DVD024 - Sink The Bismarck
Sink the Bismarck! is a 1960 black-and-white war film based on the book The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck by C. S. Forester, and recounts the true story of the Royal Navy's attempts to find and sink the famous German battleship during the Second World War. It stars Kenneth More and Dana Wynter. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert. It was the inspiration for Johnny Horton's song, "Sink the Bismarck". The film has a number of historical inaccuracies which have been discovered since its release in 1960.
The film begins in 1939, with actual footage of Germany's largest and most powerful battleship, Bismarck being launched, in a large ceremony in Hamburg with Adolf Hitler attending. The launching of the hull of the ship to later be completed is seen as the beginning of a new era of German power in the sea.
Two years later in 1941, the British convoy routes are being rampaged by U-Boat and surface raider attacks which are cutting off vital supplies which Britain needs to continue its war against Germany. In May, British intelligence discovers that the Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen are attempting to make a breakout into the North Atlantic to raid convoys. The man assigned to hunt down the Bismarck, is a former ship captain, John Shepard, who has been deeply distraught and embittered over the loss of his wife during a German air raid and later the loss of his ship when it was destroyed by German ships commanded by Admiral Günther Lütjens. Upon receiving his new post, he discovers that his nemesis, Lutjens, is the fleet commander aboard the Bismarck. Shepard's experience of conflict with Nazi Germany's naval forces and his understanding of Lütjens' thinking allows him to predict the decisions of Bismarck's crew. Shepard is initially aggressive towards his staff, but Shepard comes to increasingly rely on his assistant , WREN Second Officer Anne Davies's coolness and skill to plot the operation against the Bismarck.
Meanwhile on the Bismarck, Gunther Lütjens, like Shepard, is also an embittered man. After Germany's loss in World War I, Lütjens perceived himself to have received no recognition for his efforts in the war and forgotten. He relates his loss of recognition to that of Germany after World War I. Lutjens promises his subordinate captain of the Bismarck, Ernst Lindemann, that this time both he, Lindemann and Germany will be remembered in greatness after this war.
The film goes on to depict the hunt of the Bismarck, including the sinking of HMS Hood. which culminates in the final destruction of the Bismarck by several British ships, with Lütjens in his final moments in complete disbelief of the loss around him, and in delusion he insists to Lindemann that German forces will arrive in time to save them, at that instant he is killed by an exploding shell.
After the sinking of the Bismarck, Shepard is emotionally relieved and reinvigorated by the experience. He and Davies are on friendly terms (within professional limits) and he asks her to be his personal assistant. He then invites her to dinner; and, before leaving the underground room, he picks up the ship marker of the Bismarck from the map table and takes it as an object to remember the experience. Upon leaving the underground facility, he and Davies discover that it is morning rather than night, as they've both lost track of time, and so they decide to have breakfast.
"British view of the destruction of the Third Reich Nazi German Battleship Bismarck. Well made war film, combat scenes are very realistic anti-nazi propaganda is mild. Read Hitler’s War for the true account of how the Fuehrer thought the battle of the Denmark straight should have been fought. Combat action!" - Michael Kelly, PzG President
DVD024 - Sink The Bismarck
Running time: 97 minutes B/W with English subtitles.
DVD 024 =
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