On 13 November 1941, at 3.40pm, Friedrich Guggenberger, commander of the German submarine U-81, fired a single torpedo that brought to an end the short, but dramatic, wartime career of HMS Ark Royal, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier that played a critical role in the search and subsequent sinking of the Bismarck. Continue reading “Friedrich Guggenberger: The Man Who Sank the Ark Royal”
The Bismarck’s crew was made up of just over two thousand men. Following her sinking, only 114 survivors were plucked from the sea, 110 of them by HMS Dorsetshire and the Tribal-class destroyer HMS Maori. The rescue of survivors was called off by the captain of HMS Dorsetshire amid reports that a U-boat may be in the area.
Later, three of the survivors were indeed rescued by a U-boat that made it to the scene and a further two were rescued by a German fishing trawler.
For more on the hunt to find and sink the Bismarck take a look at John Moffat: Legend of the Bismarck. Click here to read the Kindle preview.
The objective of the operation was for the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy-cruiser Prinz Eugen to breakout into the Atlantic and destroy Britain’s trade lifeline, the merchant convoys from North America.
Admiral Johann Günther Lütjens was placed in command of the operation.
The Royal Navy put everything that it could into finding and sinking the German raiders, amassing a task force of over forty ships. Eventually, on 27 May 1941, a ferocious sea battle ensued and the Bismarck was sunk. Lütjens, along with two thousand of his crew, lost their lives.
For more on the hunt to find and sink the Bismarck take a look at John Moffat: Legend of the Bismarck. Click here to read the Kindle preview. Continue reading “Admiral Gunter Lutjens and the Sinking of the Bismarck”