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Sink the Tirpitz 1942-44

Sink the Tirpitz 1942-44 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review January 2019 Title Sink the Tirpitz 1942-44
Author Ryan K. Noppen Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2018 ISBN 9781472831590
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $20.00


During WWII, the resources required to seek and destroy battleship Bismarck heightened British fears of Nazi surface raiders.

With submarines, the German vessels threatened sea lanes bringing vital supplies to the island nation and its allies.

Now Angus Konstam relates British attempts to subdue Bismarck's sister in Sink the Tirpitz 1942–44 – seventh in Osprey's growing "Air Campaign" range.

And the subtitle tells it all: "The RAF and Fleet Air Arm duel with Germany's mighty battleship".

Konstam kick-starts coverage with key background details: aircraft, ordinance, basing, and more.

Contents then chronicle every Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force action against Tirpitz. And Konstam competently covers campaign strategy and tactics for both attackers and defenders.

Beginning in 1942, Tirpitz assumed a deterrent role, serving as a "fleet-in-being" threat to Murmansk-bound convoys. By 1944, successive British raids reduced the vessel to a floating battery. And Konstam's chronicle culminates in Operation Catechism, when an RAF Lancaster "Tallboy" mission finally sank the ship that November.

Konstam's handy "aftermath and analysis" neatly sums things up. Sidebars, photos, maps, battle schematics, action paintings, and extended captions also augment the account. And a selected bibliography and index conclude coverage.

Despite a lack of annotations, this "Air Campaign" installment provides great basis for further study of Tirpitz attacks. But I think reasonable folks might dispute Konstam's claim that they were "arguably the most sustained air operations of the war".

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!