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Tirpitz: The Life and Death of Germany's Last Super Battleship Hardcover – December, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate (December 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935149180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935149187
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Although not as famous as her sistership Bismarck, the German battleship Tirpitz has received a far amount of coverage in the past thirty years, including John Sweetman's Tirpitz - Hunting the Beast in 2000. Now, Niklas Zetterling and Michael Tamelander, two Swedish researchers, have collaborated to produce another book on the Tirpitz. Rather than focusing on what the Tirpitz accomplished in her brief wartime career between 1942 and 1944 - which was darn little - the author's focus on the repeated British efforts to destroy the Tirpitz. Readers should be aware of several things about this book. First, it is rather non-technical and appears suited to general rather than specialist readers. Second, although the authors have used German wartime diaries as a source, they have also relied very heavily on standard secondary sources, so there is not a lot of new or unexpected information revealed here. Third, the book is an interesting read but the most gripping parts - those concerning actual attacks upon the Tirpitz - often seem rather succinct. Overall, this book represents a fairly well packaged and presented narrative on the two-year British effort to eliminate the Tirpitz, but it is also not very original in content or method. Indeed, I would say that it represents the historical equivalent of a bologna sandwich - edible and tasty while being consumed, but utterly forgettable afterward.

The book consists of 26 sequential chapters, which provide 322 pages of text. Aside from one large 2-page map of northern Norway, there are several smaller maps for actions such as the Battle of the Barents Sea; these maps are generally too small to read without a magnifying glass handy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By a_wienke on February 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the companion volume to Bismarck, the authors gloss over the technical details of the ship assuming that the reader has read the other volume, but still provides enough information to inform someone who has not read the other volume. As with Bismarck, the authors put the role of the Tirpitz within the larger picutre of Arctic Convoy warfare. They focus on other events besides those directly related to the Tirpitz. For instance, they spend some time discussing the role of Artic Convoys and the demise of the Scharnhorst.

The authors also focus on the British attempts to destroy the battleship through direct assaults--including midget submarines, bombing raids, and deceptions--as well as their attempts to destroy all support for the battleship in Operation Chariot, the raid on the St. Nazaire Dry Docks.

This is a good acoount of the Tirpitz's story. There are not too many available in English and this fills a void. However, there are numerous grammaticsl errors (as in the Bismarck) and the footnotes do not correspond with the text. Additionally, the last 75 footnotes are not even covered in the back of the book. These faults are the major reason for the rating of three stars; if they had been addressed, the book would merit four for the story and background infomation alone.

The bottom line is that this book provides a good basic account of the Tirpitz, Arctic convoy warfare, and the British attempts to stop her, this is the place to start as long as one does not wish to utilize the footnotes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Satyrman63 on June 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book before its sister book about the Bismarck and could not put it down. It is absolutely a fantastic read.

The authors do a great job of capturing all the necessary tactics, startegy and personalities of the era but also putting a very clear, distinctive face upon the suffereing and tragedy endured by both sides during this conflict.

I'd say about 60% of the book is from the Axis point of view, which is refreshing in that we all know that the victors write the history. However, there is plenty of perspective from the U.K. side to clearly see how they viewed events unfolding.

Again, this is great. Money well spent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to say that I am a little surprised that this book is reviewed as well as it has been...much of the book is spent talking about arctic convoys and various other things that factored into the story of the Tirpitz but were not of the most interest relative to the ship itself. It seems the author tried to whatever extent possible to fill up the book with stories about the war relative to the convoys near Norway, and the book didn't really get interesting until the story reached the point where the british x craft attacked, followed by attacks by the Royal Air force. When it was on point the book was a fine read - though a lot of the book was off subject. I don't regret having read it, but I could see how others found it an odd piece of work - it is well known that the Tirpitz had a very stunted career in the German navy, and perhaps its story could have been told in a shorter, more on subject book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Story of the Tirpitz is a study in British "What If's" caused by paranoia over the loss of HMS Hood during the nine days of the Bismark. "What If" the Tirpitz did this, or that? One "what if " caused the death of some 142 men and the capture of another 275 while the Tirpitz was 100's of miles away. Another more death's, loss of supplies and ships to one convoy then had she actually been engaged while the Tirpitz sat in an anchorage. On the flip side the German Naval Commanders wanted to use the Tirpitz on convoys, but Hitler was scared to commit his heavy ships and said "not granted". This makes for an interesting read not only of the life of the last German Battleship, but how obsession can blind somebody to the facts.
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