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The Sinking of Konigsberg

On the 10 April 1940 the German Cruiser was sunk, here's a brief description of what happened that day.

The German Navy used the deep water Fjords of Norway to great advantage during the Second World War. Withdrawing back into the relative safety of the Fjords allowed the ships to be refuelled, repaired and re-armed before sailing back out into the North Sea where they could maintain control of these waters.

Lt William ‘Bill’ Lucy, Commander of 803 Naval Air Squadron based at Hatston in the Orkney’s devised a daring plan to carry out a surprise attack on the German Cruiser Konigsberg, when RAF reconnaissance reported that the Cruiser was sheltering in Bergen Harbour.

The attack would be made in Blackburn Skua dive bomber aircraft, with barely enough fuel duration for the 4 hour 30 minute return flight from Hatston to Bergen.

Taking off at 5am on the 10 April 1940 Lt Lucy led the attack with nine Blackburn Skuas of 803 squadron along with seven Skuas from 800 Squadron, led by Royal Marine pilot Major Richard Partridge.

Using the early morning launch to put them over Bergen harbour in Norway a little after 7am the sixteen aircraft carried out a devastating attack on the German Cruiser.

Major Partridge would fly more missions over Norway in Skua aircraft, until being shot down whilst on a patrol flight over Lake Grotli, near Andalesnes.

Major Partridge and his Observer Lt Robin Bostok survived the forced landing and were helped to return to England by the Norwegian Resistance Forces.

The wreckage of Major Partridge’s Skua (Serial Number L2940) was recovered in 1974 and is on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, in an exhibition dedicated to the crews who flew these daring and perilous missions over Norway in early stages of the Second World War.

If you want to see the Skua plan a visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum and get a ticket from the National Museum of the Royal Navy's website.

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