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Königsberg in 1936
Konigsberg under attack
Skua of 800 NAS
Skuas of 800NAS on HMS Ark Royal

On this day 10 April 1940

Published: 10 Apr 2014

On this day 10 April 1940 Skuas of 800 & 803 NAS sink Konigsberg

Sixteen Blackburn Skua dive-bombers of 800NAS (seven aircraft) led by Capt R.T. Partridge RM and 803NAS (nine aircraft) led by Lieutenant W.P. Lucy RN from Hatston in the Orkneys attack and sink the German cruiser Konigsberg in Bergen Fjord. The dive bombers attacked at 7:20, catching the ship's crew off guard. Half of the dive bombers had completed their dives before the crew realized they were under attack. 

Königsberg was hit by at least five 100-pound (45 kg) bombs, which caused serious damage to the ship. One penetrated her thin deck armour, went through the ship, and exploded in the water, causing significant structural damage. Another hit destroyed the auxiliary boiler room. Two more bombs exploded in the water next to the ship; the concussion from the blasts tore large holes in the hull. She took on a heavy list almost immediately, and the captain ordered the crew to abandon the ship. It took slightly less than three hours from the start of the attack for the ship to completely capsize and sink.

This is the first major warship to be sunk by dive bombers. Captain Partridge and Lieutenant Lucy were awarded the DSO. One aircraft, Skua L2923 was lost in the attack.


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