Battleship Bismarck is a warship greatest German who ever made during World War II . Ship’s name is derived from the name of the Chancellor of Germany in the 19th century, Otto von Bismarck . Bismarck became famous after successfully sink a major warship Royal Navy (UK), HMS Hood in the Battle of Denmark Strait in 1941 . Bismarck and Tirpitz his twin brother is the main vessel (capital ship) German Navy ( Kriegsmarine ) in World War II. In addition to Bismarck, several other warships are made and participated in World War II is the Yamato and Musashi which is a capital ship Japan . There is also the USS Missouri and USS Mississippi is the capital ship of the United States, but both are too late to enter the arena of war.
Germany’s defeat in World War I had to accept the Treaty of Versailles , among others, limit the development of its armed forces. Naval ship models only use the Pre Dreadnought , which consists of only 6 of 8 old light cruiser, 12 of 32 destroyers (destroyer) and torpedo boats (torpedo boat), with no aircraft carriers , cruise ships combat (battle cruiser) and heavy cruiser (heavy cruiser). When the ships mentioned above was more than 20 years, Germany may change but can not exceed 10,000 tons by the armaments of 11 inches (± 279 mm). Cruisers no more than 6000 tons with the largest arsenals 6 inches (± 152 mm). For the destroyers did not exceed 800 tonnes and torpedo boats (torpedo boat) not more than 200 tons.
Adolf Hitler who managed to win the election for the post Reichskanzler (Chancellor), then became Reichspresident replace Paul Von Hindenburg and eventually served as supreme commander of the German Armed Forces so that all the power into the hands of Hitler. With that power, Hitler did not recognize unilaterally the Treaty of Versailles, France.
In the June 1939 Hitler succeeded in reaching an agreement with Britain in which the Germans were allowed to have a navy as large as the British navy . The opportunity was used by Hitler secretly to build a huge naval force Admiral Erich Raeder in which the development plan designated the German Navy which took six years of the so-called Z-Plan (plan Z) in accordance with the wishes of Germany itself.
The project started in January 1939 with a new calculation of the war against England would be flared in 1945. Z’s plans include building measuring 56,000 tons of warships Bismarck and the Tirpitz which weighs 42,000 tons, three warships measuring 31,000 tons ( Deutschland , Admiral Scheer and Graf Spee ), commonly called pocket battleships (Pocket Battleship, Panzerschiff), the two ships aircraft carriers (one of which is the Graf Zeppelin ), five heavy cruiser ( hipper , Blucher , Prinz Eugen , Seydlitz and Lutzow ). In addition there are 44 light cruiser, 68 destroyers, 90 torpedo boats and 249 submarines known as U-Boot . Hitler promised that Germany Raeder in a short time will not be at war with Britain.
Greed that thwart the plans
Z is the failure of the plan because Hitler wanted to quickly realize the Germans annexed the Kingdom with the German-speaking territories and the territories formerly known as the Empire of Germany – Prussia (II during the imperial Reich Wilhelm I , Friedrich III and II ) are realized in the form of the German Kingdom ( Reich III or the Third Reich). In developing its armed forces, land-oriented Hitler felt strong enough to see the development of the Army ( Wehrmahct ) and air force ( Luftwaffe ), while the Navy development, new to the early stages only; who just finished the Bismarck and Tirpitz and submarines that are is known as the “ghost” waters of Western Europe in previous years.
Bismarck, the largest battle cruiser German Navy shipyard was built in Hamburg in 1939. 251 meters in length, Bismarck has a speed of 30 knots (± 56 km / h) with a weight of 50 900 tons armed with eight cannons measuring 15.5 inches (± 394 mm), 12 pieces of cannon 5.9 inches (± 150 mm), Anti Air 16-237 mm and 12-20 mm, eight torpedo tubes (torpedo tube) measuring 21 inches (± 533 mm) and six aircraft . Bismarck deck side and coated steel as thick as 32 cm. Invasion of the Nazis into Poland in 1939 gave England mengultimatum Hitler to retreat into Germany with the threat of England would declare war on Germany. But the ultimatum (3 September 1939) be ignored by the Germans. German Navy was not ready to find a tactic to deal with the British fleet that is more complete, ready, equipped naval tradition of new and older.
