Chieftain Talks: The Hunt for Tirpitz
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Chieftain Talks: The Hunt for Tirpitz

November 18, 2019

Chieftain Talks:
The Hunt for Tirpitz On May 27, 1941,
at 10:39 am, almost two hours
into the battle then raging, the German battleship
Bismarck went down, coming to rest
at the bottom even-keeled. 2,104 enlisted men of the 2220-
strong crew were lost with her. Prior to that, dozens of ships had
been hunting for the German battleship for a period of five days. During her first
encounter with the enemy, Bismarck literally tore apart the
British battlecruiser HMS Hood— the pride and glory
of the Royal Navy— sinking the personification of Britain’s
power over the seas in just 3 minutes. It was only after repeated naval
and air attacks on the German ship, and then a daunting
two-hour battle with two British battleships and
two heavy cruisers simultaneously, after even two torpedoes were
fired from almost point-blanc range, that Bismarck finally sank. But there was no room for complacency
in Whitehall, they couldn’t rest as long as Hitler still had Bismarck’s
sister ship—battleship Tirpitz. The second of two Bismarck-class
battleships, battleship G, was launched on April 1, 1939, with the head of the Third Reich,
Adolf Hitler, in attendance. He delivered a rousing
speech on the occasion and conferred the new rank
of Grand Admiral to Erich Raeder, the commander
of the Kriegsmarine, who stood at the Führer’s side
during the elaborate ceremony. The ship was christened
by Ilse von Hassell, daughter of one of the founding
fathers of the German Imperial Navy, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz—
the ship’s namesake. On the day that
Bismarck was slipping beneath the waters of the Atlantic
after that most desperate of battles, her sister ship was yet
to complete her sea trials and thus did not take part
in Operation Rheinübung— the first major sortie
of the senior battleship that turned out
to be Bismarck’s last voyage. The loss of one of Hitler’s two
favorite ships led to the Kriegsmarine taking special measures
to protect the remaining ship. A meeting was held at Hitler’s
Wolfsschanze Headquarters, at which Raeder proposed that Tirpitz be
deployed to the waters around Norway. The arguments of the commander
of the Kriegsmarine were as follows. German troops in Norway
get supplies exclusively by sea and these lanes
had to be protected. It should be possible
to change posture and move from defensive to the
offensive: supported by other ships, Tirpitz would create a constant
threat to Allied Arctic convoys, which had started navigating
from Great Britain to the Soviet Union
in the summer of 1941. Tirpitz carried the power
of a fleet in being to tie down major British naval assets
that would need cover those convoys, thus preventing these forces
from being re-deployed to the Mediterranean Sea,
the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific. As for the Atlantic sortie,
for which, in fact, Bismarck and Tirpitz
had originally been built, firstly, the battleship would
face frequent fuel shortages, and secondly—
and perhaps most importantly— going out for
another ocean raid bore the risk of Tirpitz
sharing Bismarck’s fate— the British already knew
the price of such a vessel and would come after her with
basically everything they had. Hitler, who feared for
the fate of the battleship, and wanted to deter
an Allied invasion of Norway, agreed to Raeder’s proposal,
unknowingly sealing Tirpitz’s fate. The German elite had reasons to be
concerned about saving their supership. The Brits had
engaged Bismarck, witnessing her power
and danger in the process, and now her sister ship had
become “the headache of the Admiralty, whose anxiety began
to border on panic”, to quote David Woodward, an
American historian of English descent. “If Tirpitz manages
to break out into the ocean, she can simply paralyze our
shipping in the North Atlantic,” First Sea Lord,
Sir Dudley Pound wrote with alarm in his
memorandum to the Prime Minister. Winston Churchill responded
with a following missive: “She [meaning, of course, Tirpitz] creates a general fear and
threat everywhere at once.” The British made their first
attempts to destroy Tirpitz a year before they encountered
her sister ship in open battle. On the night of July 10, 1940, eleven Hampden bombers
carrying 2000-pound bombs headed for the city of Wilhelmshaven to
hit the battleship right in the shipyard where the last works were being
carried out before she entered service. Because of poor
weather on the initial run, the planes were unable
to spot their target, and despite British bombers
repeatedly attacked the harbor for a period of two weeks, no bombs
or time-fuse mines struck Tirpitz. In January 1942, Tirpitz left Kiel
and moved to the Fættenfjord, about 15 miles
east of Trondheim. The relocation was
carried out in great secrecy— the ship maintained
a full blackout while moving, with all of her anti-aircraft artillery
manned, alert, and operational. Her mooring was also
well-conceived: next to a cliff, which protected the ship from
air attacks from the southwest. Two dozen additional anti-aircraft
batteries were installed around the fjord, as well as anti-torpedo nets and heavy
booms at the entrance to the anchorage. A dedicated fleet also frequently
concealed the entire ship from aerial reconnaissance and
attacks with a cloud of artificial fog. However, British intelligence
was firing on all cylinders— on January 16, Tirpitz anchored
near Trondheim, and 6 days later London already had the information
