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  TIRPITZ  




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUFTWAFFE
AT THE
NORTHERN FRONT
 



THE MURMANSK
FRONT - 2

TIRPITZ
It would be difficult to describe the Murmansk Front without take the enormous German battleships Tirpitz and Scharnhorst who were stationed up north, into consideration. Both these ships represented the utmost of German technology and craftsmanship from these times. Even Churchill was quoted "these beast must be sunk".

This was easier said than done. The Tirpitz went in the West fjord and were stationed near the Lofoten Islands (Bogen) for several months. The Tirpitz posed a threat to everybody and everything in the area purely by its presence alone. Fishing boats who came too close to the giant, made wise to keep slow speed, and keeping all lanterns lit. The Germans feared sabotage, and were nervous and "trigger happy".

But the "Krigsmarine" got tired laying around these areas, seeing no action. The torpedo nets were swept aside, and the battleship, passing right outside Svolvær, set its course for the Gimsøy strait, escorted by 15. other warships. The Gimsøy strait were far too narrow, inflicting damage to several of the escorting vessels. One destroyer almost sunk, but with the aid of helmet divers from Svolvær, it were repaired at the harbour of Melbu. The Tirpitz headed trough the Sortland strait north bound, placed itself in a sidearm (Kåfjord) of Alta fjord.

The Scharnhorst followed shortly after, and together these two ships posed an enormous threat towards the Murmansk convoys.




SCHARNHORST SAILER

Even rumours of the presence of these battleships, led to the British pulling out their naval escort of the convoy PQ 17, all in all 37 ships. 26 of these were sunk by planes and submarines. Only 11 ships reached Murmansk (summer 42).

But for these mighty rulers of the sea, time were running out. The Tirpitz was badly damaged by British mini-submarines, who placed 2 tons of explosives explosives under the hull of the ship and several bomb attacks. Finally the Tirpitz were towed towards Tromsø, but it was not a good choice because here the RAF could reach it from Scotland. The ship was bombed by enormous 5,5 ton Tallboy bombs late fall of 1944. The Tirpitz capsized and were finally laid to rest with its bottom up. Over 800 German sailors lost their lives.

On Christmas day 1943, Scharnhorst put to sea to attack a convoy northwest of Norway. Unfortunately for the Germans they ran into the enormous British battleship Duke of York and her escorting cruisers and destroyers. In a three-hour battle in the frigid Arctic seas, the German battleship was battered by gunfire and sunk by torpedoes. 36 survivored of her crew of some 1968 men.





TIRPITZ IN SORTLANDSTRAIT ON ITS WAY TOWARDS FINNMARKA


THE GERMAN AIRFORCE
The German airforce suffered heavy losses at the northen front. Some divisions were totaly wiped out.








German flightplan, and sign with the
inscription "Banak".


Submarine sailer
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