May 5, 2006

BISMARCK - The world's finest battleship

(Click her! - the ship...the - don´t mind...)

(Laivan ominaisuuksista käytettyjä määritelmiä on korjattu ja tarkennettu klo: 00.00 + linkkilisäyksiä.
Bismarck ei nimittäin ollut kaikilta osiltaan täydellinen "sotakone" omankaan aikansa teknisillä ja strategisilla mittapuilla arvioituna (mikäpä olisi ollut?), mutta symboliarvoltaan se kasvoi tarunhohtoisiin mittoihin jopa natsi-Saksan ulkopuolella.)

Ettei elämä kävisi tylsäksi, on aika ihailla maailmanhistorian ehkä kaikkein legendaarisinta sotalaivaa - "Rautakansleri" Otto von Bismarckin kaimaa - The German battleship Bismarckia.

Kertomus taistelulaiva Bismarckin takaa-ajosta ja uppoamisesta on saanut lähes mytologiset mittasuhteet. Oheisesta linkistä löytyy eräs kuvaus, jonka bonuksena annetaan myös hyvä kartta tapahtumien kulusta - LRB Lawrence Hogben : Sinking the 'Bismarck'.

Bismarck's Final Battle (Erinomainen selvitys aiheesta) (Kattava sivusto merisotateknologiasta kiinnostuneille. Täältä löytyy myös koko Bismarkin tarina - edellisen "Bismarck`s Final Battle"n ohella.)

(German Battleship Bismarck, sinking of ja sinking of the Bismarck, German battleship. Myös wikipediasta (yläteksti) löytyy kuvaus Bismarckin lopusta.)

Lyhyt tiivistelmä Bismarckin faktoista ja historiasta

The year 1936 saw the laying of the keel of what was surely to be the most well-known naval vessel ever built. The mighty battleship Bismarck in many aspects the most important and definitely the most famous German ship of all time.

Named after the first chancellor of the German Empire, Count Otto von Bismark was also known as the "Iron Chancellor". Born 1815 in Prussia Bismarck ruled Germany for 30 years, longer than anyone else. He managed to unify the country while maintaining the peace in Europ for a generation. In 1898 he died at age 83.

Built by Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, DKM Bismarck was launched in February of 1939. Her length of 792' and in particular her beam of 118' gave her a high degree of stability at sea with a superb capability to absorb damage.

Bismark's hull was uniquely subdivided into 22 watertight compartments, 17 of which were within the citadel. This meant that 70% of the waterline was protected by heavy armor. More than 90% of her hull was electrically welded and she was comprised of 17 decks. Carrying a crew of 2,065 and 4 Arado Ar 196 aircraft.

Bismarck wielded 8 X 38 cm and 12 X 15 cm guns as main and secondary armament. Her propulsion plant provided a top speed of 30.1 knots. It was equipped with three turbine plants driving three propellers and 12 Wagner high pressure boilers for steam production. With her two rudders, this extra ordinarily heavily armored battleship had such excellent manoeuvring characteristics that it could dispense with tug assistance even in narrow waters.

Less than a year after her official commissioning in August of 1940, Bismarck departed to participate in the battle of the Atlantic. On the 23rd of May, she fired and disabling the HMS Norfolk.

The following day, Bismarck demonstrated how superbly the ship had been designed and built. In a mere eight minutes, she blew up the finest and biggest battlecruiser of Royal Navy, HMS Hood. The HMS Prince of Wales takes four hits, begins to lose oil and slowly retreats.
"Sink the Bismarck", roared Churchill. The day after, Bismarck was intercepted by a crushingly superior British Home Fleet force, including five battleships, nine cruisers and two aircraft carriers.

Yet even this concentration of naval force might was nor able to sink her. Finally, after all her ammunition had been exhausted & main guns destroyed by the heavy shells of British battleships, the battered Bismarck was blown up and scuttled by her own crew. At least 400 shells and 12 torpedoes hit her. Only 115 members of her brave sailors were survived. All of her commanders died aboard.

The mighty ship capsized and sank with her colors still flying.


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