about the whereabouts of the ship. Tirpitz seriously hampered
the UK’s naval operations. As long as the battleship was
lurking in the Norwegian fjords, the British Home Fleet needed to keep
three King George V-class battleships in home waters—
two up and ready to fight and another one in case repairs
were required for one of the former. That’s why on January 25, Churchill sent an angry letter to the
Head of the Chiefs of Staff Committee: “The presence of Tirpitz in Trondheim
has already been known for three days. The greatest single act to restore
the balance of naval power would be the destruction,
or even crippling, of Tirpitz. No other target
is comparable to it.” And so the British began a hunt which
would endure for almost three years. The first operation against Tirpitz
in the Fetten fjord was called Oyled. On the night of January 30, 1942,
a planned attack of 16 British bombers flying from Lossoumouth
airfield in Scotland was disrupted by poor
weather over the target, which prevented the aircraft
from finding the ship— they returned to base
with their entire payload. At noon on March 6, battleship Tirpitz,
with Hitler’s personal permission, went out to attack the homebound convoy,
QP 8, from Murmansk to Reykjavik and the outbound Convoy, PQ 12,
which consisted of 16 merchant ships. It was the first operation
the German surface fleet performed against the Arctic convoys, and the
first sortie of the battleship herself. Tirpitz leaving anchorage did
not go unnoticed by the enemy: the Germans’ movements were
reported by a British submarine that spotted a battleship and a heavy
cruiser (it was Admiral Scheer) at the exit of
the Trondheims fjord. A flotilla commanded by Admiral
John Tovey went to intercept. Because of the weather being
notoriously bad at the time, the Home Fleet missed the
German flotilla by just 60 miles. In turn, Tirpitz and her escort of
destroyers that were hunting for PQ 12, missed the convoy by the same
distance, passing behind its stern. They had to settle for an old
slow freighter named Izhora, which had fallen behind QP-8. Hitler’s best battleship had no
desire to spend her precious shells on a merchant vessel, so Izhora
was left to the destroyers whom, however, took an hour and
a half to sink the Soviet steamer. The Russians, firing
their only gun in return, managed to report the attack
via an encrypted message before going down
flying their flag. The distress signal from Izhora
was received by Admiral Tovey, and the British immediately
headed out to look for Tirpitz, but without luck. Later, on the night of March 9,
the Admiralty informed Tovey of some Enigma intercepts:
Tirpitz was heading south. In the morning, a reconnaissance
aircraft discovered the battleship, together with the
destroyer Friedrich Inn. The ship was heading
towards Trondheim at full steam. In turn, Tirpitz also spotted
the reconnaissance aircraft and launched two Arado Ar 196
shipboard reconnaissance aircraft— they served
as a fighter cover and even damaged one
of the aircraft pursuing the ship. The battleship herself turned
abruptly towards the shore, but this maneuver did not
escape the vigilant British. Twelve Fairey Albacore
torpedo bombers flew out to intercept and attack
the ship in three strike groups. The planes gained altitude
and took cover in the clouds, with the aim of secretly overtaking
the battleship and surprising it. But the plot failed. When the torpedo bombers
caught up with their target, Tirpitz suddenly appeared
in a gap in the clouds. And, of course,
line of sight works both ways. The element of surprise was lost, and
the torpedo bombers rushed to attack. The anti-aircraft artillery of the
battleship put up dense fire, and Tirpitz successfully
evaded the launched torpedoes, with only three men being wounded
by machine-gun fire in the outcome. Berlin, however, was disgruntled with
the results of Tirpitz’s combat debut: Grand Admiral Raeder
was blamed for wasting fuel, only to miss the Allied convoy,
while the Kriegsmarine commander sent a report to Hitler
himself saying: “This operation shows the weakness of our naval
forces in the Northern Theater.” Raeder specifically pointed out to lack of effective air support
and crucial intelligence. The presence of British aircraft carriers
could have spelled the end for Tirpitz. Actually, while the British
top brass and sailors were intimidated by the Arctic presence
of the mighty German battleship, Hitler’s headquarters and
the seamen of Kriegsmarine had an “aircraft carrier complex”—
fears of unexpected air attacks, which would later affect all
major surface ship operations. After the conclusion of the attack,
Tirpitz made for Vestfjord, and from there to Trondheim,
arriving to the relatively safe space where she could be shrouded in smoke
anytime an “Air raid” signal went off. All of those measures on top
of frequently bad weather, which severely limited
visibility from the air, and the steep
cliffs of the fjord, made Hitler’s favorite battleship
an extremely difficult target. But London was not about to give up
their attempts to destroy the ship. British intelligence knew its business:
the very next day, after the ship moored, the Norwegian resistance
movement transmitted the location to the British Admiralty, which was then
confirmed by aerial reconnaissance. The next attack by RAF took
place in the night of March 31. A wing of 32 Halifax bombers
attempted another raid, but only one crew
could spot the target and drop one 4000-lb.
and four 500-lb. bombs— they hit the cliffs
with no damage to Tirpitz. The German anti-aircraft gunners
shot down five bombers in kind. Almost a month later, a second raid
