||Commissioned, after that training and trials.
|Aug - Nov 1938:
||Battle training in the North Atlantic.
becomes flagship of the Kriegsmarine.
||Raid to intercept Britain - Scandinavia trade together with CL Köln
and destroyers Wilhelm Heidkamp
, Diether von Roeder
, Karl Galster
, Max Schulz
, Paul Jakobi
, Bernd von Arnim
, Erich Steinbrinck
and Friedrich Eckoldt
. No results.
||Together with Scharnhorst
, the Gneisenau
is sent south of Iceland to attack the Northern Patrol.
||The two battlecruisers sink the British auxiliary cruiser Rawalpindi
suffered severe sea damage during a heavy storm in the Shetland-Bergen Narrows.
||Returns to Kiel.
||Repairs completed, ship transfers to Wilhelmshaven.
, CA Admiral Hipper
and the destroyers Wolfgang Zenker
, Wilhelm Heidkamp
and Karl Galster
are sent to intercept British convoys between Bergen and England, but no ships are
Flagship of the fleet commander Vice-Admiral Lütjens. Battle with British BC Renown
and cruiser Birmingham
west of the Lofoten, Gneisenau
was hit once.
||Returns to Wilhelmshaven.
||On its way from Wilhelmshaven to the Baltic Sea, the Gneisenau
is hit by a mine.
Flagship in the Polar Sea operations together with Scharnhorst
, Admiral Hipper
and the destroyers Karl Galster
, Hans Lody
, Erich Steinbrinck
and Hermann Schoemann
||Battle with British CV Glorious
and the DDs Ardent
. All British ships are sunk.
||Returns to Drontheim.
||Sailed into the Polar Sea with Admiral Hipper
. Operations canceled, ships return to Drontheim again.
||Leaves Drontheim with Admiral Hipper
again for operations between Iceland, the Faroers and Orkney.
40 nautical miles north-west of the island of Halten, Gneisenau
is hit by a torpedo of the British submarine Clyde
. Emergency repairs at Drontheim.
||Escorted by CL Nürnberg
, the Gneisenau
leaves Drontheim to return to Kiel.
||Arrives at Kiel.
|Jul - Dec 1940:
||Abandoned attempt to break out into the North Atlantic together with Scharnhorst
suffered storm damage.
Second successful attempt to break out into the North Atlantic together with sister ship Scharnhorst
||Reached southern Greenland.
||Unsuccessful attack on convoy HX-108 after the sighting of the BB Ramiles
sink four merchants east of Newfoundland.
||Attack on convoy SL-67 is broken off as the British BB Malaya
is sighted. Two U-boats are ordered to attack the convoy and sink 5 merchants.
sink 16 merchants east of Newfoundland. Gneisenau
is sighted by the British BB Rodney
which requests identification of the German ship. Gneisenau
replies "H.M.S. Emerald
" and escapes.
||Both ships enter Brest. They sunk a total of 22 ships with 115600t, Gneisenau
14 with 66300 t.
||Hit by aircraft torpedo, put into dock.
||The ship is hit by four bombs during British bomber attacks on Brest.
Break through the English Channel: Scharnhorst
and CA Prinz Eugen
, escorted by 6 destroyers (Paul Jakobi
, Richard Beitzen
, Friedrich Ihn
, Hermann Schoemann
) and 14 torpedo boats (e.g. Kondor
), return to Germany. Gneisenau
is hit by a mine on the Brunsbüttel Roads on its way to Kiel.
||In the night ot the 26th to 27th, Gneisenau
is hit by a large bomb during an air attack. The complete bow section burns out and takes the ship out of action.
||Sent to Gotenhafen (Gdynia) to be decommissioned and reconstructed.
||Withdrawn from service. The 28 cm (11") triple turrets should be replaced with 38 cm (15") twin turrets.
||After the sinking of the Scharnhorst
, conversion work is stopped.
||Sunk as a blockade ship in Gotenhafen (Gdynia).
||Broken up and scrapped.