5th July 1942: Operation "Rosselsprung" (Knight's Move). Me 109's escort the battleship Tirpitz as she departs Altenfjord, Norway, leading a battle group including heavy cruisers Admiral Hipper and Admiral Scheer, and six destroyers. Their intended target was the Allied supply convoy PQ17, en route to Murmansk, Russia.
Sister ship to Bismarck, the Tirpitz had been a thorn in the side of the Allies since its arrival in Norwegian waters in January 1942. The presence of such a powerful battleship so close to the Russian convoy routes required the Royal Navy to keep a large naval force in northern waters, to guard against the threat posed by Tirpitz.