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Admiral Franz von Hipper was commander of the German battlecruiser squadron of the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and subsequently became commander-in-chief of the German high seas fleet. It was for him that Admiral Hipper was named, the lead ship of her class.
Admiral Hipper saw significant action over the course of the war, with a heavy emphasis on the Battle of the Atlantic. She also led the assault on Trondberg during Germany’s invasion of Norway, sinking the British destroyer HMS Glowworm in the process. In December of 1940, she successfully broke out to the Atlantic in an effort to disrupt Allied Merchant convoys, but failed to achieve much success. Her next sortie in February 1941 saw much more success when she sank several merchant vessels, before being transferred back to Norway to raid convoys to the Soviet Union. ON New Year’s Eve 1942, at the Battle of the Barents Sea, after sinking a destroyer and a minesweeper she was forced to withdraw due to the efforts of HMS Sheffield and HMS Jamaica. Following the failure to destroy any merchant vessels in this battle, Hitler ordered the majority of surface warships scrapped. Admiral Hipper returned to Germany and was never restored to operational status after being bombed by the Royal Air Force in May 1945.