by John Asmussen & Steve Wiper
reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Tirpitz was the largest most powerful German Battleship ever built. Not as well known as the Bismarck this mighty warship never the less created much unease in the British Navy who sought to keep him from breaking out and attacking the convoys to Russia. After losing the Bismarck Hitler was reluctant to risk his only other main battleship, so his true potential as a surface raider was never realized. Instead he was repeatedly subjected to aerial bombardment until sunk in a Norwegian fjord by British tall boy bombs. 

Following close on the heels of his successful Bismarck book, Steve Wiper has released another book on his sistership the Tirpitz. Like the other book, this one is full of B&W and color photo's, many never seen before in print. 

The book begins with his construction and details the the launching. The Tirpitz was an improved Bismarck class battleship The primary differences between these two ships was the location of the aircraft cranes amidships and addition of torpedo tubes. The Tirpitz also had a slightly modified bridge, additional anti aircraft guns and protective domes over the fire control directors. These details are well documented in photo's and drawings.  click to
enlarge images
Armament is well covered with some stunning detail photo's that show everything from radar to weapons. Note these detail shots that show the back side of the anti aircraft guns.
There are many awesome color photo's that show the ship at various times during her career. As with his other books Steve has done an excellent job of preparing the images. This shows in the sharpness a vividness of the colors. 
There are also a number of color profiles of the various camouflage schemes that the Tirpitz wore. The centerfold shows him in March - July 1944. I was not aware that the Tirpitz wore so many schemes. Note the June - July 1942 scheme wore in Norway while docked. This scheme was designed to hide the ship and blend it in with the shoreline. Other schemes illustrated in the book include the March - July 1941, July - December 1941, December 1941- February 1942, May -June 1942, July - September 1942, and September 1942 - July 1943, July 1943 - March 1944, and finally the July 1944 - November 1944 scheme. These port and starboard profiles are backed up with photo's that show the ship during these periods.

A great book for anyone interested in this famous German Warship. This book is 72 pages  with 110 black & white photos, 6 color photos and 16 color profile drawings. A history and  record of movement for the ship, and general statistics throughout the years in a  8-1/4" x 11" soft book format. With a retail price of $15.95 US this book is an excellent value and a great addition to your Warship reference library. ISBN 0-9745687-5-9


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