aboard the light cruiser Nürnberg to review the sail-past of most major units of the German Fleet - the heavy cruisers Prinz Eugen, Admiral Hipper, Lützow and Admiral Scheer and the light cruisers Köln, Leipzig and Emden (Tirpitz was by this time crippled in a Norwegian fjord).
In the following weeks Lützow alternated her moorings among the various Baltic ports as far as the Gulf of Riga, although the whole area was insecure, particularly with regard to aircraft.
|28 July 1944||Together with units of the Training Group (including Prinz Eugen), Lützow became part of No 2 Battle Group under Konteradmiral Thiele.|
|9 August 1944||The aerial threat grew steadily. Enemy dive-bombers were now fitted with armour, making them much less vulnerable to the German 2 cm Flak. For this reason Lützow exchanged two 3,7 cm twin- and six 2 cm single-mounted Flak for eight (later reduced to six, two having apparently been sabotaged) 4 cm single and six 2 cm twin mountings at Gotenhafen (Gdynia) shipyard.|
|22 - 25 September 1944||Lützow and other units were in Finnish waters to protect German land units falling back following the departure of Finland from the Axis alliance.|
|27 September 1944||At Gotenhafen (Gdynia), Lützow received two more 4 cm AA guns.|
|October 1944||Lützow was in action again this time bombarding Soviet land forces at Memel and near the Sworbe peninsula. In one day she fired 304 rounds of 28 cm, 292 rounds of 15 cm, 282 rounds of 10,5 cm, 121 rounds of 4 cm, 56 rounds of 3,7 cm and 1.501 rounds of 2 cm. Shooting was sporadic and largely directed by the Army ashore. The various, naval units involved in this operation worked in shifts, the relieved ships returning to Gotenhafen (Gdynia) to re-arm.|
|23 November 1944||Lützow arrived to relieve Admiral Scheer. At this time the peninsula Sworbe had already fallen. Kapitän zur See Bohmig had temporary command of the ship during November.|
|From 18 December 1944||824 tonnes of explosive rained down on Gotenhafen (Gdynia), but Lützow escaped damage and moved to Pillau towards the end of the month.|
|February 1945||Lützow, Admiral Scheer and Prinz Eugen worked a rota for the shore bombardment of Soviet forces in East Prussia.|
|8 February 1945||Lützow, escorted by T 8, T28 and T33, bombarded Soviet advance columns off Frauenburg-Elbing.|
|6 - 7 March 1945||Lützow re-armed at Swinemünde before returning to East Prussian waters.|
|23 March 1945||Lützow took part in the defence of Gotenhafen (Gdynia), Oxhofter Kampe and Hela.|
|8 April 1945||Lützow put into Swinemünde to re-arm.|
|13 April 1945||Lützow survived an air raid unscathed.|
|16 April 1945||A five-ton bomb dropped by a British Lancaster which achieved a near-miss opened up 30 m of Lützow's side and she assumed a 56 degree list to starboard. Two 1.000 lb bombs which hit the forward and aft 28 cm magazines failed to explode.
With the help of salvage vessels the ship was restored to an even keel before electrical plant 4, the starboard 15 cm gunhouses and "A" turret were pumped dry.
|17 April 1945||The two bombs that hit Deutschland and failed to explode on 16 April 1945 was removed from the ship. Shortly after an Arado Ar196 floatplane landed near Deutschland with Vize-Admiral Thiele on board. Vize-Admiral Thiele embarked Deutschland and inspected the damages on the ship. Vize-Admiral Thiele wanted to clearify whether the guns on Deutschland could be used against Sovjet forces in a possible attack on Swinemünde. Swinemünde was vital for the Germans as it was a rescue center for hundreds of thousands of refugees and wounded.|
|18 April 1945||394 crewmembers left Lützow.|
|19 April 1945||120 crewmembers left Lützow.|
|22 April 1945||First test shots with repaired "A" turret against Sovjet forces at Dievenow. There was no hope that the "B" turret could be repaired and used again. Fregattenkapitän Ernst Lange became commander of Lützow.|
|28 April 1945||"A" turret resumed the bombardment of Soviet land forces which had broken through the German battleline at Pasewalk at 04:00 and headed north. The last commander of Lützow.|
|30 April 1945||273 crewmembers left Lützow on the small freighter Irmtraut Cordts and headed west. Among these many of the Anti-Aircraft personel. All Anti-Aircraft guns on Lützow was now removed from the ship and Lützow was defenceless from attacks from aircraft. Now most of Lützow's remaining crew was landed and formed into infantry "emergency" units. From this time only gunnery personnel remained aboard the cruiser.|
|3 - 4 May 1945||Once all ammunition had been expended and it was clear that the situation could not improve, the order was given to scuttle the ship. Since Lützow was sunk 350 28 cm shells had been fired. Charges were set, but were detonated prematurely by a shipboard fire. Lützow was now scuttled.|
|The Final Sinking|
|1947||Two years after the surrender of Germany, Lützow was still at Kaiserfahrt Kanal (Kanal Piastówski) near Swinemünde (Świnoujście) in Poland, where she was scuttled in May 1945.
