The breakout of the German battleship Bismarck into the North Atlantic in May 1941 was one of the most dramatic naval episodes of World War II (1939-1945). It took place at a time when the resources of the Royal Navy were stretched thinly, and the British Home Fleet were hard pressed to counter this powerful German warship, which was vaunted as the most powerful battleship in the world.
For nine days she became the most sought-after vessel afloat, as the Home Fleet and Force H, based in Gibraltar, combed the seas in search of her. After days of fruitless searching, the lone German warship was spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft some 300 miles to the south-west of Ireland. Admiral Tovey, who commanded the Home Fleet from his flagship HMS Rodney ordered his warships to intercept her, and a great naval race began, with the Bismarck speeding towards the safety of the French ports, and the British doing their utmost to stop her.
Despite overwhelming odds, with most Home Fleet craft too far away to intercept the German ship's flight to France, the Royal Navy ultimately managed to locate, damage and ultimately sink the great German battleship. In this new addition to Osprey's Campaign series, author Angus Konstam sheds new light on this race-to-the-finish, detailing the original plans, the British efforts to locate and damage the Bismarck, the Bismarck's extensive armor systems and her ultimate defeat in a highly illustrated format.
About the Author
ANGUS KONSTAM is a widely published and respected military and naval historian, with numerous books to his credit. A former Royal Naval officer, maritime archaeologist and museum curator, he holds degrees from three universities, including a Masters degree from St. Andrews. Before that he studied Scottish Medieval history in Aberdeen University. He is the author of several major books, including Historical Atlas of the Medieval World, Historical Atlas of the Crusades, books about pirates, Renaissance ships and the Scottish soldier. He has given numerous public lectures in Britain, as well as in Europe and North America, and his work has been translated into several languages.He is frequently interviewed by the press in his capacity as a maritime historian, and has appeared live on both television and radio. He also made frequent appearances in television documentaries screened by the BBC and ITV, as well as the History and Discovery Channels.1.
Paul Wright, a retired bank vice-president (Industrial Relations), has 35 years experience in business development. For the past 11 years he has been director of Warrick County Employment and Training Center in Evansville, Indiana. Mr. Wright is a graduate of the Industrial Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. He has conducted numerous workshops, seminars, and sales training sessions on job search, resumes, and job skills.
"Konstam sheds new light on Bismarck’s extensive armor systems and armament, British efforts to locate their quarry despite seemingly impossible odds, and the Nazi battleship’s ultimate defeat. His book features more than 60 photographs drawn from museums and private collections, plus a few striking illustrations by Paul Wright." -Toy Soldier & Model Figure (August 2011)
"Konstam provides a basic yet sensible introduction to the topic and situates the Bismarck campaign in its historical context ... the selected illustrations and photographs ... complement the text nicely..." - Christopher Kretzschmar, The Northern Mariner