27 May

Three days after sinking the British Battlecruiser Hood, the German Battleship Bismarck is pounded to a wreck by the British Battleships King George V and Rodney, forcing the crew of Bismarck to scuttle their ship.

Two days after the destruction of Hood, heading for the relative safety of occupied France, Bismarck was attacked by obsolescent Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal; one scored a hit that rendered the battleship’s steering gear inoperable. In her final battle the following morning, Bismarck was neutralised by a sustained bombardment from British ships, was scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life. Most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually. The wreck was located in June 1989 by Robert Ballard, and has since been further surveyed by several other expeditions.