Naval Warfare Books

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The Bismarck Chase

New Light on a Famous Engagement

Winklareth, Robert J.

1998, United States Naval Inst.
ISBN 1557501831
Hardcover, 188 pages, 49 b&w photos, 7 maps, 2 tables, 34 diagrams

Type. General history
Pros. Close analysis of the battle action, with many maps and diagrams
Cons. None to mention

This book is a re-evaluation of the events which led to the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. The author has identified inconsistencies in earlier accounts and carefully analyzed all extant photographs of the battle to piece together the most probable sequence of events.

The book begins with an overview of the Dreadnought type; an explanation of how the Washington Naval Conference resulted in the reduction of capital fleets and limitations on programs of capital shipbuilding; the construction of King George V and Prince of Wales; and technical background on the Bismarck and on all the other players in the four-day battle. The remainder of the book consists of a blow-by-blow account of the encounter between Bismarck and Hood which led to the latter's destruction; Bismarck's initial evasion of and subsequent rediscovery by British forces; and her eventual disabling and sinking.

A wealth of maps and diagrams illustrates the positions of vessels engaged in various stages of the battle. This is a well-thought-out and well-justified account which is meant to correct inaccuracies found in some previous publications, including photographs which have often been reproduced as reverse images (a small detail that greatly complicates the task of reconstructing the individual vessels' positions and movements).

A valuable resource for anyone interested in this great naval battle.

Review written by Tonya Allen.

Published on 3 Mar 2000.

This title is highly recommended.

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