How The Nazis’ Most Formidable Warship Left A Nation’s Forests Permanently Scarred

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Royal Navy official photographer via IWM

A group of scientists led by Claudia Hartl published some exciting new research in April 2018. And dendrochronology, which involves analyzing tree rings and tying the rings to specific dates, was at the heart of it. The practice is also known as tree-ring dating, and it can help experts to better understand historic climatic conditions. But in an unlikely turn of events, the scientists’ research has also revealed an astonishing fact about the Tirpitz, Nazi Germany’s largest battleship.

Image: Heinrich Hoffmann/Getty Images

Actually, the Tirpitz wasn’t just the largest German battleship; at the time, she was the largest battleship ever launched by a European navy. Construction started on this leviathan in 1936, and the ship’s hull was launched in April 1939 in the presence of Adolf Hitler himself.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: via Wikimedia Commons

In fact, it would not be until 1941 that the Tirpitz finally started sea trials, delayed in part by British air attacks on the Wilhelmshaven shipyard where the battleship was built. The formidable vessel was a little over 800 feet long and armed with eight powerful 15-inch guns. These were mounted in four turrets faced by 14-inch thick armor.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT