Operation Zitronella / Operation Sizilien

6th - 8th September 1943


In mid-1943, Hitler began to take an interest in the Weather War. Frustrated by the inactivity of his navy's major surface ships, he asked if they couldn't be used to do something about the Allied presence on Spitzbergen. The result was "Operation Zitronella," an amphibious raid on that island.

Supported by the battleship Tirpitz, the battlecruiser Scharnhorst, and nine destroyers, the plan called for landing an entire infantry battalion. They approached the main settlement at dawn on 7 September, quickly suppressed the Free Norwegian battery of 3-inch guns there, and began to land troops at the main pier. The entire operation was completed in four hours.

On the debit side, German fire coordination was poor, with the battleship at one point shelling their own infantry, and much of the Norwegian garrison managed to escape in the confusion. The Germans did manage to capture the garrison commander, though, along with most of his files. All the facilities, including the weather stations, were destroyed.

Naval Units:


Feldpost M 30162



Feldpost M 23657


Z 6 Theodor Riedel

Feldpost M 01923


Z 10 Hans Lody

Feldpost M 24888


Z 15 Erich Steinbrinck

Feltpost M 14891




Z 20 Karl Galster

Feldpost M 24212



Z 27

Feldpost M 42903


Z 29

Feldpost M 00195


Z 30

Feldpost M 26896


Z 31

Feldpost M 00603


Z 33

Feldpost M 51707



Army Units

Infanterie Regiment 349 (608 men)

Feldpost Nr. 09548

Rgst. Stab

Feldpost Nr. 43237 A-E

Stab I u.1.-4. Kompanie


43237 D = 3. Kompanie

Feldpost Nr. 15771 A-E

Stab II u. 5.-8. Kompanie


15771 C = 6. Kompanie

Feldpost Nr. 16748 A-E

Stab III u. 9.-12. Kompanie

16748A = Stab III

16748D = 11. Kompanie

Feldpost Nr. 10619

13. Kompanie

Feldpost Nr. 12371

14. Kompanie


Update: 31.12.2006
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