Battle for Hitler's Supership
A 2005 Tigress Production for Five, History Channel, NDR and Channel 4 International narrated by Piers Gibbon.
Winston Churchill called her 'Hitler's Beast'. Launched in April 1939, the giant German battleship Tirpitz could out-fight anything in the Royal Navy. One-sixth of a mile long, with a crew of 2,400 and capable of speeds close to 40mph, the Tirpitz was also armed with a full battery of seventy-two guns, including eight 15" guns capable of sending a 2,000lb shell over twenty miles. She posed a formidable threat to Britain's sea lanes and convoys - and the fear of her sheer destructive power was so great that sinking her became a personal obsession of Prime Minister Churchill.
Using dramatic reconstructions, computer graphics and rare original footage, the documentary tells the gripping story of the Allies' attempts to destroy this awesome warship. After eighteen bombing raids against the ship in the first two years of war, it remained virtually unscratched: 600 Commandos attacked St. Nazaire on a virtual suicide mission just to deny Tirpitz an Atlantic port. Moved to the Arctic theatre of war - lurking deep in the Fjords of occupied Norway - she seemed invulnerable.
The Allies tried ingenious methods of sinking her - attacks by Chariot 'human torpedoes', X-craft midget submarines and waves of Fleet Air Arm Barracuda dive-bombers. Everything failed. With the ship about to disappear into the safety of the six-month long Arctic night, it was left to the men of RAF 617 Squadron - the legendary 'Dam Busters' and RAF 9 Squadron - to launch one final strike using a devastating new weapon developed by Barnes Wallis, inventor of the 'Bouncing Bomb'.
Also including exclusive interviews with veterans who served with 617 Squadron, ex-Tirpitz sailors, X-craft midget submarine and Chariot human torpedo crewmen, merchant seamen and a member of the Norwegian Resistance, the documentary vividly bring to life the story of the most awesome battleship of the Second World War.
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