During in Operation Weserübung the Paul Jakobi
was part of the Kriegsschiffgruppe 2 heading for Trondheim. Assigned to the 5th destroyer flotilla, the ship was first stationed in Norway. In January 1942, the 5th destroyer flotilla was transferred to France to support Operation Cerberus in February of 1942. After this, the ship was again send to Norway, operating with the major Kriegsmarine ships in this area until November 1943. Paul Jakobi was then used for escort duties between Norway and Germany and patrols at Jutland and was severely damaged during an air raid in Kiel in December 1943. After being repaired, the ship took part in the evacuation of East Prussia in the final days of the war and was decommissioned on 07.05.1945.
Taken over by the British, given to France in February 1946. Renamed as Desaix
, in service until 17.02.1954. Later used as hulk Q02
, scrapped 1958.