Blücher

 

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Oscarsborg Fortress & Blücher Wreck Site Today
Oscarsborg Fortress 2004
Photo of Oscarsborg Fortress as seen from east. Blücher passed by the fortress in the strait in the foreground of the photo.
Another perspective from south-east of Oscarsborg Fortress as it was seen from Blücher 9. April 1940. The main guns of the fortress nicknamed Joshua, Moses and Aron can be seen. The guns are numbered 1, 2 and 3 from right to left. The fortress were understaffed 9. April 1940 so only gun 1 and 2 were manned and fired at Blucher. It was the only time the fortress have ever used its guns in anger.
Gun No. 1, nicknamed Joshua. It was this gun that opened fire against Blucher 9. April 1940.
Gun No. 1 from another perspective.
Gun No. 2, nicknamed Moses. The gun got its name after it fell in the water when it arrived to the fortress and unloaded from the ship.
Gun No. 2 from another perspective.
Gun No. 3, nicknamed Aron. This gun were not manned 9. April 1940 and therefore not involved in the engagement against the German Squadron 5 with Blücher in the lead.
Gun No. 3 from another perspective.
All three 28 cm main guns at Oscarsborg Fortress. There is a forth, but incomplete gun. It is located next to the gun in the right side of this photo. These guns were made by German Krupp in 1892 and installed in the 1890'es when the fortress were upgraded with new artillery.
A view over Oslofjord towards south from the guns on the fortress of Oscarsborg. The German squadron with Blücher in the lead came towards the fortress like the white ship that can be seen almost at the center of the photo.
The heavy cruiser Lützow responded the fire from Oscarsborg Fortress. One of its shells hit the main building of the fortress. The repair of the damage can still be seen on the building, lighter bricks just below the roof.
Oscarsborg Fortress Torpedo Battery 2004
A view towards Drøbak city. The white cross marks the location of Blücher when it was hit by torpedoes from the torpedo battery which is located in the cliff's to the left of the photo.
Photo from Drøbak city towards the torpedo battery which is marked by the white arrow. When Blücher were in this position it was hit by the torpedoes that sunk the heavy cruiser.
An interior photo of the torpedo battery showing one of the three launching facilities. There are 25 degrees between each launching facility. Furthermore the torpedo frame could be turned 12 degrees to each side. The torpedo battery were installed in 1901. In the 1930'es the warheads of the torpedoes were upgraded to use modern explosives.
Four Whitehead torpedoes in the torpedo storrage room in the torpedo battery. The torpedoes had a range of 600 meter which were enough for the narrow strait at Drøbak. The torpedo battery had only 9 torpedoes 9. April 1940 so it was decided to use 2 torpedoes against respectively Blücher, Lützow, Emden and Möwe and one torpedo for Kondor. However, only the two torpedoes against Blücher were fired as the other ships didn't pass the torpedo battery until the Germans had gained control of the Oscarsborg Fortress.
Oscarsborg Fortress Museum 2004
A model of Blücher on display at the museum on Oscarsborg Fortress.
Carl B. Hestmaj's painting from 1963 showing the seriously wounded Blücher under fire from the guns of Oscarsborg Fortress.
Harald Nygård's painting from 1994 showing the wreck of Blücher at Askholmene.
Askholmene Islands & Blücher Wreck Site
The group of five small islands called Askholmene where many survivors went to at the sinking of Blücher. The Blücher wreck site is marked with a white cross. You can still see oil on the water surface coming out of the fuel tanks of Blücher.
A German soldier guarding the Blücher memorial erected at Askholmene 24. July 1940 by the Germans after the sinking of the heavy cruiser. In May 1945 the memorial were destroyed by the Norwegian resistance shortly after the surrender of the Germans in Norway.
The remains of the Blücher memorial at Askholmene. Only the concrete base remains as the memorial were destroyed by Norwegian resistance in May 1945.
Another view of the remains of the Blücher memorial that were destroyed after the surrender of the Germans in 1945.
Drøbak
One of the two anchors salvaged from the wreck of Blücher is on display in Drøbak city. The other is at display in Oslo harbour.
Memorial of Oscarsborg's Commander-in-Chief, Colonel Birger Eriksen, in Drøbak city. He were very much critisized for his defense against the Germans in a long time and not fully recognized for his importance until after his death. Without his decission of defending Norway against the German task force it would not have been possible for the Norwegian royal family and government to escape to Britain. Today he is a big hero in Norway.
Oslo
One of the two salvaged anchors from the wreck of Blücher in the harbour of Oslo. The other anchor is at display in Drøbak city.
The anchor from the wreck of Blücher in the harbour of Oslo from another perspective.


© John Asmussen, 2004 - 2010. All rights reserved.