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on 16 November 2009
In the 1950's the BBC broadcast a documentary about this battle of which I remember little except the appalling death rate of the German seamen.
This book is short and punchy and is an exciting a read as you could wish for. It is detailed and I do not always follow the nautical turns and direction shifting but that did not matter because I understood the rest.
The one thing wrong is that are no references as to sources - amajor weakness.
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on 2 December 2012
An absolutely brilliant book. I have also read the story of PQ17, The Battle of The Barents Sea "Red Sky in the Morning" and another about the Russian Convoys so I knew the brief detail before I started. But this book sets the scene from the start very well. It is very descriptive of the way the convoy set out into a heavy sea and the raging gale, Admiral Burnett's cruiser force leaving Russia, facing the gale, the later start of Admiral Fraser's force leaving Island all to join up North of Norway in the pitch dark and eventually surround the Scharnhorst in a fight to the death. I was hooked and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 11 July 2013
Good story not badly written but far too many confusing inaccuracies, especially over compass points: e.g. north for south, east for west.
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on 12 April 2011
A fabulous read. Well written story that gives you the feeling of being there and being involved in one of the iconic battles between the great ships. Once started its a book that you dont want to put down, as you find yourself waiting for the next stage of manouvering and out manouvering of the various battle squadrons. At the same time battling the elements in the extreem conditions found in those inhospitable waters, which was to claim so many lives.
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on 12 May 2009
Konstam's book captures the tension and drama of the german capitol ship's fatal attempt to deal a death blow to the Allied Artic convoys. While following the stories of the opposing ships and crews, it highlights that Luck and Commander's abilities make victories and poor co-ordination can result in bitter defeat.

A worthy review of the last kreigsmarine sortie of a capitol ship during world war 2.
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on 11 July 2009
Very well written but extremely detailed. Resulting in 'skipping' text that slowed down the story. A book for the maritime historian rather than someone like me who has an interest in the Navy.
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on 1 July 2015
From the brief description of the above reviews I suspect Alf R Jacobsen's book Scharnhorst, is the better. This is some 60 odd pages longer, appears to have been meticulously researched and has a reasonably supply of endnotes for further references. Cannot recommend this book enough and, as I said, appears to be the better one.
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on 17 November 2013
If you like accounts of a single action in that huge conflict that was World War II this as good as it comes. This book deals only in the battle that resulted in the destruction of the German Battlecruiser Scharnhorst, and it's aftermath. It is an account that looks into both sides of the battle. We'll worth reading.
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on 18 January 2013
An excellent book, full of precise details. The analysis of the battle is thoroughly objective and therefore not unduly biased.
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on 16 March 2011
A well balanced story that builds nicely to the climax. The style may be a bit pedestrian, but the sense of groping in the Artic murk for an unseen enemy is well evoked. The author confines himself to the story and the chase to an endgame, showing how Admiral Fraser set his trap, lured the Kriegsmarine in and then nearly lost it at the last minute. This was the last battleship to battleship duel of the war and as such could have merited a commentary: why did the Germans build a battleship that couldn't stand and fight another battleship? It took half the fleet to sink the Bismark, but only one decent battleship (and a couple of destroyers) to scupper the Scharnhorst. The Scharnhorst was as big and heavy as the Duke of York but had a broadside less than half the weight. Some discussion of the failure of this "almost battleship" strategy would have been welcome.
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