Monday, May 23, 2011

Bismarck saga -- discovered

At 7:22 p.m. the British heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk spots the Bismarck as the German task forcve tries to run the Denmarck Strait between the ice pack off Greenland the the minefields off Iceland. The Suffolk is not spotted right away and ducks into some fog, getting off a contact report. The Suffolk notes that the Bismarck is in the lead, followed by the Prinz Eugen.

Soon the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk joins the Suffolk and the two cruisers shadow the Germans.

At 8:30 p.m. a break in visibility allows the Bismarck to spot the Norfolk and it sends a few rounds at the British ship, which ducks into the mist. No hits are scored, but the blast from the guns damages the Bismarck's forward radar, so the battleship switches positions with the Prinz Eugen, which now leads. The British don't spot the change. This will have an impact a few hours later.

The two British cruisers will continue to shadow the German task force through the night using the radar on the Suffolk track their course while remaining outside of visibility range.

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