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 hails from the Orkney Islands, and is the author of over 50 books, 30 of which are published by Osprey. This acclaimed and widely published author has written several books on piracy, including The History of Pirates and Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate. A former naval officer and museum professional, he worked as the Curator of Weapons at the Tower of London and as the Chief Curator of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. He now works as a full-time author and historian, and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
"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