11 Feb 1940

Arctic Ocean
  • The 1,854-ton neutral Swedish merchant steamer Orania was carrying maize and bran from Brazil to Malmö, Sweden when she was struck by a single torpedo from German submarine U-50 (Kapitänleutnant Max-Hermann Bauer) in the Norwegian Sea at 2354 hours. The ship sank within three minutes of the explosion 65 miles north-northeast of the Flugga Lightship, Shetland Islands. U-50 had spotted the ship and although she was lit up, Bauer reported that he could not confirm that the ship was Swedish. All the crew got away in two lifeboats but one with 14 men was never seen again. The others were picked up by the destroyer HMS Faulknor, transferred to HMS Foxhound, another destroyer that took them to Lerwick, Shetland. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Norwegian Sea | HM]
13 Feb 1940

Arctic Ocean
  • At 0716 hours in the Norwegian Sea, German submarine U-25 (Korvettenkapitän Viktor SchĂĽtze) fired a shot across the bows of the 5,177-ton Danish motor merchant Chastine Mærsk and signalled for the ship to stop. The Danish captain continued and it took two more shots before he stopped and turned off the engines. The Germans ordered the Danish crew to abandon the ship, when they had rowed clear the submarine continued to shell the vessel until she sank. The Norwegian merchant steamer Hilda picked up the 30 Danes. SchĂĽtze had fired his last torpedo at the ship but it had detonated prematurely, he had then followed the Chastine Mærsk until the daylight meant that he could attack with his deck gun. ww2dbase [Norwegian Sea | CPC, HM]
22 Apr 1940

Arctic Ocean
  • The anti-aircraft sloop HMS Pelican (L 86/U 86) while on her way to the Romsdal Fjord carrying the personnel of the Naval Base party for Molde, Norway, was crippled in an attack by a German Ju 87 dive bomber off Narvik. She was hit aft, setting of her depth charges. The Pelican was towed to Lerwick, Scotland, United Kingdom and then to Chatham, England, United Kingdom for repairs that would not be finished until Dec 1940. ww2dbase [Norwegian Sea | HM]
8 Jun 1940

Arctic Ocean
  • During Operation Juno, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau opened fired on British carrier HMS Glorious and her escorts HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent, HMS Acheron, HMS Highlander, and HMS Diana about 170 miles west of Narvik, Norway at 1627 hours. British destroyers made smoke, but did not prevent the Germans from hitting the carrier, causing her to list. In an attempt to save Glorious, destroyer HMS Acasta charged at the German ships, firing two salvos of torpedoes while being struck by German gunfire. One torpedo in the second salvo struck Scharnhorst, tearing a 12-meter (39-foot) hole, at 1734 hours, disabling her starboard engine room. Shortly after, commanding officer Commander C. E. Glasfurd gave the order to abandon ship. Acasta sank stern first at about 1820 hours. Meanwhile, HMS Ardent sank at 1720 hours (killing 151). As for the HMS Glorious, the main German target, Captain Guy D'Oyly Huges of HMS Glorious was blamed for the attack being a surprise, for that he had failed to launch scouting aircraft ahead of the task force. As the flight deck became damaged during the battle, the carrier could not launch any of her aircraft to participate in the engagement. She was ultimately sunk at 1910 hours; 1,474 naval officers and ratings and 41 RAF personnel were killed, 43 survived. Scharnhorst suffered one torpedo hit by HMS Ardent. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Gneisenau | Scharnhorst | Glorious | Acasta | Norwegian Sea | CPC]
25 Mar 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • Allied convoy PQ-9 ran into a storm west of Norway; ice accumulated on British whaler/minesweeper HMS Sulla (FY1874), causing her to gain too much top weight, eventually capsizing her; all 21 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Norwegian Sea | CPC]
23 May 1942

Arctic Ocean
  • The 4,626-ton German steamship Asuncion struck a mine laid by the Soviet submarine K-1 and sank north of Tromsø, Norway. ww2dbase [Norwegian Sea | HM]
25 Feb 1944

Arctic Ocean
  • A British Catalina aircraft sank German submarine U-601 near Allied convoy JW-57; all 51 aboard were killed. At 2055 hours the British destroyer HMS Mahratta (G 23) (Lieutenant Commander E. A. F. Drought, DSC, RN) was hit by a G7es acoustic torpedo from German submarine U-990 about 280 miles from the North Cape, Norway, while escorting the stern sector of convoy JW-57. The destroyer exploded and sank within minutes. HMS Impulsive (D 11) (Lieutenant Commander P. Bekenn, RN) and HMS Wanderer (D 74) (Lieutenant Commander R. F. Whinney, DSC, RN) were quickly on the scene to pick up survivors, but only 16 survivors could be recovered from the freezing waters. The commander, ten officers and 209 ratings lost their lives. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Norwegian Sea | CPC, HM]
27 Jul 1944

Arctic Ocean
  • Israel Fisanovich was killed when his submarine V-1, which was very recently British submarine HMS Sunfish, was destroyed in a friendly fire incident in the Norwegian Sea at the hands of a Liberator bomber of No. 86 Squadron of the British RAF Coastal Command. ww2dbase [Israel Fisanovich | Norwegian Sea | CPC]
30 Jun 1970

Arctic Ocean

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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