On 30 March 1944, HMS Belfast sailed from Scapa Flow in company with a powerful force of battleships and aircraft carriers. Their objective was the battleship Tirpitz, Germany's last surviving heavy surface unit, moored in the supposedly impregnable anchorage of Altenfjord in northern Norway.
In the early hours of 3 April, having approached to within 120 miles of the Norwegian coast, the carriers launched 42 bombers and 80 fighters in the largest air strike yet undertaken by the Fleet Air Arm. Tirpitz was hit by 15 bombs and although not sunk, was incapable of putting to sea for several months. She was finally destroyed by heavy bombers from 617 Squadron RAF in November 1944.