followed, then a third—all to no avail. Within a month, the RAF lost
12 out of 107 deployed bombers, only to scatter some chipped rock
on the battleship’s upper deck. After these failures,
British Bomber Command would abandon new raids
on Tirpitz for two and a half years. Meanwhile, the Allied convoys
were reaching the Soviet Union via the northern sea route
with admirable frequency, which Hitler
less than appreciated. At the beginning of summer, German command finalized
Operation Knight’s Move, which involved landing
a crushing blow on the convoy lane. The Allies were to witness the
might of Germany at sea in the area. On June 27, 1942, the PQ-17
convoy left the port of Reykjavik. Three days later it was spotted
by a German U-255 submarine, and thus began
the German operation which would become one of the
great tragic stories of World War II. On July 2, battleship Tirpitz,
heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, and six destroyers,
sortied from Trondheim and headed north
to intercept the convoy. On July 4, the British Admiralty, having learned of the disappearance
of Tirpitz from Trondheim, convened a meeting
at the Admiralty, chaired by the very first
sea lord, Dudley Pound. After receiving intel about
a gathering of heavy German ships, they concluded that the next day
Tirpitz would surely hit the convoy and the escort cruisers wouldn’t
be able to put up a decent fight against the German battleship. Thus, Lord Pound almost
single-handedly made a decision that translated into the order for the
convoy and escort ships to disperse. The cruiser squadron was to
withdraw to the west at full speed, while the convoy should seek
to reach Russian ports on their own. Shortly after, Tirpitz and
her escorts left Norway and were on their way to the
rendezvous with the second task force. The Soviet submarine K-21,
under Captain Lunin, fired torpedoes at the ship,
all of which missed. The Soviets, however, reported
the coordinates of the engagement. The next spotting came
courtesy of a Soviet IL-4, which also sent
out a radiogram. German radio services—both
onshore and aboard the squadron— intercepted and
deciphered these messages. Aware that they
had been detected, the Germans panicked
and aborted the operation. The battleship was sent
back to the base in Norway. But the PQ-17 caravan
was doomed anyway. The German commanders
turned over the attack to U-boats and the Luftwaffe, who
picked off the defenseless cargo ships. Of the 36 transports, 23 were sunk
and only 11 reached Soviet shores. Thus, without firing a single shell
or even approaching the caravan, Tirpitz scored
a notorious victory on the seas. Following
Operation Knight’s Move, the Germans moved Tirpitz
to Bogenfjord, near Narvik, for a prolonged anchorage—she left
the harbor only once for target practice. By this time, the ship
needed a major overhaul. Hitler had forbidden the ship from
making the dangerous return to Germany, and so the overhaul was
conducted in Trondheim, and the ship returned to her
habitual site in Fættenfjord. The defenses of the anchorage
were further strengthened; additional anti-aircraft
guns were installed, and double anti-torpedo nets
were erected around the vessel. During the repair process,
the British again attempted to attack the battleship that had
been causing them so much trouble. This time they abandoned
the idea of air raids and employed
the modus operandi previously used by their
adversaries, the Italians. At the end of 1941, the latter had
attacked the British battleships moored in the Mediterranean harbor
of Alexandria using human torpedoes. Six months later, the British Royal
Navy adopted their own model under the name Chariot, and this is what
they decided to use to destroy Tirpitz. An inconspicuous civilian ship
would deliver torpedoes as close as possible to the target,
and the two chariots’ crews— six trained British seamen—
would see the matter to the end. However, the operation
did not go according to plan: on October 30, the cutter
entered Trondheim Fjord and safely passed
the German patrols, with the last 10 miles
to go until their target, but that’s when the saboteurs
had their spell of bad luck— before they could be launched, rough
seas caused the human torpedoes to break away from the fishing
vessel that had been towing them. The next day the ship was scuttled,
and the saboteurs left for Sweden. The overhaul was completed
at the start of 1943, but the earlier actions of Tirpitz and
her escorting destroyers in March had used up huge
amounts of fuel oil, which greatly reduced
the available supply. It took the Germans
three months to replenish it. The two battleships, Tirpitz and
Scharnhorst, escorted by ten destroyers, left port on 6 September
to attack the island of Spitzbergen. During the bombardment,
Tirpitz fired 52 main-battery shells and 82 rounds from
her 15 cm secondaries. This was the first and only time the ship fired her main battery
at an enemy surface target. An assault force destroyed the shore
installations and captured prisoners. London, however, was not
about to cease their attempts to remove Tirpitz from play. Following repeated,
ineffectual bombing attacks, and the failed Chariot
attack in October 1942, the British turned to the newly
designed X Craft midget submarines. The planned attack, Operation Source
included 6 midgets—each 16 meters long— towed by large submarines
to their destinations, where they could slip
under anti-torpedo nets to each drop two powerful
2-ton mines on the sea bed under the bottom of the
target German battleships. Three of the vessels
