A ship history : Gneisenau

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisenau 1942

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:43 pm

Ciao all,

the rest of the 1941 was spent into Brest drydock, after been torpedoed and bombed too.

Than on 1942 Operation Cerberus and the Channel Dash.

Image


First out of the drydock,it was still the light hull colour.

Image

... but than the colour was so deteriorated they re-painted the hull with a darker colour just before the mission.

Image


There is another camouflage to be discovered, as it appears that after been damaged finally in Germany and de-commissioned into Gotenhafen ( Gdynia ) the Gneisenau was re-painted with a camouflage scheme, but I do not have enough informations or evidence yet for this last scheme.

Any help is welcome, because just as you may have noticed since 3 years from my first publication of Gneisenau evolution plans, I have enlarged and increased my knowledge like on many other ships, and this is a never ending job.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisneu small crane

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:07 pm

Ciao all,

..... :oops: ..I wrote small crane on starboard side,..really was on port side,.. as you can see on the first drawing correctly placed :wink: .

So up until the catapult was there on C turret, Gneisenau had this small crane there aside the aft upperworks, on port side, used to place the airplane on top of the C turret.

Scharnhorst had exactly the same and it was obvioulsy removed when they removed the catapult from the C turret.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisenau

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:05 pm

Ciao all,


.. just taking a look at Gneisenau,..around,.. here a nice model of GU during Op. Berlin on 1941 :


http://ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2006/ ... nau_01.htm

Ciao Antonio :D

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MJQ
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Re: Gneisenau

Post by MJQ » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:36 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:Ciao all,


.. just taking a look at Gneisenau,..around,.. here a nice model of GU during Op. Berlin on 1941 :


http://ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2006/ ... nau_01.htm

Ciao Antonio :D
Wow!!! Thanks for posting the link, Antonio. That is some fine work!
Martin

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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisenau fantastic photo !

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:39 pm

Ciao all,

well if somebody wants a confirmation of the fantastic dazzle camouflage Gneisenau had with dazzle paint, .... reference my drawings,...

..... here it is a never published photo of it :

http://cgi.ebay.it/WWII-German-Photo-WA ... dZViewItem

... it si NOT the Admiral Hipper, .. it is Gneisenau in Trondheim with the dazzle camo, .. just look at the stern were you can easily see it....

..she is ready to sail back to Germany, ..after being torpedoed and repaired by the Huascaran.

Ciao Antonio :D

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In light of recently surfaced photos ...

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:03 pm

Ciao all,

recently some more photos ,.. a good dozen,.... of Gneisenau surfaced,..especially about her stay on Brest and on Germany after,..but not only,.. :wink:

So,.. in light of those new photos we can now assess that Gneisenau in Brest, ... after she came out of the dry dock was surely having those additional modifications :

1) Added 2 by 20 mm flak vierling on top of the forward 150 mm twin turrets, exactly like on Scharnhorst.

2) Changed top main tower rangefinder with a different one, like occurred on Scharnhorst that had it squared, on Gneisenau it looks having 6 or 8 sides,.. different than on Scharnhorst.

3) Shortened admiral bridge wings.

4) Changed all the 105 mm twin guns from model C31/33 to a new model C33/37 ( like the ones on Tirpitz to make it simple to understand ).
For Bismarck lovers, on Bismarck you have 4 and 4 of the 2 different models.
Tirpitz initially had 2 and 6, .. than all 8 new ones.

5) Removed all the main deck forward boxes ( 7 each side )
...but I am sure that as more we find ,.. as more we will realize the changes,.... as usual .. those ships are able to surprise everybody.

But it is not finished,..because I have made other new findings, .. not about Brest or after, ...... soon some more news, .... and you will not beleive what I have found, ..... :shock: :shock:

..I love those ships,..always able to surprise me,..... :wink:

So Terje, .. been this ship greatest lover, .. I am sure you will like it..... more to come.

Ciao Antonio :D

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Terje Langoy
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Post by Terje Langoy » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:29 pm

Hello, Antonio and all...

