Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Titanic - One of Two Ships With Brief Lives...

On this, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on its first voyage, another saga of equally compelling power might be remembered; and that is, the brief life of the Bismarck during the Second World War:
There are parallels between these two great ships - each experienced but one operation at sea ending in disaster.
We know that the Titanic struck an iceberg on that one voyage, resulting in its sinking approximately ninety minutes later.
The battleship Bismarck was the newest and largest battleship in Hitler's budding navy, and was the most forbidding warrior of the seas at that time, weighing about 50,000 tons fully loaded.
On May 19, 1941, it left Denmark's waters for its first (and only) foray, intending to sink British merchant vessels, and on May 27 it was sunk by the British navy.
Its chief officer, Admiral Gunther Lutjens, was a highly revered naval authority, and openly admired by Adolf Hitler. He was one of the many men of the Bismarck who died in the battle.
Hitler, after the sinking of the Bismarck, was greatly shaken by the event, and never again returned to assiduously activating prioritization of naval matters and issues, such as he had before the cataclysm of the death of Bismarck.
And so, even though both tragedies were years apart and diametrically different in the reasons for their existences, I do think of the similarities in the events; namely, the remarkable brevity of their initial and only voyages...

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