had gifts for Tirpitz. Remember that the defense of Altenfjord,
where Tirpitz traditionally moored, was very dense: the approaches
were covered with minefields, the fjord was enveloped
in anti-submarine nets, and there was
a patrolling submarine hunter. The battleship herself was covered
with the second line of defense— a double anti-torpedo net and auxiliary
netting going as deep as 36 m. The coastal batteries
and sonar stations located on nearby islands
completed the picture. Yet the British managed to get to the
pride and joy of the Kriegsmarine. It happened on September 22,
1943, when minisubs managed to penetrate the Kaa-fjord
where the battleship was located. The first midget came up
to Tirpitz from the shore, but stumbled upon a massive
underwater obstacle and had to surface. The submarine was spotted,
but, fortunately for the Brits, was somehow
mistaken for a seal. The midget went underwater again
and moved alongside the ship. When the commander decided to check
their position using the periscope, the boat emerged again and was detected
only a few dozen meters from the hull. The alarm went off on Tirpitz, but the
Midget quickly entered the blind spot for the battleship’s rapid-fire
artillery, ducked under her keel and laid charges,
setting the fuse delay to 1 hour. Sailors of the battleship
opened machine-gun fire and started throwing
grenades into the water. The British knew that they
would not leave the fjord, so they destroyed all of their
documents and brought the boat up. A motorboat approached
the boat and took the crew off, after which the
midget quickly sank. The commander on Tirpitz
ordered the engines to be fired up. The battleship needed at least an hour
to start moving under her own steam, so tugs were additionally called in
to help the ship to quickly relocate. Divers were sent
to inspect the hull underwater, and an onboard seaplane took off
to case the surface of the fjord. Within five minutes, a second midget
was spotted on the surface. Having reached Tirpitz earlier, it had
gotten entangled in the anti-torpedo net. It freed itself, but not
without a struggle, and continued to the bottom of the battleship
where it dropped its two mines. After that, the minisub went to escape,
but got caught up in the net again and surfaced a few hundred meters
to the right of the battleship’s bow. The Germans opened fire, but the boat
slipped away again under the water. The crew of Tirpitz attempted
to move the massive battleship using towing cables, anchors,
and winches, but they didn’t have time: 50 minutes after spotting
the first submarine, the ship was shaken by two
powerful explosions off the port bow. The huge ship seemed
to jump out of the water, with all of her anchor
chains were torn off, steam rising from burst pipelines,
and a massive ensuing oil spillage. The concussion
from the explosions, unfortunately, also hit
the boat hiding underwater. The midget suffered heavy
damage and had to surface. Only two crew members managed
to get out, and the other two died. The same was destined
for the third minisub— when it emerged some
600 meters starboard of Tirpitz, all the battleship’s anti-aircraft
artillery opened fire. The boat went under,
and several minutes later the Germans dropped
five depth charges. The crew of the
midget never got out; they only managed to identify its debris
at the bottom some 30 years later. The damage caused to Tirpitz,
which at first seemed negligible, turned out to be quite
extensive, once looked into. This was especially true
of the powerplant compartments— all three shafts were jammed,
and damage to the turbines prevented the battleship from
moving under her own steam. The tiller section of the
left rudder was flooded; the flooding had damaged
all of the turbo-generators; and ship’s vitality system
had been disabled by broken steam lines, fuel
mains, and severed power cables. The explosive concussion had
also almost completely destroyed all complex devices—radio
stations and fire control radars. The guns had also
taken some serious damage. Immediately after the attack, the commander-in-chief of the
German Navy, Grand Admiral Doenitz, was sent a detailed report
on the damage to the battleship. He, in turn,
sent a memo to Hitler, which read that even
after a major overhaul, Tirpitz’s combat capability
would not be fully restored. Thus, at the cost of nine
seamen killed, and six captured, the British achieved
significant success. Having the stranded
battleship towed to Germany would have been
an excessive risk, and the German top brass decided
to repair the battleship on the spot. The forces and means that
the Germans had in Norway could not provide for
a full recovery of the ship. However, by March 15, 1944,
six months after the midgets’ attack, all of the work that could be
done without docking Tirpitz had been completed. The battleship went on to full
speed trials and gunnery trials. This was a great boost for the crew’s
morale—Tirpitz was operational again! However, during the trials, her left
shaft developed a strong vibration, which hampered her
ability to reach full speed. There was also an issue with
the cruising stage of the right shaft. However, it had all been
addressed by April 2, and on April 3 the
battleship was scheduled to go out into Altafjord for
the first time since repairs… For the entire repair period,
the crew might be forgiven for thinking that the Allies
had forgotten about them— there was only one
attack on the Altafjord, on the night of February 10,
by Soviet Il-4 bombers. However, the bombs hit the rocks
on both sides of the battleship without causing harm. But no, the Brits were
