THIS WEEK IN WORLD WAR II

BISMARCK SINKS THE HMS HOOD

ROYAL NAVY SINKS THE BISMARCK

On May 24, 1941, Germany’s largest battleship, the Bismarck, sinks the pride of the British fleet, HMS Hood and three days later on May 27, 1941, the British Navy sinks the Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France.

Bismarck firing on HMS Hood

Bismarck firing on HMS Hood

 

The German battleship Bismarck

The German battleship Bismarck

The Bismarck, the most modern of Germany’s battleships was wanted by other nations even in its blueprint phase.  In the Hitler-Stalin neutrality pact, Hitler handed over a copy of the blueprints in his concessions.  The HMS Hood, launched in 1918 was Britain’s largest battle cruiser.  In the North Atlantic, two British cruisers tracked down the Bismarck and the HMS Hood and the Bismarck met Northeast of Iceland.  The Bismarck was commanded by Admiral Gunther Lutjens.  The Bismarck sunk the Hood resulting in the death of 1,500.  Only three British crewmembers survived.

Admiral Guther Lutjens

Admiral Guther Lutjens

The Bismarck did not come away unscathed.  It’s fuel tank was damaged and Lutjens tried to make it to the French coast but he was sighted within three days and incapacitated by torpedoes from the Royal Navy.  The Bismarck was finally sunk by a ring of British war ships.  Admiral Lutjens was among the 2,300 German casualties.

 

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3 responses

  1. And now all these years later, it just seems so sad so many lives were lost in just two incidents.

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    • Yes very sad as war always is. Last night at my daughter’s junior ROTC awards banquet, a man gave out an award that he gives annually in the name of his brother who was among the 273 marines killed in the Beirut Barracks bombing in 1983. Very sad.

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  2. Birgit says:

    The Bismark was a feather in the cap for the British considering what had happened. In the end, many lives were lost with only the families to remember them

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