80th Anniversary XII - Attack on Turpitz
80th Anniversary XII – Attack on Turpitz
On Saturday. 23rd September 2023 at 12:00 pm there will be a short commemorative wreath laying ceremony at the XII submarine flotilla Memorial at Kylesku, Sutherland.
The ceremony will mark the 80th anniversary of the attack on the German Battleship Turpitz on the 22nd of September 1943, six midget submarines (X Craft) of the flotilla.
Towed by standard submarines, the X Craft left from Loch Cairnbawn for the attack on Tirptiz. Two were lost during the 10-day tow to Norway. One abandoned close to the target because of mechanical failures and one was sunk after comming under fire.
Two pressed on with the assault, one was forced to abandon the mission when the vessel first struck an uncharted rock, before a leak in the periscope resulted in a fire onboard. The men managed to release their charges close to Tirpitz before scuttling their craft and surrendering.
The last remaining X Craft successfully placed its charges but was damaged when they exploded. Two crew were killed while the others were captured. The attack resulted in damage which meant the ship was unable to deploy.
Various members of the operation were later recognised for their actions. Two Victoria Crosses, three Distinguished Service Orders and one Conspicuous Gallantry Medal were awarded.
The Turpitz was subsequently sunk by bombing attacks by Royal Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft in 1944.
The ceremony will last approximately 15 minutes and is open to all.