Osprey's The Battleship Bismark

Author:

Stefan Draminski

Publisher/Distributor

Osprey Publishing

Price

$60.00 MSRP

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 256 pages, 10 x 9 inches, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2888-0

The German Battleship Bismark is undoubtedly one of the most famous of WWII Battleships, not so much for her successes, but because of the circumstances of her final cruise. Germany's real offensive power on the seas were its submarines. The surface fleet had some success, most of it early in the war, but its primary purpose was to tie up as much of the Royal Navy as possible. By doing so, it reduced its effectiveness in other theaters of operation.

The British kept a sharp eye on all of Germany's large surface ships. Allowed into the convoy routes, they could wreak havoc and had shown on occasion just this propensity. So whenever these ships moved from port, alarms went off in the British Admiralty. So it was when Germany's newest battleship, Bismark, was discovered missing from its normal anchorage in Norway. The result was one of the most famous hunts, chases, and sea battles of the war. It came at a time that things were not going well for the British and was a huge morale boost for the population back home.

Most of us know this story at least in the passing, and quite a lot has been written about the ship, but nothing compares to the sort of detail that has gone into the making of this book. Not only does the author provide a general history of the ship as well as the events of May 1941, but thanks to his superb 3D work, we get to see aspects of the Bismark that have never really been explored before.

The book includes not only some rare closeup photos of the ships, but also more than 660 perspective and three view drawings. This includes 'slices' of the hull both vertically and horizontally, a look at armament, general arrangements, fittings, fire control and even the operation of the aircraft carried aboard the ship. The various differences in camouflage schemes carried by the Bismark are also covered in full color and two page artwork.

In all, it provides everything you have ever wanted to know about the details of this ship. It is a major undertaking and well worth reading. A book that will probably never be eclipsed. Highly recommended.

November 2018

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