Forces of Valor 86008 German Kriegsmarine Bismarck Class Battleship - DKM Tirpitz, Norwegian Fjords, 1943 (1:700 Scale)
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill's portrayal of the German battleship, Tirpitz
Tirpitz was the second Bismarck class battleship of the German Kriegsmarine, sister ship of Bismarck, named after Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. She was the largest battleship ever built in Europe, with dimensions slightly exceeding those of her sister ship. In contrast to Bismarck's short but active career in the Atlantic, Tirpitz spent most of World War II in various bases in German-occupied Norway, where her mere presence was a threat to the Allies, tying up significant naval forces. Due to her role deployment, she was dubbed the "Lonely Queen of the North" ("Den ensomme Nordens Dronning") by the Norwegians and much less poetic "The Beast" by Winston Churchill. Tirpitz never fired at an enemy ship, and participated in one combat operation which was the only time she fired against enemy ground targets. From 1943 onwards, she was the target of numerous Allied raids and attacks. On November 12th, 1944, Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster heavy bombers bombed and sank Tirpitz at her moorings.
This battleship was launched on April 1st, 1939, with the intention that she be deployed in a manner similar to the Bismarck, as a commerce raider to be sent against Allied merchant shipping in the North Atlantic. However, the loss of the Bismarck and other commerce raiders led to Adolf Hitler's losing faith in his surface navy, and instead she was ordered to be used for limited sorties.
Following the inception of the Arctic convoys and the Commando raid on Vgsy, the Tirpitz was sent to northern Norwegian waters in early 1942, where she spent most of World War II in the fjords, mostly in Kfjord a branch of the Altafjord. She acted mainly as a fleet in being, tying up Royal Navy and U.S. Navy resources. She made three offensive sorties during her stay in Norway, two in 1942, and one in 1943. Despite Tirpitz's very limited offensive use, the British armed forces had a significant fear of the potential for destruction that the Tirpitz represented to Allied shipping, and they decided to sink her while she was in port. Many operations were launched with this objective in mind, but none of these were completely successful in sinking her until she was bombed by Royal Air Force heavy Lancaster bombers and capsized on 12 November, 1944.
Pictured here is a 1:700 scale replica of the German battleship Tirpitz, which was tied up in the Norwegian Fjords during 1943.
Release Date: July 2013
Historical Account: "Lonely Queen of the North" - Tirpitz underwent sea trials in early August 1944. Three weeks later the Fleet Air Arm launched more attacks with little success.Operations Goodwood I and Goodwood II took place on August 22nd. Low cloud obscured Tirpitz and there were no hits. Goodwood III, on August 24th, successfully confused the air defences by its approach tactics and scored two hits on the Tirpitz. One 500 lb (227 kg) semi-armour piercing (SAP) bomb, dropped from a Hellcat, dished the top of "B" turret, damaged the elevating gear of its starboard 38 cm gun, and wrecked a quadruple 20mm anti-aircraft mount. The other, a 1,600 lb (725 kg) armour piercing (AP) dropped from a Barracuda, pierced the ship's armour belt and came to rest in the Number 4 electrical switchboard room, but failed to explode, 'an exceptional stroke of luck'. Had it done so, the subsequent Kriegsmarine report said, '... the effects of that explosion would have been immeasurable.'
The escort aircraft carrier HMS Nabob returned to Scapa Flow after being seriously damaged by a torpedo hit from U-boat U-354. She was declared a constructive total loss and subsequently decommissioned on September 30th. The final Fleet Air Arm attack was Goodwood IV, on August 29th, but low cloud again prevented any hits. After this, the fleet withdrew on convoy duties and Tirpitz was left to the Royal Air Force.