Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Monster's Graveyard

The Norwegian sun woke us early despite the whisky, and we climbed over the spine of the island to cross the water and get a cablecar up Tromsdaltinden. We timed our arrival perfectly between snowstorms and the spectacular views may be enjoyed on the flickr pages.

After a struggle with the Tromsø Easter bus timetable (or lack thereof) and a prolonged siesta, we crossed the water the other way, to Håkøya (Hawk Island), scene of the spectacular demise of the WW2 German battleship Tirpitz. In our photo, Jan and I stand before one of the awesome craters created by Barnes Wallis's 12,000lb Tallboy bombs. Two of these monsters hit Tirpitz on 12th November 1944, and 1000 Kriegsmarine sailors died.

The beach is marked only by a small memorial, made from a hunk of Tirpitz hull. Though the wreck was scrapped after the war, bits and pieces still litter the beach including some of the chains that fastened her to her mooring. It's an eerily peaceful place to visit, but it's hard not to attempt the impossible task of imagining the sights and sounds of that day.

1 comment:

Cowboy said...

HI, this is "Cowboy" in the USA. I have a Drag RAcing Team and one of my drag cars is "TIRPITZ". I liked seeing things in your web site I wish I could travel to see someday. I wish I could find a nut or bolt laying on the beach from TIRPITZ and put it in my drag car! The story has fascinated me since boyhood. My email is u505dragracing@aol.com Thank you