Z2 Georg Thiele (1935)

Z2 aground in Rombaks Fjord after the Second Battle of Narvik, photographed by a British destroyer. Photo in the collection of the Imperial War Museums.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1934
Launched
1935
Commissioned
1937
AD/BC
AD
History

Z2 Georg Thiele was a 1934 Type destroyer, laid down during Germany's rearmament in the 1930s. Commissioned 27 February, 1937, Georg made a wide tour during the next few years, visiting Norway, Iceland, Spain, and Morocco, participating in Fleet Exercises, and escorting Hitler for the occupation of the Memel Territory in Lithuania. Just before the invasion of Poland, Georg had to tow her sister Max Schultz after the latter had her bow removed in a collision. She then assisted in laying defensive minefields off Germany, before undergoing a refit until April, 1940. Joining the Norwegian campaign, Georg landed troops on 9 April, and then fought in the First Battle of Narvik on the 10th, where she gave a very good account of herself, but was heavily damaged. Still, she continued to give a good account of herself three days later during the Second Battle of Narvik, blowing the bow off HMS Eskimo and buying time for other German destroyers to withdraw, before she was forced to beach herself. The wreck later broke in two, and capsized, but can still be seen above water at low tide.