Killing the Bismarck (Paperback)
Destroying the Pride of Hitler's Fleet
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In May 1941, the German battleship Bismarck, accompanied by heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, broke out into the Atlantic, to attack Allied shipping. The Royal Navy's pursuit and subsequent destruction of Bismarck was an epic of naval warfare. In this new account of those dramatic events at the height of the Second World War, Iain Ballantyne draws extensively on the graphic eye-witness testimony of veterans, to construct a thrilling story, mainly from the point of view of the British battleships, cruisers and destroyers involved.
He describes the tense atmosphere as cruisers play a lethal cat and mouse game as they shadow Bismarck in the icy Denmark Strait. We witness the shocking destruction of the British battlecruiser Hood, in which all but three of her ship's complement were killed; an event that filled pursuing Royal Navy warships, including the battered battleship Prince of Wales, with a thirst for revenge. While Swordfish torpedo-bombers try desperately to cripple the Bismarck, we sail in destroyers on their own daring torpedo attacks, battling mountainous seas. Finally, the author takes us into the final showdown, as battleships Rodney and King George V, supported by cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire, destroy the pride of Hitler's fleet. This vivid, superbly researched account portrays this epic saga through the eyes of so-called 'ordinary sailors' caught up in extraordinary events.
Killing the Bismarck is an outstanding read, conveying the horror and majesty of war at sea in all its cold brutality and awesome power.
Given the exceptionally well-known andInternational Journal of Maritime History, Volume 28(2) - Scot Lindgren
well-documented nature of Bismarck's sole operation and her actions, pursuit and sinking, it may well be wondered whether there was anything genuinely new left to say on the matter. However, Ballantyne has succeeded in obtaining new first-hand acconuts which have been added to the narrative. . . Overall, Killing the Bismarck is an excellent one-volume overview of the Bismarck affair, with a particular emphasis on the Royal Navy's part.
Killing the Bismarck is delivered with the verve of a novel, taking the reader on a roller-coaster ride across stormy seas.Ton Class Association
This book provides a harrowing insight into the unremitting cruelty of war at sea and takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride in which each twist and turn yields new shocks.NavyBooks.com
[It is] more than just another book about the hunt for, and subsequent destruction of the BISMARCK, its major point of difference being the author's extensive use of first-hand accounts which give the work human interest as well as historical accuracy.Warship World
Not content with just publishing the original account in a new format, Ballantyne has added 18 pages of new material to the paperback. The telling of the final battle in which Bismarck is despatched is a lesson in the sheer cold murder of close up combat between capital ships.Warships
Remains the definitive account of the British part in the battle.Navy News
A suspenseful narrative that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.WW2 History
The author gives us a real sense of the remorselessness of the sea on the body and mind; the horrific effects of explosives on a ship and on the flesh of its sailors. He conveys the meaning of the totality of warfare upon the great waters.Captain John Rodgaard, USN (Retd) writing in The Mariner’s Mirror
Iain Ballantyne’s magnum opus…a truly towering workRob White, award-winning documentary filmmaker, whose notable productions include The Battle of Hood and Bismarck.
The Royal Navy battleship HMS Rodney was one of the most famous warships of the Second World War and remains a legend in the pantheon of naval history. In May 1941 Rodney turned Bismarck, the pride of Hitler's navy, into twisted metal, then participated in hard-fought Malta convoys and later supported the D-Day landings. Rodney's vital role, via formidable naval gunfire support, in breaking the morale of German troops during the battle for Normandy, is outlined here. Through the eyewitness accounts of her sailors and marines we discover what it was like to live and fight in a battleship at war.…
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