The Sea Trials
These two views of the Tirpitz were taken in the Baltic in 1941.
The British were aware that Tirpitz was working-up in the Baltic, and the three major base ports of Kiel, Gdansk and Gotenhafen (Gdynia) were all regularly photographed by reconnaissance aircraft. In this view of Kiel, the camera has recorded not only Tirpitz, but also three Type VII U-boats (left), a 280-foot auxiliary alongside the wall, and two floating docks (upper right). More rare was a photograph of Tirpitz at sea, the difficulty of locating her so far from the base of the reconnaissance aircraft and the likelihood of cloud in the area combining to reduce the chances of obtaining such a clear shot.
Autumn 1941 in the Baltic. This stern view of Tirpitz, taken through a telephoto lens, gives an idea of her imposing size.
Lying in the roadstead in 1941. The cowling over the forward spotlights by the funnel is folded down. The Tirpitz is shown firing her forward 380mm guns in May 1941. The heavy clouds to the stern are from an ealier salvo. Note the shock wave on the water from the blast of these heavy guns.
The main armament trials. The 800 kg (1,764lb) L/4.4 armour-piercing shell from the 15in guns had an absolute maximum range of 42,000 meter (46,000 yards) and, striking at right angles, would penetrate 29 cm (11.4 inches) of face-hardened armour at a range of 30,000 meter (33,000 yards), the maximum practical range due to sighting considerations.
September 1941 in the Baltic, with units of the so-called "Baltic Fleet" on the move: (left to right) the battleship Tirpitz, in her wake the heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer, the light cruisers Köln and Nürnberg and the destroyers Z-27 and Z-26. The photograph was taken from aboard the destroyer Z-25.
Fitting-out was completed later at Gotenhaven (Gdynia). Here Tirpitz is alongside a pier in one of the many large basins of the harbour.