My impression is based on a web image of Bismarck.


Imagine a moment, in 1941, it was just after the sinking of HMS Hood. Bismarck is sailing into the empty wastes of the North Atlantic knowing that she will be pursued.


Visualise a single, golden, sun-lit moment in the vast Atlantic before the terrible end.


A solitary figure represents the terrifying loneliness of command at the very top.


Historical note.


The German battleship Bismarck sunk the Royal Navy's most famous ship, HMS Hood. In an attempt to escape the avenging arm of the Royal Navy she tried to sail to the German controlled French Atlantic ports.


Steering west was the Royal Navy's Home Fleet, coming up from Gibraltar was Force H. Bismarck was caught between the two.


Nowadays, when this battle is remembered, it is done jointly, British and German survivors sharing, as old men, their memories of terrible days.



One of my contributors, Heniusia, added this poem in her comment. It just seemed so perfect I have included it here.


Requiem For The Sailors Of The Battleship Bismarck

A poem for Bismarck's brave, honourable sailors.


It was a cold and rainy morning,

Six hundred miles away from the coasts.

They had only hopes and brave feelings.

During the sunrise their last fight began.

They all fought to their last shell,

And all died...


During their gallant and hopeless fight.

But their spirits are all alive today

And they know that they all signed,

The name of the battleship Bismarck,

Into the cold waters of Atlantic Ocean,

With their blood...


All of them were young, brave and

Honourable seamen who lived as gentlemen.

And died as gentlemen...


Can anybody say if no roses

Bloom on a sailors grave?

All the roses bloom in our

Hearts for these sailors forever...


Poem by A. Evliyaoðlu

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Taken on July 30, 2009