"SINKING OF THE TIRPITZ"

BY NICOLAS TRUDGIAN

Autographed by Group Capt. J.B. Tait, Squadron Leader Tony Iveson and Lt. Zur See Willibald Voelsing..

L/E of 550. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Size: 271/8" x 183/4"

Price: $150.00

— SOLD OUT —


 

Throughout the long years of World War II, Allied air and naval forces endeavored to sink the German battleship Tirpitz. The mighty warship was a constant threat to Allied shipping even while lying at anchor in her lair among the fjords of Norway. Her very presence demanded constant attention and hampered all naval decision making until she was sunk at the end of 1944.

Without so much as weighing anchor, the Tirpitz could disrupt the North Atlantic convoys by tying up urgently needed escort vessels in readiness in case she made a run for the open sea. With this in mind, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called upon Bomber Command to finish her off once and for all.

On November 12, 1944, Lancaster bombers of No. 9 and 617 Squadrons set forth towards the Norwegian fjord of Tromso, where the Tirpitz lay at anchor, surrounded by a web of protective submarine nets. Armed with 12,000 pound "Tallboy" bombs devised by Barnes Wallis, the Lancaster crews arrived in clear skies over the fjord. 10,000 feet below, the great battleship lay sharply contrasted against the still deep waters. As flak from the ship's heavy armament burst all around them, one by one the 31 Lancaasters rolled in or the attack. In a matter of three minutes, the devastating aerial bombardment was completed and eleven minutes later, her port side ripped open, the Tirpitz capsized and sank.

Nicolas Trudgian's fine recreation of one of the most famous and successful air attacks of World War II provides collectors with a valuable print authenticated with the signatures of Group Captain James Tait, who led the Tirpitz raid, Squadron Leader Tony Iveson, one of the 617 Squadron's most promiment pilots and Leutnant Willi Volksing, a gunnery officer on the Tirpitz.

The Signatures:



Group Captain J.R. Tait

Commissioned in 1936, "Willie" Tait led an inspired career in Bomber Command. Having already commanded three bomber squadrons, in March, 1944 he joined 5 Group as a master bomber. The evening before D-Day, he personally led a force of over 200 Lancasters eliminating targets in the Cherbourg peninsula prior to the Normandy landings. In July he succeeded Leonard Cheshire, commanding officer of 617 Squadron. Tait then led 617 in the last three raids against the Tirpitz, including the final raid of 1 November, 1944. It was Tait's own "Tallboy" bomb that was the first of two to hit the Tirpitz. By the end of the war he had flown over 100 operational sorties.

Squadron Leader Tony Iveson
Tony Iveson's first tour of duty was in Fighter Command. He few as a Sergeant Pilot with 616 Squadron, flying Spitfires out of Kenley during the Battle of Britain. Commissioned in 1942, he did his second tour with Bomber Command flying with 617 Squadron. Iveson became one of the Squadon's most acomplished pilots and flew on the November 12 mission in which the Tirpitz was sunk.

Leutnant Zur Zee Willibald Volsing
Joining the Kriegsmarine in 1942, Willi Volksing was Senior Controller in the Gunnery Fire Control Section on the Tirpitz, one of the most important gunnery positions on the ship. In this post, he was responsible for passing vital information between the ship's gun positions and the ship's commanders. After the Tirpitz capsized, he was one of the few fortunate survivors who were released from deep inside the ship by rescuers cutting into the upturned hull.