Killing the Bismarck

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Killing the Bismarck

Destroying the Pride of Hitler's Fleet

Iain Ballantyne, Traber Burns


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In May 1941, the German battleship Bismarck, accompanied by heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, broke out into the Atlantic to attack Allied shipping. The Royal Navy's pursuit and subsequent destruction of the Bismarck was an epic of naval warfare. In this new account of those dramatic events at the height of the Second World War, Iain Ballantyne draws extensively on the graphic eyewitness testimony of veterans to construct a thrilling story, mainly from the point of view of the British battleships, cruisers, and destroyers involved.He describes the tense atmosphere as cruisers play a lethal cat-and-mouse game as they shadow Bismarck in the icy Denmark Strait. We witness the shocking destruction of the British battle cruiser HMS Hood, in which all but three of her ship's complement were killed, an event that fueled pursuing Royal Navy warships, including the battered battleship Prince of Wales, with a thirst for revenge. While Swordfish torpedo-bombers try desperately to cripple the Bismarck, we sail in destroyers on their own daring torpedo attacks, battling mountainous seas. Finally, the author takes us into the last showdown, as battleships Rodney and King George V, supported by cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire, destroy the pride of Hitler's fleet.This vivid, superbly researched account portrays this epic saga through the eyes of so-called "ordinary sailors" caught up in extraordinary events. Killing the Bismarck is an outstanding book, conveying the horror and majesty of war at sea in all its cold brutality and awesome power.


Iain Ballantyne:

Iain Ballantyne is a journalist and much published author of nonfiction works about naval warfare. He has spent time at sea in most types of warship, from nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, to destroyers and frigates, in assignments from the Arctic to minefields in poisoned waters off war-torn Kuwait and a foray into the Bosnian war zone. In 2010, his book Killing the Bismarck won a Mountbatten Maritime Award Certificate of Merit for best literary contribution. His work in the maritime arena was saluted with a Special Recognition Award from the British Maritime Charitable Foundation for his contribution to raising maritime awareness. He is the founding editor of the global naval news magazine Warships IFR and the Guide to the Royal Navy.

Traber Burns worked for thirty-five years in regional theater, including the New York, Oregon, and Alabama Shakespeare festivals. He also spent five years in Los Angeles appearing in many television productions and commercials, including Lost, Close to Home, Without a Trace, Boston Legal, Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case, Gilmore Girls, and others.