Operation "Catechism" (12 November 1944)
Tirpitz shrouded by gigantic fountains of water from near misses and the billowing smoke of direct hits; note, left, the explosive cloud from a wide miss. All hope for the ship is now gone. The bright point at the foot of the cloud of smoke is the explosion of a direct hit. Both this and the previous photograph were taken from an altitude of about 2,000 meter (6,600 feet).
The bright pinpoint in the murk denotes another direct hit. This photograph was taken from an altitude of about 4,000 meter (13,200 feet). As the ship is devastated by fire, another bomb explodes well wide of the target.
A huge cloud of smoke blankets the ship. The end. Tirpitz in her death throes.
The ship capzizes. Shortly afterwards, rescue teams board the upturned hull to save what they can. Among them are many of the ship's technical specialists, most importantly the pump masters. Thanks to their knowledge of the state of the ship, its divisions and the warren of compartments, they succeeded eventually in extricating more than 80 members of the ship's company entombed in the hull.
The repair vessel Huascaran goes alongside. Work starts on breaking Tirpitz up, 22 March 1949.