One of the great stories to emerge from the Second World War was that of the British pursuit and eventual destruction of the German battleship Bismarck. By January 1942, the tale already began to pass into legend when a new threat, just as dangerous, sailed from Germany and dropped anchor in a Norwegian fjord. The same feeling of dread and urgency felt when the Bismarck roamed the seas returned with a vengeance the moment the first encrypted message reporting that Tirpitz, her sister ship, was now operational.
Winston Churchill designated its destruction the highest priority as the military explored different ways to handle the threat. The conclusion they reached was bold, outlandish, even downright suicidal. Codenamed Chariot, it involved an old destroyer, several small motor launches, and over 200 commandos under the command of a 38 year old lieutenant colonel, Augustus Charles Newman.
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