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Title:Swordfish crews recall the first torpedo attack on Bismarck
Duration:33:57
Viewed:308,763
Published:25-03-2022
Source:Youtube

It was a pivotal moment in the struggle between battleships and aircraft. The Royal Navy's biplane Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers were flung against Nazi Germany's finest battleship - the Bismarck - in a desperate bid to prevent it wreaking havoc on vital supply convoys. The Swordfish was under-rated. It represented the pinnacle of biplane technology. It was big. It was strong. It could fly in atrocious weather. Its nickname "Stringbag" was derived from its ability to carry almost anything. It was also fitted with a world-first - air-to-surface (ASV) radar. The Bismarck was a marvel of German engineering. It was big at 41,700 tons. It was fast at 30kts. It was heavily armed. It had modern anti-aircraft directors and guns. It also had a torpedo defence system capable of withstanding a 550lb TNT blast. The first clash came when nine Swordfish of HMS Victorious' 825 Naval Air Squadron found the Bismarck in the North Atlantic on May 24, 1941. The outcome was surprising. And held severe implications for Bismarck in the days to come. NOTE: For the full story of survival of Patrick James and his crew (nine days in freezing North Atlantic weather) you can find his audio account at the IWM online archives: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80015090 Other audio records: William Garthwaite: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009478 Leslie Sayer: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80017764 Patrick Jackson: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80015090 Philip Gick: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80011833 Donald Bunce: www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80013994

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