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Document available at the U.S National Archives and Records Administration, NARA.
This copy kindly provided to us by Dunmunro.
List of acronyms used:
1st S.L.: First Sea Lord.
1.C.S.: First Cruiser Squadron.
2.C.S.: Second Cruiser Squadron.
A.C.N.S. H.: Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Home).
A.C.O.S.: Admiral Commanding Orkney and Shetland.
C. in C. W.A.: Commander in Chief Western Approaches.
D.D.I.C.: Deputy Director Intelligence Centre.
D.O.D. H.: Director of Operations Division (Home).
F.O.C.N.A.: Flag Officer Commanding North Atlantic.
F.O.S.: Flag Officer Submarines.
N.O.I.C.: Naval Officer in Charge.
R.A.D. H.F.: Rear Admiral Destroyer Home Fleet.
R.D./F: Radio Direction Finder
T.O.O.: Time of Origin.
T.O.R.: Time of Receipt.
V.C.N.S.: Vice Chief of the Naval Staff.
It was reported this evening that 11 German merchant vessels, and later, two large warships escorted by 3 destroyers, 5 escort vessels and 10 or 12 aircraft passed through the Kattegat northward today.
British Air Operations.
All Operations by Bomber Command last night and today were cancelled owing to unfavourable weather.
|1619/20||From N.A. [Naval Attaché] Stockholm.
One German cruiser believed LEIPZIG or NUREMBERG arrived at Sassnitz together with Hospital Ship 19/5. Graded C.2.
|1914B/20||From D.D.I.C. [Deputy Director Intelligence Centre]
Two new German destroyers have been detected operating in the Southern part of the North Sea this evening.
Brest 1845/20. Visual R/C shows both battlecruisers present in usual berths.
|2058/20||From N.A. [Naval Attaché] Stockholm.
(a) This morning eleven German merchant vessels passed Lenker North.
(b) At 1500 two large warships type unspecified escorted by three destroyers, five escort craft, ten or twelve aircraft passed Marstrand course North West. Graded B.3.
SUFFOLK left Denmark Strait Patrol this morning for Hvalfjord to fuel, after which she is to join F.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron.
Enemy Main Units.
A BISMARCK class battleship and a HIPPER class cruiser were seen at Bergen by aircraft R/C at 1330B/21. A destroyer, 9 large merchant vessels and 6 small craft were also reported.
MINERVE is to patrol near 61º 53' N., 3º 15' E and P.31 west of Stadlandet.
Aircraft were despatched to attack during dark hours tonight, but failed to locate the enemy ships.
Operations. Enemy Battleship and Cruiser at Bergen, enemy intelligence, movements...
My 1126B/20. It is reliably reported that PRINZ EUGEN was at Gdynia on 14/5. Graded B.1.
|0400B/21||From N.A. [Naval Attaché] Stockholm.
Your 2058/20. Para 1. signal latitude and longitude of LENKER.
Following has been received from N.A. Stockholm. Grade B.3. On the morning of 20/5 11 German merchant vessels were reported in the Kattegat Northward bound. At 1500/20 2 large German warships, escorted by 3 destroyers 5 escort craft, and 10 to 12 aircraft passed Marstrand, Co. N.W.
|0738/21||From N.A. [Naval Attaché] Stockholm to Admiralty
Your 0400B/21. KULLEN 56º 18' N., 12º 27' E.
|1042B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet
SUFFOLK is to leave patrol and proceed to Hvalfjord.
Visual R/C of Bergen at 1330B/21 reports 2 HIPPER Class cruisers and one destroyer present.
Photographs taken at 1330/21 show a battleship 795 x 105 feet presumed BISMARCK anchored at 60º 19' 48" N., 5º 14' 48" E., with 3 M.V's 450-500 feet and cruiser 670 x 75 feet presumed HIPPER Class anchored at 60º 25' 16" N., 5º 1' 20" E., with one destroyer 415 feet and 6 M.V's 200 to 400 feet and 6 smaller craft. (P.R.U. Wick 1715/21 to 18 Group).
My 1603B/21. Photographs show ships to be one Bismarck class battleship and one Hipper class cruiser.
|1824/21||From C. in C. Rosyth
Admiralty's 1603/21. 6 Whitley and 10 Hudson Aircraft detailed to attack [enemy warships at Bergen] during dark hours tonight.
|1826B/21||From F.O.S. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Admiralty 1717B/21. If you can possibly spare P.31 request she may be sailed forthwith and proceed with despatch to patrol 25 miles West of Stadlandet.
|1853B/21||From F.O.S. to MINERVE
BISMARCK and HIPPER sighted at Bergen today. Proceed to patrol in vicinity of 61º 53' N. 03º 15' E. proceeding with despatch when it is reasonable to do so.
T.B.R. arranged east of 03º E. between 58º N. and 62º N.
|1907/21||Valentia Radio to Admiralty
To all ships (begins) United States Coastguard cutters NORTHLAND and MODOC at 1900 GCT 53.20 N., 47.30 W., proceeding to rescue of convoy survivors. Request information nearby ships. (signed) NORTHLAND (ends).
|1950B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet to C. in C. W.A.
Request Capt. (D) 3 and his Destroyers may be ordered as quickly as possible to proceed to Scapa.
|2004B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet
SUFFOLK is to join F.O.C. 1st Cruiser Squadron as soon as refuelled.
|2045B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet to F.O.S.
Your 1826B/21. Entirely concur.
|2124B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet to ARETHUSA
To A.C.O.S. Regret inconvenience. ARETHUSA is to remain at Hval Fiord at disposal of F.O.C. 1st Cruiser Squadron.
|2136B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet
MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM proceed to Skaabay Fjord Faroes, with all convenient despatch. After refuelling resume patrol.
P.31 sailed, escort HAMLET passing Switha Gate at 2300/21 eastward of Orkneys and Shetland to position 61º N., 0º 30' E., thence routed 62º 20' N., 2º 50' E., 62º 20' N., 4º E.
|2353B/21||From C. in C. Home Fleet
R.A.D. Home Fleet is to sail 5 destroyers, as soon as ready, to Clyde as A/S Screen for REPULSE. REPULSE, screened by these destroyers, is then to proceed Scapa with all convenient despatch.
Watch for German Naval Units.
Aircraft R/C [reconnaissance] at 1939 today showed that the German battleship and cruiser have left Bergen. The merchant ships did not leave with them. Photographs at 1730 showed 3 destroyers and a catapult ship in Trondheim. Most of the coast was fog bound. F.O. 1st B.C.S's Force (HOOD, PRINCE OF WALES and 6 destroyers) (to be known as Battle Cruiser Force) and Force with C. in C. Home Fleet (KING GEORGE V, VICTORIOUS, GALATEA, AURORA, KENYA, HERMIONE and 7 destroyers) to be known as Battle Fleet, were ordered at 2207B to cover a possible break out of the enemy westward through the Denmark Straits, Iceland Faeroes passage or Faeroes Shetlands passage. The Battle Fleet will operate south of 62º N., and the Battle Cruiser Force north of 62º N. 18th Cruiser Squadron (BIRMINGHAM, MANCHESTER and ARETHUSA) are to patrol the Iceland Faroes passage, west of the mine barrier, and SUFFOLK is to join F.O.I.C.S. [Flag Officer 1st Cruiser Squadron] in NORFOLK on Denmark Strait patrol. REPULSE is to proceed from the Clyde to Scapa.
Air R/C is to be maintained in the Iceland Faeroes Channel, Denmark Straits, Faeroes Shetlands Channel and Coast of Norway.
U.S. C.G. Cutters.
American Coastguard Cutters FISHGUARD, CULVER, BANFF and HARTLAND arrived at Greenock today.
British Air Activity.
Two Hudsons of Coastal Command attacked the enemy naval units at Bergen in the early hours of this morning. Results were not observed. Bad weather caused other Hudsons to return without attacking.
Watch for Enemy Warships at Bergen.
|0050/22||From A.C.O.S. [Admiral Commanding Orkney and Shetland]
Scapa departure R.A.I.B.S. in HOOD with PRINCE OF WALES, ICARUS, ANTELOPE, ACHATES, ANTHONY, ELECTRA, ECHO.
|0103B/22||From C. in C. Home Fleet to REPULSE.
