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Tirpitz Battleship

Service Data

In Service: 25 February 1941 to 12 November 1944

Production Data

Ordered: 14 June 1936
Builder: Kriegsmarinewerft, Wilhelmshaven
Construction No: 128
Laid down: 2 November 1936
Launched: 1 April 1939
Commissioned: 25 February 1941

Technical Data

Type: Battleship
Class: Bismarck class

Displacement: 42,900 tons standard 52,600 tons full load
Length: 251 m
Beam: 36 m
Draft: 10.6 m
Propulsion: 12 × Wagner high pressure 3 × Brown Boveri geared turbines producing up to 163,026 hp
Propellers: 3 × blade propellers, 4.70 m diameter
Speed: 30.8 knots
Range: 8,870 nautical miles 19 knots
Crew: 2,608 men and officers
8 × 38 cm L/47 SK C/34 range 36,200 m
carried 940 to 960 rounds
12 × 15 cm L/55 SK C/28 range 23,000 m
carried 1,800 rounds
16 × 10.5 cm L/65 SK C/33
carried 6,720 rounds
16 × 3.7 cm L/83 SK C/30
carried 32,000 rounds
12 × 2 cm MG L/64 C/30 16 to 58 later
carried 32,000 to 90,000 rounds
8 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes after 1942
24 torpedo's carried
Armour Belt 145 to 320 mm, Deck 50 to 120 mm
Bulkheads 220 mm, Turrets 130 to 360 mm
Barbettes 342 mm, Conning tower 360 mm
Aircraft: 6 × Arado Ar 196 seaplanes
Operators: Kriegsmarine

Other: Battleships


Tirpitz was the second Bismarck class battleship in the German Kriegsmarine, the sister ship of Bismarck, named after Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. She never attacked an enemy ship but spent most of World War II in various bases in German occupied Norway, where her mere presence was a great hazard to the Allies, tying up huge naval and air forces to make sure she could be dealt with if she ever made an aggressive sortie.


25 February 1941
The Tirpitz is commissioned

14 January 1942
The Tirpitz and Admiral Scheer transfer from Wilhelmshaven to Drontheim.

14 to 17 January 1942
The Tirpitz is escorted by the destroyers Bruno Heinemann, Richard Beitzen, Paul Jakobi and Z29 to Trondheimfjord.

5 to 9 March 1942
The Tirpitz takes part in operation Sportpalast (Intercept convoy's PQ-12 and QP-8) along with 3 destroyers only one lone merchant ship was found and sunk. After being sigthed by HMS Victorious the British aircraft carrier, The Tirpitz German high command decide to abandon the operation.

5 July 1942
The Tirpitz planned operation Rösselsprung (Arctic convoy PQ-17) along with Admiral Hipper, Admiral Scheer and Lützow with nine destroyers as escorts, the British Admiralty anticipated this move and ordered the convoy to scatter the Tirpitz ordered to returned to port. Also during this mission the Russians claimed to have intercepted the Tirpitz with K21 submarine.

6 to 7 September 1943
The Tirpitz takes part in operation Sizilien (German raid and temporary occupation of Spitsbergen) along with Scharnhorst and 9 destroyers Karl Galster, Hans Lody, Erich Steinbrink, Theodor Riedel, Z27, Z29, Z30, Z31 and Z33 attack the enemy base on Spitzbergen.

22 September 1943
The Tirpitz is successfully attacked by British midget submarines X5, X6 and X7. after placing 4-ton Amatol side charge underneath the Tirpitz the blast broke her back.

3 April 1944
The Tirpitz is attacked by two waves of Fairey Barracuda torpedo bombers from aircraft carriers. The Tirpitz is heavily damaged and takes two months to repair.

17 April 1944
The Tirpitz is attacked by another air attack only minor damage.

22 to 29 August 1944
The Tirpitz is attacked by several unsuccessful air attacks.

17 October 1944
The Tirpitz is moved further south.

12 November 1944
The Tirpitz is attacked by 32 Lancaster bombers equipped with Tallboy bombs. After being hit several times the ship capsizes and sinks, the magazine of one 38 cm turret detonates.

1948 to 1957
The Tirpitz is broken up, and scrapped.


Friedrich Karl Topp
Takes command on 25 February 1941
Ends command on 24 February 1943

Hans Karl Meyer
Takes command on 24 February 1943
Ends command on 1 May 1944

Wolf Junge
Takes command on 1 May 1944
Ends command on 4 November 1944

Robert Weber
Takes command on 4 November 1944
Ends command on 12 November 1944


Tirpitz Battleship picture 2

Tirpitz Battleship picture 3

Tirpitz Battleship picture 4

Tirpitz Battleship picture 5

Tirpitz Battleship picture 6

Tirpitz Battleship picture 7

Tirpitz Battleship picture 8

Tirpitz Battleship picture 9

Tirpitz Battleship picture 10

Film Footage Gallery

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German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
ISBN-10: 0851775330

German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
ISBN-10: 155750301X

German warships of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0668040378

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