Due to their threat to Allied convoys and warships in WW2, the Royal Navy spared no effort to sink the Bismarck and Tirpitz.
- Two German battleships, the Bismarck and Tirpitz, were the pride of the German Fleet.
- Primary armament 8 x 15-inch guns mounted in 4 turrets.
- Able to fire 771 kg shells over 32 km.
- 40+ anti-aircraft guns.
- Heavily armoured.
- Both were operational by February 1941.
- Germany planned to use battleships to destroy merchant ships.
- However, Battleships were vulnerable to air power.
- Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were restricted to port by constant RAF attacks.
- Tirpitz's crew was still being trained.
- Bismarck sent out with only the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in support.
- British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the older battlecruiser HMS Hood attacked Bismarck and Prinz Eugen in the Denmark Strait.
- Minutes into the battle, HMS Hood was sunk, killing 1,412 of her crew.
- Bismarck separated from Prinz Eugen and headed to France for minor repairs.
- A strike by British carrier aircraft disabled Bismarck enabling HMS Dorsetshire to finish her off with torpedoes.
- Only 115 crew survived.
- Nicknamed "The Beast" by Churchill.
- RAF bomber raids slowed its construction.
- Hitler ordered the German Fleet to occupy the Baltic and waters around Norway.
- The role of the German fleet was to prevent a breakout by the Soviet Baltic Fleet, based in Leningrad (now St Petersburg).
- German Fleet redeployed to Norway to intercept Arctic supply convoys.
- Also was to be used to stop an Allied invasion of Norway.
- The threat posed by the Tirpitz led Allied warships escorting convoy PQ-17 to redeploy to hunt the Tirpitz and for the convoy to scatter.
- The Tirpitz was not used against this convoy, but 23 of the 35 merchant ships were sunk by German aircraft and U-Boats.
- Bombers, carrier aircraft and mini-submarines essentially kept Tirpitz in port.
- November 12 1944, two Tallboy bombs sink Tirpitz.
- Nine hundred of her crew were killed.
Source Information: Insider