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Convoys PQ12-QP8

Engagement/Skirmish Name : Convoys PQ12-QP8

Date(s) : 01 March 1942 - 10 March 1942

Part of : Second World War , Atlantic Naval operations , Arctic Convoys ,


Convoy PQ12 consisting of 15 cargo ships and one tanker left Reykjavik on the 1st March 1942 and on the same day PQ8 of 15 cargo ships left Kola inlet. Following Admiralty instructions escort was provided by all major elements of the Home fleet [King George V, Duke of York, Renown, Victorious, Berwick and 9 destroyers] from Scapa Flow. On the 5th March PQ12 was spotted by a Focke-Wolf Condor. On receipt of the sighting report Tirpitz with 3 destroyers left Trondheim. Poor visibilty and bad weather conditions prevented further aerial reconnaissance and over the next four days the convoys, the Home Fleet and Tirpitz came within 100 miles of each other. At 0800hrs of the 9th March reconnaissance flight from Victorious spotted Tirpitz. A flight of Albacores attacked but all torpedoes missed their target. That evening Tirpitz regained the safety of Narvik harbour. Both PQ12 and QP8 got through relatively unscathed [one Russian straggler was lost to a lone German destroyer].