Cancel my 2353B/21. C. in C. W.A. [Western Approaches] is requested to provide A/S screen for REPULSE. REPULSE is to proceed Scapa, when A/S screen is available, with all convenient despatch.
|0151B/22||From C. in C. W.A.
LEGION, SAGUENAY, and ASSINIBOINE will be required to escort REPULSE from Clyde to Scapa.
|0309B/22||From C. in C. W.A. to F.O.I.C. [Flag Officer in Charge] Greenock.
My 0151B/22. Comply with the C. in C. Home Fleet 0103B/22.
|0915/22||From N.O.I.C. Iceland
Arrived SUFFOLK 0130.
|0933B/22||From Capt. S.9 to MINERVE
A.C.O.S. 2301B/21. P. 31 is proceeding to patrol 25 miles west of Statlandet.
|0934B/22||From F.O.C. 1st C.A. to ARETHUSA
Unless otherwise ordered ARETHUSA relieves NORFOLK for fuelling 2000B/26 off Isafiord.
|0944B/22||From C. in C. Home Fleet to SUFFOLK
Remain at Hvalfiord.
|1017/22||From N.O.I.C. Faroes
Arrival BIRMINGHAM, MANCHESTER.
|1025Z/22||From A.C.O.S. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Until otherwise ordered by C. in C. Home Fleet, ARETHUSA will act as a private ship.
|1603B/22||From N.O.I.C. Greenock.
Sailed REPULSE, LEGION, ASSINIBOINE, SAGUENAY in accordance with my 0555B/22 arrive 277º Dunnet Head 30 miles at 0930/23. Code word FAITH.
|1950B/22||From F.O.I.C. Greenock.
Arrived American C.G. Cutters FISHGUARD, CULVER, BANFF and HARTLAND.
|2014/22||From C. in C. Home Fleet to SUFFOLK
Proceed to join C.S. One.
|2042B/22||From C. in C. Home Fleet
ARETHUSA is to proceed to take up N.P. line TR.38. MANCHESTER on arrival in area is to take BIRMINGHAM, ARETHUSA under his orders and dispose ships to patrol (Iceland)? Faroes passage westward of mine barrier.
C. in C. Home Fleet's 2042/22. Intend to sail 0020B/23 and make good 18 knots.
|2142B/22||From C. in C. Home Fleet
In view of present situation regret Capt (D) 6 and his destroyers will not be available for HX 127.
Request you will order them to proceed to Scapa at best speed after leaving RODNEY.
|2210Z/22||From N.O.I.C. Iceland
|2207B/22||From C. in. C. Home Fleet
F.O.C. 1st B.C.S's force is to be known as Battle Cruiser force and force with C. in C. Home Fleet as Battle Fleet.
Both forces are to cover possible break out westward through Denmark Straits, Iceland Faeroes passage, or Faeroes Shetlands passage.
Battle fleet will operate south of 062º N. Battle cruiser force will operate north of 062º N.
If enemy battleships and cruisers are located in harbour or returning to Germany, Battle Cruiser force is to proceed to Hvalfjord and Battle fleet to Scapa.
Failing such information F.O.C. 1st B.C.S. is to use his discretion as to when to take destroyers in to Hvalfjord to fuel.
|2212Z/22||From N.O.I.C. Iceland
|2213B/22||From N.O.I.C. Faeroes
BIRMINGHAM and MANCHESTER sailed 2200. S. of A. 21 knots.
Scapa departures C. in C. Home Fleet in KING GEORGE V, VICTORIOUS, GALATEA, AURORA, KENYA, HERMIONE, INGLEFIELD, INTREPID, ACTIVE, PUNJAVI, NESTOR, WINDSOR, LANCE.
Search for BISMARCK & PRINZ EUGEN.
At 2023B NORFOLK in 66º 43' N., 26º 38' W., (Denmark Strait) sighted a battleship and a cruiser 6 miles to the N.N.W. steering 240º. SUFFOLK also sighted them at 2258B and was still shadowing them at 2359B. It was subsequently reported that a third smaller ship, thought to be a destroyer was present, and turned away to the northeastward.
MINERVE is to patrol near 64º 30' N., 1º E., and P.31 near 65º 30' N., 2º E.
Denmark Straits patrol was not flown today on account of weather. Cross over patrol south of Faroes was only flown from 1330 to 1700.
There was further D/F indication this afternoon of an enemy surface unit in approx. 42º 33' N., 11º 15' W., probably homeward bound.
Atlantic convoy escorts.
A/S escort for all HX, S.C. and corresponding OB convoys is to be extended as far as about 45º W. in the latitude of Newfoundland as soon as arrangements can be made.
Search for BISMARCK and HIPPER.
|1817/23||From N.O.I.C. Iceland
Study of recent air reconnaissance show that a well built ship could make passage through Denmark Straits about 50 miles inside ice edge. Another channel exists about 55 miles wide at 066º 25' N., 032º 05' W., 18 miles wide at 067º 15' N., 031º 50' W., and 15 miles wide at 068º 20' N., 028º 30' W. A.O.C. R.A.F. considers Air Reconnaissance would establish wheter it is possible to reach open sea's latter position if another Catalina were available.
|1922/23||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
One battleship, one cruiser in sight, bearing 20º, distance 7 miles, course 240º. Position 66º 59' N., 24º 51' W.
|2005/23||From N.O.I.C. Iceland to ANTELOPE, ANTHONY
Join B.C. One who is probably steering to N.W.
1 Battleship, 1 cruiser, bearing 330º, 6 miles, course 240º, my position 66º 43' N., 25º 22' W.
|2155B/23||From D.D.I.C. [Deputy Director Intelligence Centre]
Informing A.I.G.62. Ships and Authorities Area A.
|2057/23||From N.O.I.C. Iceland to MALCOLM
Proceed when ready to locate enemy reported 066º 50' N., 025º 30'W., course 240º at 1836Z/?23.
|2100Z/23||From ANTELOPE to F.O.C. 1st B.C.S. N.O.I.C. Iceland
My course and speed on leaving Reykjavik 250º 28 knots as long as there is a chance of interception. Intend returning to oil (?forthwith).
|2145/23||From NORFOLK to Scapa
No enemy in sight, visibility 8 miles, my position 66º 17' N., 25º 42' W.
|2152/23||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
My 2129. Enemy is altering course to starboard.
|2209B/23||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
My 2152. Enemy is hidden in rain storm consider he has resumed course, my position 066º 25' N., 026º 24' W. X.11.
|2214B/23||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
No enemy in sight in the area reading clockwise between 180º and 250º, average visibility, distance 8 miles and between 000º and 250º. My position 348º [bearing] 66º N., 26º W., 27 miles.
|2230B/23||From NORFOLK to Scapa
My position, course and speed 66º 12' N., 26º 25' W., 250º, 30 knots.
|2258B/23||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
Enemy in sight bearing 232º, distance 18 miles. My position 66º 12' N., 27º 5' W.
|2306B/23||From SUFFOLK to ?
My 2258B. Both enemy ships in sigh, course and speed 232º, 28 knots. My position 066º 09' N., 027º 11' W.
|2311/23||From NORFOLK to SUFFOLK
I bear from you 142º 10 miles steering 200º to cover move of enemy away from ice.
|2341B/23||From SUFFOLK to Scapa
My 2306B. Enemy is altering course 20º to port.
|2349/23||From SUFFOLK to Scapa
My 2341B. Enemy hidden in fog near Ice, estimated course 200º, my position 065º 56' N., 027º 50' W.
Enemy in sight bearing 210º. My position 163º [bearing] 66º N., 28º W., 9 [miles].
BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN.
Orders for 18th & 2nd Cruiser Squadrons.
About midnight orders were sent to MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAN and ARETHUSA (on patrol S.E. of Iceland) and GALATEA and HERMIONE (in the Faroes-Orkneys passage) to R/V 30 miles E. of Langanaes, in readiness to form a patrol line in the event of the enemy breaking back. The orders for MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA were cancelled at 2101B and they were instructed to proceed to Hval Fiord and fuel.
At 0543B today HOOD in position 13º [bearing] 63º N., 32º W., 21 miles (63º 21' N., 31º 45' W.) sighted an enemy battleship and a cruiser bearing 337º 17 miles.