hadn’t forgotten anything: after battleship Scharnhorst
was sunk on December 26, 1943 in battle with
the British squadron, the British Admiralty closely
followed the repairs on Tirpitz— the last combat-capable large surface
ship Kriegsmarine had in the North. When the aerial recon reports
intimated Tirpitz was ready to sail, a new operation to destroy
the ship was conceived. A major air strike involving
six carriers in two formations was set for 4 April, 1944,
but rescheduled for a day earlier when Enigma decrypts
revealed that Tirpitz was to depart
on 3rd of April for sea trials. The attack, performed
in perfect weather conditions, consisted of 119 aircraft in two
waves, less than two hours apart. “Tirpitz” was in the net
box—the first wave struck as tugs were preparing to assist
the ship out of her mooring and the anchors
hadn’t yet been raised, though all the boilers
were already steaming. Only the mooring and
anchor posts were manned, while the boiler rooms and
engine rooms had men on watch, and only one anti-aircraft
unit had gunners. The aircraft achieved
the element of surprise. The crew sounded the alarm, but the smoke screen over the
anchorage lot was still very thin, and the British incoming planes
met only chaotic, scattered fire. The Wildcats and Hellcats
hugged the surface coming in, and ravaged the decks and
superstructures with machinegun-fire, before the Barracudas
dove in to drop bombs. The first wave lasted
one minute exactly. British pilots claimed six
confirmed and three possible hits. The second wave
of British aircraft saw the German anti-aircraft
gunners put up dense fire, but neither them nor the smoke
screen stopped the aircraft. Hellcats suppressed the
battleship’s anti-aircraft guns, Wildcats used machine guns on
the bridge and superstructures, and the bombers scored
eight direct and five likely hits. Two minutes later
it was all over. The Germans reported fourteen
direct hits and two near misses. The reports from late April 3 confirmed
that the attack had killed 122 men and wounded 316 others,
including the ship’s commander. The total losses of the British Royal
Navy were four aircraft and nine men. In two raids over three minutes,
the British destroyed the results of six-months of repairs and dealt
a terrible blow to the crew’s morale. Tirpitz needed
major repairs again, so work was done around
the clock, in three shifts. Destroyers ferried important equipment
and workers from Kiel to Altafjord. All this under frequent bomb raids—
during the spring and summer of 1944, British naval command
made several more attempts to destroy
the Tirpitz from the air. In the early autumn of 1944, the task
of destroying Tirpitz using aircraft was again given
to RAF Bomber Command. On September 15, 27 heavy Lancaster bombers
took off to attack the battleship: 21 carrying 6-short-ton Tallboy bombs
and six each carrying 12 JW mines. There was one Lancaster
without a payload— instead it carried
a cameraman to record the events. The Germans met
the enemy fully ready, and because of the dense
smoke and anti-aircraft fire, only 16 craft managed
to drop their bombs. They scored a single, but
mighty hit on the ship’s bow— the Tallboy penetrated
the ship, exited the keel, and exploded
in the bottom of the fjord. Water flooded the bow and the
concussive shock caused severe damage to the ship’s power units, guns,
and fire-control equipment. The ship was rendered unseaworthy
and was limited to a “crawling” pace. Repair work was estimated
to take nine months and the damage persuaded
naval command to repair the ship for use only as a floating
gun battery south of Tromsø, to ward off
an Allied invasion of Norway. On the night of October 15, Tirpitz
made the last voyage of her career, and almost immediately after
her arrival at the new location, London received a radiogram
from the Norwegian Resistance. On October 16, the battleship
was identified by a spotter plane and the British hurried to finish the
job before the polar night set in. A force of 31 Lancaster bombers
carrying Tallboys and impact-fuse mines took off for the final British attack
on Tirpitz on 12 November 1944. The smoke screen was put up by the
crew and did not provide proper cover— the ship was perfectly
visible from the aircraft, and German fighters
never appeared. “Tirpitz” received two direct hits: the
first bomb pierced the armored deck and exploded in the boiler room,
the second hit the aft superstructure. The amidships hit
caused significant flooding and quickly increased
the port list to 20 degrees. Righting her was impossible, the
emergency flooding system failed. Progressive flooding
from other explosions increased the list to 70 degrees, up
to the full immersion of the portside. Within ten minutes, a large explosion
rocked one of the turrets— the turret roof and part
of the rotating structure were thrown some
12 meters towards the shore. With her listing heavily, the captain
issued the order to abandon ship. The escaping crew opened
the hatches, water rushed in and Tirpitz rapidly rolled over, burying
her superstructure in the sea floor. Thus ended the history of the
largest ship of the German Navy, which single-handedly, by her
mere presence in Northern Norway, tied down major
Allied naval assets and served as a constant
threat to Allied Arctic convoys. There is an irony here:
during the First World War, Admiral Alfred Peter Friedrich von
Tirpitz took Germany out on the seas, whilst the ship of his name spent
almost the entire following war hiding from the enemy in the
coastal fjords of a strange country, where she eventually
met her demise.

