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Timeline Event:

Dec 31, 1942

The squadron finds the convoy and attacks it on 31 Dec. German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper makes visual contact at 0720. At 0939 she engages Achates and obtains one non-vital hit with five salvos before turning to engage Onslow and Orwell. These destroyers manage to keep Hipper occupied until 1020 when Hipper scores four hits from 48 main battery shells fired at a range of 8,500 meters, seriously damaging Onslow and forcing the destroyers to turn away. Hipper next encounters the MMS Bramble and fatally damages her with her third salvo from 5,500 meters. She closed the convoy and takes Achates under fire once again, hitting her with her first salvo, leaving her on fire and listing seriously. Obedient, Obdurate and Orwell counterattack, forcing Hipper to turn away from the anticipated torpedo attack. The time is now 1130 and the cruisers Sheffield and Jamaica finally arrive surprising Hipper with their first salvos from 10,500 meters. Hipper is hit shortly thereafter and suffers a flooded boiler room. She takes the cruisers under fire at 1134, but is hit twice more a minute latter, with more flooding and a fire in her aircraft hanger resulting. Hipper turns away in consideration of her orders to avoid action with enemy forces nearly equal to her in strength and because of the damage sustained. The British destroyers chase the Germans and more shots are exchanged until 1400 when contact is definitively broken off. Achates and Bramble sink, but the British rightly claim victory in this action, saving their convoy from a vastly superior force and sinking a German destroyer in the bargain. Hipper is seriously damaged, suffering more flooding and a series of engine failures before she manages to limp back to Kaafjord at 0542 on 1 Jan 43.

Theater:  Atlantic Theater

Source:  World War II History

Date Added: 2010-11-26

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