I have always loved history, especially war history, and on this date in 1941, the British Navy sunk the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France.
The Bismarck was launched at Hamburg, Germany, on February 14, 1939. At 823 feet long, Adolf Hitler believed that the start-of-the-art battleship would mark the rebirth of the German Navy. The British Navy heavily patrolled ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, though, and only German submarines were able to move freely in the Atlantic Ocean.
In May of 1941, Hilter gave the order for the Bismarck to break the British patrols and get out into the Atlantic Ocean where it might wreak havoc. Britain sent much of the British Home Fleet in pursuit, and the British battle cruiser Hood and the battleship Prince of Wales found the Bismarck near Iceland. A fierce battle ensued but ultimately the Hood exploded and sank, taking 1418 of its 1421 crewmen to a watery grave.
Although the Bismarck escaped, it was leaking fuel and fled to occupied France. On May 26, British aircraft sighted it and crippled it. The next day, three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off, sending it to join the Hood below the waves.
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