By the summer of , thanks to Allied victories over the U-boats worldwide and most recently against the Kriegsmarine surface fleet in the Battle of the Barents Sea , the worst of the Battle of the Atlantic crisis had passed — but it was not yet over. With regards to the surface fleet, the German Battleship Tirpitz, sister ship to the sunken Bismarck, was stationed in the Altenfjord in northern Norway. The presence of these ships in northern Norway since was a chronic bone of contention for Prime Minister Winston Churchill. But the Admiralty had been working on a plan and the means to execute it: Operation Source, using X-craft mini-submarines specifically designed to sink capital ships like the German Battleship Tirpitz. Admiral, Submarine Command, Sir Max Horton supported the X-craft program through its construction and teething stage and once trials were successfully completed and volunteers trained, the 12th Submarine Flotilla was authorized. The X-craft were 51 feet long, had a gross weight of 35 tons, and a crew of four.
X-craft - The British Mini-Subs of WWII in | Midget submarine, Wwii, Submarine
The 70th anniversary of a midget submarine raid against a German battleship is being marked. The mission of was one of several attempted using small, dangerous X-craft. The flotilla's submariners trained in nearby Loch Cairnbawn in the use of X-craft, 52ft-long subs armed with explosive charges, for an attack against the mighty Tirpitz. Protected by anti-torpedo and submarine nets in Norway's Alten Fjord, the heavily armed German battleship was a threat to convoys of Allied ships supplying Russia with weapons and munitions.
How The Royal Navy's X-Class Midget Subs Helped Make D-Day Possible
Tirpitz was the second Bismarck class battleship that was built for the Kriegsmarine. Her keel was laid on November 2, at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshafen. Until that date, the R. Construction of the mighty German vessel could not be delayed nor prevented by these attacks though. Before the battleship could start her sea trials, she was subjected twice to British air raids but with little effect though.
A midget submarine also called a mini submarine is any submarine under tons,  typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 9, with little or no on-board living accommodation. They normally work with mother ships, from which they are launched and recovered and which provide living accommodation for the crew and support staff. Both military and civilian midget submarines have been built. Military types work with surface ships and other submarines as mother ships. Civilian and non-combatant military types are generally called submersibles and normally work with surface ships.