Tuesday, May 27, 2008

KM Bismarck, the End

The German Battleship Bismarck, which sunk the HMS Hood on 24 May 1941 became the subject of the greatest sea hunt in history. After sinking the Hood, Bismarck managed to elude followers until picked up by a PBY Catalina flying boat. There was only one chance to get her before she reached Luftwaffe air protection from the coast of France. Fairey Swordfish torpedo planes, old, slow flying, bi-wing, lumbered off the carrier HMS Ark Royal coming north from the Mediterranean. The first attempted failed and they launched one more strike before dark.

One lucky torpedo hit Bismarck in the rudder jamming it so it could only run north, straight for HMS King George V and Rodney. The next morning (27 May 1941) they would plummet the poor Bismarck to death. Bismarck finally sunk, just as KGV and Rodney were going to have to break off and head home for fuel.

The picture above was taken from German Navy archives. It is one of the last taken of Bismarck from the cruiser Prinz Eugen. I figured I should close the story I started on the 24th.

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