Gneisenau was the second battleship of the Scharnhorst class Battlecrusier<br.Gneisenau was built by the German shipyard in Kiel, Germany, on December 8, 1936 launch, and began service in May 21, 1938. In 1938, Shane Hawes premium trials found that the ship had insufficient bow freeboard when at sea and in the winter 1938 had the Atlantic bow fitted which took several months. During World War II, in 1940 in the North Sea Gniesenau sank two ships and the the Royal Navy aircraft carrier Glorious and two destroyers.
For several days Gneisenau covered the damaged Scharnhorst as she returned Germany after being hit by a torpedo fired by a British submarine. Then the two ships were docked for repairss. In 1941, the two ships together broke into the Atlantic for seek and destroy operations. In the two-month operation they sank sunk 22 merchant fleet, with a total tonnage of 11,5000 tonsof allied shipping. <br. Between February 26 to February 27 1942 the British Royal Air Force bombed the port of Kiel while the Gneisenau was being being repaired. During this Bombing a bow of the ammunition depot blew up causing extensive damage to the Gneisenau. Because the explosion destroyed parts the Gneisenau she was never returned to active service. Gneisenau was scuttled on March 23, She was eventually scrapped.