Talk:Channel Dash

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Operation Donnerschlag[edit]

Operation Donnerschlag claims that not the escape, but the guard operation was named Cerberus. Can someone elaborate?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Yooden (talkcontribs) 11:31, 6 March 2005

The break-out by the ships of the Brest Group had six different code names during various planning stages in an effort to confuse any adversary; the final German admiralty plan and the actual operation was “Operation Cerberus.” “Donnerschlag” may have been one of these code names, but a Naval “Donnerschlag” in connection with “Operation Cerberus” is not identified in the literature.

The British effort to prevent the break-out and return of the German ships to their home bases was code-named “Fuller.” Various sub-operations, “Stopper,” “Habo,” “Line SE,” and “Jim Crow” were part of “Fuller.” None were effective.

Operation Donnerschlag as a major German Naval enterprise is doubtful.--Gamahler 17:35, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Coastal batteries anyone?[edit]

How come the Dover heavy batteries couldn't shoot those ships to pieces? The brits had good radar, so even with smokescreen the nazi ships could find no effective cover. The Dover guns had a range of 40km or more with the modified 15" ammunition! 19:48, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The batteries were not alerted in time. They opened fire only shortly before the ships were out of range and ceased firing when a smokescreen was laid by the german escorts. Nevfennas 22:31, 4 June 2006 (UTC)


I am suggesting to remove the edit “(and never again saw active service)” for the following reason: Gneisenau successfully completed Operation Cerberus, the subject of this page. Seven days later she entered dry dock at Kiel (after transiting Kiel Canal) to repair mine damage. She was attacked by a total of 178 RAF bombers between 25 and 27 February 1942 which smashed her bows and foredecks. It was due to these air attacks, subsequent transfer and incomplete repairs at Gotenhafen, that she was decommissioned and never again saw active service.--Gamahler 03:38, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

No reaction, will remove edit "(and never again saw active service)"--Gamahler 00:37, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Use of victory in the result.[edit]

I have changed the result to "German Success" rather than "victory" is this implies some considerable battle took place, it did not. So the op. would have been more a success than a won victory, no?Dapi89 (talk) 16:27, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Channel Dash[edit]

"Channel Dash" is by far the most common name in English for this operation as a Google search of Books and Scholar reveals (see WP:NC). Further as Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide states

Operational codenames generally make poor titles, as the codename gives no indication of when or where the action took place and only represents one side's planning (potentially causing the article to focus on that side's point of view to the detriment of the other). It is better to use an appropriate geographical name for the article, creating a redirect from the operational name, for all but the most well-known operations (such as Operation Barbarossa).

So I am moving this article to "Channel Dash". --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:33, 17 July 2008 (UTC)


strategic defeat???? why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Our source is nothing more than a one liner, so I'll remove the defeat part.Qwertzy (talk) 22:19, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

The operation was a strategic defeat for Germany because before the operation the two ships had access to the Atlantic and the Allied merchant shipping routes. After the operation, they did not, or at least not without facing the Royal Navy first. IIRC, after Cerberus neither ship ever ventured into the Atlantic again.
Thus although embarrassing for the British the result of the operation actually suited them much better than it did the Germans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Operation Fuller[edit]

Why are the two operation names (one British, one German) not mentioned in the same sentence? Fuller is no more correct or official than the German name. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 02:32, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

As I understand it, from the Channel Dash Association website among others, Fuller was the code name for the Naval/Fleet Air Arm attack itself. Cerberus appears to be the German code name for the operation to escape the blockade. If neither is correct, they should not be in the article or it should be reworded to indicate that they are "unofficial" names if that is indeed what they are. – ukexpat (talk) 02:43, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I moved the Operation Fuller reference down to the "Britsh response" section, I think that's more accurate. – ukexpat (talk) 02:54, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Battleships ????[edit]

The main article describes the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as 'battleships'. Tirpitz and Bismark were battleships, but surely the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were classed as 'battlecruisers'? The main article is correct in describing the Prinz Eugen as a heavy cruiser. Bedingfield (talk) 14:27, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

The classification of the Scharnhorst class is tricky. They were built to specs violating the treaty of Versailles, but in a way that it would not be obvious that they were. They were too large to be real cruisers, and too small to be "real" battleships. They are go-betweens. But the Germans classified them as Schlachtschiff; the British classified them as battlecruisers during the war, nicknamed "pocket battleships", and reclassified them as battleships after the war. Wikipedia calls them battleships as well. It is not quite correct, but definitely not wrong, and better than a lengthy essay on the class in this article. -- (talk) 07:33, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

CE, expansion[edit]

Expanded Background and Prelude, changed headers to dates and times, added citations, pics and maps.Keith-264 (talk) 21:44, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Delicate question[edit]

How do I word the header for the British bombing against the ships in Brest harbour and mention Brest while avoiding Brest bombing or a wordy euphemism? Keith-264 (talk) 14:55, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

The current heading "British bombing, 1941" looks fine to me. To this British English speaker, the phrase "Brest bombing" has no special meaning, so I can't see the delicate issue. Wire723 (talk) 18:38, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Brest/breast. Keith-264 (talk) 18:51, 16 October 2016 (UTC)


Hello Dagos, nice to see you around with newer sources. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 23:23, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Keith. appreciate your recognition, thank you :)--Darius (talk) 00:03, 17 October 2016 (UTC)


