Allied bomb attack on Titran, Norway (HKB 22./975 Melland West) nov.14 1944

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Håvard Dyrø, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Håvard Dyrø

    Håvard Dyrø New Member

    Hi!

    I am working on a research project on the German coastal battery on Titran (Norway) during World War II.

    I am from Norway myself, and I apologize for my English language skills. I wonder if anyone of you could help me with some research?

    The German coastal battery on Titran was subjected to an allied bomb attack on November 14, 1944. The attack was carried out by the 881 Naval Air Squadron, which was stationed on "HMS Pursuer". The attack was part of Operation "STEAK".

    In connection with planning this operation, British reconnaissance aircraft were sent which took aerial photos of the German coastal battery on Titran. A Norwegian refugee in London, (Johannes Ruø) who was locally known on Titran was called to the "ministry" who planned the operation. He was asked if there was a civilian population in the area where the bombing was to take place, and he was allowed to see aerial photographs of the area. According to Johannes Ruø, the photographs were of very good quality.

    I have tried to find copies of these aerial photographs, but without luck. I do not have very good knowledge of this type of research. I hope you might be able to help me find these photographs?

    Some facts:

    Titran is a small village on the island of Frøya, in Sør-Trøndelag, Norway.

    The German name of the coastal battery on Titran, was HKB 22./975 Melland-west. Today the coastal battery is locally named "Stabben fort". The Allies wanted to bomb the German radar stations installed on Titran in 1944 (2 Wurzburg-Rise FuSE 65, 1 Freya). Unfortunately, the bomb attack failed, but fortunately no civilians were killed.

    In addition to aerial photography, I am also interested in combat reports, and other reports and documents related to this incident.
     
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Your English is fine.

    STEAK appears to have been more that an attack on the battery as HMS Pursuer's service history shows that it also included strikes on shipping at Trondheim. Do you have any evidence as to what was the primary purpose of STEAK? For example was the fort and radar the main target and the shipping secondary or vice versa?
     
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Awards to 3 pilots of HMS Pursuer for services during minelaying operation and... | The National Archives
    Reference: ADM 1/30110
    Description:
    Awards to 3 pilots of HMS Pursuer for services during minelaying operation and anti-shipping strike in Norwegian waters 1944 (Operations HANDFAST and STEAK)
    Date: 1944-1945
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: H&A 16/45
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    We do have members who consider the TNA at Kew a second home and will,photocopy files for very reasonable prices

    TD

    HMS Pursuer, British escort carrier, WW2

    November Deployed at Scapa Flow.

    Nominated for support of planned attack on shipping off coast of Norway

    (Operation COUNTERBLAST).

    12th Provided air support during attack on German convoy KS357 off ListerfJord with

    HM Cruisers KENT, BELLONA HM Destroyers MYNGS, VERULAM, ZAMBESI

    and ALGONQUIN (RCN) as Force 2.

    (Note: Post war assessment of losses included two mercantiles, CORNOSAILLES and

    GRIEF, Minesweepers M416 and M427.)

    14th Embarked aircraft carried out attack on shipping in Trondheim and shore target at Titran.

    (Operation STEAK)


    16th Returned to Scapa Flow.

    20th Deployed with HM Escort Carrier PREMIUM for air minelay in Salhusstrommen.

    (Operation HARDFAST).

    26th Deployed with HM Fleet Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE and HM Escort Aircraft Carrier

    PREMIER to carry out air attacks on shipping between Mosjoen and Rorvik.

    (Operation PROVIDENT).

    27th Returned to Scapa Flow with HMS PURSUER due to weather conditions.

    (Note HMS IMPLACABLE was able to execute attacks during which two ships were sunk.

    On return to Scapa Flow took passage to Clyde for repair.

    (Note: Squadron aircraft and personnel were landed,)

    Refit arranged in USA and took passage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    STEAK had two objectives. The main objective was to provide fighter cover to COUNTERBLAST. this operation sank 10 German ships in convoy. Attacking shipping at Trondheim appears to have been a secondary objective to be carried out once COUNTERBLAST was completed. At Trondheim one trawler was sunk and one set on fire. The bombing of the radar station appears to have been almost a tertiary objective. It is possible that any planning paper, recce photos etc would be subsumed within files on COUNTERBLAST and it may be worth searching under this codename.
     
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If you mention them then why not provide some greater detail - it gives the original poster the openings to move forward IF they want rather than wondering where to go next

    Awards to 2 officers and men of HMCS Algonquin for services during Operation COUNTERBLAST | The National Archives
    Reference: ADM 1/30114
    Description:
    Awards to 2 officers and men of HMCS Algonquin for services during Operation COUNTERBLAST
    Note: See also ADM 1/30057
    Date: 1944-1945
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: H&A 26/45
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Awards to 15 officers and men of HM Ships Kent, Bellona, Verulam and Myngs for services... | The National Archives
    Reference: ADM 1/30057
    Description:
    Awards to 15 officers and men of HM Ships Kent, Bellona, Verulam and Myngs for services during attack on enemy convoy off Norway Nov 12/13 1944 (Operation COUNTERBLAST)
    Note: See also ADM 1/30114
    Date: 1944
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: H&A 1312/44
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    TD
     
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  6. Håvard Dyrø

    Håvard Dyrø New Member

    The HMS Pusuer squadron provided fighter support for Operation COUNTERBLAST on November 12 and 13, 1944. I would assume that Operation STEAK was an independent operation that took place on November 14. What priority was the bombing of the radar installations, I have no answer, but it looks like the flight squadron split up in the Ramsøyfjord, when they discovered the german guardship. Eyewitnesses have said that four fighters attacked the ship in the Ramsøyfjord, and then it is likely that the others went to Titran. Several eyewitnesses on Titran have said it was approx. 8 planes that attacked there.

    It is very likely that the attack on Titran was planned. The Germans installed the radars on Titran in 1944, and this was obviously a new threat that the Allies wanted to eliminate. The refugee who saw the aerial photographs of Titran is also a kind of proof that this was planned. You may need to see STEAK and COUNTERBLAST in a context when doing research to find the aerial photographs, but I think STEAK was an independent operation that was attempted on November 14.

    Besides, I am interested in getting help from members of this forum who have the opportunity to do research on this topic at TNA, and I am happy to pay for the assignment. Please contact.
     

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