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Author Topic: Strange Story from WW2  (Read 13 times)

jackroyd

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Strange Story from WW2
« on: 24 May 2018 05:19:50 PM »

My old pal Norman, soon to be 96 served 5 years in RN on HMS Fitzroy and HMS Waveney.  He has a story that is hard to believe but if true I'd like to give him verification for his birthday next month.  He was on a ship in the Med which had some mechanical problem that could not be repaired there. It had to return to UK. The ship waited at Gibraltar til conditions in Bay of Biscay were optimal re weather and u-boats. Eventually the ship left and limped along very slowly. One day a German ship came over the horizon. All hands were ordered on deck ready to die. But although the German ship swung its guns around at his ship it never fired a shot. Just kept motoring along.  Did this ever happen? He cannot recall which ship he was on at the time and I cannot find any references online to this.  Thank you.
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Strange Story from WW2
« Reply #1 on: 25 May 2018 01:36:08 PM »

It is a very odd story, and without the name of the ship he was on, difficult to check on - I am not aware of any such incident.
The nearest incident that I can find is the sortie into the Atlantic by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in early-1941.  They twice encountered convoys, but both times declined engagement.  Strictly neither was in the Bay of Biscay, the nearest was the second incident on 7 March 1941, when they found a convoy (SL-67) 300 miles north of Cape Verde, but turned away and failed to press home an attack when they realised that the British battleship Malaya was with the convoy.
see:
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PNN8NNZjrFIC&pg=PA168&lpg=PA168&dq=scharnhorst+convoy+sl+67&source=bl&ots=Fxq_c7jnZh&sig=SWCrag1Y1eqQppPUG88m3Mpdf-o&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC8rW4_KDbAhVMDcAKHXL-B3EQ6AEIWzAL#v=onepage&q=scharnhorst%20convoy%20sl%2067&f=false
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jackroyd

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Re: Strange Story from WW2
« Reply #2 on: 25 May 2018 05:42:24 PM »

I shall quiz Norman further on the convoy question.  I have understood they were solo. Your references helpful. j
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