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  1. I love this Historical Things. I watch 100rts of dokumentarys and films. I wrout A over A in the School About thos Topics. Nice Video. PLS more of them

  2. Yeah no i prefer watching Naval Legends, i dont really like just watching a guy sitting in a chair from 2 dif camera angles telling a story vs Naval Legends

  3. Here we have an Irish American Tank Commander that usually lectures about armored warfare talk about a German battleship that never truly saw combat. Hm, quite an interesting mix. Nevertheless good job Mr Chieftain

  4. The allure of Chieftain's content: you know he researched the subject down to the last detail. Always my favorite videos no matter if it's about tanks, ships or his own car.

  5. It's a pity the 22,000lb Grand Slam bomb was not in service at this time, 1 hit from one of those and that would have finished the ship off for sure. I also read somewhere that the craters created by the near misses of the Tallboy bombs contributed to the Tirpitz capsizing, but don't know how true this is.

  6. Bismarck actually landed tail-first on an underwater mountainside, triggering a massive avalanche and sliding down hill a long way. Kinda cool wreck site. (I met robert ballard as a kid and had him sign my book about bismarck and he told me about it)

  7. A 1950's B/W movie with John Mills covers the midgets submarine attack on TIrpitz

  8. Stunning Work, its so cool!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link , you can try 🙂

  9. I can't imagine Tirpitz anything other than a skinny white haired woman wearing white captain's cap and a short black skirt, pondering over her existence.


    Please watch the video, and please consider subscribing. i am a young and small youtuber. Please support my growth

  11. Britain: Sinks Bismarck
    British public: Yay now we have control of the Atlantic and re-installed our superiority in Naval power!
    British Navy: uhhhhh….
    Tirpitz: What up Bitttttcccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhessssssssssssssssssssssss

  12. It turns out that the reason no German fighters got to the bombers in time for the last attack was because the German radar operator delayed reporting the bombers. He was one of the small group of Germans who had decided to resist the Nazis and wanted the war to end.

