The Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen

. At 15.47, the destroyers which remembered the days of World War I, launched their attack and despite the German fire, they managed to launch their torpedoes. However, all of them missed. Fire from the Prinz Eugen damaged and immobilized the destroyer Worchester, which was later towed back to base. Repeated British air strikes had no effect. Of a total of 242 aircraft only 39 managed to locate the German task force, despite terrible weather, limited visibility and heavy squalls. Fifteen of those machines were shot down. At 19.55, in vicinity of Tershelling Island, the Gneisenau struck a mine which seriously damaged her bow. The unlucky Scharnhorst struck another mine near the Frisian Islands. On February 13, at 08.35, the only undamaged German warship – the Prinz Eugen called at Brunsbüttel. On the night of February 20/21, the cruiser departed for Norway with the heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer, as part of the Operation Sportpalast. Incidentally, she took on board holiday makers who were returning to their units in Bergen or Trondheim. The cruisers were escorted by 5 destroyers and 3 torpedo boats. On February 21, the German observers spotted a reconnaissance aircraft, but the ships continued their journey. On the following day, at 08.15, pilots boarded the ship, to help her steam through the internal passage leading through the fjords to Bergen. Shortly thereafter, the ship was attacked by two British bombers, but none of the six bombs scored any hits and one of the bombers was shot down.

The heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, starboard view. [3D by Waldemar Góralski] caption