Post 109: 26th January 2017 (continued) , 1,000 Mile Walk Challenge
After lunch I took an Arctic Tours coach trip to the sight where the Tirpitz was bombed in the Second World War. It was then a very short uphill walk over snow and ice to where Tirpitz was anchored and bombed. Light was already beginning to fade as sunset was at 1.34pm and we arrived at 1.56!
The Tirpitz was the heaviest battleship ever built by a European navy and exceeded her sister ship the Bismarck.
It was meant to prevent a possible break out of the Soviet Baltic Fleet and in 1942 sailed to Norway to act as a deterrent to a Soviet invasion. Whilst there it was used to intercept Allied convoys to the Soviet Union, and two such missions were attempted in 1942. In 1943 the Tirpitz, along with the Scharnhorst, bombarded Allied positions in Spitsbergen.
I arrived on the spot just in front of where the ship is shown in the photographs, above where the road, tunnel and bridge now exist.
The bomb craters now.
These are the views from just above the bomb crater.
After scrambling down the hill very gingerly so as not to slip on the ice and snow, I resumed the coach ride to the museum a few miles away in Kafjord. The timber building dates from 1880. It has one of the largest collections of photographs and artifacts from the Tirpitz.
What really hit me at the museum was that even the standard issue underwear had Nazi emblems on them. There was no escape for sailors from the Nazi influence.
There are also Iron Crosses on display,
and the Tirpitz Captain’s dagger. The Tirpitz was finally capsized on 12 November 1944, near Tromso, when British Lancaster bombers dropped 12,000 pound ‘Tallboy’ bombs on it with direct hits. Up to 1,204 men were killed.
Emerging from the Museum on very icy paths, the lovely white Kajford Church, surrounded by glistening snow, could be seen. It was built by two Englishmen in 1837 and restored in 1969.
The first industrial development in the Arctic started at Kafjord in 1826 when a coppermine was opened by Englishmen including Cornish miners. Mining continued for 50 years. Some videos of the excursion showing winter driving conditions in Norway are on my Facebook/You Tube.
Arriving back at our ship after a very memorable excursion and day, there was just time before dinner to take some photographs of Alta at night.