German Naval Intelligence estimates of Royal Navy strength in the Narvik Region:
- The flotilla of destroyers identified (5 destroyers, of which 1 was sunk and 1 badly damaged)
- An Unknown Destroyer Flotilla (4+ destroyers)
- Light Cruiser
- Light Cruiser Squadron 4 ships
- Battleship HMS Warspite + destroyer escorts
Three separate RN battlegroups:
- Battlecuiser HMS Hood + 6 Destroyers
- Battlecruisers HMS Repulse and HMS Renown + 4 destroyers
- Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal + 2 light cruisers + 6 destroyers
Quickly he organised a search plan.in two steps. A small patrol (single destroyer) to the North West of the Fjord as a safety check in a region unlikely to be seeded with RN vessels, which would sweep down to rendezvous with a stronger patrol exploring the South West of Narvik. The second patrol was three destroyers strong and expected to encounter a Royal Navy picket, if any were at all there.This would indicate whether an immediate breakout was feasible as the three destroyers oiling desperately tried complete the process as fast as possible.
Not long after departing, a mere six nautical miles, South West of the fjord the second group encountered a lone RN destroyer on picket. Captain Von(J) immediately ordered the two remaining fully fueled destroyers to sea and the concentration of his forces against whatever the Royal Navy was mustering outside Narvik.
Visibility conditions five nautical miles (twilight)
Sea state - slight swell
Next related post will be of the resulting GQ2 Naval Wargame: Narvik Breakout [Hypothetical]