The Pig That Also Bore the Name Tirpitz
Between the Battleship Tirpitz and the Admiral Tirpitz, there's more than enough history to go around, much of it tinged with sadness and loss of life. After all, the name will forever be associated with the twentieth century's two most devastating conflicts. But through it all, a curious tale has come down from the early days of the First World War.
While Admiral Tirpitz was busy helping to run the German Navy in 1915, pigs were commonly kept on German warships as a source of fresh meat during long voyages. After the Battle of the Falkland Islands one of these cruisers was scuttled after spending months trying to outrun several British cruisers, but when this vessel (the Dresden) sank, one of the aforementioned pigs escaped the sinking wreck of the German cruiser and was rescued by the crew of the British cruiser Glasgow, who adopted it as their pet.
The right name for the pig, it must be assumed, was clear from the start. A swine named after the man whose political pressure helped build a fleet that the British felt threatened their survival, and in the process brought this pig to the far waters of the Southern Atlantic? What else could the pig have been named but Tirpitz?
Tirpitz the Pig lived another four years, which for a pig (depending on the breed and his age at the time of his bold escape) is a good long life. His fate was to be auctioned off as meat, and the proceeds donated to charity. His auction raised nearly 2000 British Pounds, which in 1919 was quite a sum.