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Haynes Battleship Bismarck

Angus Konstam
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
A smile perhaps at the idea of a “Owner's Workshop Manual“ for a vessel long gone and resting many fathoms deep. But that is not to denigrate this book in any way. It's good.

Bismarck and her sister Tirpitz were two of the capital ships forming part of the German Navy's “Z“ Plan. Others were to be further battleships, an aircraft carrier, and a serious number of cruisers, destroyers, submarines and auxiliary vessels. Admiral Raeder did not expect the German Navy to be ready for war before 1944, and thought Hitler supported this - but Hitler had other ideas, and very little concept of the power of an ocean-going big-ship navy.

The sisters saw action in the Second World War, and Bismarck was notorious for sinking the British Battleship HMS Hood in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. She was then hunted down by a large RN force, and was sunk by gunfire and torpedo while making her way to a safe haven on the French west coast.

The history of the ship is detailed and valuable, but the greatest single asset of the book has to be the ship's drawings. Haynes has come to an arrangement with Conway Maritime Press/Bloomsbury to reproduce some exceptional drawings of the layout of Bismarck which are worth the book price in themselves.

A really great tribute to the ship and well worth getting and keeping.

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