PRINCE OF WALES had sighted an unknown vessel at 0537B, and at 0544B she reported a battleship and a cruiser bearing 325º distance 14 miles course 230º.
HOOD opened fire on BISMARCK at 0553 23,000 yards and PRINCE OF WALES at 0553 ½.
BISMARCK engaged HOOD and PRINZ EUGEN the PRINCE OF WALES.
At 0615 F.O.I.C.S. [Flag Officer 1st Cruiser Squadron] reported that HOOD had blown up and sunk in 63º 20' N., 31º 50' W. PRINCE OF WALES at 0715B had her bridge and guns out of action and about 400 tons of water in the ship; her speed was reduced to 27 knots. Half an hour later SUFFOLK reported that the enemy battleship's speed was reduced and she appeared to be damaged and on fire.
It is reported that BISMARCK's secondary armament was effective at 20,000 yards.
At 0630 C. in C. Home Fleet in KING GEORGE V with REPULSE, VICTORIOUS, AURORA, KENYA and 9 destroyers was believed to be about 200 miles South of Iceland (c) and about 230 miles to Eastward of the enemy.
RODNEY, escorting BRITANNIC with personnel for Canada was about 520 miles W. of Bloody Foreland. At 1022B she was ordered to steer the best course to close the enemy.
RAMILLIES at 1144 was ordered to proceed to make contact with the enemy from the westward (RAMILLIES at 1100B was in 45º 45' N., 35º 40' W.). She was to endeavour to avoid action unless BISMARCK was alreday engaged.
1st Cruiser Squadron Shadowing.
F.O. 1st C.S. in NORFOLK with SUFFOLK, PRINCE OF WALES close astern continued to shadow the enemy throughout the day. Course was south-westerly until 1330, when the enemy altered course to southward. BISMARCK reduced speed progressively from 28 to 22 knots.
VICTORIOUS' Aircraft Attack.
At 1455B, C. in C. Home Fleet reported that VICTORIOUS, escorted by F.O.C. 2nd C.S. in GALATEA, with HERMIONE, KENYA and AURORA were being detached to launch a torpedo aircraft attack about 2200B within 100 miles range of the enemy (see 25/5).
Second short engagement.
At 1830, when PRINCE OF WALES engaged again the BISMARCK turned to the westward and the engagement was broken off in order to avoid forcing the BISMARCK further away from C. in C. Home Fleet who was some 200 miles to the Eastward.
Situation at 1800/24.
Position of enemy 59º 10' N., 36º 00' W. Course 180º, speed 24 knots NORFOLK, SUFFOLK and PRINCE OF WALES still in touch.
C. in C's estimated position at 1800, 58º 00' N., 30º 00' W. KING GEORGE v, REPULSE, VICTORIOUS and 2 cruisers.
2nd Cruiser Squadron is in company with C. in C. Home Fleet LONDON now in 42º 50' N., 20º 10' W., is proceeding at economical speed to close the enemy.
RODNEY 56º N., 29º W., with three or four destroyers has been ordered to steer best closing course.
RAMILLIES in estimated position 45º 45' N., 35º 40 ' W., has been ordered to place herself to the westward of the enemy.
MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA returning from North East of Iceland to Hval Fiord to fuel.
REVENGE left Halifax at 1505Z to overtake H.X. 128 and S.C. 32.
EDINBURGH in approx. position 45º 15' N., 25º 10' W., has been ordered to close and take over stand by shadower.
F.O. Force H in RENOWN with ARK ROYAL, SHEFFIELD and 6 destroyers left Gibraltar at 0200 A today to join W.S. 8 B after daylight 26/5. At 2331B the Admiralty sent orders to Force H to steer so as to intercept BISMARCK from the southward as the enemy must be short of fuel and will have to make for an oiler.
Search for BISMARCK and HIPPER.
My 2359B/23. Enemy hidden in snow storm. My course and speed 180º 29 knots. My position 065º 47' N., 027º 57' W.
No enemy in sight, visibility 3 miles, my position 65º 31' N., 27º 45' W., X.11.
Correct my 0009B to read my course and speed is 180º, 30 knots.
My 0009B. My course is 200º, visibility 1 mile. My position 065º 39' N., 028º 01' W.
|0101B/24||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
My position, course and speed 065º 24' N., 028º 10' W., 200º, 29 knots.
|0120B/24||From 1st S.L. [First Sea Lord]
If still complying with C. in C's 2042B/22 and in absence of other orders from him MACHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA should R/V in position 090º Langanaes 30 miles in readiness to form patrol line in event of enemy breaking back.
|0131B/24||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
My 0101B. My position, course and speed, 220º, 29 knots. Visibility 2 miles. My position is 065º 12' N., 028º 33' W. X.11.
My position, course, and speed 64º 49' N., 28º 16' W., 200º, 29 knots. Estimated position by plot of enemy 269º 18 miles from me, visibility 3 miles.
|0148B/24||From 1st S.L.
If still complying with C. in C. Home Fleet 2045B/22 and in the absence of other orders from him GALATEA and HERMIONE should proceed with all convenient despatch towards position 090º Langanaes 30 miles.
My course is 220º.
My 0225B. Two ships bearing 192º 209 and 255 yards. More distant ship probably is Battleship. Enemy course and speed 160º 20 knots. My position is 056º 44' N., 036º 5' W. Based on reference Position at -2000
1 large vessel unknown bearing 298º distance 8 miles course unknown my position 64º 28' N., 28º 36' W. X.11.
My 0131B. Course and speed 220º 29 knots, vis 1 mile. My position 064º 47' N., 029º 02' W. X.11
Position German Battleship BISMARCK Class 0200B was 056º 40' N., 036º 18' W., course 160 speed 21 knots.
Surface craft detected by R.D./F bearing 180º 10 miles my position 064º 41' N., 029º 13' W., X.11 Based on fix at 11 O'clock.
My 0229B. Vessel possibly SUFFOLK. Lost touch immediately in mist.
Two enemy ships detected by R.D./F, bearing 192º, 9 miles, course and speed 240º 28 knots. My position 064º 39' N., 029º 22' W.
My 0229B No change.
My 0256B. Enemy ship bears 188º 11 and? 12 miles. Course and Speed 240º 28 knots. My position 064º 35' N., 029º 39' W. X.11.
1 Battleship 1 Cruiser bearing 185º 12 miles Course 240º. My position 166º 65º N., 30º W 26'. X.11
|0410Z/24||From Iceland W/T
2 unknown ships bearing 240º 12 miles course 240º Position 63º 10' N., 32º 10' W. A/C report.
|0420Z/24||From Iceland W/T
My 0410. Enemy previously reported are, 1 Battleship, 1 Battle Cruiser, position, course and speed of enemy Battle Fleet 63º 6' N., 32º 33' W. course 222º speed 30 knots.
My 0321B. Enemy bears 184º 15 miles, course 220º My position 064º 10' N., 030º 40' W. X.11 From a fix at 11 O'clock.
|0450/24||From NORFOLK to SUFFOLK
Have you lost touch with enemy.
My 0447B. Enemy centre bears 196º 15 miles. Enemy course and speed 220º 28 knots. My position 058º 64º N., 31º W., 9 from a fix at 11 O'clock.
|0515B/24||From LANCE to C. in C. Home Fleet
Intend proceeding Westward on completion of oiling 0700.
My 0456B. No change. My position 063º 55' N. 030º 55' W. X.11 From a fix at 11 O'clock.
Enemy has altered course to port 30º
|0537B/24||From PRINCE OF WALES
1 large vessel (uncertain whether battleship or battle cruiser) bearing 334º distance 17 miles course unknown. My position 63º 20' N., 4º 28' W. based on Ref. position of the S.O. of a detached force.
My 0533B. Enemy altered course to starboard 30º.
1 battleship bearing 280º, distance 16 miles, [course] 220º, my position 63º 39' N., 31º 10' W. X.11 from a fix at 11 O'clock.
|0543B/24||From HOOD [to Scapa Flow]
1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, bearing 337º, 17 miles, course unknown. My position 013º [bearing] 63º N., 32º W., 21 [miles] based on reference position from S.O. of detached Force at 0000.
|0544B/24||From PRINCE OF WALES
My 0537B. 1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, bearing 325º, distance 14 miles, course 230º.
