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Norwegian forests still haunted by Nazi super ship

Decades after it sunk, the legacy of the battleship Tirpitz is still evident in the environment.

Earlier this week at the European Geophysical Union meeting in Vienna, Claudia Hertl presented work arising from our Mainz/Minnesota collaboration on the side-effects of the Tirpitz’s deployment to Norway during the Second World War.

Where is Tirpitz? - Sir Winston Churchill

I’ve had a wonderful time this past year helping Claudia, Jan, and Oli sort through the Tirpitz puzzle and the cause of the mysterious missing rings in 1945. I had actually never heard of the Tirpitz before, and I’ve been fascinated by this unknown (by me) story of one of the most interesting naval stories from the war. Two of my great-uncles were pilots in the Royal Air Force (enlisting from Canada), one of them a bomber pilot flying the de Havilland Mosquito. The Tirpitz was eventually sent down by Lancaster bombers rather than Mosquitoes, but it’s also encouraging that this project has brought together scientists from counties on opposites sides of the war to look back at the environmental impacts of these few battles on a lonely northern fjord in Norway.

This work is still ongoing but has already attracted a lot of attention in the media (and across many countries). I’ll post links to stories as I spot them.

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