She only took part in Operation Rheinübung, along with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. She was supposed to have attacked convoys in the North Atlantic. She destroyed the HMS Hood, before a week later, she was also destroyed.
She was laid down in the 1930s in Hamburg. When she was launched, she was the largest warship in the world.
The Bismarck only took part in one operation, Operation Rheinübung. It was supposed to be a convoy raiding operation. But because she was sighted by the British Navy, she was forced to fight the Battle of Denmark Strait, along with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.
The Battle of Denmark StraitEdit
Because she was sighted by a Royal Navy destroyer while entering the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy attacked her in the Denmark Strait. After several minutes of gunfire, the HMS Hood, the pride of the Home Fleet and the Royal Navy was destroyed, taking all but 3 of her crew. But in this battle, her oil tanks were pierced by a round from the HMS Prince of Wales, causing her to leave a trail of oil.
After the Battle, Winston Churchill ordered the Royal Navy to Sink the Bismarck. This would lead to a massive chase by the Royal Navy. On May 24, Biplanes from the carrier Victorious caused the first fatality on the Bismarck. After the British lost contact with the Bismarck, which the Germans did not know, Admiral Lutjens sent a message to Headquarters. This led to the British being able to find the Bismarck, but a miscalculation took them in another direction. But a plane from the 209th Squadron found the Bismarck.
On the evening of May 26, the Bismarck had her rudder jammed by another biplane attack, this time from the British carrier Ark Royal. This caused her to turn in the opposite direction, long enough for the British to catch up. Finally, on May 27, the British Battleships, King George V and the Rodney opened fire on the Bismarck. After around 90 minutes, she sank along with 2,200 of her crew. 110 were rescued by the British.
During her career, she was led by:
- Fleet Commander: Admiral Günther Lütjens (for Operation Rheinübung).
Captain: Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann
- First Officer: Fregattenkapitän Hans Oels
- Navigation Officer: Korvettenkapitän Wolf Neuendorff
- Chief Engineer: Korvettenkapitän Dipl-Ing Walter Lehmann
- First Gunnery Officer: Korvettenkapitän Adalbert Schneider