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dseehafer

dseehafer's list of Tirpitz fun facts!

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Greetings all,

 

      Basically what the title says. Enjoy!

 

 

- Tirpitz (and Bismarck) were originally designed to mount 13" guns. This changed after France announced that Richelieu would mount 15" guns.

 

- Tirpitz was 8'6" longer than her sister.

 

- Tirpitz received more powerful engines than Bismarck increasing her design speed to 31.5kn.

 

- As built, Tirpitz had a pair of depth charge racks mounted on the stern. These were later removed.

 

- Tirpitz had smoke generators mounted in her stern and also had several smoke canisters littered across her decks and superstructures.

 

-  Tirpitz's center-line propeller was a variable pitch propeller. This meant that the blades of the prop could be rotated to control the amount of thrust generated by the propeller. In this way, it was possible for Tirpitz to go from full speed ahead to reverse without ever slowing and reversing the engines. Also worked as a breaking system which helped with dodging torpedoes.

 

- In her first transit through the Kiel canal, Tirpitz ran aground 4 times (The Bismarck's were notoriously unmaneuverable at low speeds)

 

- The only times Tirpitz ever fired her real guns was at Spitzbergen and during the final tallboy attacks, as all gunnery trials were done with sub-caliber barrels which were inserted into the main guns to prevent the actual guns from wearing out.

 

- When Tirpitz first arrived in Norway she was given her very own Bf109 fighter and an Ace pilot (Kurt Dombacher) while she awaited the arrival of her Arado floatplanes (at the time under repair) from Germany.

 

- Though Tirpitz never sank an enemy ship she did sink the British submarine X5 with her secondary guns and she was present for the sinking of a Russian freighter during the search for Convoy PQ12.

 

- Tirpitz was subject to more air attacks than any other battleship in history.

 

- While Tirpitz was fitting out it was decided to test her engines, however, increased RAF activity convinced the Germans that it was unsafe to let Tirpitz go out to sea in her current incomplete condition. So they strapped her to two buoys and basically played a game of tug of war with the bouys while putting the engine through its paces. Soot churned up by the ship's propellers clogged the condenser openings causing the engines to overheat and burst into flames. The engines, however, were salvageable.

 

- It took an hour and twenty minutes to build up enough steam to move the Tirpitz. Because of this, the engines were left running almost all the time so the ship would be able to move in an attack/emergency. The amount of precious fuel the Tirpitz ate up doing this was astronomical.

 

- Tirpitz shot down 39 enemy aircraft during her career.

 

- During gunnery trials against the target ship Hessen, Tirpitz hit the Hessen 9 times from a range of 25km. These are the longest non-combat artillery hits on another ship ever recorded by any battleship before or since.

 

- In order to train and fire her torpedo tubes the aft 15cm turrets had to be trained to 90 or 270 degrees.

 

- The fastest recorded speed Tirpitz ever went was 30.8kn at 163,026 hp during sea trials, though, this speed was obtained without overloading the engines, so a speed as high as 32kn is not an unrealistic possibility.

 

- Tirpitz met her demise when she was struck by 3 Tallboy bombs and 1 near miss. Tirpitz had settled into the mud at a list of 60 degrees and had stabilized at that point when the aft magazine detonated (we still don't know exactly why), disturbing the balance of the ship and causing Tirpitz to roll over completely.

 

- Tirpitz was the largest battleship ever built in Europe

 

- Tirpitz had 4 captains during her career, Kar Topp (Feb 1941 - Feb 1943), Hans Meyer (Feb 1943 - May 1944), Wolf Junge (May 1944 - Nov 1944), and Robert Weber (Nov 1944)

 

- In the months leading up to Operation Cerberus (The Channel Dash) Tirpitz played her part by distracting the British by jumping from fjord to fjord and practicing gunnery drills. This was done to make the British believe that Tirpitz was preparring for a breakout in an attempt to draw attention away from the build up of German warships in France.

 

- Tirpitz was the last major German warship Hitler ever visited.

