Naval vessel Bismarck, build by the Hamburg naval shipyards in 1936 was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for the Navy of Nazi Germany. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, for whom the battleship was named after, was an important figure at the time for uniting Germany. The ship was made sea worth in February 1939 in Hamburg at the Blohm & Voss shipyard. Two largest ships built by any European power at the time: Tirpitz and Bismarck sister battleships the largest battleships ever built by Germany Naval powers.
Bismark Main Propulsion :
Battleship Bismark had tactical advantage of speed and heavy armour. Having advanced the propulsion system the German Navy build a sea ship that was able to outmaneuver its targets . The faster ship has a battle advantage as it can initiate or end a escalation . The battleship Bismarck had a steam propulsion plant that was 1/10 of the ships net tonnage. The ships boilers burned fuel oil producing high pressure steam thus turning the turbines that turned the propellers. The high pressure steam was made by twelve Wagner Hochdruck high pressure steam-heated boilers, turning three Blohm & Voss turbine. The three-shaft drive was a weight saving measure and permitted a better distribution within the ships hull. Each of the three sets of turbines turned one propeller shaft .
Electrical Power Plants:
The electric plant consisted of : eight 500 kw Diesel generators, five 690 kw turbo-generators, and one 460 kw turbo-generator. Powering the ship’s important vitals such as gun rotation, cooling fans, lights and communication, with a total output of 7,910 kw at 220 volts.
Bismark Main Armament :
The Eight multipurpose 38 cm guns comprised Bismarck’s main battery, two armoured twin turrets at each end of the battleship,could target surface targets at sea, shore bombardment and against incoming aircraft. In 1934, the 38 cm guns were the most powerful guns ever mounted on any German warship at the time. At 1,056 metric tons the turrets had to be rotated by a roller track platform. The turrets were evenly spaced and the barrels were far apart, giving the crewmen extra area to operate each barrel independently .
Bismark Aircraft :
The Bismarck was equipped with aircraft installation that was used for reconnaissance missions. Up to six Arado Ar 196 seaplanes could be stored on board the battleship Bismarck . These sea planes would be catapulted to air and raised from the water by a specially fitted crane. The double float Arado Ar 196 were heavily armed single-engine aircraft, with fold-able wing sets would offer necessary intelligence upon their return from scouting missions. The sea planes on the battleship Bismark were serviced and flown by the members of the Luftwaffe.
Battleship Bismark General characteristics:
- Type: Battleship
- Displacement: 41,000 long (41,700 t)
- Length: 241.6 m (793 ft)
- Beam: 36 m (118 ft)
- Draught: 9.3 m (31 ft)
- Installed power: Wagner superheated boilers 150,170 shp (111.98 MW)
- Propulsion: 3 three-blade screws
- Speed: 30.01 (55.58 km/h; 34.53 mph)
- Range: 8,870 nautical miles
- Complement: 103 officers
- Armour: 320 mm – 360 mm- 120 mm