Sinking the Beast

The RAF 1944 Lancaster Raids Against Tirpitz

Jan Forsgren

During the autumn of 1944, three RAF
raids—using Avro Lancaster heavy
bombers—finally sank the German
battleship Tirpitz. Many previous attempts,
including the use of midget submarines
and raids by carrier-based aircraft, had
damaged Tirpitz at her Norwegian
hideout. Throughout the war, Tirpitz
had become a much feared asset of the
Third Reich war
Date Published :
October 2014
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Language:
English
Illustration :
32 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781781553183
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$35.00

Overview
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During the autumn of 1944, three RAF raids – using Avro Lancaster heavy bombers – finally sank the German battleship Tirpitz. Many previous attempts, including the use of midget submarines and raids by carrier-based aircraft, had damaged Tirpitz at her Norwegian hideout. Throughout the war, Tirpitz had become a much feared asset of the Third Reich war machine, almost gaining mythical status. In mid-1944, No. 5 Group of RAF Bomber Command was assigned the job of finally sinking Tirpitz. The first raid, code named Operation Paravane, saw Tirpitz damaged by Russian-based Lancasters where the great ship was heavily damaged. Subsequently, the battleship was transferred further southwest to Tromsö for repairs, which meant that it came within the range of UK-based bombers. The last raid proved successful. Each Lancaster carried a 12,000 lb. ‘Tallboy’ bomb packed with high explosive. The Tallboy, engineered by Barnes Wallis who was responsible for the Dambusters’ bouncing bomb, proved highly effective. Despite heavy flak and tracer fire, the Tirpitz was rocked by violent explosions of an apocalyptic magnitude: windows were broken and houses were rocked off their foundations some three miles away. A stray Tallboy hit the island and silenced all AAA batteries. The job was done: near misses and a direct hit pulverized the mighty battleship. The Tirpitz capsized and sank, taking her doomed crew with her.

About The Author
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Jan Forsgren has an MA in History and is the author of five books including two in English. He has written hundreds of aviation-related articles for various aviation magazines, including 'Aeroplane', 'The Aviation Historian' and 'FlyPast'. He has also written articles on the Air Forces in Southeast Asia that are available on www.aeroflight.co.uk. For Fonthill he has written ‘Sink the Beast: the 1944 RAF Lancaster Raids’, a work on the demise of the battleship Tirpitz.

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