The wreck was examined by the 77. department of the salvage service of the "Baltic Red Banner Fleet" (KBF = Krasnoznammeniy Baltiyskiy Flot).
Of the armament was still all 28 cm main guns and all 15 cm secondary guns. All Anti-Aircraft guns and torpedo launchers was already removed (by the Germans). In the "A" barbette there was only six 28 cm shells and many cartridges. In the "B" barbette 300 shells and 300 cartridges was found. Loads of ammunition for the 15 cm secondary guns and 10,5 cm and 4 cm Anti-Aircraft weapons was also found.
Between frame 53 and 66 some 100 kg aircraft bombs was found that was placed there to help scuttle the ship.
In the fuel bunkers some amount of Diesel fuel was found.
Section V-VII (aft machinery room) was flooded to the waterline. Furthermore there was water in section II on both sides of the ship until the upper platform, im wave tunnel, in port ballast rooms until armoured deck, in double bottom of section X-XVI and under the "A" barbette until lower platform.
Five bomb impact craters was found. One bomb had gone through three decks, another through two decks. The other was only on upper deck, one with a size of 6,0 x 1,5 meter.
Divers examined the hull below the water and they found five leaks/holes. The biggest meassured 7, 0 x 1, 0 meter, another 4 0 x 1, 0 meter. The rest was smaller.
First assignment for the especially made commission under leadership of the Vice-Admiral Y. E. Rallya to make Lützow able to float again and remove the remaining ammunition in the wreck. Second and last assignment was to place seven Russian aircraft bombs, weighting between 100 kg and 1000 kg, in different positions in the wreck. Also fragment shells of caliber 18 cm was placed at the battle station.
Holes and valves in the hull was repaired and sealed. Two motor pumps was installed capable of pumping out 100 tons of water per hour from section V-VII.
Counter flooding of the port side sections XI-XIII corrected the list of the hull.
Lützow was now floating again and constant work from one of the motor pumps helped keeping the heavy cruiser afloat.
|20 July 1947||With the help of five tugs Lützow was moved from its previous sinking place to a place outside of Swinemünde (Świnoujście). From there Lützow was handed over to the armed ice-breaker Volynets assisted by the tug MB-43. Lützow was then tugged to the planned sinking place in the Danziger Bucht (bay) at a speed of 4,7 knots.|
|At 0825, 22 July 1947||Lützow and the tugs arrived at the planned sinking place. The water depth here was 113 meter. The coastal protection boat SK-468 was already in place with film- and photo reporters on board.
After 2 hours the first explosion took place. It was a detonation of a FAB-250 (250 kg Aircraft bomb). The explosion penetrated the 55 mm armour of the battle station, the rangefinder was blown over board and damaged the battle tower. The FAB-100 bomb placed under the gun barres didn't explode and a second FAB-100 failed to explode too.
Before a planned second explosion some changes was made. Under the fore 28 cm barrels a FAB-250 bomb was placed and the FAB-100's that failed to exploded at the first attempt was prepared again in the hope it would explode at the second attempt.
|At 1245, 22 July 1947||Second explosion took place. A fire broke out on Lützow, but it was again clear that again the two FAB-100 bombs had failed to explode. An exploding FAB-500 bomb had destroyed the foundation for the catapult, penetrated the aft main deck and caused a temporary fire. But the wreck of Lützow still refused to sink.
The patience of the Russian leader of this test ran out and both motor pumps was removed from Lützow. Futhermore it was planned to combine the planned third and fourth explosion and make it into one. Another FAB-500 bomb was made ready and placed at the fore 28 cm barrels so a total of 1,5 tonnes of explosives would detonate silmutaneously.
|At 1545, 22 July 1947||Final series of explosions took place. Lützow became completely engulfed in smoke. After 3-4 minutes some of the smoke drifted away and it was again possible to partially see some of the ships silhouette. It was only possible to observe external damage around the fore main turret. A barrel of the main turret was raised to maximum elevation.|
|At 1615, 22 July 1947||Without the water pumps Lützow started to take in water. The bow started to sink. At 16:15, half an hour after the detonation the ship was clearly deeper in the water.|
|At 16:23, 22 July 1947||Lützow's bow was unter water.|
|At 16:24, 22 July 1947||The aft of the ship was under water. With a 30 degree list to port heavy cruiser Lützow disappeared from the water surface. Two fires at the fore super structure was extinquised. Some smaller explosions had been observed earlier, most likely from detonation of Anti-Aircraft ammunition that was still on board. It was clear that none of the FAB-250 aircraft bombs had detonated. But Lützow was now gone, sunk in the Danziger Bucht (bay) in the Baltic Sea.|
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