Red Sky in the Morning: The Battle of the Barents Sea, 31 December 1942
That an enemy force of at least one pocket battleship, one heavy cruiser and six destroyers, with all the advantage of surprise and concentration, ... Show synopsis That an enemy force of at least one pocket battleship, one heavy cruiser and six destroyers, with all the advantage of surprise and concentration, should be held off for four hours by five destroyers and driven from the area by two six-inch cruisers, without any loss to the convoy, is most creditable and satisfactory. Thus was the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet, Admiral Tovey of the action that has become known as the battle of the Barents Sea. It was a naval engagement that had far reaching consequences and resulted in many capital ships of the Kriegsmarine being decommissioned for the rest of World War II. The Arctic convoys that sailed through the cold malevolent waters of the Barents Sea ran the gauntlet of German air and sea attack as they struggled to transport vital supplies to Britain's Russian allies. Convoy JW51B sailed in December 1942 with a small escort of five destroyers and a reserve of two light cruisers shadowed the main convoy at a distance of seventy miles. The convoy was attacked on 31 December by a powerful German force that included the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, the pocket battleship Lutzow and six destroyers. The ensuing engagement proved the worth of the British destroyers and the bravery of the men who sailed in them.