When the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen, two ultramodern warships, left the military port at Gotenhafen (Poland), nobody thought that one week later the Bismarck would be lying in the seabed of the North Atlantic. In that moment she was the pride of the new Nazi Germany, powerful and self-confident, albeit in excess. Already when the keel of the Bismarck was laid down Hitler totally ignored the restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty. There was no intention to dissimulate the magnitude of the new project and the displacement exceeded 50,000 tonnes at full load. Launched in 1939 like her twin Tirpitz, the Bismarck differed from her sister in the slightly lesser displacement, reduced anti-aircraft armament and absence of torpedo launchers. The Bismarck was equipped with radars for navigation, localization and fire control. Her long operational range allowed her to be an insidious prosecutor and her maneuverability was excellent due to a special type of rudder; however, this feature would ultimately be the cause of her ill fate. Despite the encrypted order prohibiting the navigation to any military or civilian ship in wide sectors of the Baltic Sea, another encrypted message arrived to the British Admiralty, which immediately set into alarm the entire Home Fleet. In that moment a dramatic prosecution started, which would end with the sinking of the superb battleship little less than 400 miles west of Brest. Hit by Swordfish torpedo bombers and with her rudders blocked, the Bismarck was forced to turn around without being able to maneuver. Practically immobilized, she was totally dismantled by the British artillery fire.

[1] Radar [2] Rangefinder [3] Armored control tower [4] Admiral's bridge [5] Searchlight [6] Diurnal bridge [7] 37-millimeter cannon(s) [8] Rangefinder [9] Radar [10] Anti-aircraft director on gyro-stabilized mounting [11] Anti-aircraft command post [12] 20-millimeter cannon(s) [13] Armored control tower [14] Navigation room [15] Bridge's aileron [16] Turret B: 380-millimeter cannons, main armament [17] Turret A: 380-millimeter cannons, main armament [18] Ventilation trunk [19] Aiming telescope [20] Breechblock's box [21] Transfer tray [22] Elevation winch [23] Turret's bearings [24] Elevation gear [25] Hydraulic pump [26] Machinery room [27] Auxiliary ammunition trunk [28] Barbette's armor [29] Rammer [30] Crew's mess-deck [31] Anchoring machine [32] Battery deck [33] Storerooms [34] Fore armored bulkhead [35] Armored deck [36] Alveolar bulkheads under armored deck [37] Barbette of turret B [38] Mechanical workshop [39] 150-millimeter cannons and barbette, secondary armament [40] Lifeboats [41] Gangway [42] Motor lifeboats [43] Crane's boom [44] Funnel trunks [45] Boats' crane [46] Arado 196 aircraft [47] Catapult [48] Lifeboats [49] Motor lifeboats [50] Hangar [51] Mechanical workshop [52] Storerooms [53] Mess-deck [54] Engine room [55] Hose reels [56] Engine and boiler room [57] Anti-aircraft control [58] Aft mast [59] 150-millimeter cannons and barbette, secondary armament [60] Turret C: 380-millimeter cannons, main armament [61] Turret D: 380-millimeter cannons, main armament [62] Aft armored bulkhead [63] Winch room [64] Storerooms [65] Anchoring machine [66] Rudders (2) [67] Propeller shafts (3) [68] False bottom [69] Radar [70] Aft superstructure [71] Aft armored command post [72] Boat stowage platform [73] Searchlight [74] Anti-aircraft control [75] Transmissions searchlight (telegraph light) [76] Main mast [77] Lookout [78] Rudder hand [79] Remote control searchlight [80] Funnel [81] Covered searchlight [82] Fore mast [83] Radio antennas [84] Waterline [85] Disembarkment planks (2) [86] Boats' protection

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