My 0541B. Enemy altered course to port
|0615B/24||From Flag Officer 1st Cruiser Squadron [in Norfolk]
HOOD has blown up in 063º 20' N., 031º 50' W.
STAB - ?? rejoining 062º 52' N., 035º 20' W 225º 12 1/2 knots F.G. 63.
Enemy bears 207º 18 miles course 240º. My position 063º 36' N., 031º 33' W.
|0629B/24||From NORFOLK Read by Iceland W.T.
My 0541B. One Battleship bearing 265º 17 miles. Course 240º. My position 63º 22' N., 31º 46' W., based on a fix at 1100.
|0637B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to destroyers in Company
HOOD sunk in 063º 21' N., 031º 47' W. Proceed search survivors.
|0655B/24||From ANTELOPE Read by Iceland W/T
S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron 0637. My position, course and speed 062º 46' N., 029º 52' W., 330º 28 knots. ANTHONY in company.
1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, bearing 284º, distance 17 miles, course 240º. My position 63º 14'., 32º 5' W. X.11 from a fix at 11 O'clock.
|0659Z/24||From F.O.I.C. [Flag Officer in Charge] Iceland to CHESHIRE
Alter course to westward an wait until situation clear.
C.S.I. 0637B. My position, course and speed 063º 47' N., 031º 11' W., 217º, 32 knots at 0700B. ECHO in company.
|0720B/24||From Flag Officer 1st Cruiser Squadron [in Norfolk]
My position at 0712 was 063º 08' N., 032º 12' W. PRINCE OF WALES in company. PRINCE OF WALES has bridge out of action and Y Turret temporarily out of action. Enemy bears from me 286º, 18 miles, her course 215º, speed 28 knots.
|0725B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to Admiralty
Following received from PRINCE OF WALES begins. A. and B. turrets in action Y. turret 2 guns in action. About 400 tons water in ship mainly abaft after armoured bulkhead. Compartment above steering compartment flooded but steering gear in action. Estimated best speed 27 knots. T.O.O. 0720/24 ends.
|0736B/24||From Duty Met. Officer to C. in C. Home Fleet
Weather Forecast 0900/24 for 12 hours.
My 0541B. Battleship's course and speed 210º 26 knots. She bears 290º 17 miles from me. Cruiser appears to be opening out, to starboard. My position 062º 56' N. 032º 28' W.
1 Battleship 1 Cruiser bearing 182º 18 miles course 200º My position 048º 63º N., 33º W., 15 miles based on a fix at 1100.
My 0756B. Enemy battleship reduce speed appears to be damaged on fire. My position is 063º 10' N., 032º 34' W., X.11 from a fix at 11 O'clock.
|0814B/24||From D.O.D. H. [Director of Operations Division (Home)] to CHESHIRE, ARABIS
Steer to the South Eastward.
My 0757B. Enemy has altered course to starboard.
|0825/24||From C. in C. Home Fleet to 1st Cruiser Squadron PRINCE OF WALES
My position 0800B. 061º (? 09' 45' 17') N., 022º 08' W., closing you at 27 knots. 2nd C.S. in company.
My 0814B. Enemy course is 200º.
1 Battleship bearing 193º 18 miles. 1 cruiser bearing 195º 19 miles. Course 200º. My position 63º 3' N., 32º 37' W., from a fix at 11 O'clock.
|0839B/24||From D.O.D. H. to MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, ARETHUSA
Proceed with all despatch to form a patrol line North of langanes. MANCHESTER is to take charge.
AMARAPOORA keep steam at 2 hours notice
My 0745B. Enemy is making large alterations of course.
|0901B/24||From ? ELECTRA to 1st Cruiser Squadron
Am proceeding to refuel at Hvalfiord ICARUS, ECHO, ACHATES, ANTELOPE and ANTHONY in company. Only 3 survivors found.
|0903B/40||From 1st S.L. to RODNEY
Proceed with BRITANNIC and screen at best speed on a course 290º
|0906B/24||From ELECTRA to C. in C. Home Fleet
Intend landing the following sole survivors from HOOD at Reykjavik. Midshipman W. J. Dundas (corrupt group) Robert Tilburn, O/Signalman Briggs.
My 0541B. 1 Battleship bearing 290º distance 20 miles approx. true course 240º my position 62º 32' N., 33º 6' W., based on Admiral ref. pos. at 0800.
My 0826B. Enemy's Centre bears 202º, distant 20. Enemy's course and speed 205º, 28 knots. Position 108º 63ºN., 34º W. 11 R. 08.
My 0909B. Enemy speed is 26 knots.
|0943/24||From N.O.I.C. Iceland to MALCOLM, ANTHONY
Sunderland reports survivors 062º 58' N., 032º 10' W.,
|0954/24||From NORFOLK to SUFFOLK
Assume complete readiness for action against aircraft.
1 Battleship bearing 285º distance 20 miles approx. course 230º. My position 62º 16' N., 33º 41' W. Based on Admirals 0800 ref. pos.
|1007B/24||From PRINCE OF WALES
Main Armament Control undamaged. 9 main Armament guns in action. Secondary Armament guns in action. Considerable damage to bridge. Both forward H.A. directors out of action. About 600 tons water in ship mainly aft from 2 or more hits about water line. Estimated max. speed 26 knots. Oil fuel made readily available 1600 tons.
My 0932B. Enemy's course is 215º
|1022B/24||From 1st S.L. to RODNEY
Enemy's estimated position, course and speed at 0900B/24, 62º 25' N., 33º W., 210º, 26 knots. Steer best closing course.
My 1016B. Enemy is altering course to starboard 30º Enemy Battleship.
|1036B/24||From 1st S. L. to RODNEY
If BRITANNIC cannot keep up leave her behind with one destroyer.
My 1029B. Enemy Battleship has altered 30º to Port.
My 1037B. One enemy battleship, one enemy cruiser bearing 214 17 miles course 215. My position 62º 26' N., 34º 23' W., based on Ref. position Admiral 0800.
My 1044B. Enemy's speed 24 knots.
My 0541B. Enemy battleship and cruiser bear 273º 18 miles. Enemy zigzagging. His mean course and speed 220º 24 knots. My position 62º 2' N., 34º 21' W. R.08. C.N. 978.
|1126B/24||From 1st S. L. to 1st Cruiser Squadron
Continue to shadow BISMARCK even if you run out of fuel in order that C. in C. may catch up in time.
|1144B/24||From 1st S.L. to RAMILLIES
Estimated position, course and speed of BISMARCK at 1100B/24. 62º 17' N., 35º W. 215º 24 knots. Proceed so as to make contact with enemy from the westward, thereby placing enemy between RAMILLIES and C. in C. Home Fleet.
My 0541B/24. 1 Battleship bearing 275º distance 18 miles approx true course 220º 61º 41' N., 34º 52' W., RO8.
|1206B/24||From V.C.N.S. [Vice Chief of the Naval Staff]
Unless otherwise ordered by C. in C. Home Fleet, GALATEA and HERMIONE are to proceed to Faeroes and Fuel.
Negative enemy up to a distance of 12 miles. My position 265 62º N., 35º W. 10 based on Admiral's 0800 ref. position.
|1216B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to SUFFOLK
If visibility decreased try to maintain R/D F. touch and inform me of enemies movements.
|1235/24||From N.O.I.C. Iceland to C. in C. Home Fleet
Plot of Sunderland on return appears to indicate NORFOLK's position accurate. German Battleship BISMARCK leaving considerable wake of fuel oil.
Situation at 1100B/24.
BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN 62º 17' N., 35º 00' W., course 215º speed 24 knots. BISMARCK has received some damage.
C.S.1. in NORFOLK with PRINCE OF WALES and SUFFOLK are in touch with the enemy. PRINCE OF WALES has two guns out of action. HOOD blown up by unlucky hit.
2. C. in C. Home Fleet in KING GEORGE V with REPULSE, VICTORIOUS, KENYA and AURORA may be about 230 miles to eastward of enemy's position.