 

- Tirpitz was attacked by Soviet submarines on three separate occasions during her career, none of the attacks were successful though one of the Soviet subs went as far as to claim that it hit and sank the Tirpitz.

 

- Tirpitz's crew consisted of 12 divisions. Division I - IV of the crew were intended for the main and secondary artillery, division V was for light AA guns, division VI for heavy AA, division VII consisted of canteen staff, cooks, tailors, cobblers, barbers and the ship's band, division VIII for damage control, division IX was navigation, and divisions X - XII were engineers, technicians, engine room.

 

- About 7,500 planks of wood made up Tirpitz's deck.

 

- Tirpitz had 15x 25m anchor chains on board, 9 for the starboard anchor, 3 for the port anchor and 3 in reserve. The stern anchor was used only for support to prevent the ship from swinging.

 

- Tirpitz never once deployed her paravanes.

 

- Each of Tirpitz's 15" guns weighed 111t, 3 tons more than the fore and aft 15cm turrets weighed (108t).

 

- Tirpitz was once painted to look like a brick factory. Among her other disguises included painting/dressing her to look like a British battleship, a mountain, and a forest. Interestingly, she was one of the only large German warships never to wear a traditional Baltic camo scheme.

 

- Tirpitz enjoyed the company of every large German warship in the Kriegsmarine at some point in her career save for Konigsberg, Karlsruhe, and Gneisenau. She was by no means "The lonely Queen of the North".

 

- Among other things, Tirpitz's demise came in part by the fact that the Luftwaffe fighters sent to defend her were accidentally sent to the wrong fjord. Because the Tirpitz was expecting air cover and didnt want to shoot down any friendlies, her AA gunners opened fire on the attacking Lancasters much too late.... no Lancaster bombers were destroyed in the attack.

 

 

 

Edited by dseehafer
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Neat. A lot of these I haven't heard before.

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Very nice post, amigo. Some of those fun facts are incredible. Do you think we could lobby WG to give Tirpitz a smoke consumable?

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Very nice post, amigo. Some of those fun facts are incredible. Do you think we could lobby WG to give Tirpitz a smoke consumable?

 

The Bismarck fans got upset enough with the secondary range buff... let's not push them off the edge. ;)

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Never heard of the proposed 13in fit, was that to be triples or twins?

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Never heard of the proposed 13in fit, was that to be triples or twins?

 

Twins I'm guessing... yeah, almost positive

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I wish there was footage of them derping the Tirpitz into the ground, that'd be hilarious. I'm just imagining the whole thing as a movie,

He'd be the beach, and Austin on the roller would be the Tirpitz :3

Although I wonder if there was any damage or injuries from running aground 4 times.

Edited by KmsH44

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Twins I'm guessing... yeah, almost positive

 

Yes, here we go..

 

"The work on a design of a 35,000 ton battleship began in Germany in 1932, initially under a veil of secrecy. The ship was to be heavily armored, fast and armed with a battery of eight 33cm main guns, although those were later upgraded to 38cm guns after the Germans had gained access to information about the caliber of main guns mounted on the French Richelieu-class Battleships." - Stefan Draminski - Super Drawings in 3d: The Battleship Tirpitz

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I wish there was footage of them derping the Tirpitz into the ground, that'd be hilarious. I'm just imagining the whole thing as a movie,

He'd be the beach, and Austin on the roller would be the Tirpitz :3

Although I wonder if there was any damage or injuries from running aground 4 times.

 

I have pictures

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"- It took an hour and twenty minutes to build up enough steam to move the Tirpitz. Because of this, the engines were left running almost all the time so the ship would be able to move in an attack/emergency. The amount of precious fuel the Tirpitz ate up doing this was astronomical."

 

If the Socrates had an engine running she wouldn't have run aground on Park Point. in November of 1985. https://attic.areavoices.com/2010/11/23/socrates-runs-aground-off-park-point-1985/

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"- It took an hour and twenty minutes to build up enough steam to move the Tirpitz. Because of this, the engines were left running almost all the time so the ship would be able to move in an attack/emergency. The amount of precious fuel the Tirpitz ate up doing this was astronomical."

