Reply To: Battle of the North Cape 1943 – replenishment at sea of the RN ships
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Thank you Nigel, for this. Despite the Tirpitz and Scharnhorst shelling and landing troops briefly at Barentsberg on Spitzbergen on 8 September 1943 destroying supply dumps no doubt the RN persisted in stationing a tanker in Bellsund for refuelling North Russian inbound and outbound convoy escorts. This would have provided invaluable support for the task force hunting the Scharnhorst in December of that year.
Interesting that Spitzbergen played a valuable role in WW2. In WW1 apparently large supplies of coal came from the island for fuelling the Home Fleet at Scapa flow although not much is written about this. (see my Forum post 28/7/16; Scapa Flow- keeping the Grand Fleet fed and fuelled)