Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
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The Destruction of a Battleship - The Tirpitz   On   the   night   of   September,   19-20,   1943   Tirpitz   was attacked   by   midget   submarines   or   X   Craft,   Four   of them   were   survivors   of   the   six   towed   across   the North   Sea   by   Fleet   submarines.   X-10   aborted   her operation   and   was   never   heard   of   again,   X-6   and   X- 7   were   successful,   through   the   crews   were   taken prisoner.     Their     explosions     seriously     damaged Tirpitz,    unseating    her    main    engines.    She    was immobilized for several months. Operation   Tunsten   was   another   attempt   to   sink   the Tirpitz   in   April,   1944.   Specially   trained   Fleet   Air Arm   pilots   and   crews   from   the   Carriers   Victorious (72   aircraft),   Furious   (20   aircraft),   and   the   three escort   carriers,   Pursuer   (18   aircraft),   Searcher   (24 aircraft) and Emperor (24 aircraft). They   also   gave   coordinated   and   extra   cover   to   a   Russian   convoy.   Victorious   and   Furious   carried   bombers   and   the   other   carriers provided   fighter   cover.   The   planes   attacked   in   two   waves,   scoring   fifteen   hits   but   the   battleship   was   saved   by   the   8”   thickness   of her armoured main deck. She never served as a battleship again and was moved to Tromso were she acted as a floating battery. Tromso   lay   within   RAF   bomber   range   and   on   the   12   November   1944   Lancasters   attacked   her   with   six   ton   bombs.      The   leviathan capsized and Tirpitz was destroyed. (Original article by David Brown; TAGA Newsletter January 2004; Photo Credit Arthur Wells TAG) Tirpitz    was    the    second    of    two    Bismarck-class battleships   built   for   the   German   Navy   during   World War   II.      Tirpitz   was   the   heaviest   battleship   ever built    by    a    European    Navy    and    served    as    the centrepiece of the Baltic Fleet. In    1942,    the    ship    sailed    to    Norway        forcing    the British   Royal   Navy   to   retain   significant   naval   forces in the area .  In     September     1943,     Tirpitz,     along     with     the battleship   Scharnhorst,   bombarded   Allied   positions on   the   island   of   Spitzbergen,   the   only   time   the   ship used     her     main     battery     in     combat.     Shortly thereafter,   the   ship   was   damaged   in   an   attack   by British   mini-submarines   and   subsequently   subjected   to   a   series   of   large-scale   air   raids.   On   12   November   1944,   British   Lancaster bombers   destroyed   the   ship.   Two   direct   hits   and   a   near   miss   caused   the   ship   to   capsize   rapidly.      A   deck   fire   spread   to   the ammunition magazine for one of the main battery turrets, which caused a large explosion. Figures for the number of men killed in the attack range from 950 to 1,204. 
The TAGs aboard HMS Furious following the Tirpitz raid