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On November 12, 1944, the Royal Air Force carried out one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of the Second World War, resulting in the sinking of the German battleship 'Admiral von Tirpitz'. The attack was made by 29 Lancasters of Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons. No fewer than 10 attacks, by RAF and Royal Navy aircraft and by British and Russian submarines, had been made on the Tirpitz since she had been completed in 1941. It was therefore not surprising that the German Navy regarded the ship as unsinkable. When the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair, visited the Squadrons at their base the day after the Tirpitz had been sunk, he congratulated them on sinking 'one of the toughest ships in the world'.
For the successful attack of November 12th, Lancasters of Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons, led respectively by Squadron Leader AG Williams DFC and Wing Commander JB Tait DSO DFC, took off from Lossiemouth at about 3 a.m. They flew to a rendezvous point, a lake 100 miles south-east of Tromsø, at 1,000 feet to avoid early detection by enemy radar. The attacking force then climbed to bombing height - between 12,000 and 16,000 feet - and the warship was sighted from about 20 miles away. This time the smoke screen was out of action and their were no defending fighters. When the bombers were about 13 miles away, the main guns of the Tirpitz opened fire and were shortly by shore batteries and two flak ships. One Lancaster was shot down. The first bombs narrowly missed the target, but then, in rapid succession, came three direct hits. A column of steam and smoke shot up to about 300 feet and within a few minutes the ship had started to list badly. About 10 minutes after the first bomb struck, the Tirpitz had completely turned turtle with only the hull visible from the air.
There is a small metallic plate at the bottom of the memorial with four words. What is the second word?
|Published :||16/09/2015 (d/m/y) 01:20|
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