Red Sky In the Morning: The Battle of the Barents Sea 1942 [Paperback] Review

Red Sky In the Morning: The Battle of the Barents Sea 1942 [Paperback]This book describes an account of one of the most important sea battles in the early part of the WW2 after the "phoney war" was finally over. It came to be known as The Battle of the Barents Sea and involves the actions of a small close escort of five RN destroyers to convoy JW51B plus a reserve force of two light cruisers which shadowed the convoy from a distance of some 70 miles.

Against them was the far more superior force of Germany's Heavy Cruiser Hipper, the pocket Battleship Lutzow and six destroyers. The action commenced with the British destroyer Achates being fired on by the Hipper followed by salvos from the Lutzow and several destroyers. Capt. Sherbrooke (in charge of the Destroyers) immediately turned his small force against the raiders and a sharp action followed in the semi-darkness of the Arctic Circle amid failing light and frequent snow squalls. The Achates was hit early in the action, and finally turned over and sank. Meanwhile, the action continued driving off determined attacks by the enemy. After 2 hours the British Light Cruisers arrived and the German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt was sunk. Once the Hipper was hit and badly damaged, the German force broke off and retired. The convoy reached its destination without loss or damage to a single ship. Capt Sherbrooke was later awarded the Victoria Cross.

This was a battle which had far-reaching consequences for the German Navy. Grand Admiral Ercih Raeder resigned as Commander-in Chief, a post he had held since 1928, and Hitler issued an edict which would effectively decommission almost all of Germany's big ships.

Clearly a work which has been thoroughly and carefully researched. The end result is a fine work and well worth all that effort.


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Product Description:
The Arctic convoys that sailed through the cold malevolent waters of the Barents Sea ran the gauntlet of German air and sea attacks as they struggled to transport vital supplies to Britain's Russian allies.

Convoy JW51B sailed in December 1942 with a small close escort of five destroyers, plus a reserve of two light cruisers, which shadowed the main convoy at a distance of seventy miles.The convoy was attacked on 31 December by a powerful German force that included the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, the pocket battleship Lutzow and six destroyers.The ensuing engagement proved the worth of the British destroyers and the bravery of the men who sailed in them.

It was a naval engagement that had far-reaching consequences and resulted in many capital ships of the Kriegsmarine being decommissioned for the rest of World War II.

A gripping tale of the war at sea under the direst of conditions.

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