The Tirpitz was laid down in 1936 at the Kriegsmarine Werft, Wilhelmshaven, as the second Bismarck class Battleship. She was launched in the presence of Hitler on April 1, 1939 and would finally be commissioned on February 25, 1941, ready for her trials and workup.

Throughout the summer of 1941 the Tirpitz underwent gunnery and crew training to bring the ship to full performance. It was not until January 14, 1942 that the ship left Germany to spend the rest of her career in the Norwegian fjords, being dubbed "The Lonely Queen of the North."

In September, 1943, after several aborted missions to attack the Murmansk convoys, the Tirpitz finally had the opportunity to unleash her 38cm main guns, albeit not against an enemy combat vessel but rather against the Island of Spitzbergen. Just a few weeks later, however, the ship was attacked and put out of action for six months by British midget submarines.

Once operational again in 1944, the Tirpitz was attacked by the British who wanted to eliminate the threat to the artic convoys. On November 12, 1944 Lancaster bombers carrying the Tallboy bomb attacked the Tirpitz and scored several direct hits, opening up her side and causing the vessel to capsize. After the war a Norwegian firm scrapped the wreck, leaving few traces to identify where Europe's largest Battleship met her fate.