I've finally begun piecing together my Gneisenau-collection of images so that I can hopefully get a pictorial review of the ship in a chronological order. Launch and fitting out is organized by now, quite easy actually, but things are in the process of getting more complicated... This because of a map I have which show the "Übergabefahrt" that took place in the Baltic Sea during 14 - 15th May. This cruise occured about a week before she was commisioned and my question is, did the Gneisenau run any trials, like the measured mile, back then? Several of my images shows a very deteriorated waterline paint and I have boldly concluded that this would date the images to the summer of 1938. But how on earth can I identify any images that could be taken during this cruise, if I can't spot the flag?

Very best regards

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Post by Terje Langoy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:02 pm

After reviewing the images from her final completion at buoy A-3 in Kiel and also those from her Jungfernfahrt, I'm now very positive she ran her mile during the voyage up to the Orkney's. I have some newly aquired knowledge though... Her commision was hastened because of the May crisis of 1938, the political plans of Hitler to regain Sudeten land (former Checkoslovakia, if I recall correct) and thus her commision took place way before the ship was near completion. Some images depicts her with no fire directors and some images show only the command top fire director installed. Does anyone know whether all three of them were mounted when she was commisioned?

A minor digression that I felt like mentioning... For those who know the Gneisenau by images, there's an image from the fleet parade (22nd August) where she can be seen along with a couple of row boats ahead of her. Some sort of naval games, I presume. On this image she carries both the Führerstandarte, flown on top of the main mast, and also the Kriegsmarine flag on top of the command tower fire director mast. (Later she had the hungarian flag here) However, by looking at Asmussens site I discovered that on my image, these flags were missing. She carries only the Kriegsmarine flag on her stern. Very strange indeed..! I've seen images that have been turned 180 but never one where such details have been removed. Is it a common feature that such images are manipulated? :think:

Best regards

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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisenau early images,..

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:01 pm

Ciao Terje and all

let me check tomorrow on my GU image archive,..and than I will be back to you on this,....

Ciao Antonio :D

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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisenau

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:36 pm

Ciao Terje and all,

pay attention my friend because on that period Gneisenau participated to many naval reviews, ... not only at the Prinz Eugen launch on August 22, 1938, .. so do not get confused with flags .. and raw boats, ..

There is a good book about German pre-war naval reviews I am going to look at tonight, ... do you have it ??

YES, many German ships photos have been censored ,.. to remove details that KM thought were ' critical ' to be showed... I have dozen of examples,.. but never flags as far as I remember,.....

Ciao Antonio :D

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Terje Langoy
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Post by Terje Langoy » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:59 pm

Another attempt to get the 1938 order straight...

- The images where she appears without Fire directors, "Wobley pots" and cranes were taken during a factory cruise in April. (According to Breyer) Does anyone know the route of this voyage? The images where she appears with only the command top Fire director, (still no "Wobley pots" or cranes) were taken during early May, according to Breyer. They were the first official photos of the ship and could be dated from the Übergabefahrt. This is perhaps her appearance at the day of commision?

- Now, the naval event that passed me by... 22nd July - Hitler visit the navy and comes aboard the Gneisenau. Here the image with the missing Führerstandarte. Think I got it right this time :wink:

An interesting note is that Breyer set most of the mid-1938 images (also with the deteriorated waterline paint) to June, whereas the Jungfernfahrt took place from 30th June - 8th July. If you look on the images from Buoy A-3, she appears with a nice and fresh waterline. Sometimes the paint is fresh and sometimes it's deteriorated but all images are nonetheless from before the North Sea tour? I'd expect deterioration after this cruise, but not before it! I can't figure it out. :stubborn:

Very best regards

Btw: Which book do you mean, Antonio? :think:

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Antonio Bonomi
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Gneisenau photos

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:31 pm

Ciao Terje and all,

pardon me but monday night is dedicated to my wife and the Latin american dance, ... so salsa, merengue y bachata :wink: ,.... and so I do not had the time tonight,.... but tomorrow if works permit I will have the time,... to look deeply,.... at your needs,...