Admiral Raeder up an operation codenamed Rhein Ubung (Exercise Rhine , the river’s name in German). In World War I Germany successfully implement these operations by destroying a convoy of ships of the British navy anywhere. Recorded Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the beginning of World War II it had sunk British commercial ships with a total weight of 115 622 tonnes.
This time Admiral Raeder was able to exert a number of ships it needs, among others Sharnhorst and Gneisenau to enter the dock . So diberangkatkanlah Bismark and Prinz Eugen to the North Atlantic under Admiral Guenther Luetjens. Departing from Gdynia on the Baltic Sea through the East Sea, southern Kattegat and Skagerrak and monitored by the cruiser Gotland Navy Sweden which was neutral.
Closely watched the news later by British intelligence in Sweden presented to Admiral Sir Johan Tovey and on May 22, soon the British naval base at Scapa Flow immediately send a fleet consisting of combat cruiser HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales (who later drowned in the waters Malaysia – Singapore at the beginning of the Pacific War ( War of Greater East Asia ) with Japan , and six destroyers, led by Admiral Hollaand to keep the Denmark Strait in the south-west of Iceland .
Before Admiral Tovey gave orders to Admiral Holland in the Denmark Strait , heavy rover Norfolk had already been given the job over there by himself under the command of Admiral Walker. New on May 22, a more serious explorers who named Suffolk received orders to join the Norfolk.
Uncertainty of direction and purpose of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen made the Royal Navy while maintaining other important areas. In Icelandic waters, there are two minor explorers Birmingham and Manchester. Similarly, in Scapa Flow , it alerted a number of warships.
In the evening, Admiral Tovey also sail battleships King George V , the aircraft carrier Victorious , a number of explorers, and a host of other destructive. In the end the fleet Tovey never fought directly with Bismarck.
The weather is very bad at that time to provide protection as well as disastrous for the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. German intelligence reconnaissance aircraft never made it to Scapa Flow to the leader of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, Admiral Lutjens ignorant whether there are ships that followed him. Instead British reconnaissance aircraft also failed to find the position of Bismarck. So both parties are equally find their enemy in a state of blind at all, but England still benefit because they have a number of warships are far more in the Atlantic ocean.
Battle of the Denmark Strait
Fixed bad weather on May 23, when Bismarck entered the Denmark Strait. Lutjens did not know that in these straits Suffolk and Norfolk on patrol. Similarly, Admiral Walker did not know that Bismarck was up to the Denmark Strait. Here the fault of intelligence Germany becomes fatal. They consider the UK does not have a good enough radar to find enemies in bad weather, so Lutjens calmly told Bismarck and Prinz Eugen passed through the thick fog. Protection of nature is almost useless because Suffolk had already had a capable radar to find enemies, but Norfolk does not have radar so he could find almost impossible to Bismarck.
Bismarck tertangkaplah evening in Suffolk radar. Seeing this, Admiral Walker ordered his ships to retreat as he let Scapa Flow on the position of Bismarck. But somehow, this news never reached. Fortunately for England, Norfolk did not have a fixed radar pacing in the Denmark Strait before Bismarck radar caught him and shot at. This shot started a new battle will end 3 days. Through this attack Tovey found Lutjens fleet position. Norfolk himself decided to quit with the help of smoke screens and did not receive the slightest damage.