Excerpted Donnerkeil from the eponymous article.Keith-264 (talk) 11:08, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Does anyone have a cite for this passage pls? A British agent in Brest was unable to signal that the Brest Group was departing because of German wireless jamming and HMS Sealion, patrolling outside the harbour, had withdrawn to recharge its batteries.[35] Heinkel He 111s dropped Düppel to jam British radar, ship-borne Arado Ar 196 floatplanes reconnoitred and Junkers Ju 88 bombers made low-level raids on Plymouth and nearby airfields. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 13:08, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Infobox casualties[edit]

Does anyone have a source for the casualties in the infobox pls? Regards Keith-264 (talk)

Source request[edit]

I've managed to reduce reliance on Flugzeug Classic Jahrbuch 2013 a journal source but there are still three citations. If anyone can replace them with a better one I'd be grateful. Keith-264 (talk) 07:20, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

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German victory or see aftermath in infobox result parameter?[edit]

Not sure about "German victory" in the results section. I would favour a "see aftermath" entry here. The outcome was more ambiguous than the mere operational and propagandist success of the dash. The removal of the major German units to the backwaters of Norway would seem to be a serious unforced strategic defeat, which is discussed fully in the aftermath section. I would argue that German victory is somewhat misleading, and discourages the casual reader from actually reading the account of the event in the article, which is much more nuanced than that. We should be encouraging readers to actually explore the articles. Thoughts? Irondome (talk) 21:41, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
I think either are perfectly reasonable, the tactical, operational and strategic consequences of the dash aren't the same, which is discussed in the Analysis section. See now. Keith-264 (talk) 06:44, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

Detail on unexploded bomb[edit]

Koop and Schmolke have a different version of:

Gneisenau was hit by a bomb which failed to explode and was moved from dry dock to the outer harbour.....

When the ship was put in dry dock on 4/4/41 and the water pumped out, it was found that there was an unexploded bomb in the bottom of the dry dock between the stocks under the keel (presumably from the raid the night before) and the ship had to be carefully refloated and taken out so that the bomb could be defused. This appears on page 51 of this ref. Does this directly conflict with other sources, or is it a better explanation of what happened?[1]
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 00:27, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

It could go in as the newer source and the earlier version in an efn or some such. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 08:30, 5 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Koop, Gerhard; Schmolke, Klaus-Peter (1999). Battleships of the Scharnhorst Class (2014, Seaforth Publishing ed.). Greenhill Books. p. 51. ISBN 978 1 84832 192 2.
Ahem! apols I was ruching this morning and bungled the edit. Apropos, is the material you've cited in the lead included in the body of the article? Regards Keith-264 (talk) 20:31, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
Remedied an edit conflict, tidied prose and checked sources about the fleet in being stuff but couldn't find anything, perhaps someone else wrote it? Keith-264 (talk) 23:05, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
Extra material in lead: I think that this could go in an expanded "Port of Brest" section. There is a lot of material available about the decision to use Brest versus the other French Atlantic coast ports. The Germans did a lot of dithering before they settled on Brest. For some reason they had not realised the limited depth of water available in other ports (St Nazaire might have had a dry dock that could take a major battleship, but the deepwater channel up to it was narrow. Surely the Germans had charts of these places before they captured them!?!)
A bit of moving stuff around might achieve a thinning down of the lead, which is a bit lengthy at the moment.
I think the article also should briefly mention the activities of Jean Philippon[1] - and I presume that his reports went to MI6 (not sure where this bit of the current article is referenced). Of course, counterbalancing the actions of Lt Commander Philippon (and his radio operator, who was captured, tortured and killed) is the extensive collaboration of the French - without whom none of the Nazi-occupied ports would have been viable. For instance, many of the mines dropped by the RAF or laid by British submarines were cleared by French minesweepers, the French shipyard workers hugely outnumbered the German workforce, and fires started by the RAF were fought by French firefighters. Also, Hitler's suspicion that Brest was a nest of Allied spies may have contributed to the decision to evacuate the capital ships.
On the Fleet in Being point - I guess that was someone sticking in a term they did not fully understand. If there had been no intention for the German ships to engage in operations in the Atlantic, that might be arguable, but until the loss of the Bismarck, offensive operations were definitely the plan. Only the RAF and the dodgy German engineering of the superheater tubes on Scharnhorst prevented that happening. If there had been a deepwater port with ship repair capability further from the RAF bomber and fighter bases then Raeder might have gone for that - but there wasn't so the idea of a Fleet in Being is not relevant to the article.
ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:20, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
It makes a nice change for someone to take an interest ;o). Haven't heard of Philippon, I've only got vol I and the abridged version of Hinsley. If your sources can add to the article then I'm all for it. If you want to trim the lead I don't mind, since it reflects cited material in the article; excisions won't remove material from the body of the article. I'm not too bothered about the length, since people can read what they want; if it's interesting [I think] it should go in. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 23:41, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
Noted, I will look at this in due course and certainly get in some of the new material - real life is intervening a little at the moment. Also I also need to finish reading some of the sources that I have!! ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 10:06, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Life? "Yeah I know that feelin'" ;O) I'm looking forward to the results, especially the non-Anglocentric point of view. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 10:33, 6 January 2018 (UTC)