The author of Blitzkrieg covers one of the most dramatic events of the Second World War in an “outstanding book about naval warfare” (World War II History).
When the German battleship Bismarck—a masterpiece of engineering, well-armored with a main artillery of eight 15-inch guns—left the port of Gotenhafen for her first operation on the night of May 18, 1941, the British battlecruiser Hood and the new battleship Prince of Wales were ordered to find her quickly, as several large convoys were heading for Britain.
On May 24, Bismarck was found off the coast of Greenland, but the ensuing battle was disastrous for the British. The Hood was totally destroyed within minutes, with only three crewmen surviving, and Prince of Wales was badly damaged. The chase resumed until the German behemoth was finally caught, this time by four British capital ships supported by torpedo-bombers from the carrier Ark Royal. The icy North Atlantic roiled from the crash of shellfire and bursting explosions until finally the Bismarck collapsed, sending nearly two thousand German sailors to a watery grave.
Tamelander and Zetterling’s work rests on stories from survivors and the latest historical discoveries. The book starts with a thorough account of maritime developments from 1871 up to the era of the giant battleship, and ends with a vivid account, hour by hour, of the dramatic and fateful hunt for the mighty Bismarck, Nazi Germany’s last hope to pose a powerful surface threat to Allied convoys.
“Exciting story-telling . . . recreat[es] the thrill of the hunt.” —International Journal of Maritime History
“[An] epic sea chase and its vivid, human details.” —World War II