1⁄351/350 DKM Bismark with WEM PE Set
It was 64 years ago. Green water broke over the bow beneath a steel gray sky. The Bismarck, pride of the German Navy, was trying desperately to get to France and safety. 3 days ago he had his baptism of fire, sinking the pride of the Royal Navy the HMS Hood while taking little damage himself. A shot taken in the bow, below the waterline had caused some flooding and the loss of precious fuel oil. The crew of the Bismarck, young and old alike, for the first time felt the fear and the adrenaline rush of combat on the foam capped sea. Many thought they were under the protection of Poseidon himself, invincible, until the Swordfish struck. These fragile, slow moving aircraft swarmed around Bismarck like bees around a brown bear. Their dauntless crews braving intense anti aircraft fire while they flew their planes from a past era in slow, straight lines towards the target. Then, with a well placed torpedo, a shudder ran through the ship and in an instant its fate was sealed. The brave aviators knew they’d got in one good hit but had no idea of its effects. Time melted away the feeling of invincibility from Bismarck’s crew. Crippled by the torpedo blast that knocked the rudder into a screw the ship was unable to steer a straight course and so escape to the coast of France or even the protection of German aircraft was impossibility. The wind and sea were working against Bismarck, constantly turning her bow back towards her pursuers. And so on this overcast, cold morning the men in the Bismarck each contemplated his fate. Thoughts turned inward to home, loved ones, memories long forgot. Some still had false hopes of a miraculous victory for the German ship, some thought of the Hood and what her crew must have gone through. As the sun rose in the East behind leaden skies the English ships seemed to rise in the West. The new battleship King George the Fifth and the older Rodney were closing in. Soon their 14 and 16 inch shells would turn the Bismarck into a floating funeral pyre. With it the pride of Germany and any thoughts of the German Navy venturing into the Atlantic were slipping beneath the waves to a watery grave 2,616 fathoms below the sea’s surface. Melville couldn’t have written a better sea tale. It’s a story of honor, courage, fate and luck that played out in such a way as to be the most famous legend of the life and death of a ship of war ever to be told.
Copyright ©2020 by Mike Taylor. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2005-04-08 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 15798