Hampshire Link For HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent & HMS Acasta
"Document From The Past" - Index of Pages
Memorial Plaque at HMS Drake, Plymouth
Document From The Past (pp 1-9)
Document From The Past (pp 10-16)
Document From The Past (pp 17-20 - Appendices I, II, & IV)
Document From The Past (pp 21-23 - Appendices V,VIII & IX)
Document From The Past (page 24 - Glorious log 7)
Question in the House
Answer in the House?
Associated Reading - Books & Web-Sites
Let Us Remember Them
HMS Acasta - My Grandfather's Ship
Air Squadrons Lost - 46, 263 & 802 Squadrons
Plymouth Hoe's Memorial To Our Sailors
Contact Information for HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent & HMS Acast
Links for HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent & HMS Acasta
Did your relative serve upon or was your relative lost from one of the ships below
Pages 10 and 11
1. Aim. To stop the export of iron ore from Lulea by means of attack by carrier-borne aircraft.
2. Description of the Port.
(i) Channels leading to the port.
Iron-ore ships must pass through either
(a) channel to the Eastward of Germando Island, which is about a mile long, a cable wide, and with a least depth of 26 feet,
or (b) difficult and tortuous routes to the west of Germando Iland or to the north of junko Island, with a probable maximum depth of 18 feet.
In both cases ships must pass Tjuvholmsund by a dredged channel one mile long, 200 feet wide, and 25 feet deep. Both this channel and the Germando channel should be readily distinguishable from the air.
Vessels not drawing more than 9 feet can enter Lulea separately through Altap Sund. It is possible that this channel could be deepened by dredging sufficiently to permit the passage of iron ore ships.
(ii) The harbour.
The ore quays are about one mile south of the town, about half the quayage being open to torpedo attack from the westward.
(iii) The ore traffic.
If the maximum export of iron ore is to be maintained, 4 to 5 ships would leave daily, while 10 to 12 iron ore ships would be in theport at any one time. It is probable that over half of these ships will be neutrals, while the port is also used by ships engaged in general and timber trade.
Near Boden, 21 miles N.W. of Lulea, there is an aerodrome, on which a squadron of Gladiators is believed to be based. There is also a seaplane station near Boden. Details of the defences of Lulea are not known, but it must be assumed that they will include A/A guns.
(v) Possible German air assistance.
Unless Germany utilises Swedish aerodromes or operates the Zeppelin in the Gulf of Bothnia, it is improbable that she could provide any assistance against the first surprise attack or any subsequent spasmodic attacks. The nearest known German aerodrome is at Trondheim, although there are indications that an advanced aerodrome has been established in the Mosjoen area.
3. Meteorological Conditions.
(a) There is twilight all night in the latitude of Lulea until the end of August, while between the 13th and 30th June the sun never sets.
(b) There is a risk of fog one day a month on the N.W. coast of Norway, while on the N. coast, during the period the ice is melting, there is risk of fog on 5 days a month.
(c) The ice in the Gulf of Bothnia is melting rapidly, and lulea is expected to be ice-free by the 25th May.
4. The Plan.
Briefly the plan is to attack the port by carrier-borne minelaying and torpedo-carrying aircraft, the former atacking first. Pamphlets giving warning to abandon the ships alongside the quays will be given by dropping pamphlets about one hour before the torpedo attack is delivered. Additional aircraft will be made available for observation duties.
5. Date and Time of the Operation.
Ten days warning will be required to enable necessary aircraft, fitted with extra tanks, to be collected, and mines supplied and embarked in the carriers.
Aircraft should be flown off from the carriers so as to deliver the first attack at 0500 (B.S.T.) on the selected day.
6. Our Forces Available.
It is anticipated that a carrier force of three aircraft carriers will be required to carry out the operation, cover and escort being provided by forces arranged by Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet.
7. The detailed plan is however designed to allow of smaller forces being employed, if the above are not available.
8. Possible Operating Positions of Carriers.
There are several possible positions from which the carrier force could operate:-
(i) And Fjord (69 1/2 degrees N 17 degrees E), marked A on Chart No.2282
Appendix No. III - Distance from Lulea 270 miles.