..but allow me to congratulate you for your fine investigation and research work,..that is the correct way to learn in reality about those ship,..never trust blindly,.... but look yourself,... and search,.... it is fun and most of the time you will discover that, .. reality was a lot different than pseudo experts said or wrote, .... :wink:

..anyway,.. lets have fun just by doing that,... :wink:

.... and here the book :

Author : Siegfried Breyer

Flottenparaden und Representationen der Marine 1925 - 1940

Edited by : Podzun Pallas

I think you will find it easily either Amazon or used books.

Lots of Gneisenau and Panzerschiffe photos of course.


Ciao Antonio :D

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Post by Terje Langoy » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:51 pm

Hello, Antonio...

I have another book from same author and publisher, "Schlachtschiff Gneisenau" (Pozdun Pallas) which have done a great job offering references and pointing out the direction for me. Also "The German Navy at war 1935 - 1945 Vol I" have proven quite useful. :wink:

My quest continues with full strength and although I have the images right up until her nose job sorted out, (to some degree :? ) there's a detail with the June-images that doesn't make much sense. If I'm lucky enough to get the title right, this should be her starboard aft AA fire director dome. (At the side of her funnel) Is this missing or what? In one of my images, there's a boat here that seems to steal the entire space from the base of the superstructure aft to the rear end of her funnel base. Behind this, at deck level, is something that appears to be the missing dome. What on earth is it doing down there? I can't figure out the patent of that thing. :stubborn:

(If you have the book I mentioned at first, look at the top image on the backside of the front cover)

Very best regards

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Post by Terje Langoy » Mon May 07, 2007 9:39 pm

Hello, everybody.

I could really use some help from you concerning the pre-war cruise and naval exercises of the Gneisenau during 12th June - 26th July, 1939. To be spesific, I'm curious about the name of the fourth port she visited during the cruise. So far, my best educated guess would say the city of Horta, Fayal, Azores. Does anybody really have a clue?

And what of the supply vessel that accompanied the Gneisenau? I'm quite positive this must be the Nordmark. (Westerwald at this stage, according to the German-navy site) How can I firmly distinguish the Dithmarschen-class from other classes? All help will be truly appreciated..!

Very best regards

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Re: Gneisenau photos

Post by Terje Langoy » Sat May 10, 2008 1:06 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
... and here the book :

Author : Siegfried Breyer

Flottenparaden und Representationen der Marine 1925 - 1940

Edited by : Podzun Pallas
Hello all,

I'm interested in clarifying a few things regarding the Naval review of August 1938. From the photos in this book, Gneisenau is sometimes seen flying all flags whereas she don't in a few other images. Most of them show the Hungarian ensign in the mast top and an Admiral's pennant in her foretop antenna, as for instance the image where her midships 10.5 double Flak fire a salute while she's moored off Olympia Hafen in Kiel. I suspect this salute is being fired in honour of the launching of the Prinz Eugen and so forth it has to be early 22 August. But whose pennant can be seen aboard the Gneisenau? Breyer states the following: "Auf dem Vortopp ist die Flagge des Oberbefehlshabers der Kriegsmarine gesetzt" and thus I instantly think of Raeder. Could anyone verify or dismiss that statement?

Breyer dates one of the images, Gneisenau flying all flags, to 19 August for a "Probeparade" and though it may be hard to differ between the dates I suspect the magic clue is the foretop antenna. (KM ensign -19 August or Admiral's pennant - 22 August) However, the thing that tend to confuse me is her ocassional flagging...

If I sum up the events, I receive the following:

19 August - "Probeparade" (Look for the KM ensign in the foretop antenna, all flags are flown)
22 August - "Stapellauf" (Flying all Flags, firing salute while moored off Olympia Hafen)
22 August - "Parade" (Only Admiral's Pennant and Hungarian ensign is flown. Raeder is aboard the Gneisenau while Horthy and Hitler can be found aboard the Grille)

My questions:

Did Hitler and/or Horthy come aboard the Gneisenau at all during this ocassion? Did Gneisenau fly all flags during the launch and then remove them before the parade? If so, is this due to the simple fact that all flags can only be flown as long as the ship is anchored or moored? All inputs are appreciated..!
“Gneisenau has given way, and we are to march at once to your chief.”

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