Added: Derin Whitmer - Date: 23.01.2022 11:42 - Views: 30641 - Clicks: 3259
Under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours of May 19,the most formidable battleship to have ever been built slipped into the Baltic Sea on its maiden voyage.
An ocean-bound castle, the thickly armored Bismarck was the first full-scale battleship constructed by the German navy since World War I. Accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, the largest warship afloat broke out into the frigid, open waters of the North Atlantic on a top-secret mission, codenamed Operation Rheinubung, to attack the Allied convoys crossing the ocean between the United States and Great Britain with oil, food and other supplies. A view of the German battleship Bismarck firing on a merchant ship in the north Atlantic. At dawn on May 24, the tandem of British ships approached at full speed toward the enemy inside the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland.
From 14 miles away, Hood fired the first shots. Saltwater geysers erupted around Bismarck as the shells that screamed overhead at 2, miles per hour narrowly missed their marks. Bismarck and Hood traded thundering blows for four minutes until the Germans finally found their target. The sailors aboard Prince of Wales felt the huge concussion and watched in horror as Hood buckled, broke in two and sank beneath the waves.
Bismarck hardly escaped the nautical brawl unscathed. With his ship taking on seawater and hemorrhaging oil from a ruptured tank, Lutjens decided not to pursue the retreating Prince of Wales but to limp his wounded battleship back to the safety of port in Nazi-occupied France. On May 26, time grew critical as Bismarck approached within 12 hours of the protective air cover of the Luftwaffe.
Tovey ordered an attack to be launched from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, which had sailed north in storm-tossed seas along the Iberian Peninsula. Through the gale, the antiquated biplanes closed in on their target and launched their torpedoes—before realizing too late that they had accidentally attacked one of their own, HMS Sheffield. The bombers returned to Ark Royal and rearmed for a second attack into the teeth of the storm, this time against the correct target. Capable of only sailing in large circles, the helpless Bismarck spent the night surrounded by only the open ocean and the enemy.
German battleship Bismarck on the road to Denmark and Norway. Wanting to reduce the risk of friendly fire, Tovey waited until the morning to continue the attack. At daybreak on May 27, three British warships approached the crippled battleship and opened fire.
Fierce barrages ensued over the next 90 minutes as the British ships closed in from a distance of 16 miles to 3, yards. The weapons hit their mark, and around a.
Bismarck slipped below the waves—finished off by either the last British salvo or a German decision to scuttle the mighty battleship. Hundreds of Germans sailors bobbed in the gale water, and British ships picked up survivors before a U-Boat warning caused them to leave the wreckage and approximately 2, dead behind. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Recommended for you. The Mysterious Disappearance of FlightBismarck seeking first time
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