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 Oslofjord

Blücher was the second of five Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruisers of Nazi Germany´s Kriegsmarine, built after the rise of the Nazi Party and the repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles. Named for Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the Prussian victor of the Battle of Waterloo, the ship was laid down in August 1936 and launched in June 1937. She was completed in September 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War II. After completing a series of sea trials and training exercises, the ship was pronounced ready for service with the fleet on 5 April 1940.

As launched, Blücher was 202.80 meters long overall, had a beam of 21.30 m and a maximum draft of 7.74 m. The ship had a design displacement of 16,170 tons and a full load displacement of 18,200 long tons. Blücher was powered by three sets of geared steam turbines, which were supplied with steam by twelve ultra-high pressure oil-fired boilers. The ship´s top speed was 32 knots, at 132,000 shaft horsepower. As designed, her standard complement consisted of 42 officers and 1,340 enlisted men.

Blücher´s primary armament was eight 20.3 cm SK L/60 guns mounted in four twin gun turrets, placed in superfiring pairs forward and aft. Her anti-aircraft battery consisted of twelve 10.5 cm L/65 guns, twelve 3.7 cm guns, and eight 2 cm guns. The ship would also have carried a pair of triple 53.3 cm torpedo launchers abreast of the rear superstructure. She had four triple 53.3 cm torpedo launchers, all on the main deck next to the four FLAK range finders.

The ship was equipped with three Arado Ar 196 seaplanes and one catapult. Blucher never had more than two seaplanes onboard and en route to Oslo one had to rest on the catapult as one of the hangars was used for storing bombs and torpedoes. Blücher´s armored belt was 70 to 80 mm thick; her upper deck was 12 to 30 mm thick while the main armored deck was 20 to 50 mm thick. The main battery turrets had 105 mm thick faces and 70 mm thick sides.

Assigned to Group 5 during the invasion of Norway in April 1940, Blücher served as Konteradmiral Oskar Kummetz´s flagship. The ship led the flotilla of warships into the Oslofjord on the night of 8 April, to seize Oslo, the capital of Norway. Two old 28 cm coastal guns in the Oscarsborg Fortress engaged the ship at very close range, scoring two hits. Two torpedoes fired by land-based torpedo batteries struck the ship, causing serious damage. A major fire broke out aboard Blücher, which could not be contained. After a magazine explosion, the ship sank, with major loss of life. The wreck remains on the bottom of the Oslofjord.

Oscarsborg fortress is situated on the shores of the Drøbak Sound, at the narrowest point of the Oslofjord. It was built to protect Oslo from possible amphibious attack. The oldest buildings present in Oscarsborg were built between 1846 - 1853. Oscarsborg and Colonel Birger Eriksen from Moskenes, who was commander of Oscarsborg Fort is best known for the sinking of the German warship "Blücher" on the 9th of April 1940, the day that Germany invaded Norway during the Second World War.

The shipwreck was 16. June 2016 protected as a war memorial, but also protected by law by Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage for those who actually have their burial at the bottom of the fjord. The intention was to protect the ship from wreck looters.


 Drøbak
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