3. RODNEY estimated 55º N., 24º 30' W., with three or four destroyers has been ordered to steer best closing course.
4. RAMILLIES in 45º 45' N., 35º 40' W., has been ordered to place herself to the westward of the enemy.
5. MANCHESTER is taking BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA under his orders and establishing a patrol line north of Langanaes, north east of Iceland (C).
6. C.S.2. in GALATEA with HERMIONE is being ordered to fuel at Faeroes.
7. Force H. left Gibraltar 0200B/24 and is proceeding to the westward.
8. REVENGE is about to leave Halifax with orders to close enemy.
9. EDINBURGH in approx. 45º N., 21º W., has been ordered to close and take over stand by shadower.
10. Enemy battlecruisers were in Brest yesterday.
|1250B/24||From V.C.N.S. to Commodore 18th Cruiser Squadron.
Close enemy last reported position 62º 02' 34º 58' mean course at 1124B/24 220º speed 24 knots, so as to take on relief shadower if necessary.
2. Fuel should be conserved reasonably while closing, and speed of 25 knots is suggested, but after contact no consideration of fuel must allow you to lose contact.
3. Report fuel remaining now if on contact it will be less that 30%.
|1259B/24||From C. in C. Western Approaches
CHURCHILL is to return to Iceland forthwith at best speed. CHURCHILL, BURNHAM are to await orders after fuelling.
One Battleship one Cruiser bearing 223º distance 8 miles Course 180º position 61º 17' N., 35º 26' W. based on Admirals reference position at 0800.
My 1323B. 1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser bearing 225º distance 15 miles course 180º position 61º 12' N., 35º 26' W. based on reference Fix of Admiral at 0800.
|1410/24||From A/C of 30 Wing
At 0500 1 BS and 1 BC in 62º 48' N., 33º 2' W. course 206º spd 30 knots, BS losing oil 0520 A/C signalled to NORFOLK "Can direct you to survivors" NORFOLK replied "No" what is bearing of enemy! Bearing given as 216º T. NORFOLK replied "Thank you - DR will pick up HOOD survivors".
0530 signalled to base that BS and BC were BISMARCK and SCHEER in position 62º 36' N., 33º 14' W. CO 226º speed 30 knots.
0600 still in touch with enemy.
0625 visual signal from NORFOLK stating SUFFOLK reports enemy BS on fire.
0650 told NORFOLK that enemy CO 220º T speed 30 knots. No fire visible but BISMARCK losing oil 0705 signalled to NORFOLK "Am returning to base".
|1430B/24||From F.O.C. 18 C.S. to Admiralty
Your 1250B/24. My position 044º 17' N., 023º 56' W., 320º 25 knots. Assuming enemy steers 180º. Fuel remaining now 57% and on contact at 1900 tomorrow 38%.
|1445B/24||From 1st S.L. to 1st Cruiser Squadron
A. Report as follows regarding BISMARCK:-
1. Percentage fighting efficiency remaining.
2. Ammunition expended.
3. Reason for frequent alterations of course.
B. Request your intentions as regards PRINCE OF WALES re-engaging.
C. Ref. A.T. 1412B/23, keep a good lookout for U-Boats.
|1453B/24||From C. in C. Home Fleet to 1st Cruiser Squadron, PRINCE OF WALES, SUFFOLK
Look out for U-Boats.
|1455B/24||From C. in C. Home Fleet to F.O.C. 1st Cruiser Squadron
F.O.C. 2nd C.S. with 4 cruisers escorting VICTORIOUS within 100 miles of BISMARCK to launch torpedo aircraft attack about 2200B, my position, course and speed are at 1500B/24 060º 3' N., 027º 56' W., 212º Speed 26 knots.
|1512Z/24||From MALCOLM TO N.O.I.C. Iceland
Sweeping 2 miles lanes to cover Area within 10 miles of 062º 58' N., 032º 10' W. Sunderland reports HOOD Survivors.
My 1323B/ 1 Battleship bearing 217º, distance 17 miles, course 180º, position 60º 37' N., 35º 33' W., based on reference position on Admiral at 0800.
|1546B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to SUFFOLK
Reference position of Admiral at 1531. Position 602 9 position 35 45 Your reference position 1531 based on the Admiral was position 60 25 position 36 38.
|1558/24||From N.O.I.C. Iceland to CHESHIRE
Your 1300/24. Resume southerly route order to near Greenland coast.
Surface craft detected by R.A.F. bearing 140º 10 miles. My position 60º 9' N., 36º 5' W., reference position at 0800.
My 1609B/24. 2 ships detected.
|1619B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to Admiralty
1. Uncertain but high.
2. Engagement 20 minutes also some rounds at cruisers, about 150 expended.
3. Unaccountable except as effort to shake us off.
B. Consider PRINCE OF WALES should not re-engage until other heavy ships are in contact unless interception fails.
Doubtful if she has speed to force action.
My 1616B. Enemy course 180º. Speed 24 knots.
My 1323B. Have lost touch with enemy Battle Fleet, visibility 8 miles. My position 59º 56' N., 35º 44' W., R.16 180º 23 knots.
1721/24. 1 Battleship 1 Cruiser bearing 160º, distance 16 miles, course 180º position 59º 50' N., 36º 15' W., based on a bearing obtained from Admiral at 1600.
|1716B/24||From SUFFOLK to NORFOLK
My position 256º NORFOLK 12 miles.
My 1712B. Enemy centre bears 152º distance 16 miles from me. Enemies course and speed 180º 24 knots. Position 59º 43' N., 36º 15' W., based on bearing from admiral at 1600.
|1756B/24||From A.C.N.S. H. [Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Home)] to LONDON
1. Part company with ARUNDEL CASTLE and destroyers.
2. Order them to proceed in execution of previous orders.
3. LONDON proceed at economical speed towards 55º N., 35º W. Your movements should be adjusted to close enemy and you should be prepared to take over shadowing duties.
|1823B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to SUFFOLK
Move over to within about 5 miles of me maintaining touch.
My 1734B. Enemy Centre bears 190º, distance 10 from Battleship. Enemy course 240º. Position 342º 59º N., 36º W., 20 based on bearing from Admiral at 1600.
|1840B/24||From PRINCE OF WALES
One Battleship bearing 230º, distance 18 miles, course 180º, my position 59º 11' N., 35º 32' W., based on bearing 16 miles from S.O. of Detached Force.
|1853B/24||From D.S.O to LONDON
Decypher my 1238B/24.
1 Cruiser bearing 217º, distance 12 miles, course 180º, my position 356 59º N., 36º W. 2 OR 16.
|1916B/24||From 1st S.L.
Shadowing by NORFOLK and SUFFOLK has been admirable. Keep it up and Good Luck.
One Cruiser bearing 215º, distance 14 miles, course unknown, position 339 59º N., 36º W., 12 based on bearing from Admiral 1600.
|1934B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to C. in C. Home Fleet
Enemy turned away when (engaged at 18 32 B) engagement was broken off to avoid forcing him further away from you. Am shadowing enemy from 232º, distance 18 miles. Enemy course 180º. My position 58º 54' N., 36º 10' W., R.16.
One unknown bearing 215º, distance 14 miles, course 200º, position 320 NORFOLK 6.
No enemy in sight in area 220 and 300º, distance 10 miles, my position 320 59º N., 36º W., 8 reference Admirals fix 1600.
One enemy Battleship bearing 241º, distance 18 miles, course 180º, my position 58º 45' N., 36º 15' W., based on Admiral's reference position 1600.
|2010B/24||From 1st S.L.
Unless other orders have been received from C. in C. Home Fleet, MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA are not to establish patrol ordered A.M. 0839B/24 but are to proceed to Hval Fiord and fuel.
|2012B/24||From A.C.N.S. H. [Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Home)]
U.S.A. Patrol Squadron No 52 (P.B.Y.) from Argantia, Newfoundland has been directed search area 500 miles S.E. Cape Farewell.
A.M. 1238/24. Situation report at 1800/24.
(a) Position of enemy 59º 10' N., 36º 00' W. Course 180º, speed 24 knots. NORFOLK, SUFFOLK and PRINCE OF WALES still in touch.
(b) C. in C. estimated at 1800 58º 00' N., 30º 00' W. KING GEORGE V, REPULSE, VICTORIOUS and 2 Cruisers.
(c) C.S.2 is in company with C. in C. Home Fleet.
