Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Hunt for Hitler's Warship by Patrick Bishop

German naval history particularly in WWII often seems to me to be reduced to the U-boats and of course the sinking of the Bismarck. One storie that is usually covered in passing but had an effect on the war in the northern Atlantic is the attempts to destroy the Tirpitz. Feared for what it could do to the convoys first that's applied Britain then after its movement to Norway the Arctic route that supplied the Soviet Union.

Patrick Bishop in The Hunt for Hitler's Warship has produced in excellent narrative of the various attempts to sink the ship with naval surface ships, submarines and bombing. Even though he has a lot of ground to cover he never loses the thread down in the details. At the same time providing enough information for the reader.  I didn't spot any thing I can nitpick as far as facts go.

I was particularly interested in the use of primary sources. He quotes extensively from eyewitness accounts. Which nicely breaks up the discussions of tactics and strategy. I was struck by the comparisons with the behavior of the Germans in WWI where after Jutland they were unwilling to challenge the Royal Navy. That being said the RN used an a ray of resources to make sure the Tirpitz was trapped. Bomber Command required eventually to be the ones to finish it off for good.

The book contains the usual academic apparatus. With extensive notes and a bibliography Bishop a journalist has put forward here a book which deservedly should take its place on the Naval warfare bookshelf.

Highly recommended!

Note: this book was provided for review by TLC.

1 comment:

trish said...

I'm intrigued by the use of firsthand accounts. I think that always makes stories like this come alive a bit more as you imagine what it was like for other people.

Thanks for being on the tour!