Bismarck

Type:
Battleship
Class:
Builder:
Blohm & Voss
Hamburg, Germany
Pennant Number:
N/A
(Blohm & Voss Hull # 509)
Ordered:
November 16, 1935
Commissioned:
August 24, 1940
Keel Laid:
July 1, 1936
Decommissioned:
N/A
Launched:
February 14, 1939
Stricken:
N/A
Fate:
Sunk May 27, 1941 in action with British warships HMS King George V, HMS Rodney, HMS Norfolk,
HMS Dorsetshire in the North Atlantic west of France.
(48.10N - 16.12W)

2,106 of the crew were killed.
115 of the crew survived (110 taken POW)
*Sinking aided by scuttling charges and open valves.


Dimensions, machinery and performance

Length:
821'
Engines:
3 x Blohm & Voss Geared turbines
Beam:
118'
Boilers:
12 x Wagner high pressure (oil fired)
Draft:
33' 4"
Shafts:
3
Displacement:
39,517 std. / 50,405 full
SHP:
110,000
Speed:
28 knots / 30.8 knots max
Crew:
Up to 2,500
Range:
8,525 NM @ 19 knots
6,640 NM @ 24 knots
4,500 NM @ 28 knots


Armament
Number Carried
Type
Arrangement
Maximum Range / Ceiling
8
15"/52 (380mm)
SK C/34
4 Twin turrets
39,589 yards
(22.4 miles)

12
5.9"/55 (150mm)
SK C/28
6 Twin turrets
25,153 yards
(14.2 miles)

8
4.1"/65 (105mm)
SK C/28
4 Twin mounts
19,357 yards
(10.9 miles)
41,000' ceiling

8
10.5cm (4.1") /65
SK C/37

4 Twin mounts
(Same as above)
Added in Jan.-Mar.-1941

16
1.5"/83 (37mm)
SK C/30
8 Twin mounts
9,300 yards
(5.2 miles)
22,310' ceiling

12
20mm/65
C/30
12 Single mounts
5,360 yards
(3 miles)
12,140' ceiling
(2 mounts removed in Apr. 1941)

8
20mm/65
C/30
2 Quadruple mounts
(Same as above)
Added in Apr. 1941.
These 2 mounts replaced the
single mounts.

2
Arado AR-196A-3
Aircraft



Combat Victories
Date
Name
Type
Tons
Nationality
Notes
May 24, 1941
HMS Hood
Battlecruiser
48,360
UK
Only 3 survivors

Commanders
Aug. 20, 1940
May 27, 1941
Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann

History
Feb. 14, 1939:
Christened by Dorothea von Loewenfeld, granddaughter of Otto von Bismarck.
Sept. 15, 1940:
Bismarck departed Hamburg for the Baltic Sea for trials.
Sept. 17, 1940:
Arrived at Kiel.
Sept. 28, 1940:
Departed Kiel and arrived at Gotenhafen (Gdynia) Poland.
Oct.-Nov. 1940:
Sea trials in the Baltic Sea.
Dec. 5, 1940:
Departs Baltic area for final fitting out.
Dec. 9, 1940:
Arrives at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg.
Jan. - Mar. 1941:
Final fitting out completed, 8 x 4.1" guns added. While Bismarck is ready by Jan. 24,
a sunken ship blocks her departure and Bismarck is held up at Blohm & Voss until
March 6.
March 8, 1941:
Arrives at Kiel and takes on supplies and the ship is painted with a camouflage pattern.
March 17, 1941:
Departs Kiel and arrives in Gotenhafen (Gdynia) Poland. Through April Bismarck
continues to conduct trials in he Baltic.
May 5, 1941:
Adolf Hitler inspected both Bismarck and Tirpitz at Gotenhafen (Gdynia) Poland.
With Hitler is Admiral Lütjens.
May 12, 1941:
Admiral Günther Lütjens and his staff arrive on the Bismarck.
Bismarck takes part in two exercises before deployment.
May 18, 1941:
Bismarck makes a six hour maneuver with the Tirpitz, the only time the two ships
ever operated together.
May 19, 1941:
Bismarck and Prinz Eugen depart Gotenhafen (Gdynia) Poland for Operation Rhinübung.
May 20, 1941:
Bismarck is sighted by the Swedish cruiser Gotland and her movement is reported.
May 21, 1941:
Arrived at Grimstadfjord near Bergen, Norway. While there Bismarck is photographed
by RAF Flying Officer Michael Suckling. Later in the evening Bismarck and Prinz Eugen
depart for the Denmark Strait.
May 23, 1941:

Bismarck and Prinz Eugen are sighted by HMS Norfolk and HMS Suffolk. Bismarck
fires five salvos at Norfolk but scores no hits. The concussion of Bismarck's guns
damaged the radar and Bismarck had to drop behind Prinz Eugen. Bismarck then
made an attempt to engage Suffolk but, Suffolk picked up Bismarck making a turn
on her radar and was able to out run the Bismarck.

May 24, 1941:
Battle of the Denmark Strait, engaged HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Hood,
HMS Norfolk and HMS Suffolk.
HMS Hood is sunk HMS Prince of Wales damaged.
Bismarck damaged by shell fire from HMS Prince of Wales (3 hits).
Later in the evening Bismarck is attacked by Swordfish torpedo aircraft from
HMS Victorious and hit amidships starboard side. While the ship was not damaged
one man inside the Bismarck is killed by falling off a catwalk caused by the
concussion of the torpedo.
May 25, 1941:
Attacked by Swordfish torpedo aircraft, no hits.
Bismarck and Prinz Eugen separate.
British loose contact with Bismarck. However late in the evening Admiral Lütjens
sends a long radio message to Berlin. The message is heard by the British and her
position is given away.
May 26, 1941:

Bismarck is located by a Catalina flying boat and later attacked by Swordfish
aircraft from HMS Ark Royal, receiving 2 hits. One amidships and one in the rudder,
jamming it while Bismarck was making a turn, this left Bismarck unable to maneuver
and running in a circle.
Later in the day Bismarck is attacked by Polish destroyer ORP Piorun G-65 but,
the attack is successfully driven off.
Bismarck is attacked again by HMS Cossack F-03, HMS Maori F-24, HMS Zulu F-18,
HMS Sikh F-82 and ORP Piorun G-65. Once again the attack is driven off.

May 27, 1941:
Bismarck is sunk in action with HMS King George V, HMS Rodney, HMS Norfolk
and HMS Dorsetshire.
Bismarck's crew set scuttling charges and opened the valves to scuttle the ship to avoid capture.
HMS Dorsetshire picked up 86survivors but 1 died of his wounds on board.
HMS Maori F-24 picked up 25 survivors.
U-74 picked up 3 survivors
Sachsenwald (German weather ship) picked up 2 survivors.
Casualties

2,106 of Bismarck's crew were killed in action
Crew list (off site link)


Builder's Data
Page published Dec. 14, 2007