(d) LONDON now in position 42º 50' N., 20º 10' W., is proceeding at economical speed to close the enemy.
(e) RODNEY estimated 56º N., 29º W., with three or four destroyers has been ordered to steer best closing course.
(f) RAMILLIES estimated 45º 45' N., 35º 40' W., has been ordered to place herself to the westward of the enemy.
(g) MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA returning from N.E. of Iceland to Hval Fiord to fuel.
(h) Force H left Gibraltar 0200B/24 and is proceeding to westward.
(i) REVENGE having just left Halifax is joining H.X. 128.
(j) EDINBURGH in approx. 45º 15' N., 25º 10' W., has been ordered to close and take over stand-by shadower.
My 1957B one Battleship bearing 241º, distance 17 miles, course 180º. My position 2439 based on fix of Admiral at 1600.
|2106B/24||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
My 1455B/24. Enemy's speed appears to be 22 knots now. Enemy cruiser is probably to the Westward of enemy Battleship. PRINCE OF WALES close astern of me, SUFFOLK on my starboard beam.
|From C. in C. Home Fleet to Rear-Admiral 2nd Cruiser Squadron
At 0800B/25 Position, course and speed of VICTORIOUS for benefit of catapult aircraft.
|2142Z/24||From N.O.I.C. Iceland to C. in C. Home Fleet
ELECTRA, ACHATES, ANTONY, ECHO, ICARUS, SAGUENAY, WINDSOR, Arrived.
My 1957B/24. Am still in touch with enemy. No change in situation since my 1957B. Position 58º 07' 36º 31'.
|2136/24||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Hope to engage from the eastward about 0900B/25.
|2200Z/24||From ANTELOPE to N.O.I.C. Iceland
Found oil and wreckage but no survivors. Returning for water and oil. E.T.A. 1230/25.
My 1957B. One enemy Battleship bearing 216º, distance 16 miles, course 180º. My position 57º 53' N., 36º 34' W., based on a fix of Admiral's reference position at 1600.
My 2231. Enemy's speed 22 knots.
My 1939B. One Enemy Battleship bearing 211º, distance 15 miles, one cruiser bearing 216º distance 16 miles, course 180º, my position 57º 55' N., 36º 27' W., based on fix of Admiral's Reference position at 2000.
|2320B/24||From 1st S.L. to RAMILLIES
You should endeavour to avoid action with BISMARCK unless the latter is engaged with other forces at the time.
|2326B/24||From 1st S.L. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 1455B/24. Well done. Good luck.
Enemy course and speed are 160º, 22 knots.
|2331B/24||From 1st S.L. to F.O. Force H.
Steer so as to intercept BISMARCK from the southward. Enemy must be short of fuel and will have to make for an oiler. Her future movements may guide you to this oiler.
|2338B/24||From 1st S.L. to CHESHIRE, ARABIS
A.M. 0814B/24. Using your judgement, proceed in execution of previous orders.
BISMARCK & PRINZ EUGEN.
Shortly after midnight 24/25 May F.A.A. aircraft from VICTORIOUS attacked BISMARCK with torpedoes and one hit was reported.
PRINCE OF WALES was still in touch with the enemy at 0130. She had 9 main armament guns in action, maximum speed estimated 26 knots.
Touch with Enemy lost.
1st Cruiser Squadron lost touch with the BISMARCK at 0306 in 56º 23' N., 36º 5' W. PRINZ EUGEN was last seen at 0200B.
Situation at 0600B/25.
NORFOLK and SUFFOLK searching to the Westward and 2nd Cruiser Squadron with 4 cruisers and VICTORIOUS carrying out a surface and air search to the northwestward of last known position of enemy. C. in C. Home Fleet estimated to be near 55º 00' N., 35º 00' W. PRINCE OF WALES has been detached by 1st Cruiser Squadron to join C. in C.
RODNEY estimated 55º 30' N., 33º 00' W.
RAMILLIES estimated 51º 30' N., 38º 00' W.
EDIMBURGH estimated 49º 40' N., 30º 30' W.
LONDON estimated 38º 40' N. 21º 00' W.
proceeding to southwestward to search for enemy tanker.
Force H estimated 39º 00' N., 18º 30' W., proceeding to intercept enemy from the southward.
REVENGE estimated 43º 30' N., 58º 00' W.
MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA refuelling Hvalfiord.
At 0836B the Admiralty directed C. in C. Home Fleet to take all forces of the Home Fleet, and RAMILLIES and RODNEY under his orders. It was assumed that the enemy were making for a Biscay port. C. in C. Home Fleet continued to steer eastward during the day.
S/Ms orders to St. Nazaire.
At 1919 6 submarines were ordered to take up patrol positions in case the enemy were making for St. Nazaire.
At 2000 PRINCE OF WALES was proceeding to Hvalfiord. VICTORIOUS screened by KENYA is to endeavour to locate and attack the enemy tomorrow if he is making for the Iceland Faeroes Channel.
Air searches are being carried out from Scotland and Iceland (C); 3 Catalinas at 1800 commenced a search intended to intercept any movement of the enemy to the northward or southward; and U.S.A. Patrol Squadron has been directed to search an area 500 miles S.E. of Cape Farewell.
Convoys held up.
Convoys OB 327 and 328 were each held up for 24 hours.
Search for BISMARCK and HIPPER.
Have lost touch with enemy battleship last seen in 57º 08' N., 36º 34' W., course 165º, 21 knots.
One enemy cruiser bearing 204º, distance 8 miles, my position 57º 2' N., 36º 21' W. R.16.
Enemy surface craft detected by R/DF bearing 215º, distance 11 miles, my position 57º 6' N., 36º 5' W.
|0130/25||From PRINCE OF WALES
One enemy battleship bearing 200º, 12 miles, course 180º, my position 56º 57' N., 35º 36' W. based on ref. position S.O. detached forces 0800.
|0159B/25||From Flag Officer 2nd Cruiser Squadron to C. in C. Home Fleet
Attack completed 0020. 1 hit observed. Further report will be made.
Surface craft detected by R/DF bearing 195º, distance 11 miles, my position 56º 49' N., 36º 8' W.
My 0213B. Enemy course 160º, speed 20 knots.
Enemy either worked round to Eastward under stern of shadowing force or has turned Westward. Acting on latter alternative.
Have lost touch with Enemy. Am resuming his original course and speed. My position 56º 2' N., 36º 1' W.
Lost touch with enemy 0306.
|0511B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to Scapa
NORFOLK with PRINCE OF WALES astern was in position 35º 52' N., 36º W., at 0500 B. close on port quarter of SUFFOLK. If visibility is good intend to work round to the northward of P at dawn so that PRINCE OF WALES can join you. If visibility is low shall keep PRINCE OF WALES to support me in maintaining contact at short range.
|0600B/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet to F.O. 2nd Cruiser Squadron
Organize air and surface search N.W. of last reported position.
Enemy lost at
|0616B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to C. in C. Home Fleet
Probability appears that enemy made a 090º alteration west or turned back then and cut away to eastward under our stern.
Correct 0605B Word after Enemy lost at to read 0306B.
|0630B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to SUFFOLK
At 0630B Am proceeding to search on course 285º at 25 knots my ref. Posn. at 0600B 055º 30' N. 036º W.
|0651B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron [to C. in C. Home Fleet?]
PRINCE OF WALES has been ordered to proceed at 06207 to join you. Your estimated position, course and speed at 0630 have been given as 54º N., 34º 55' W., 216º, 26 knots.
|0704B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
My position at 0630B 055º 20' N., 035º 54' W.
|0707B/25||From PRINCE OF WALES
My position, course and speed at 0700B/25 are 055º 12' N., 035º 56' W., 205º, 25½ knots.
|0741B/25||From 1st S.L.
Our forces lost visual touch with enemy at 0306 in approx. 56º 30' N., 36º 00' W. Enemy must be within 150 miles of last mentioned position at 0600Z.
|0829B/25||From A.C.N.S.H. to 1st Cruiser Squadron, SUFFOLK, PRINCE OF WALES
F.O. 2nd Cruiser Squadron 0159B/25. Have you any evidence to confirm that T/B attack was successful.
|0832B/25||From Duty Met. Officer
Weather forecast 0900/25 for 12 hours.
|From D.O.D.H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Take all forces of Home Fleet also RODNEY and RAMILLIES under your orders.
|0840B/25||From S.O. Force H. to Admty.
