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Friday, 4 November 2011

Fairey Swordfish attack on Bismarck.


During World War Two, Germany and Italy had some very fine battleships but no aircraft carriers. The Germans had the Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier but it was never fully completed and never saw active service with aircraft. This was a big miss for the two Axis powers and gave the Royal Navy an advantage at sea with obsolete aircraft called Fairey Swordfish (Stringbags.) Far out at sea, the Fairey Swordfish had no rival because enemy, land based, aircraft could not reach them.

These antiquated biplanes were able to attack huge battleships and inflict serious damage. In 1941 the stringbag was responsible for bringing about the battleship Bismarck's terrible demise. The formidable German ship broke out into the Atlantic to hunt British convoys. She could fall upon the merchants ships like a wolf upon sheep. The Bismarck destroyed a British Battleship called H.M.S. Hood with over 1,500 crew when her huge guns scored a direct hit on the Hood's Magazine. Only three sailors survived the horrendous attack.

As Bismarck cruised on, a British aircraft carrier sent out Fairey Swordfish to make a number of attacks upon the German Battleship. They could not sink her, but were able to inflict crippling damage to Bismarck's rudder.

The Royal Navy was then able to close in with many ships from different directions and destroy Bismarck - a huge ship that succumb on her first mission, due to the obsolete Fairey Swordfish (Stringbag.) 
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