Right a torpedoes attack the night before with the destroyers failed by the furious gunfire response of intact BISMARCK despite she didn't maneuver with out of service rudders. A torpedo attack at day light at 09H00 battle beginning on 27 May would've been worse and would assure of a new failure. Obvious the Brit had no choice prior to try to neutralize the BISMARCK gunnery with guns of Brit battleships although feeble PRINCE OF WALES guns not fully operational doing the RODNEY reduced to equal play with 9 x 15 inches vs 8 x 15" of the BISMARCK. Sounds that the KING GEORGE V had main artillery problems too. The Germans had advantage of a best training and technology whereas Brits balanced his hitches with advantage to concentrate the fire of several ships on only one ship. Then that Germans had to fight many ships in the same time. Unsure result anyway if the Force H wasn't waited hurrily in reinforcement from Gibraltar and no way for a too early torpedo attack on 27 May.
If it is question of the PRINCE OF WALES shell on 24.5 . It was minor damage in the fuel tank behind the bow and loss of some precious tons of fuel didn't worry at all the BISMARK which had large filled up reserves. But he only change is Lütjen and Lindeman decided for safety due to short fuel in the south Atlantic operation to do not go to origine destination in El Ferrol in Spain whitch was out of RAF range of aircrafts and like base station to lead a probable terrible hunt to Allies merchant ships.
The raider operation was not cancelled but delayed to repairs in Brest, France where it got air cover from the Luftwaffe and other assistances.
Despite abundant writings on the BISMARCK from decades I hold from the British Museum of Glasgow a copy of RN official report on battle of Denmark Strait on 24 May that it is not at all proved that the HOOD was not hited first by the PRINZ EUGEN which was ahead the BISMARCK best placed to place the first hit on the HOOD stated that a 280 mm shell was perfectly sufficient to caught fire the observed hit amidship between the funnels on the UP's (Unrifled Projectile mounts) amunitions racks. Them exploding to pierce trough the too feeble boats deck armouring and communicate flames to the torpedoes store below. So, History still has not stated formally that the HOOD has not been sink by the PRINZ EUGEN and not by the BISMARCK like it is said from 77 years ...
This is the lucky torpedo from a SWORDFISH of the ARK ROYAL and impossible to sink the rudders with mines they tryed to do to continue to steer with propellers which would've been very possible to get Brest. Fatal was also distance immobilization at about 600 NM west not so far away but out of Luftwaffe range.
Not to be displeasant or to follow all sorts of jingoism in this thread but strictly History speaking , without the torpedo in rudders the BISMARCK would have survived may be for long time in the war. And George Elder is far to be wrong like I agree with most of his comments. Sorry !
Is it interesting to say I was personally very honored in 1976 to be personally invited in private by the Princess Bismarck in Hamburg to a private meeting she managed with 3 survivors of the BISMARCK which were Mr Stekelbind (Mecanician), Mr Heek (Was mecanician at rudders steering motors. One see him in Balard's movie) and Mr Nagel (Fortunately for him he was BISMARCK shipmate but not aboard at the battle and was President of their Veteran Association).