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Re: More on the Bismarck
And Ludovic Kennedy himself was on the destroyer Tartar accompanying Rodney, and witness to the beginning of the final battle. However Tartar was so low on fuel they had to depart before Bismarck actually sank.
The film was very much 'of its time' with added drama, love interest, additional fictional action scenes and a Nazi admiral rather then merely a 'German' one - probably seeking to increase its appeal to more than naval history fans. Having said all that, it's still a watchable film, particularly for the scenes of the big guns filmed on board HMS Vanguard.
Ludovic Kennedy's father was Master of the Rawalpindi, sunk by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
After ranting about the book "Battleship Bismarck" in an earlier post, I found myself rereading "Pursuit: The Chase and Sinking of the Bismarck" by Ludovic Kennedy last weekend. That is a wonderful book - a real page-turner - with all the essential facts in compact form.
Then I also had to rewatch the movie "Sink the Bismarck" from 1960. A good film in some respects, but with a number of errors, I guess to make it more exciting, like Bismarck shooting down one of the Swordfish, and blowing up one of Vian's destroyers. The models used in making the movie looked pretty accurate, but they are shooting on the wrong side in the Battle of the Denmark Strait, i.e., Bismarck is firing to starboard instead of to port, etc.
One other item the reading and watching reminded me is about the actor Esmond Knight, who plays Capt. John Leach of the Prince of Wales. He was actually on PoW during the battle, serving in a fire control position just above the bridge, and was partially blinded by the shell that went through the bridge and killed or wounded several crew. He was active in movies, TV, and the stage from 1928 to 1987, including roles in all of Laurence Olivier's Shakespeare movies.