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Monument for the Attack Against Battleship Tirpitz with X-crafts

Operation Source:
The Tirpitz (photo 4) was anchored in Kaafjord, Alta in 22nd September 1943. During the early morning three British midget submarines attacked the German battleship while she was anchored into Barbrodalen enclosure.

The X-Crafts (midget submarines, photo 5) successfully avoided the nets protecting the Tirpitz and X-5, X-6 and X-7 entered the Kaafjord.
X-6 and X-7 dropped four mines under Tirpitz. The fate of X-5 is unknown.

The X-Crafts were shooted at after the alarm was given on board the Tirpitz as an X-Craft was seen from the deck of the battleship.

X-5 was sunk and all crew was dead. X-6 and X-7 were sunk as well but their crew were captured by Germans and brought on board Tirpitz. Two fighters from X-7 drowned with their craft.

The Germans tried to move their ship with using her anchors but the mines exploded under the ship and caused heavy damages: three main engines were out of action, turrets A and C were raised by the blast and also damaged. 800 cubic meters of seawater entered the ship and there were damages in the propeller shaft and rudder as well.

It took six months from the Germans the repare the ship. It was transferred to the neighbourhood of Tromso where it was sunk later by British Lancaster bombers equipped with Tall Boy-bombs.

The monument is placed at the churchyard of Kaafjord church.

Text: Mauri Lehtiranta
Photo 1,2,3: Mauri Lehtiranta
Photo 4: Tirpitz Museum
Photo 5: Wikipedia

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