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Winston Churchill called it "the Beast." It was said to be unsinkable. More than thirty military operations failed to destroy it. Eliminating the Tirpitz, Hitler's mightiest warship, a 52,000-ton behemoth, became an Allied obsession.
In The Hunt for Hitler's Warship, Patrick Bishop tells the epic story of the men who would not rest until the Tirpitz lay at the bottom of the sea. In November of 1944, with the threat to Russian supply lines increasing and Allied forces needing reinforcements in the Pacific, a raid as audacious as any Royal Air Force operation of the war was launched, under the command of one of Britain's greatest but least-known war heroes, Wing Commander Willie Tait.
Patrick Bishop draws on decades of experience as a foreign war correspondent to paint a vivid picture of this historic clash of the Royal Air Force's Davids versus Hitler's Goliath of naval engineering. Readers will not be able to put down this account of one of World War II's most dramatic showdowns.
About the Author
Patrick Bishop has emerged in the last decade as one of Britain’s best-regarded military historians with his books Fighter Boys and Bomber Boys , which cast a new light on the men who flew in the Battle of Britain and the Strategic Air Campaign.
He has also led the field in contemporary accounts of the experiences of British troops fighting in southern Afghanistan. His 3 Para told the story of the initial break-in battle in Helmand in 2006 and won the British Army Military Book of the Year Award. He joined the Paras on their return to southern Afghanistan in 2008 and produced a sequel, Ground Truth.
His writing is underpinned by first-hand knowledge of warfare gained during a long career as a foreign correspondent. He has followed British soldiers on almost all their deployments of the last thirty years from the Falklands to Afghanistan.
He is also the author of two novels, A Good War and Follow Me Home , which has been described as ‘the first great novel of the Afghan war.’(Major Chris Hunter).
Table of Contents
Maps and Illustrations ix
Ranks of the Kriegsmarine xx
Chapter 1 The Belly of the Beast 1
Chapter 2 Wilhelmshaven, Saturday, April 1, 1939 9
Chapter 3 Swordfish 19
Chapter 4 Trondheim 43
Chapter 5 "A Wonderful Chance" 67
Chapter 6 "A Somewhat Desperate Venture" 89
Chapter 7 Smoke and Fog 107
Chapter 8 Provoking Nemesis 125
Chapter 9 "A Heart-Shaking" Decision 147
Chapter 10 A Ha'Porth of Tar 163
Chapter 11 The Iron Castle 191
Chapter 12 Enter the Lion 207
Chapter 13 Madmen 227
Chapter 14 The Great Adventure 255
Chapter 15 A "Bloody Great Bang" 269
Chapter 16 North Cape 291
Chapter 17 Tungsten 311
Chapter 18 The Third Man 335
Chapter 19 "My God Mac, They've Had It Today" 361
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good reading but perhaps a little boring with some sections not related to the story.
The Hunt for Hitler’s War­ship by Patrick Bishop is a non-fiction book about the attempts of the allies to sink the Ger­man bat­tle­ship Tir­pitz dur­ing World War II. This is a great book for World War II buffs, naval his­to­ri­ans or those inter­ested in naval tech­ni­cal developments. Patrick Bishop wrote an inter­est­ing book about the allies’ obses­sion with sink­ing the Tir­pitz even though she was mostly inac­tive dur­ing the war. It seemed to me the Tirpitz’s great­est con­tri­bu­tion dur­ing the war was to divert huge amounts of allied resources. Mr. Bishop’s book is also a fas­ci­nat­ing look at the naval his­tory of the North Sea dur­ing World War II. This is a dense and detailed book on a sub­ject I knew very lit­tle about and found the dynam­ics and war pol­i­tics within the British Navy fascinating. The author did a great job explain­ing how the Nimitz fright­ened the allies with her size and fire­power, but was also a lia­bil­ity for the Ger­mans with the resources she demanded to oper­ate. A fas­ci­nat­ing sec­tion of the book dis­cusses the new weapons and train­ing (such as human tor­pe­does and small sub­marines) which the allies invented. Men have strug­gled and even died dur­ing those mis­sions and some­times didn’t even know if they succeeded. I did feel the book could have used a bit of spac­ing between para­graphs to cre­ate a phys­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion of sec­tions. For exam­ple, sev­eral pages could talk about Churchill or the allies, while the next para­graph talks about the cap­tain of the Tir­pitz with­out the usual 1” space. It’s a small com­plaint but I had to go and re-read sev­eral para­graphs to make sure I didn’t miss anything. The book does an excel­lent job cap­tur­ing the mood and his­tory of the time, com­plete with maps show­ing move­ments of troops and ships. Churchill’s con­sum­ing infat­u­a­tion of the Tir­pitz is what put the ship in the his­tory books; oth­er­wise she might have been a foot­note as she spent most of the war anchored. Dis­claimer: I got this book for free