Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bismarck Saga -- Where's the Bismarck?

The 25th of May was probably the most nerve-wracking period of the entire Bismarck escapade for the British. After the Bismarck eluded its pursers early that morning the British frantically searched for the .German battleship. Their only clue was an intercepted radio report from Luetjens that described the Battle oft he Denmark Straits. One wonders why the German admiral took the chance of being triangulated when he had just so clverly outfoxed the British. It's possible he though he was still being shadowed, although there's no direct evidence of that. It was a reckless move, but in keeping with the peculiarly lax German attitude toward operational security which had characterized their operations so far.

On the other hand, the intercepted message and the triangulated position, while better than nothing, were not enough to actually find the German battleship. The best they could do was cut down the area being searched, but the open ocean is immense and even a 41,000-ton, 823-foot-long battleship is quite tiny in the middle of the ocean.

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