My Position, course and speed at 0730B/25. Position 40.43 - 15.50, 310º, 22 knots. ARK ROYAL and SHEFFIELD in company. Destroyer (s) detached.
|0855B/25||From 1st S.L. to C. in C. Home Fleet
During the period from shortly after the time of the T.B. attack until 0258B/25 BISMARCK made a series of signals some very long, and a fair inference is that owing to damage received enemy has recast his plan.
My position 052º 34' N., 029º 23' W. SOMALI, TARTAR, MASHONA in company. Intend to remain in this vicinity to intercept enemy break to South Eastwards. Visibility 10 miles.
|0901B/25||From S.O. Force H. to C. in C. Plymouth.
Please keep me fully informed Brest R/C.
1. A.M. 2023B/24. Situation at 0600B/25.
1. 1st C.S. lost touch with enemy at 0306 in 56º 23' N., 36º 05' W.
2. NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK are searching to the Westward and 2nd Cruiser Squadron with 4 cruisers and VICTORIOUS is carrying out a surface and air search to the northwestward of last known position of enemy.
3. C. in C. Home Fleet is estimated to be near 55º N., 35º W. PRINCE OF WALES has been detached by C.S.1 to join C. in C.
4. RODNEY estimated 55º 30' N., 33º 00' W.
5. RAMILLIES estimated 51º 30' N., 38º 00' W.
6. EDINBURGH estimated 49º 40' N., 30º 30' W.
7. LONDON estimated 38º 40' N., 21º 00' W., proceeding to the southwestward to search for enemy tanker.
8. Force H estimated 39º 00' N., 18º 30' W., proceeding to intercept enemy from the southward.
9. REVENGE estimated 43º 30' N., 58º 00' W.
10. MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM and ARETHUSA refuelling Hvalfiord - Iceland.
|0926B/25||From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty
Your 0829B/25. No.
|0943B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to Admiralty
Your 0829B/25. Only available evidence in NORFOLK is report from aircraft to VICTORIOUS as follows begins: Have attacked enemy with torpedoes and only one hit observed. T.O.O. 0015B ends.
|1023B/25||From 1st S.L. to S.O. Force H.
Proceed on assumption that enemy turned towards Brest at 0300B/25.
|1034/25||From F.O.C.N.A. [Flag Officer Commanding North Atlantic] to Admiralty.
Suggest PANDORA patrol off Ferrol in case BISMARCK proceeds there.
|1047/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Estimated position of enemy by D/F at 0852B/25 was 057º N,. 033º W. All Home Fleet forces search accordingly.
|1057B/25||From A.C.N.S. H.
Radio finger prints indicate that the ship which transmitted at 0854B/25 in a position to the Eastward of the last known position of BISMARCK is the same ship that transmitted a number of messages after the T/B attack last night.
|1158B/25||From V.C.N.S. to RODNEY
Your 0900B/25. Act on assumption that enemy is proceeding towards a Bay of Biscay port.
|1202B/25||From H.W.R. to F.O.S. and H.Q.C.C.
My 0919B is being repeated to you for information.
|1244B/25||From F.O.S. [Flag Officer Submarines]
BISMARCK and HIPPER class cruisers may arrive Brest A.M./27.
B. Submarines take up following patrol positions proceeding with despatch when practicable.
H.44, 48º 56' N., 06º 48' W.
SEALION 48º 44' N., 07º 38' W.
SEAWOLF 48º 15' N., 07º 06' W.
PANDORA 48º 01' N., 07º 52' W.
STURGEON 47º 32' N., 07º 22' W.
TIGRIS 47º 17' N., 08º 10' W.
|1428B/25||From C.N.S. to RODNEY
My 1158B/25. Comply with C. in C. Home Fleet 1047/25 acting on the assumption that enemy is proceeding to Norway via passage between Scotland and Iceland.
|1443B/25||From V.C.N.S. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Whenever you break W/T silence it would be helpful if you will include your position, course and speed.
|1545B/25||From PRINCE OF WALES
BISMARCK opened fire range 23000 yards just after HOOD. Fire immediately effective on HOOD. No results obtained on type 284 or 281 due to interference probably enemy. BISMARCK's secondary armaments effective at 20000 yards.
|1621/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
My position 054º 50' N., 033º 20' W., at 1600B, course 80º, speed 25 knots. Your 1428, do you consider enemy making for Faeroes.
|1817/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
My 1621B/25. My position, course and speed are at 1815B 054º 57' N., 031º 53' W., 117º, 24 knots.
|1655B/25||From 2nd Cruiser Squadron to C. in C. Home Fleet
My position, course and speed are at 1700B 057º 42' B, 035º 40' W., 070º, 27 knots. VICTORIOUS, KENYA, AURORA in company. HERMIONE detached Hvalfiord fuel. Intend GATATEA, AURORA part in company to Hvalfiord to fuel at 0100B/26 VICTORIOUS screened by KENYA to endeavour to locate and attack enemy A.M. tomorrow if he is making for Iceland Faroes Channel.
|1746B/25||From MANCHESTER to C. in C. Home Fleet
MANCHESTER, ARETHUSA and BIRMINGHAM will be fuelled and ready for see 2200B/25
|1805B/25||From V.C.N.S. to RODNEY
Cancel my 1428B/25. Proceed on the assumption that destination of the enemy is a French port.
|1824B/25|| From V.C.N.S.
Admiralty appreciation is that BISMARCK is making for West coast of France.
|1903B/25||From Duty Met. Officer
Weather Forecast from 1900 G.M.T/25 to 0900 G.M.T./26
|1912/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Captain D.3
Send destroyers to screen PRINCE OF WALES and VICTORIOUS as soon as possible.
|1919B/25||From F.O.S. [Flag Officer Submarines] to S/M's [Submarines] Area A
(A) Enemy more likely to proceed to St. Nazaire.
(B) Cancel Para. C. of my 1244B/25 and substitute:-
H.44, 48º 16' N., 06º 28' W.
SEALION 47º 48' N., 06º 10' W.
PANDORA 47º 32' N., 06º 48' W.
SEAWOLF 47º 08' N., 06º 20' W.
STURGEON 46º 46' N., 06º 48' W.
TIGRIS 46º 28' N., 06º 12' W.
|1957B/25||From D.3 to ELECTRA, ANTELOPE, ACHATES, ANTHONY
Proceed at best speed, when complete with fuel to screen PRINCE OF WALES estimated position, course and speed 2000B/25, 055º, 40' N., 031º 50' W., zigzagging S. of A. 18 knots. Carry out sweep at visibility distance on passage.
|2017B/25||From Capt. S.5 to SEALION
T.B.R. have been arranged 12 miles either side of your track to cover your passage to patrol position.
|2040B/25||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
My position, course and speed at 2100, 55º 50' N., 31º 28' W., 120º, 26 [knots]. Fuel remaining 50% at 2000.
|2200/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
My position, course and speed are 054º 07' N., 029º 18' W. X.20, 117º, 26 knots.
|2201B/25||From V.C.N.S. to ELECTRA
Sail four destroyers forthwith to screen PRINCE OF WALES to Hvalfiord.
PRINCE OF WALES was in 55º 40' N., 31º 50' W., at 2000 today proceeding for Hvalfiord at 18 knots zigzagging.
|2205Z/25||From MANSFIELD to C. in C. Western Approaches
Signal intercepted strength 6 on 390 kc/s contain FELIX - FELIX at 1500/24th bearing 042º, position 057º 53' N., 26º 10' W.
1900/24th bearing 083º, position 57º 2' N., 25º 47' W.
1700/25th bearing 110º, position 54º 36' N., 27º W., singly. Might be German Oiler going southward parallel to BISMARCK keeping contact.
|2225B/25||From Capt. S.5 to SEALION
F.O.S. 1919B/25. Proceed on surface through 048º 46' N., 005º 46' W., to new patrol position 047º 48' N., 006º 10' W. T.B.R. will be arranged to cover passage.
|2238/25||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
Request Destroyer Screen be available to R/V with KING GEORGE V. Lack of fuel may necessitate lowering speed A.M./27. Also for RODNEY.
|2317B/25||From A.C.N.S. H. to 1st Cruiser Squadron
Request you signal on arrival in harbour
(a) A brief account of the action.
