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Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler’s Mightiest Warship Hardcover – 2 Feb 2012
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‘This is a great wartime story, gung-ho in its praise of the men who finally sank Tirpitz, yet compassionate towards her courageous crew. Already a bestselling war historian with his books on the RAF, Target Tirpitz proves that Bishop has sea legs, and this book should add another fleet of fans to his existing army of admirers.’
‘The story of the successive British efforts to destroy [the Tirpitz] is remarkable indeed, and Bishop deploys all his splendid narrative gifts to do it justice.’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times
‘Spellbinding…While he is adept at explaining the strategic picture it is in his intense description of set-pieces and of the heroic dedication of their human participants that Bishop excels.’ Daily Express
‘Patrick Bishop wisely concentrates his splendid narrative on the many ingenious and extremely hazardous British attempts to destroy [the Tirpitz]…Bishop does this tale extraordinary justice…Elegantly written and exhaustively researched, Target Tirpitz is a fitting memorial to all those who perished in this relatively unknown chapter of naval warfare.’ Daily Telegraph
“The story of the successive British efforts to destroy (the Tirpitz) is remarkable indeed, and Bishop deploys all his splendid narrative gifts to do it justice” Sunday Times
About the Author
Patrick Bishop is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling ‘Fighter Boys’, ‘Bomber Boys’, ‘3 Para’ and ‘Ground Truth’. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent for over twenty years, reporting from conflicts all over the world.
Top customer reviews
Patrick Bishop identifies the swan-song of the battleship: aircraft carriers were becoming the dominant naval force. (By 1943 Hitler had decided to scrap his big ships because they were not contributing effectively to the war and were using valuable resources. He was persuaded from doing so because the British forces covering threats from his big ships would then be used elsewhere).
The Tirpitz spent most of the war holed-up in Norwegian fjords. It rarely ventured out because Hitler did not want to see the Tirpitz suffer the same fate as the Bismarck. (A hit on its rudder by a torpedo from an antiquated biplane from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal meant the Bismarck could then only turn in circles, and its fate was sealed).
Bishop describes how more than 2000 men on the Tirpitz spent most of the war in relative comfort: three meals a day and plenty of time to relax. In fact one of the problems was boredom at a time when Hitler's armies in Russia were suffering appallingly.
Max Hastings writes in 'Bomber Command': "Many of the greatest feats of precision bombing such as the sinking of the Tirpitz - which would have been a strategic achievement in 1941, 1942, and even 1943 - became no more than marvellous circus-tricks by the time were they achieved in 1944 and 1945". Ludovic Kennedy wrote in his history of the vessel that she "lived an invalid's life and died a cripple's death".
This is not to deny the bravery of the men who were involved in the various attempts to sink the Tirpitz. This Kindle edition has good photographs and useful diagrams which look good on a Kindle Fire HD, though may not do so on a basic Kindle.
As the author rightly points out in his excellent introduction the stories intertwined around the attempts to sink the Tirpitz are filled with courage and folly. He asks questions about strategy and tactics, whilst always having a respect for the ordinary - and extraordinary - men who carried these missions out. Bishop mixes first hand accounts, technical knowledge and good writing to produce the first great book on WWII of the year.
Thought still afloat, the Tirpitz was now incapable of going to sea and would have been destroyed had the Germans attempted to tow her all the way back to Germany for repair. In the last stages of the war, she was moved to another location where she was rested on the seabed and used as a static gun battery. As such, she was eventually destroyed by RAF bombers from the Dambuster Squadron. In one RAF museum in the UK, I saw an RAF account of the sinking of this great ship which afforded no credit to those X-Craft whose deeds created a situation whereby the Tirpitz was a sitting target at the time she was finally sunk! But I digress.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
absolutly fantastic read, it reads like a thriller but it's all true, couldn't put it down very well researched and writtenPublished 21 months ago by Mr. Colin G. Braithwaite
Enjoyed this read. Good balance between narrative and witness accounts.Published 24 months ago by Mr A J McElreavey
Despite numerous similar atempts to achieve a sinking this story remains fascinating to the endPublished on 2 Jun. 2015 by Amazon Customer