Clash of Steel
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Engagement/Skirmish Name : Rawalpindi

Date(s) : 23 November 1939

Part of : Second World War , Atlantic Naval operations ,


The armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi was on patrol in the Iceland-Faeroes gap. Two German warships, the fast battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisnau, closed rapidly with her. At about 17,000 yards Scharnhorst opened fire joined a few minutes later by Gneisnau, Rawalpindi also opened fire. The very unequal contest [18 X 11 inch guns against 4 X 6 inch guns] lasted about ten minutes and left Rawalpindi a burning sinking wreck. There were only 38 survivors of the 309 officers and men.