Did the Bismarck Try to Surrender?
Did the Bismarck Try to Surrender??
Controversy was caused by ‘Killing the Bismarck’ with its harrowing, visceral description of how the Nazi battlewagon met her brutal end at the hands of the Royal Navy.
The book contains eyewitness testimony from sailors aboard HMS Rodney – the heavy-hitting British battleship sent in to destroy Bismarck at close quarters – that suggested sailors in German vessel might have tried to surrender.
Such a claim did not go down well in certain quarters, primarily among those who worship Bismarck as the ultimate oceanic war machine. It is a perspective ‘Killing the Bismarck’ sets out to debunk while also presenting the terrible reality of sea combat in WW2.
Stories on the ‘Bismarck surrender’ angle appeared in national newspapers in the UK, namely the Daily Express, Daily Mail, The Times and Daily Mirror. News organisations around the world picked up the story and it became a hot topic in discussions on Web forums.
A reporter working on the supplement of a Polish national newspaper Rzeczpospolita interviewed Iain for an article on the surrender claim, presumably because Bismarck’s homeport was Gdansk (today Gdynia in Poland).
Iain also looked at the issue of whether or not Bismarck surrendered in an article for WARSHIPS IFR magazine. The magazine also carried other articles on the Bismarck Action as a whole. These included interviews with war veterans that presented fresh material gathered since publication of the hardback edition of ‘Killing the Bismarck’. Click on links below for PDF of the magazine articles.
Top French Military History Magazine
The press coverage led to interest from the prestigious French publication ‘Guerres & Histoire’. They wanted to discuss the fashion in which ‘Killing the Bismarck’ approached the story of the German battleship’s ill-fated sortie. Iain was interviewed as part of a supplement linked to a special DVD presentation of the 1960s British movie ‘Sink the Bismarck’ (‘Coulez Le Bismarck’).
Axis History Forum
Interest in ‘Killing the Bismarck’, including the surrender claim, led to the Axis History Forum (AHF) inviting Iain to fill one of its author interview slots. In addition to discussing the claims and theories set down by the book he also covered other topics connected with research and writing naval history.
Stop press: paperback of ‘Killing the Bismarck’ proposed
There are plans afoot for a paperback edition of the successful, award-winning book, with fresh material to be included in special supplementary section. This is all subject to confirmation by Pen & Sword Books, but preparatory work is already underway, with a provisional objective of publishing sometime in 2014.