The "Bismarck" was a mighty WWII German Battleship
. The "Bismarck" attempted a breakout into the Atlantic
. The British were aware of the "Bismarck" and were frightened. The ship had the ability to attack even the most heavily escorted supply convoyes.
Length: 251 m
Beam: 36 m
Draft: 9.9 m
Displacement: 51,000 metric tons
Main Battery: eight 38 cm guns
Secondary Battery: twelve 15 cm guns
In the attempted break-out, the "Bismark" and the "Prinz Eugen" engaged the HMS "Hood" and HMS "Prince of Wales" in the Battle of the Denmark Straits (between Iceland and Greenland). In the battle, which pitted the pride of the German navy ("Bismarck") against the pride of the British Armada ("Hood"). "Hood" was a WWI vintage battle cruiser, with very light armor and almost no upper deck armor. After only four minutes of fire from "Bismarck" as single shell detonated in the magazine of "Hood". The explosion blew the ship in two. Of the 1,421 crew there were only 3 survivors. It was a terrible defeat for the British. "Bismarck" did not escape unscathed, she took three hits from HMS "Prince of Wales," two amidship and one passed clean through the forecastle (pronounced folks-hole, silent "h"). As "Prince of Wales" retreated, "Bismarck" scored a final hit, destroying the bridge and killing all but the commander and one crewman.
Later, "Bismark" leaves "Prinz Eugen" to engage the British cruisers that are shadowing the task force. "Prinz Eugen" escapes into the Atlantic.
"Bismarck," now alone, is harrassed by British Swordfish torpedo bombers (wood and cloth construction bi-plane). The first wave does no damage and "Bismarck" continues to the captured ports in France, and to safety of the Luftwaffe aircover. The final last-ditch attack by the British Swordfish (launched from the HMS "Ark Royal") score a lucky hit. One torpedo of 15 strikes "Bismarck" in her rudders, jamming them at 12 degrees to port. "Bismarck" is disabled and steaming in a slow wide circle.
The final battle started at 8:47 AM and the fighting continues until 10:39 when "Bismarck" is sunk. She took a total of 7 torpedo hits innumerable shell impacts and an attempted scuttling.
"Bismarck" was discovered June 8, 1989 under 4,700 m. of water.
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