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Drawing on rare and previously unseen archive film materials from diverse archives, Royal Navy historian Roland R. Smith chronicles the fiery destruction of the British aircraft carrier the Glorious – and the Royal Navy’s relentless thirst for revenge which culminated in the destruction of the German battleship responsible – the Scharnhorst. War in the Frozen North chronicles the story of the carrier Glorious from 1935 to her sinking during the ill-fated Norwegian Campaign of 1940. Using rare film taken by one of the ship’s officers, the Glorious is seen operating Nimrods, Baffins, Ospreys, Seals and Fairey Ills off her flight deck, docking in Malta, experimenting with early catapult launch technology and enjoying joint sea exercises with the carrier Courageous and battlecruiser Hood in the Atlantic. The Norwegian naval campaign of 1940 is covered in detail, with highlights including the Renown firing her big guns, the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in Norwegian waters, coverage of troop convoys, scenes of the bomb-damaged Resolution and German air attacks.
In June 1940, the Glorious sailed for home and was caught by a German raider force which included the Scharnhorst. A camera on the deck of the Scharnhorst vividly captures her fiery last minutes. It was three and a half years later before the Royal Navy finally exacted revenge at the Battle of North Cape, where the battleship Duke of York and a host of other RN ships including the Jamaica, Norfolk, Belfast, Sheffield, Savage and Scorpion sprang an elaborate trap on the Scharnhorst. Included here are senior officers who took part recounting the action for the cameras including CinC Admiral Bruce Fraser.