Sinking of the German cruiser Königsberg
Unit/ Formation: RM Airmen
Period/ Conflict: World War II
Date/s: 10 April 1940
Captain R.T. Partridge, Royal Marines, Yellow 1 in aircraft L3025 led 800 Squadron in a raid consisted of sixteen Blackburn Skua dive bombers of the British Fleet Air Arm (seven of 800 Naval Air Squadron and nine of 803 Naval Air Squadron), launched from RNAS Hatston, Orkney. Königsberg's thin deck armor rendered her quite vulnerable to dive bomber attack
The dive bombers attacked at 7:20, catching the ship's crew off guard.
Half of the dive bombers had completed their dives before the crew realized they were under attack. Only one large anti-aircraft gun was reported as being manned with shells being fired once every five seconds from the aft of the ship with lighter anti-air weapons firing from the shore and adjacent ships firing even later in the attack.
Königsberg was hit by at least five 500-pound (230 kg) bombs, which caused serious damage to the ship. One penetrated her thin deck armor, went through the ship, and exploded in the water, causing significant structural damage. Another hit destroyed the auxiliary boiler room.
Two more bombs exploded in the water next to the ship; the concussion from the blasts tore large holes in the hull. She took on a heavy list almost immediately, and the captain ordered the crew to abandon the ship.
It took slightly less than three hours from the start of the attack for the ship to completely capsize and sink, which gave the crew enough time to evacuate many of the dead and wounded.
The ship was very clear and plain in my sights and the only opposition was one AA gun on the fo’c’s’le manned by a very brave crew that continued firing throughout the whole attack. Captain R.T. Partridge, Royal Marines
Sinking of the German cruiser Konigsberg at Bergen in Norway. Royal Marine pilot Captain McIVER RM of 803 Squadron, H.M.S. Merlin scored a hit amidships. His wing was hit by flak and he died on the 14th [Royal Marines Roll of Homour]
Read More/ Web Link:
Dingers Aviation Pages - The Sinking of the Königsberg