Tirpitz War dead following Slavage.

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
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Post by Panzer_Lehr » 01 Oct 2007 11:09

Simon Orchard wrote:I think this is a question for me as i live in Tromsø.

First off, those that died. As you may know 971 men died on that fateful day in November 1944. Of those around 850 have no known grave, those that do are buried at Botn-Rognan German war cemetery. As you also may know Einar Høvding bought all the German wrecks in Norwegian waters (or at least a great many of them) for 1Kr. from the Norwegian state. The Tirpitz took many years to break up, i don't have the exact year they finished but it was in the 50's, there are some small pieces left on the shore, at the wreck site itself there's wreckage on the bottom and is unfortunately a popular dive site with no protection.

I say unfortunately because human remains still lie out there and are found by divers...who don't give a damn and are only looking for goodies to plunder. The shorline today tells a sorry tale, take a walk on any day and i'll show you the uniform remains scattered about, left after divers have thrown away what they don't want to keep. I usually take a walk there a couple of times a year to see what's turned up and i have on occasion found bones, although it's a number of years ago now but still regularly find personal uniform items which were clearly being worn at the time they went in the water.

I've also heard the stories of those involved in breaking her up, of men coming home from a days work with a whole lot of watches, of some remains simply being actually interred in Tromsø itself and then simply buried deeper and built over in post-war building work.

I've even written to the German war graves commission, the answer i got was pretty much one of 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'.

Personally i would like to see what's left of her properly declared a war grave as she should be and ban divers from removing anything more from her. But i can't see it happening, people just don't want to 'rock the boat' and anyway, who cares about a bunch of dead Germans right? they were the enemy after all :x

As for photos of her breaking up, I've seen quite a few but they belong to someone else and so i can't post any for you.
I totally agree with you on the war grave subject, it shouldnt't matter whether they were german's, Nazi's, they were only doing what they thought was right at the time. This site should be classed as a grave. I was there when i was about 14 on holiday, and i have pictures that me dad took of people diving in the area, it is a sad sight to see this happening. The funny thing about all this (not that there really is anything funny about this event) is how un Nazi the Kriegsmarine was, so they can't use that as a excuse in my book. They died fighting for what they believed in and there country, the least we could do is give them a decent grave and some respect.


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Post by Hawk2 » 12 Oct 2007 16:02

Wow That is crazy... This is kind of related to them blowing up all those old bunkers and historical sites, sometimes for nothing. I dont get the resoning behind any of this. I agree those men should get the respect they deserve.

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Post by JodelFlieger » 19 Dec 2007 22:18

Hallo all
With regard to the disposal of the dead, in this case, surely the salvage men found the dead as they went thru the ship.Did they just casually discard their remains into the water or was there a concerted effort to salvage the human remains? Did they salvage any human remains from other wrecks or was it unofficial policy to discard the remains of the once-enemy without formal ceremony.

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Re: Tirpitz War dead following Slavage.

Post by NilsCalvin » 22 Jan 2020 18:58

I know this is a very old thread - but the writing on the hull appears to say "HØVING SKIPSOPPHUGGING" (Norwegian) which translates to "chief ship scrapping." The end of the writing is tough to read in the photo, so it may be a slight variation of SKIPSOPPHUGGING, and there is likely another word (company name?) in front of "HØVING", but hopefully that illuminates the meaning of the writing.

Scrapping seems like such a sad end for such glorious ships of all navies.

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Tirpitz War dead following Slavage.

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 22 Jan 2020 19:54

The company is Høvding Skipsopphugging and was owned by Einar Høvding (1919-1997). The 350 wrecks owned by the above were sold to Saga Shipping A/S after Einars death.


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Re: Tirpitz War dead following Slavage.

Post by sons of anzac » 03 Feb 2020 04:45

In another forum I discussed this and was informed that the Norwegian company that did most of the salvage simply gathered the remains and dumped them at sea 'like so much garbage' such was the dislike / hate for the Germans at that time. I'd have liked to have thought at least they should have been out in a mass grave. They were all someone's sons and brothers.

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