Although the German battleship had avoided many British patrols and was only 670 miles northwest of Brest, she was still far from the safety of German Air Force (Luftwaffe) air cover. Still, it would prove difficult for the Royal Navy to catch Bismarck, as the British Battle Squadron was too far north. Fortunately for the British, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal in Force H from Gibraltar found herself southeast of Bismarck's reported location and directly in the path to Brest. Upon acknowledging the contact report, cruiser Sheffield was detached from Force H and ordered to find and shadow the enemy. Later that day, naval observer Lieutenant James E. Johnson in a British Catalina from No. 240 Squadron, relieved Smith's plane and maintained contact with the German battleship until Sheffield took up a shadowing position.
Following an abortive air strike that afternoon in which fourteen Swor
Tags: World war 2, ww2, axis, allies, Bismarck, battleship, flagship, kriegs marine, naval, fear, power, hitler, churchill, battle of the atlantic, world at war, swordfish, torpedo, destroyed, HMS hood
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