  13. Damned Dudley Pound! USS Washington should have chance to fight Tirpitz! (and possibly become only ww2 BB to score 2 BB kills, with later Kirishima in the Solomons…)

  14. Am I the only guy who actually prefers the Tirpitz over Bismarck? For me Tirpitz instilled a true sense of fear among the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy as a battleship should do, to draw that much attention from Britain for simply being present at Norway clearly tells the threat she presented. She also lived a rather invincible service life, despite taking serious damage from various attacks she didn’t sink until her final demise in November 1944. Tirpitz also possessed a number of updates such as heavier AA armament and new radar systems. She was also a beautiful art gallery with all the lovely dazzle camouflage patterns she was painted in during her life! For this she is my favourite battleship, up there with HMS Vanguard. I’ve bought a 1/350 model kit by Revell to build a accurate model of this magnificent ship!

  15. Chieftain and Lindybeige videos are like a pair of bookends. The former is polished, organized, and sleek. The latter is messy, rough, and bumpy. But both are decidedly enjoyable and well liked.

  16. Wrong. The sortie against PQ8 and PQ12 was not Tirpitz's first combat sortie. In September 1941, Tirpitz along with the Admiral Scheer, some destroyers and torpedo boats, and every operational light cruiser in the navy were sent to patrol the Aaland Islands with orders to engage and destroy the Soviet fleet should it decide to attempt to escape Leningrad. However, while the German "Baltenflotte" was at sea, the Russian fleet was attacked and badly damaged by the Luftwaffe, ensuring that there would be no break-out attempt.

  17. Good video and well presented. I knew of some of the attacks on Tirpitz in great detail, but most only from lists. It was good to hear about all of them in as much detail as is practicable in 30 minutes.

  18. Ok so what is this series exactly? A dude sitting in a chair telling us how a ship did practically nothing and was slaughtered by aircraft? Ok! Thanks! No CGI no visuals, nothing? Ain’t watching these again.

  19. How come we don’t have Battleships like the Missouri or Wisconsin? I think the Missouri was in game at one time? I have only been playing about a month and I haven’t seen one but I think would be nice to have it or the Wisconsin…I have noticed the Inaccurate Guns in the Larger BattleShips can something be done to fix that? I have one tier 8 premium and if I hit anything with it is by accident no joke it’s the Massachusetts and a great looking Ship at that but I can barely get a hit with it.

  20. En 1:13 he dejado de ver el video, porque si con solo ese tiempo ya ha soltado unas cuantas verdades a medias y ha omitido algunos datos… ¿Que no habrá dicho o dejado de decir en los restante 29 minutos?

    Si , es cierto que en el hundimiento del Bismarck murieron mas de 2000 tripulantes, pero no termina de contar porque. Después de que la tripulación abriese los grifos de fondo he hiciese entrar el agua en la casi intacta obra viva del Bismarck, los torpedos ingleses no consiguieron abrir vias de agua en los mamparos estancos, ahí esta el documental de James Cameron, la tripulación que había sobrevivido al incesante cañoneo desde muy corta distancia, se cree que mas de 1800 tripulantes, se lanzaron al mar para ser rescatados por los ingleses, un par de buques de la Navy, un destructor el HMS Maori y un crucero pesado el HMS Dorsetshire, se acercaron y comenzaron el rescate, pero cuando apenas llevaban rescatado a un centenar de naufragos, algún vigía con ojo de halcón dijo ver un periscopio. En ese momento los "valerosos" buques de la Royal Navy pusieron popa a la localización del supuesto avistamiento y salieron a toda maquina, abandonando sobre las olas a más de un millar y medio de hombres del Bismarck. Es el único caso que conozco en el que destructores huyen de un supuesto submarino en lugar de intentar localizarlo y hundirlo. Otra cosa es que los ingleses, escocidos con el hundimiento del Hood, recibiesen ordenes de abandonar y así castigar a los hombres del Bismarck y que mejor excusa que "ver" un terrible periscopio.

    Por eso Wargamming, creo que seria beneficioso que dejases de gastar dinero en contar verdades a medias o en reescribir la historia de la flota rusa y dedicases esos recursos a mejorar el juego, que falta le hace.

  21. There was an excellent video on PQ 17 made by Jeremy Clarkson. First Sea Lord Dudley Pound who was blamed for the disaster was later to die of a brain tumour.

