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Tirpitz was the second of two Bismarck-class battleships built for Nazi Germany during World War II. The ship was laid down in November 1936 and commissioned in February 1941. Tirpitz was armed with a main battery of eight 38-centimetre (15 in) guns in four twin turrets. She was the heaviest battleship ever built by a European navy. In early 1942, the ship sailed to Norway to act as a fleet in being, forcing the British navy to retain significant forces in the area. In September 1943, Tirpitz, along with the battleship Scharnhorst, bombarded Allied positions on Spitzbergen, the only time the ship's main battery was used offensively. On 12 November 1944, British Lancaster bombers equipped with 12,000-pound (5,400 kg) "Tallboys" bombed the ship, causing her to capsize. A deck fire spread to an ammunition magazine causing a large explosion. Between 1948 and 1957, the wreck was broken up in a salvage operation. (This article is part of a featured topic: Battleships of Germany.)
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