The Hunt for Hitler’s Warship by Patrick Bishop is an account of the attempts of the Allies to sink the German battleship Tirpitz during World War II. This is a great book for World War II buffs, naval historians or those interested in naval technical developments.
What adds to the interest is the allies’ obsession with sinking the Tirpitz, even though she was mostly inactive during the war. It seemed to me the Tirpitz’s greatest contribution during the war was to divert huge amounts of Allied resources.
Mr. Bishop’s book is also a fascinating look at the naval history of the North Sea during World War II. This is a dense and detailed book on a subject I knew very little about and found the dynamics and war politics within the British Navy fascinating.
The author did a great job explaining how the Tirpitz frightened the Allies with her size and firepower, but was also a liability for the Germans with the resources she demanded to operate. A fascinating section of the book discusses the new weapons and training (such as human torpedoes and small submarines), which the allies invented. Men have struggled and even died during those missions and sometimes didn’t even know if they succeeded.
I did feel the book could have used a bit of spacing between paragraphs to create a physical separation of sections. For example, several pages could talk about Churchill or the allies, while the next paragraph talks about the captain of the Tirpitz without the usual 1” space. It’s a small complaint but I had to go and re-read several paragraphs to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
The book does an excellent job capturing the mood and history of the time, complete with maps showing movements of troops and ships. Churchill’s consuming infatuation of the Tirpitz is what put the ship in the history books; otherwise she might have been a footnote as she spent most of the war anchored.
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