April 9, 1945 - The German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer (right) is sunk at Kiel by Allied aircraft. Commissioned in 1934, Admiral Scheer was the second "pocket battleship" built by Germany. Applied by foreign navies, this term referred to the ship's relatively small size but potent armament of six 11" guns. Seeing service during the Spanish Civil War, Admiral Scheer later became the Kriegsmarine's most effective surface raider of World War II. These activities saw it conduct a lengthy cruise in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in 1940-1941. Returning to Germany, the ship later served in Norway and conducted a raid into the Kara Sea in 1942. After spending much of the next two years as a training vessel, Admiral Scheer returned to action in early 1945 as it provided gunfire support for German forces fighting the Soviets. Berthed at Kiel for repairs in early April, it was hit by five Tallboy bombs on the night of April 9 and capsized.
Battleships of World War II:
Photograph Courtesy of the US Naval History & Heritage Command