The German Battleship Tirpitz

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Retired - Last One!!!



Stefan Dramiński

The last battleship of the German Kriegsmarine was ceremonially launched on 1 April 1939. After the failure of the operation "Rheinübung” and sinking of the battleship Bismarck during an Atlantic rally (May 1941) Hitler banned planning such operations. A decision to send Tirpitz to Norway was made. There she could be stationed in fiords relatively safely and raid Allied shipping in Arctic waters. Her presence in that region alone caused every convoy sailing nearby to be escorted by heavy warships. The greatest success in the career of Tirpitz, albeit achieved without firing even a single salvo, was the operation against the convoy PQ-17 in July 1942. The ships heading for Murmansk were detected and the battleship with her escorts steamed out to attack the convoy. It led to a controversial order issued by the British Admiralty: to avoid a concentrated attack it was ordered to disperse the convoy. Each ship was to reach the Soviet port on her own. The result was a true massacre - unprotected ships easily fell victim to bombs and torpedoes from German aircraft and U-Boats. The last offensive operation in the battleship's career took place in early September 1943. Tirpitz supported the landing on Spitsbergen with her artillery fire. After the disaster of the convoy PQ-17 the British were determined to eliminate Tirpitz and sought the best ways to sink or damage the battleship. Until the end of her career she was almost constantly harassed by air and sea attacks. One of the most successful attacks took place in late September 1943. Tirpitz was heavily damaged by X-craft - midget submarines carrying explosive charges. Repairs lasted until Spring 1944. During several next months the battleship was attacked by carrier-based aircraft and damaged several times. The final blows were struck by land-based four-engined aircraft armed with 5.5 ton bombs. In the first raid on 15 September 1944 Tirpitz sustained heavy damage. The end of the battleship took place on 12 November when the ship, following another attack, capsized and sank in shallow waters of the fjord. All pictures in this publication show the battleship in the configuration of July 1942.

Date Published : April 2017
Publisher : Kagero
Illustration : 40 Drawings Sheets, 5 Color Profiles
ISBN : 9788365437044
Pages : 40