The Battle of the Denmark Strait

A Critical Analysis of the Bismarck’s Singular Triumph

Robert J. Winklareth

This book attempts to resolve the remaining issues about how the Battle of Denmark Strait was fought by a detailed technical analysis of the circumstances, while new discoveries, revealed here for the first time, shed new light on the battle in which the best of both navies traded salvoes and over 1,500 Royal Navy sailors were obliterated.
Date Published :
November 2012
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
16 pages of illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612001234
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$32.95
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612007137
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
Available
$19.95

Overview
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To Great Britain and Germany, the Battle of the Denmark Strait came like a thunderclap in the spring of 1941. The pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, was utterly destroyed, and its newest battleship, Prince of Wales, severely damaged and forced to withdraw. This was at the hands of Germany’s huge battleship Bismarck, on its first foray into North Atlantic waters. The blast of heavy shells between the behemoths resonated both in Whitehall and Berlin.

However, despite the wealth of documentary information and photographic evidence available on the battle, there continues to be controversy as to how the conflict was actually fought. This book attempts to resolve the remaining issues by a detailed technical analysis of the circumstances, while new discoveries, revealed for the first time in this book, shed new light on the battle in which the best of both navies traded salvoes and over 1,500 Royal Navy sailors were obliterated.

By carefully considering the factors affecting naval gunnery, such as flight time of shells to their target, reaction time for correcting the fall of shot, and recycle times of the various gun systems, the battle has been painstakingly reconstructed in this book within all of the established time and distance parameters. Not limited to the battle itself, the book also explores the relevant events leading up to the titanic clash, and those events associated with its aftermath.

Being a graduate mechanical engineer and professional analyst associated with fielded military weapon systems, the author is uniquely qualified to perform the analytic functions involved in the reconstruction of the battle. His last position was as staff analyst where he provided support to the Federal government in the evaluation of the U.S. Strategic Missile Defense System, and he is also author of the highly acclaimed work, Naval Shipbuilders of the World—From the Age of Sail to the Present Day.

About The Author
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Being a graduate mechanical engineer and professional analyst associated with fielded military weapon systems, the author is uniquely qualified to perform the analytic functions involved in the reconstruction of the battle. His last position was as staff analyst where he provided support to the Federal government in the evaluation of the U.S. Strategic Missile Defense System, and he is also author of the highly acclaimed work, Naval Shipbuilders of the World—From the Age of Sail to the Present Day.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Acknowledgments
Dedication
Preface

PART ONE: EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE BATTLE
1. Imperial German Naval Challenge to Great Britain
2. International Naval Developments After World War I
3. The German Navy Under the Weimar Republic
4. German Naval Expansion Under the Third Reich
5. The Outbreak of World War II
6. Planning and Preparation for Operation Rhine Exercise
7. Execution of Operation Rhine Exercise
8. Precautionary measures Taken by the British
9. Final Preparations to Intercept the Bismarck

PART TWO: THE BATTLE OF THE DENMARK STRAIT
10. Initial Contact Between the Opposing Forces
11. Interception of the German Squadron
12. The British Open Fire
13. The Loss of HMS Hood
14. HMS Prince of Wales Fights Alone
15. The End of the Battle
16. British Heavy Cruiser Operations During the Battle
17. Exploits of the RAF Coastal Command During the Battle

PART THREE: EVENTS SUBSEQUENT TO THE BATTLE
18. British Forces Regroup to Pursue the Bismarck
19. Contact Lost with Prinz Eugen and the Bismarck
20. The Final Hunt for the Bismarck
21. Bismarck Is Disabled
22. Destroyer Attacks and Night Vigil
23. Bismarck Is Sunk
24. Admiralty Enquiries into the Loss of HMS Hood
25. Aftermath of the Battle
26. Subsequent Loss of Ships Involved in the Operation
27. End of the German Surface Threat to Allied Shipping
28. Postscript

APPENDICES
A. Analysis of Interception Reports
B. Analysis of Prince of Wales Salvo Plot
C. Analysis of Prinz Eugen’s War Documentation
D. Analysis of Cease Fire Times
E. Analysis of the Still Photographs of the Bismarck
F. Analysis of Bismarck Battle Film
G. Analysis of the Fatal Torpedo Hit on the Bismarck

Bibliography
Index

REVIEWS
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"The Battle of the Denmark Strait is done justice in this well-written, small book, which reflects Bob Winklareth’s background and reputation as a military analyst….a very helpful, thorough contribution to the understanding of the classic Bismarck-Hood drama, worthy of addition to many libraries."

- Bob Dulin, Retired USN Engineering Duty Officer, Co-Founder of the SNAME Marine Forensics Committee co-author of the classic three-volume World War II “Battleships” design and operational history, published by the Naval Institute Press.

“Winklareth presents a comprehensive account of the battle of the Denmark Strait….this well researched book will help any reader interested in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and its cast of characters.”

- Michigan War Studies Review

“…well illustrated…quite readable…enthusiasts of the Bismarck and those interested in naval surface warfare episode will find this book worthwhile…”

- Naval History Magazine

"This is a must book for any serious student of naval history. It would be a great addition to any World War II buff."

- Kepler’s Military History

"...aficionados of naval engineering and gunnery will particularly find stimulating...features evocative photographs and maps, excellent diagrams and drawings, and a very useful bibliography and reference to key documents from Germany and Britain. ...All in all, this is a most useful perspective... the book is a worthwhile work that will both inform and stimulate its readers."

- Naval Historical Foundation

"…goes beyond the minute details of the battle and attempts to understand how the battle fit into the larger picture of global relations, extending years into the past to the resurrections of HMS Hood and the eventual sinking of the notorious Bismarck, and the uncertain future of both German and British warships...provides an excellent account of naval development, expansion, and decline from the era before World War I to after World War II, and of the fates of vessels Prinz Eugen and Rodney, and lasting interest in Bismarck and the battle, as underwater explorers uncover the remnants of the battle thousands of meters below the surface, showing how Battle of Denmark Strait affected world events and continues to affect historical memory.

- Nautical Research Journal

"...highly detailed... complemented by countless charts, diagrams, photographs, and pencil drawings...The reader deserved this analysis"

- Naval War College Review, Autumn 2015

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