 

If the Socrates had an engine running she wouldn't have run aground on Park Point. in November of 1985. https://attic.areavoices.com/2010/11/23/socrates-runs-aground-off-park-point-1985/

 

​Ah yes. Before my time. Where you there for that?

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Shot down 39 planes...wonder what the record was for a ship's aa guns to have downed over it's career.

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Oooooo, can we see them?

 

​​lqSzs2r.jpg

 

Displaying IMG_20170606_154039705.jpg

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​Ah yes. Before my time. Where you there for that?

 

Yes I was. That event caused the Coast Guard to change the rules for ships anchored outside of a harbor to require them to have at least one engine running where before they would shut down their engines to save fuel. We all know from Pearl Harbor that it takes a long time for a steam engine to produce usable power but a lot of people don't realize that large marine diesels don't start up like road engines do.

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BTW I can provide picture/sources for pretty much all of these if anyone needs any. :)

 

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- Tirpitz (and Bismarck) were originally designed to mount 13" guns. This changed after France announced that Richelieu would mount 15" guns.

 

I don't know how many times I've had to explain to people that the Bismarck class were largely designed to counter the French Richelieu and just give Germany some capital ships, most people seem to think they were built from the keel up as commerce raiders. Bismarck and Tirpitz work for commerce raiding however, I liken it to hammering nails with a sledgehammer, does the job but it's plain overkill. Same with the comparisons to Bayern, those two ships were completely different designs. 

 

A side question, I've heard that Tirpitz's 5.9 inch secondary battery was at some point tested as a dual purpose system, is there any truth to this? 

Edited by xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx

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"- It took an hour and twenty minutes to build up enough steam to move the Tirpitz. Because of this, the engines were left running almost all the time so the ship would be able to move in an attack/emergency. The amount of precious fuel the Tirpitz ate up doing this was astronomical."

 

This is pretty typical, at least all I've read of RN practice was 'maintain X hours readiness to make XX kt'. Usually about 4hrs for 20kt on the bigger ships, I can easily see maintaining readiness for 80 minutes eating fuel.

 

 

8x 13in on 35,000 tons is a very different though very odd ship. The Dunkerques do it on 27,000 tons though make big armor sacrifices to do so.

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A side question, I've heard that Tirpitz's 5.9 inch secondary battery was at some point tested as a dual purpose system, is there any truth to this? 

 

You probably heard that from me.

 

Yes it's true that her 15cm guns were given special AA shells in early 1944. As to how effective they were, no one knows. We only know they existed because they are mentioned in Siegfried Breyer's book "Schlachtschiffe Tirpitz".

 

 

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You probably heard that from me.

 

Yes it's true that her 15cm guns were given special AA shells in early 1944. As to how effective they were, no one knows. We only know they existed because they are mentioned in Siegfried Breyer's book "Schlachtschiffe Tirpitz".

 

 

 

Ah I see, that sounds about right :teethhappy:

 

It would be an interesting buff to Tirpitz but I don't think she really needs it at this point.

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Yes dseehafer - thanks for sharing. You could always tag your most fav photo of whatever ship you are discussing in the OP. I personally enjoy looking at the ships. 

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Big thanks to Dseehafer for sharing this list on facts on the website and facebook page. Ton of fans of the Bismarck and Tirptiz, so his list of facts has made him a celebrity. 

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1 hour ago, Jracule said:

Big thanks to Dseehafer for sharing this list on facts on the website and facebook page. Ton of fans of the Bismarck and Tirptiz, so his list of facts has made him a celebrity. 

 

Curious as to why you linked that article about the Kriegsmarine not having a dual purpose gun on my article? The 105mm sk33 and sk37 were dual purpose by design and were used in both the AA and anti-surface roles. Further, though not originally designed to be dual-purpose, after Operation Tungsten Tirpitz's 150mm turrets were modified to perform in the anti-aircraft role. The article can stay up, but I'd prefer it not to be linked to my article. I will not be the bearer of false information.

 

A 105mm Sk/33 firing on a merchant vessel. Likely taken from Admiral Scheer.

 

1WtHBSW.png

 

 

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