About fifty kilometres northeast of Trondheim lies Faettenfjord, where the German battleship Tirpitz was anchored on two occasions. The first occasion was between 16 January and 2 July 1942 and the second was between October 1942 and March 1943. In between, she was at Bogen just north of Narvik and in March 1943 she sailed to Kåfjord in northern Norway. Faettenfjord is surrounded by mountains on both sides, making air strikes against Tirpitz more difficult. On the mountains around the fjord, air defenses was established as extra protection for the ship. The British air force (RAF) carried out four airstrikes against Tirpitz while she was in Faettenfjord but didn’t cause any damages. In contrast, the RAF lost several aircraft and more than sixty crew members. In October 1942, an attack was also planned with human torpedoes. Small underwater vehicles maneuvered by frogmen would sneak up on her and fire their torpedoes and then return to the mother boat. However, the operation had to be stopped at a late stage due to bad weather and was never resumed.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2017).

Location: 63° 33'46 N, 10° 55'42 E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

What makes Faettenfjord particularly interesting are two preserved caissons located by the water next to a steep mountain slope. It was at these that Tirpitz was anchored when she was in the fjord. Though more than seventy years have passed between Tirpitz and my visit the caissons gives a tantalizing sense of historical closeness. However, it is not easy to get a closer glimpse of them. They are well hidden from the road above and you have to enter private land to reach them. In addition to the caissons, there are also parts of a concrete staircase left. The staircase starts at the road above the caissons and probably goes all the way down to the water. A qualified guess is that it was the Germans who had them built. There is also a bunker beside the dirt road that leads into Faettenfjord and Tirpitz. Another qualified guess is that this was a German sentinel. A little further in and at the end of the fjord, there is a memorial dedicated to the British airmen who died when Tirpitz was attacked.

Follow up in books: Bishop, Patrick: Target Tirpitz: The Epic Quest to Sink Hitler’s Greatest Battleship (2012).