It’s 78 years this week since the battlecruiser HMS Hood went down in the Denmark Strait while fighting the German battleship Bismarck. At about 6.00 am on 24 May 1941, around eight minutes after the battle began, she exploded in a massive ball of fire and smoke as her two after magazines, X and Y, … More This week in history: the loss of HMS Hood
Have you ever been grabbed by history and had the raw emotion of a past event suddenly explode across you in all its human depth and drama? It’s this – and not lists of numbers – that makes history interesting. Add music to the mix and you can create a historical account that has tremendous … More Capturing the feeling of history with music… and the Bismarck
There’s a vigorous naval enthusiast community out there. And it’s always intrigued me how often their discussions devolve to bitterly personalised argument, often infused with a kind of nationalist machismo in which paper statistics become weapons for invalidating the personal worth of the other party. Setting aside the point that this is basically dick-waving, using … More Why ships are more than just steel and lists of statistics
As we saw in the previous post, the German battleship KM Bismarck has been subject to its fair share of mythology. Much flowed from exaggerated claims about Bismarck’s characteristics. In fact the only real advantage of Bismarck was size. In the 1930s, battleships were limited to standard displacement of 35,561 tonnes (35,000 long tons) by international treaties dating to 1922, … More Why the Bismarck myths were – well, myths
I’ve been writing a bit of military history lately on this blog, courtesy of a couple of recent anniversaries – Jutland and D-Day. I thought I’d wrap it up, for now, with a two-parter debunking some of the mythology surrounding the German battleship KM Bismarck, whose sortie into the Atlantic in May 1941 lasted just 210 … More De-mythologising the ‘invincible’ Bismarck…at last…
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