  22. If only Graf Zeppelin was commissioned earlier. Her aircrafts could've been a great defense for Tirpitz.

    Rest in peace the brave warriors of Kriegsmarine…

  23. My Grandad served on the HMS Bellona which covered the carriers in the July 1944 raids before it went off to raid the German shipping in the channel again and then later protected the Arctic convoys.

  24. 5.30, correct literally the whole planet at 1942 except G.B had a pair of bollocks and could attack, although most of the planet at such time were at war with the british, read this haters.

  25. So for Germany, the Tirpitz ended up being a lot like the Yamoto, great for sucking up resources and manpower and never really being combat effective.

  26. Shame how bad shes treated in World of Warships. Strongest BB ever build in europe and shes the worst BB at the tier in game. Shameful. The Queen of The North deserves better.

  27. Her armor was then cut up and sold as target pieces, a lot of it ended up with Bofors and the armed forces R&D/procurement bureau (FMV) in Sweden where it contributed to the development, specifically, the penetration tests of HEAT and APFSDS munitions of various types for the coastal artillery and the army.
    One piece of a few hundred kg with multiple HEAT and kinetic penetrator impacts sits in a small museum in the town of Hässleholm.
    Another piece of similiar size sits in the WW2 museum at Narvik in Norway.

  28. Just imagine what would have happend if Tirpitz and Bismarck went on Operation Rheinübung together escorted by Prinz Eugen and maybe her sister Admiral Hipper. Scary thought
    Hmmm thinking about it…i think i need to put a Squad together in WoWs.
    I also would love to have these famous ships rebuild as museums. Would cost a fortune nowadays but hey, Fortnite spend 30 Millions on there World Chanpionship so why dont we spend that on actually real stuff thats for men and not kids. Like rebuilding Tirpitz, Bismarck, Hipper, Eugen, Hood, Yamato, Musahi, Kongo etc… Just an idea

  29. Lord Dudley Pound, exactly alike Prime Minister Chamberlain who also made some very terrible decisions, was suffering from an undiagnosed Brain Tumour at the time of PQ17. History should not judge too harshly.

  30. "Operation Rheinübung"

    Nearest pronunciation using English sounds would be: Operation Rhine U-boong (but the 'U' without the 'you' sound and the 'boong' rather brief)

  31. Sir. Churchill would have mobilised the whole freaking British Navy to hunt the Tirpitz and Bismark down, building Battleships when carriers already showed what they can do… big brain move… and here comes the kicker if they followed the plan they wanted to build the H40-44 classes (420-508mm bores) in 4 turrets each two barrels, Yamato what? That would have basically been the Heavy Dora on the seas but 8 times over xD Studies where made to see if such a thing was even possible… it was, although the Navy was quite concerned over the fact that such a ship would not even be able to reload fast enough to be effective, Japanese and their autoloader proved them wrong.
    But as we all know Karl Dönitz was quite strongly against this plan, he was seemingly the only Navy man left in Germany who hasn't been infected by the sheer megalomania of Hitler. Yet the Bismark and Tirpitz were built. In the final days of the war, Döntiz was quoted to have said, that if Hitler and Raeder didn't use all that steel to build big BBs and CAs at the beginning of the war, he could have build 150-200 more subs to the year 1942, yet they ignored him and his tactic, and that number is quite scary if you know how close the Nazis came to starve out the Brits before the US entered the war in 1941.

  32. Whenever I hear things like explosions that lifted the ship out of the water, I wish I could travel back in time with a camera to record it

  33. I think that opening summary of Bismarck is a little misleading, making it sound like it required all of 2 battleships and 2 heavy cruisers to sink, but much like the Chieftain's remarks about how many Shermans it took to kill a cat, the RN wasn't interested in sinking Bismarck with as few units as possible.
    After being knee-capped by an antiquated biplane, Rodney alone likely could have sunk the German Battleship after her main advantage of speed and manoeuvrability was taken away.

  34. There’s a few photos of the tirpitz capsized and a few of it being scrapped after the war. I’m surprised there wasn’t more photos of the ship during the scrapping process.

  35. Knowing the accuracy of the British bomber crews people living in a hundred mile radius around Trondheim lived in a state of perpetual terror.

  36. USS Texas was kept on duty guarding allied convoys in case Tirpitz sailed out…. I'd rather have served on Texas in that battle than spent a moment on the over hyped war record of Missouri. If you think I'm an idiot you can bite me.

  37. When the Lion of the Albion faces the Lonely Queen of the North but the latter's very aura intimidates the shit out of the lion

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