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Heavily Damaged, Its Steerinag 90% Gone, She Limps toward Port of Brest, France & repairs.

Time is running out for the Bismarck’s escape from ‘Hounds’ of British Navy

Photo at right—The gunner of a Swordfish checks his .393-inch machine gun.

The veteran carrier Ark Royal joined the ‘hounds’ from Gibalteras part of Force “H” on May 26, 1941. Their Swordfish launchd the torpedo which jammed the German battleship’s rudder, making it possible for Tovey’s battleships to intercept. All of the flight returned OK to the carrier and rearmed for the next decisive attack. This second strike was flown off at 1910 hours, armed with contacts that operated norr ally and set to run at a shallower depth.

The launching was watched from beneath the waters of the Atlantic—by Lt. Commander Wolfahrt of U-556. In his log he wrote: “1908 hours: Alert. A battleship of the King George V-class and an aircraft-carrier, probably Ark Royal, are coming up astern, travelling at great speed. If only I had torpedoes ! I am now in perfect position to attack— no need for our manoeuvre. No destroyers, no zig-zags ! I could slip between them and fire both simultaneously. Torpedo planes are taking off from the carrier. Perhaps I could have helped the Bismarck.”

The awesome power of a 15-inch salvo—thus Bismarck is silhouetted from stem to stern with her own gun flashes. Her last battle was with King George Vand Rodney. Photos from the Marshall Cavandish Illustrated Encyclopedia of World War 2.


Danzig Report  Nr. 159 - 1st Quarter 2013, Page 6.

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