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Preface:
After the loss of the BISMARCK on May 27, 1941 sorties of capital ships into the Atlantic Ocean had to be abandoned. Above all, after invading the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 Germany had to station the majority of its capital ships in Norway in order to disrupt Allied convoys supporting the Red Army. Eventually, the TIRPITZ sailed on January 15, 1942 towards Trondheim to the nearby Faettenfjord.

In order to continue this series of books in the accustomed quality, travelling to Norway was crucial to get an impression of the local circumstances and mooring places. After this was relatively straightforward in case of Faettenfjord, it was soon realised that the battleship did not stay at this mooring place only, but on many hitherto unknown locations widely scattered across the fjords. To trace, if possible, all moorings of the TIRPITZ, a very difficult and time consuming search began. The mountain ridges visible in historical photos gave unequivocal proof of the picture being taken was a match or not. Matters were made worse by the fact that rock formations appear totally different when viewed from a couple of metres to the left or to the right. Because of this it took several journeys in order to pin down the former locations of the photographers. Furthermore, photos that were taken onboard other vessels while at sea, did not make things easier. To compensate, it was necessary to rent a boat to sail up and down the fjords. This approach made it possible to guarantee the correct chronology
of the photos to further tell the story according to the war diary. As soon as a subject had been found and the geographical placement of the historical photo became feasible, this sense of achievement was motivation enough to proceed with the extensive search. Location determination proved very difficult when the TIRPITZ had been moved to another mooring or, as in March 1942, set sail for her first deployment against an Allied convoy. Because of the coast length (incl. fjords and islands) of about 60,000 km this was impossible to do on-site, and so modern tools and means such as Google Earth were needed in order to determine relationships between photos in considerable detective work on the computer. Subsequently some evaluations were checked against in Norway, in order to use them, amongst others, for the »Past und present« section.

In historic documentation of this kind, it is inevitable that symbols and symbolism typical of the time are made visible. However, it would be an absolute misconception to deduce from this that the authors have any sympathy for Nazi ideology. The presentation of such symbols in no way detracts from the fact that these sea-going steel giants as a means of power still hold a certain fascination, despite the inhuman and political system behind them.

 

Index:
1942 – Jan. 15 and 16: from Schillig roadstead to Trondheim
1942 – Jan. 16 to March 06: Faettenfjord / Trondheim area
1942 – Jan. 20 / 21: movements in Gulosenfjord / Steinkjer Bay
1942 – Feb. 05: exercise in Norviksund / Trondheimfjord
1942 – Feb. 19: fog, range finding and tracking exercises
1942 – Feb. 21 to 23: operation “Sportpalast”
1942 – Feb. 23: proword “Rösselsprung”, moving to Hemnfjorden
1942 – Feb. 25 and 26: exercises / sub-calibre firing
1942 – Late Feb. to mid-March; SC and PG at Lofjorden
1942 – March 06 to 09; operation against Allied convoy PQ12
1942 – March 09: British Task Force and air attack near Lofoten
1942 – March 09: approaching Bogen via Vestfjorden / Ofotfjord
1942 – March 10 to 12: inside net enclosure at Bogen Bay
1942 – March 13: returning to Trondheim (Faettenfjord)
1942 – March 14 to July 02: Faettenfjord / Trondheim area
1942 – March 21: arrival of ADMIRAL HIPPER at Lofjorden
1942 – April 01: range finding, tracking, replenishment exercises
1942 – May 03: formation exercise with HP / SC, Trondheimfjord
1942 – May 28 and 29: degaussing runs / exercises
1942 – June 07 and 08: sub-calibre and torpedo firing
1942 – June 10 and 11: exercises and sub-calibre firing
1942 – June 16 and 17: exercises in Trondheimfjord

 

Additional Features:
Norwegian agents, German and British types of aircraft
Faetten- and Åsenfjord, »past and present«
Lofjorden, “past and present”
Trondheim area / Norwegian coast, »past and present«
Tysfjord / Bogen Bay, »past and present«

 

Maps:
1942 – Jan. 15/16: southern route map, Schillig to Trondheim
1942 – Jan. 15/16: northern route map, Schillig to Trondheim
1942 – Jan. 16: approaching Norway near Kristiansund
1942 – Jan. 16: entering via Trondheimsleia
1942 – Overview Trondheimfjord area
1942 – Overview mooring place at Faettenfjord
1942 – Feb. 23: proword “Rösselsprung”, Hemnfjorden
1942 – Feb. 23: torpedoing of PG near Kristiansund
1942 – March 06: assembling off Steinvikholm for PQ12 sortie
1942 – March 07 to 09; search for PQ12
1942 – March 09: route map, sailing back from the Norw. Sea
1942 – March 09: movements in Vestfjorden / Tysfjorden
1942 – March 09 and 10: anchorage at Bogen Bay, off Østervik
1942 – March 13: route map, sailing back to Trondheim
1942 to 43; agent’s radio transmitters in Trondheim area

 

Graphics:
1942 – Jan. to early April: fitting-out status and camouflage
1942 – Jan. 15: night-transit through the North Sea in line ahead
1942 – Jan. 16: protection against submarines off the Norw. coast
1942 – March 06: protection against subs, departing via Frohavet
1942 – March 09: sketch of RAF aerial torpedo attack
1942 – March 13: protection against subs, departing via Ofotfjord
1942 – May: fitting-out status and camouflage, Faettenfjord
1942 – June: fitting-out status and camouflage TIRPITZ
1942 – late June onwards: fitting-out status and camouflage

 

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