On April 7, 1940, the KMS Gneisenau, KMS Scharnhorst, and ten destroyers were to cover the flank of the Norway operation.
On April 9, 1940, they fought the HMS Renown off the Lofoten Islands. The KMS Gneisenau was hit by three shells and the KMS Scharnhorst suffered weather damage. The HMS Renown was hit twice.
After evading British patrols they returned to Wilhelmshaven on April 12, 1940.
On June 8, 1940, the KMS Gneisenau and KMS Scharnhorst sank the HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent, and HMS Acasta. KMS Scharnhorst was damaged by the HMS Acasta. The KMS Scharnhorst then went to Trondheim for repairs.
The KMS Gneisenau, KMS Prinz Eugen, and KMS Scharnhorst left Brest on February 11, 1942 / February 12, 1942 on the famous channel dash. The KMS Gneisenau and KMS Scharnhorst was damaged by mines.