|"The bismarck was a sitting duck, what took you guys so long to sink her" |
It did NOT take us long fella. You might spit on your English, Scottish, Irish heritage--but we do not!
We lost 1400+ lives from the Hood, fella. Your smart-ass remarks decades later do not impress...
You had sweet piss all to do with it!
"After Bismarck joined the fleet, plans were drawn up for a sortie into the North Atlantic. The operation initially called for a force composed of Bismarck, Tirpitz, and the two Scharnhorst class battleships. Tirpitz was not yet ready for service by May 1941, and Scharnhorst was being overhauled. The force was reduced to Bismarck, Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Gneisenau, however, was damaged by a British bombing raid on the port of Brest, so it was decided that only Bismarck and Prinz Eugen would conduct the operation. Admiral Günther Lütjens was placed in command of the pair of ships.
Early on the morning of 19 May, Bismarck left Gotenhafen, bound for the North Atlantic. While on the trip through the Danish Belt, Bismarck and Prinz Eugen encountered the Swedish cruiser HMS Gotland; the sighting was passed through the Swedish Navy to the British naval attaché in Stockholm. The British Royal Air Force conducted aerial reconnaissance of the Norwegian fjord in which Bismarck and Prinz Eugen had stopped to confirm the sighting. While in Norway, Admiral Lütjens inexplicably failed to replenish the approximately 1,000 long tons (1,000 t) of fuel Bismarck had spent on the first leg of the voyage.
Bismarck after the battle with Hood and Prince of Wales
By 23 May, Bismarck and Prinz Eugen had reached the Denmark Strait. That evening, the British cruisers Suffolk and Norfolk briefly engaged Bismarck before dropping back to shadow the German ships. At 06:00 the following morning, observers aboard Bismarck spotted the masts of the battlecruiser Hood and the new battleship Prince of Wales. The British ships steamed directly towards Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, before attempting a turn to bring the two forces on a roughly parallel course. During the turn, at least one of Bismarck's 38 cm shells penetrated one of the aft ammunition magazines aboard Hood, which caused a catastrophic explosion and destroyed the ship. There were only three survivors from Hood's crew of 1,421. The German ships then concentrated their fire on Prince of Wales, which was forced to withdraw. Bismarck, however, did not emerge unscathed; a direct hit on her bow from Prince of Wales caused Bismarck to take in some 2,000 long tons (2,000 t) of water. The ship was also leaking oil, which made it easier for the British to track her.
After retreating, Prince of Wales joined Norfolk and Suffolk; the ships briefly engaged Bismarck at around 18:00 that same day. Neither side scored a hit. By this time, 19 warships were involved in the chase. This included six battleships and battlecruisers and two aircraft carriers, along with a number of cruisers and destroyers. After the second engagement with Prince of Wales, Lütjens detached Prinz Eugen to continue the operation while Bismarck sailed for port. Shortly before midnight on 24 May, a group of Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from 825 Naval Air Squadron on Victorious attacked Bismarck. One torpedo struck the ship amidships, though without doing any serious damage. The shock from the explosion, coupled with Bismarck's manoeuvring at high speed, did damage the temporary repairs that had stopped the flooding from the earlier battle damage. Her speed was reduced to 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph) to slow the flooding while repair teams fixed the reopened wounds.
Survivors attempting to climb aboard HMS Dorsetshire
Early on 25 May, Bismarck doubled back past her pursuers in a wide circle. The manoeuvre successfully shook off the British ships, which turned west in an attempt to find the ship. Despite the manoeuvre, Admiral Lütjens was unaware that he had evaded the British, and so sent a series of radio transmissions, which were intercepted by the British and used to gain a rough fix on his position. Due to the damage his ship had sustained, Lütjens decided to make occupied France rather than continue his mission. On the morning of 26 May, a Coastal Command PBY Catalina flying boat spotted Bismarck some 690 nmi (1,280 km; 790 mi) to the north-west of Brest; she was steaming at a speed that would put her under the protective umbrella of German aircraft and U-boats within 24 hours. The only British forces close enough to slow her down were the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and her escort, the battlecruiser Renown. At approximately 20:30, a flight of fifteen Ark Royal's 820 Naval Air Squadrons Swordfish torpedo bombers launched an attack on Bismarck. Three torpedoes were believed to have struck the ship; the first two torpedoes failed to do serious damage to the ship, but the third hit jammed Bismarck's rudders hard to starboard. The damage could not be repaired, and the battleship began turning in a large circle, back towards her pursuers.
An hour after the Swordfish attack, Lütjens transmitted the following signal to Naval Group Command West: "Ship unable to manoeuvre. We will fight to the last shell. Long live the Führer." At 08:47 the following morning, the battleship Rodney opened fire, followed directly by King George V. Bismarck replied three minutes later, though at 09:02 a 16 inch shell from Rodney destroyed the forward turrets. A half an hour later, Bismarck's rear turrets were silenced as well. At around 10:15, both British battleships had ceased fire, their target a burning wreck.
The British were running dangerously low on fuel, but Bismarck had not yet been sunk.
The cruiser Dorsetshire fired several torpedoes into the crippled ship, which then took on a severe list to port. At approximately the same time as Dorsetshire's attack, engine room crew detonated scuttling charges in the engine rooms. There is still significant debate as to the direct cause of Bismarck's sinking. Regardless, only 110 men were rescued by the British before reports of U-boats forced them from the scene. A further five men were rescued by German vessels."