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Originally published to much acclaim in 1980, this is the story of the legendary German battleship that sunk the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, on May 24, 1941, and three days later was hunted down and sunk by the British during one of the most dramatic pursuits in naval history. Told by a German naval officer who witnessed both sinkings, the book chronicles the brief but sensational career of what was thought to be the grandest weapon of the Third Reich. Burkard Baron von Müllenheim-Rechberg, the Bismarck's top-ranking survivor, tells the battleship's story from commissioning to the moment when the captain gave a final salute and went down with his ship.
The epic battle between the two great enemy ships captured the imagination of an entire generation and became a popular subject for movies and songs. With the discovery a few years ago of the Bismarck's sunken hull off the coast of France, worldwide attention has focused again on the famous ship. Reprinted now in paperback for the first time, the work presents the human dimensions of the event without neglecting the technical side and includes information on rudder damage and repair, overall ship damage, and code breaking. The book also provides insights into the author's life as a prisoner of war in England and Canada and the friction that existed between the Nazis and non-Nazis Germans in the camps. Such a personal look at one of the most famous sea encounters in the history of World War II makes absorbing reading.