Originally published as a classified Battle Summary, Bismarck is a unique record written by British and German naval officers during World War II, and soon after 1945. Stamped ‘restricted’ and subject to the Official Secrets Act these texts, maps, plans and first-hand accounts were held at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, South West England. Launched in 1939, Bismarck was the most formidable surface ship in Hitler’s fleet. Displacing over 55,000 tons when fully loaded and armed with eight 38-cm guns in four main turrets, she was a formidable piece of German naval engineering. Sunk on her first and only war cruise, 27 May 1941, this great victory for the Royal Navy was also a human tragedy. Only 114 of her 2,200 crew survived the Royal Navy’s final storm of shells and torpedoes. Despite her short career, the story of Bismarck and the precise reasons for her loss have fascinated many and been the subject of controversy since 1941. The discovery of the wreck in June 1989 has only fuelled the debate. How did the Royal Navy stop the massive battleship? Was she sunk in the action or did her own crew scuttle her in a last act of defiance? Bismarck contains the complete Battle Summary: how Hitler’s Goliath was located, pursued and attacked, featuring both German and British first-hand accounts including tracking maps for ships times and positions. The foreword, by Commander Sharkey Ward, contains pertinent quotes from Churchill on Britain’s dependence on her navy. The introduction, written by a team of historians, includes the Kriegsmarine’s purpose in building the ship, the Royal Navy’s tactics of destruction and the post war controversy. Bismarck is an important source in understanding the critical naval actions of the period.
BISMARCK The Chase and Sinking of Hitler’s Goliath
Bismarck was the most formidable surface ship in Hitler’s fleet. Displacing over 55,000 tons when fully loaded and armed with eight 38-cm guns in four main turrets, she was a formidable piece of German naval engineering. Sunk on her first and only war cruise, 27 May 1941, this was a great victory for the Royal Navy.
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