On February 11, 1942 at 20:30 hours, the Battleship Gneisenau, along with sistership Scharnhorst, heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and five destroyers left the French port of Brest. Operation Cerberus was the name of the bold plan for the heavy ships to steam through the English Channel and return to Germany. The British were caught flat-footed and the German operation was a success. The success was not total for Gneisenau had hit a mine and needed repairs. She went to Kiel and put into a drydock. Disregarding standard procedures she did not unship her ammunition. On February 27 she was hit be one bomb during a British air raid. The flash of the explosion ignited the powder in the ready room of Anton (A) turret. The force of the explosion lifted A turret off of its barbette. With her wrecked A turret she steamed to Gotenhafen, which she reached on April 4, 1942. It was decided to refit her and replace the triple 11-inch gun turrets with twin 15-inch gun turrets.
What became of the triple 11-inch gun turrets that were removed from Gneisenau? Hitler had a strong belief that the allies would try to take Norway, so the complete Bruno and Caesar (B&C) turrets were transported to Norway, where they became coastal gun batteries at Bergen and Trondheim. By 1945 only the Trondheim battery was functional. The guns from the wrecked Anton turret were sent to Holland, where they became the Rozenburg battery at Hoek.
The latest 1:700 scale kit from NNT models this unusual subject, the
turret/battery/bunker of Bruno or Caesar turrets in Norway. The kit is simple.
It contains only five parts. A finely molded plaster bunker portion of the
battery and resin pieces for the turret and guns comprise the kit. Also included
is a two-page history of the batteries, written in German. With this kit the
modeler can portray the last functioning aspects of the once proud Battleship Gniesenau,
stationary coastal batteries guarding against an invasion that never came.