Suffolk and Norfolk ship shadowing the German ships while awaiting the arrival of Admiral Holland. Through radio, Admiral Admiral Holland told Walker about his plans. The plan goes something like this: when the Hood and Prince of Wales opened fire on the Bismarck, the Suffolk and Norfolk should focus its attacks on Prinz Eugen. But these orders never made it to Admiral Hood Walker.Walker assumed power and Prince of Wales was enough to beat Bismarck. Allegations that turned out wrong.
On the morning of May 24 Hood and Prince of Wales to meet his opponent. Admiral Holland and then ordered the shooting. Attacks Hood and Prince of Wales told to focus to Bismarck, in other words Holland continue to implement the original plan. Suffolk and Norfolk while casually watching the battle from afar.
Another fatal mistake again performed Hood. Instead of shooting at Bismarck, the Prinz Eugen fired instead. Bismarck and Prinz Eugen opened fire on the ship with the same compact: Hood. Hood was soon bombarded with bullet projectile 20.3 cm and 38 cm. Then came the extraordinary; a bullet Bismarck right of Hood’s ammunition storage facilities, which then exploded with a fierce and catapult fire until 300 yards. Hood then broken into two and sank to the seabed. Seeing this, Prince of Wales soon turned the bow of the sinking Hood place, just in case there are still survivors. But from a total crew of 1419, only three crew members were rescued. After the sinking Hood, Prince of Wales’s turn to receive the bullet combination Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. Soon the Prince of Wales receives accurate shots which resulted in Bismarck and conceded the hole in the stern of hundreds of tons of sea water. Then issued orders for battle mmemutus and Prince of Wales retreated under the protection of a smoke screen.
Prinz Eugen did not take any damage at all. But Bismarck had two shots right from the Prince of Wales which led to reduced speed and leave the oil along the beam path. This is the file that will be easier for the Royal Navy torpedo planes to search for Bismarck.
Chased and destroyed
News of the sinking of HMS Hood makes the English sad and angry. Reprisals were carried out radical and aggressive. Admiral Tovey immediately mobilized no less than 16 only for the pursuit battleships Bismarck. All vessels were generally patrol or guard convoys of merchant. Even some of them have started to run out of fuel. But Admiral Tovey disregard it. Similarly, ships are ordered, they do not care about their situation. They just want to find and destroy the Bismarck. Bismarck chase still encounter many obstacles that even though the number of ships deployed very much. Explorers HMS Suffolk and HMS Norfolk is stalking through the Bismarck left behind traces of oil were intercepted and rain storms that Bismarck suddenly disappeared and was found hours later (May 24, 1941). May 25, Bismarck disappeared from radar Suffolk, although by then the officers they were too tired. They had not slept for days and always continue to monitor the conning tower was in Bismarck. Bismarck recently discovered again on May 26 when a reconnaissance plane PBY-5 Catalina caught.
Soon Swordfish planes from the aircraft carrier type HMS Arc Royal attack but mistakenly attacked because the ship was the British HMS Sheffield . Luckily the attack misses. The second attack hit the target and the torpedo hit Bismarck at the wheel, and because the equipment submerged in water so it can not be repaired.
Bismarck a broken wheel and then chased by destroyers Cossack and four other destroyers under the command of Captain Vian. Contact occurs between the fleet but because of the storm, the contact is broken. The new contact occurred at 08:43 on May 27, 1941. When the HMS King George V who had caught the opponent for days looking for. Soon Bismarck got shot salvo from HMS King George V , HMS Rodney , HMS Norfolk and HMS Dorsetshire . Battle ensued and finally attacked the Bismarck sank at 10:40 am, after ditorpedo HMS Dorsetshire.
Bismarck error analysis
The victory was so meaningful to the UK and immortalized in a movie in the 1960’s. Scholars and historians have argued that there is a variety of fatal errors since Bismarck departed from Gdynia . Bismarck should not sail through the strait of Kattegat and Skaggerrak and the East Sea because the track was filled with spies watching him. Would be safer if through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal . Another thing is Bismarck so it should add fuel to escape from the bullet strikes the opponent.