German Battleship ''Bismarck''

  • World War II
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The famed German Battleship "Bismarck", was once considered the pride of The Kreigsmarine. The first namesake of The "Bismarck"-Class of combat vessels, construction  began in 1936 and was completed in 1939. Once considered one of the most powerful and largest Warships in The World at the start of World War II, "Bismarck" displaced some 47,000-tons and was 823-feet long. She stood 118-feet tall. "Bismarck" was powered by 12 Wagner Superheated Boilers with 3-Geared Turbines, to run her 3-Shafts. She could achieve 34-mph and had a 10,000-mile range. Her crew was 2,000 in number.

 

"Bismarck" had impressive armament as well. She featured (8) 15-inch Main Guns, (12) 5.9-inch Guns, (16) 4.1-inch Guns, (16) 1.5-inch Guns and (12) .79-inch Anti-Aircraft Cannon. Her armor plating ranged from 3 to 13-inches throughout. In addition, "Bismarck" could carry up to 4 Arado Reconnaissance Planes, launched via a catapult and winch system located on her Rear Deck and Rear Gun Turret. Pared with the Heavy Cruiser "Prinz Eugen", The "Bismarck" was "harbor locked" in Scandinavia by The British North Atlantic Fleet. The Kreigsmarine plan was to make a run for the open Sea and engage British vessels (with the ultimate goal of supremacy of The North Atlantic, the true goal).

 

Breaking free, "Bismarck" initiated The Battle of The Denmark Straits (1941). Encountering The British Ships, HMS "Hood" and "Prince of Wales". During the short opening phase of the 10-minute engagement, a full salvo of all of  "Bismarck's" Main Guns were fired at "Hood". One of her shots struck her powder magazine, causing her to blow up in the water. Only 3 of her 1,418 man crew survived. "Prince of Wales" was able to escape, but not before damaging "Bismarck's" hull sufficiently enough to cause an on-going oil leak.

 

The oil served as a "tracking" mark for the remainder of the 19 British ships hunting the massive German Warship. Eventually engaging multiple Ships, it was the Aircraft Carrier, HMS "Ark Royal" who was able to launch a flight of Torpedo Fighters against her. 3 struck her, completely destroying her steerage.

 

History debates "Bismarck's" demise. According to her surviving crew, she was scuttled to prevent her capture. According to The British, the combination of Torpedoes and continuous bombard by Cruisers, sunk her. Of the 2,000-man crew, only 111 were pulled from the water.