Another raid on the Tirpitz

The German battleship Tirpitz was on the top of the RAF's target list, seen here at Fættenfjord, where she was in March 1942.

The Fleet Air Arm had failed to hit the Tirpitz when they had hastily mounted an attack when she was seen at sea on the 9th March 1942. Now the RAF would mount the second of what was to become a long campaign to disable the powerful battleship that threatened the Arctic convoys.

Halifax Mark II Series 1, R9441 ?TL-S?, of No. 35 Squadron RAF, on the ground at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire. R9441 later served with No. 102 Squadron RAF, and No. 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit with whom it crashed on taking off from Marston Moor on 4 April 1943.

Handley Page Halifax crews of No. 35 Squadron RAF await transport to their aircraft outside one of the Type C hangars at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire.

A Handley-Page Halifax B Mark II Series I of No. 35 Squadron RAF, being prepared for an engine start in a dispersal, while another aircraft taxies past, at Linton-On-Ouse, Yorkshire.

The difficulty of locating the Tirpitz was to pose a challenge for almost the rest of the war. The moonlight assisted the Halifax aircraft from No.’s 76, 35 and 10 Squadrons RAF on the night of the 30th when they flew the 1300 mile round trip from Scottish airfields. Unfortunately it was all in vain, when they reached the Trondheim area sea fog and low cloud made locating the target impossible. Some aircraft bombed the flak searchlights that could be seen – but the weather made it equally impossible to assess their impact.

Halifax Mark II Series I, W7676 ‘TL-P’, of No.35 Squadron RAF based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, being piloted by Flight Lieutenant Reginald Lane, (later Lieutenant-General, RCAF), over the English countryside. Flt Lt Lane and his crew flew twelve operations in W7676, which failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 28/29 August 1942, when flown by Flt Sgt D John and crew.

Linzee Duncan at Archieraf has more details of the raid, and comprehensive information on the RAF aircraft and crew involved in the raids on the Tirpitz in the spring of 1942. Her account lists six aircraft as missing on this raid, whereas the RAF Bomber Command Campaign History lists only one.

An impressive view of a row of Halifax bombers being assembled at the Handley Page factory at Cricklewood. The aircraft can be seen looking from nose to tail, rather than in profile, with the tail of the first aircraft visible in the foreground.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: