Naval War College Review


Recent articles commemorating the hunt for the Bismarck have recaptured some of the epic qualities of that action, and, following Dr. Ballard's discovery of the wreck, have done much to refine estimates of the damage inflicted by British action. None however, have returned to that most fundemental of questions why so valuable a ship should have been risked on so humble and enterprise as commerce raiding. To the modern observer, the decision to send the Bismarck unescorted and unsupported through the British blockade and into the Atlantic is bound to seem a strange one. Any war college graduate who submitted a plan like this would be regarded as eccentric or worse. There seems same merit therefore in reviewing those higher-level decisions which appear in retrospect to have had the greatest influence on the course of events.