(ii) Position near 70 degrees 40 minutes N 19 degrees 30 minutes E marked A* on Chart No.2282,
Appendix No. III - Distance from Lulea 300 miles.
(iii) Porsanger Fjord (71 degrees N 26 degrees E) - distance from Lulea 345 miles from entrance of fjord, 310 miles from inside fjord.
9. Possible Courses of Action Open to us.
The carrier force can operate from off the N.W. coast of Norway (positions A or A*) or from off the North coast (Porsanger or Varanger Fjords).
The advantages and disadvantages are as follows:-
10. Operating off the N.W. Coast.
(i) Area of operations is closer to the base from which the carrier force will work.
(ii - crossed out) Cover, both by sea and land forces, can probably be provided from forces operating in the Narvik area.
(iii - becoming (ii) after correction) Aircraft have least distance to fly to reach their objective.
(iv - becoming (iii) after correction) The route to Lulea is clearly marked by the iron-ore railway.
(i) As work is continuous at Callivare, it is very probable that a large force of aircraft would be detected, and surprise would thus be lost.
(ii) Air attack is probable by aircraft working from Tondheim and Mosjoen.
11. Operating off the N. Coast.
(i) The carrier force, though within range of enemy air bases, will be working further from them, and in areas not normally used by our forces.
(ii) The route to Lulea is over comparatively low lying country, which is sparsely inhabited, and the final approach can be made along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, allowing the attack to be delivered from seaward and out of the sun.
As this will enable the aircraft to avoid Boden, complete
(i) Our aircraft will be unable to rejoin their carriers without refuelling at some shore aerodrome.
(ii) The area of operations is a further 15-18 hours steaming from the base.
(iii) Finnish neutrality is infringed in addition to Swedish.
(iv) The carrier, unless operating off the entrance to the Varanger Fjord, will be operating in narrow waters. Of the two positions, the Porsanger Fjord is both narrower, and is more obstructed by shoals, than the Varanger Fjord.
12. The Best Course of Action.
The greatest degree of surprise will be achieved if aircraft are flown off from northern Norway, and for preference, from the Varanger Fjord. It would be desirable for them to return to this area to refuel before rejoining their carriers. The endurance of Swordfish aircraft is however such that this course gives little margin of safety, and for that reason the aerodromes in the Narvik area may have to be used, if local conditions permit.
The choice of area from which to operate must therefore depend on local conditions in Northern Norway at the time of the operation, and the anticipated radius of action of the aircraft under the prevailing conditions.
14. Method of Attack.
The allocation of aircraft to the various phases of the attack and their objectives are shown in Appendices II, VI and VIII. The attack is planned in four phases:-
Pages 15 and 16
(a) Local reconnaissance and defence in the vicinity of, and for the protection of, the carrier force.
(b) Pamphlet dropping and observer aircraft which will accompany the first wave, will drop their pamphlets on arrival, and will then carry out photographic observation, returning with the second wave. If only one carrier takes part, the mine dropping aircraft of the first wave will drop pamphlets after they have laid their mines and will then return. In this latter case no observation will be carried out.
(c) First wave consisting of mine dropping aircraft and fighters.
(d) Second wave consisting of mone dropping aircraft, torpedo bombers, and fighters.
15. The minelaying objectives shown in Appendices VI and VII are lettered according to the carrier to which they belong, and also numbered, on the basis of three carriers being available. Numbers 1 to 4 are allocated to the first wave and 5 to 8 to the second wave. Should only one carrier take part in the operation, then the objectives allocated to aircraft carrier "A" should be selected. If a second carrier is available to take part she should select the objectives allocated to aircraft carrier "B". This will ensure that, whatever the actual number of carriers present when flying off takes place, the most vital areas will be mined and torpedo attack will, after due warning, be carried out.
16. The torpedo carrying aircraft should attack only those merchant ships alongside the ore-quays to the south of Lulea. Although neutral ships should be avoided if possible, attacks should not be withheld because of uncertain identity, and risks of casualties to seamen in neutral ships who have failed to evacuate, after being given due warning by pamphlet, must be accepted.
17. Information with reagrd to mines and torpedoes is given in Appendix VIII.
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