(b) Summary of damage.
(c) Any other remarks of interest.
|2340/25||From N.O.I.C. Iceland
ELECTRA, ACHATES, ANTHONY, ECHO sailed.
|2342/25||From V.C.N.S. to 2nd Cruiser Squadron and C. in C. Home Fleet
Concur that VICTORIOUS and KENYA should operate as proposed in C.S.2's 1655B/25 in spite of A.M. 1824B/25.
|2346B/25||From F.O.S. to S/M's
After arrival in patrolling position object is to attack enemy cruisers and above.
|2348B/25||From F.O.S. to S/M's Area A
My 1244B/25. Submarines are not to be attacked unless their hostile identity is certain.
BISMARCK AND PRINZ EUGEN
The enemy remained unlocated since touch was lost early yesterday morning. At 0011B the Admiralty ordered MANCHESTER who had been fuelling at Havaal Fiord, with ARETHUSA and BIRMINGHAM, to send one cruiser to watch the Denmark Straits and the remaining two Iceland-Faeroes passage; they left at 0238B. VICTORIOUS and KENYA were in 57º 27' N., 30º 44' W., at 0100B, endeavouring to locate and attack the enemy if he were making for the Faeroes-Iceland passage. The weather became unsuitable for flying and at 0955B, VICTORIOUS reported that she was proceeding with KENYA to Hvaal Fiord. At 1328B the Admiralty ordered VICTORIOUS to the Clyde to fuel. SUFFOLK at 1015B was ordered to proceed to search an area 58º N., to 57º N., between 50º W., and 44º W., for supply ships.
At 1030 a Catalina aircraft reported BISMARCK in 49º 33' N., 21º 47' W., steering 150º at 20 knots. At 1114B, ARK ROYAL's aircraft reported BISMARCK in 49º 32' N., 20º 55' W., course 110º, speed 20 knots. Visibility was very patchy and shadowing intermittent. C. in C. Home Fleet was in 51º 33' N., 20º 43' W., closing the enemy at 26 knots. Shadowing aircraft and also C. in C. Home Fleet in chase were attacked by enemy aircraft and a Catalina was damaged. S.O. Force H reported his position at 1248, 49º 30' N., 19º 10' E., steering 350º. SHEFFIELD was detached to shadow; she made contact at 1740 and continued to shadow so throughout the day. RENOWN had orders not to become engaged with BISMARCK unless the latter was already heavily engaged by either KING GEORGE V or RODNEY.
Straits of Gibraltar to be patrolled.
At 1228B the Admiralty ordered air and submarine patrols to prevent the possible passage of the enemy into the Mediterranean. Certain orders regarding Spanish territorial waters were given. SEVERN was ordered at 1122 to return to Gibraltar at maximum speed to establish an offensive patrol in the straits. NELSON had been ordered to proceed to Gibraltar at 0036B from Freetown where she arrived yesterday.
C. in C. Home Fleet reduces speed.
At 1705 KING GEORGE had to reduce speed to 22 knots in order to economize fuel. Her position at 1800 was 49º (?48') N., 17º 33' W., steering 110º, with RODNEY in company. Unless the enemy's speed was reduced C. in C. Home Fleet in KING GEORGE V intended to return to refuel at 2400B, leaving RODNEY to continue the pursuit, but without destroyer escort.
SHEFFIELD in Contact.
SHEFFIELD, detached from Force H was in touch with the enemy at 1747. At 2140 the enemy fired 6 accurate salvoes at her and caused some casualties and slight damage. SHEFFIELD lost touch but put a destroyer on to the enemy and then kept clear 14 miles to the westward.
A striking force from ARK ROYAL left at 1500/B. It failed to make direct contact and was forced to search. A ship was eventually located in poor visibility and was unsuccessfully attacked by aircraft. This was apparently the SHEFFIELD, who avoided all torpedoes. A second force left at 1900 and at 2225B S.O. Force H reported that one hit had been scored amidships and a possible second hit on the starboard quarter, after which the BISMARCK reduced speed and turned two complete circles. The senior surviving officer of BISMARCK afterwards stated that it was this latter hit which reduced BISMARCK speed and so ensured her subsequent destruction.
Further air attack was not possible tonight but dawn attack could be carried out tomorrow. The estimated position of the enemy at 2130B was 47º 45' N., 15º 25' E., steering 330º at 22 knots. RENOWN was in 48º 17' N., 15º 50' E., steering 20º at 20 knots at 2100B. SEALION was patrolling on a line 260º from position, 48º 20' N., 5º 15'W., the remaining 5 submarines were ordered to move their patrol 30 miles 162º.
Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla in touch.
At 2300B COSSACK in 242º 48º N., 15º W., 19 miles, was in touch with BISMARCK bearing 115º, 7 miles, course 60º. By 2320 the enemy had altered course to 340º.
British Air Operations.
Owing to the operations against BISMARCK H.M. Ships may be forced to use Plymouth and Milford Haven for fuelling or repairing during 27/5 to 30/5 inclusive. The Air Ministry have ordered special measures to be taken for protection of Plymouth and Milford Haven, the operational aerodromes in the S.W. and fighter protection for H.M. Ships to as great a depth to seaward as practicable.
Search for BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN.
|0011B/26||From C.N.S. to MANCHESTER
Unless otherwise ordered by C. in C. Home Fleet one cruiser is to proceed to watch the Denmark Straits and the remaining two the Iceland-Faeroes passage.
|0021B/26||From 2nd Cruiser Squadron to C. in C. Home Fleet
Admiralty 1419/25. Have searched area 080º to 180º from position 058º N., 032º 45' W., to depth of 100 mls. Nothing sighted. Position, course and speed of VICTORIOUS and KENYA at 0100B/26, 057º 27' N., 030º 44' W., 060º, 27 knots, intending to endeavour to locate and attack enemy ship fixed at 1320/25 if making Faeroes Iceland passage subsequently proceeding Hval Fiord to replenish KENYA with oil. VICTORIOUS's fuel 67% and able therefore to remain at sea if escort can be provided. Intend GALATEA and AURORA to part company from VICTORIOUS at 0100 and screen PRINCE OF WALES from dawn 26th if destroyers have not arrived.
|0121B/26||From F.O.S. to SEALION
S/M H.44 sails from Holyhead 1700/25 escorted vicinity Bishop Rock thence proceeding unescorted on surface to patrol position.
|0159B/26||From C. in C. W.A. to Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
COSSACK, SIKH, ZULU, joining C. in C. Home Fleet forthwith position 2200B/25 054º 07' N., 029º 18' W., course 117º, 26 knots.
(2) MAORI, PIORUN joining RODNEY forthwith. Estimated position 0001B/26, 052º 40' N., 025º 45' W., course 113º, 20 knots.
|0202/26||From C. in C. W.A. to Rear Admiral Destroyers Home Fleet
RODNEY estimated position 0001B/26 052º 40' N., 025º 45' W., course 113º, speed 20 knots.
|0216B/26||From R.A.D. Home Fleet to JUPITER
Cancel my 1049B/25. Proceed Londonderry. Complete with fuel. Orders follow.
|0220B/26||From D.O.D. H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 2238/25. A screen of there destroyers each for KING GEORGE V and RODNEY will be provided.
|0238B/26||From MASCHESTER to C. in C. Home Fleet
MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM proceeding to take up Iceland Faeroes patrol making 25 knots. ARETHUSA Eastward of Q.Z.X. 241.
|0300B/26||From ARETHUSA to MANCHESTER
Admiralty 0011B/26. Intend to patrol to Eastward of Q.Z.X. 366 and 241 reaching patrol 1400B/today.
|0310B/26||From R.A.D. Home Fleet to ICARUS, ECHO, WINDSOR.
Unless otherwise ordered proceed forthwith to screen VICTORIOUS estimated position 17500B/25 57º 42' N., 35º 40' W., course 070º, 27 knots.
|0315B/26||From R.A.D. Home Fleet to JUPITER
My 0216B/26. When completed with fuel join RODNEY in estimated position 0001B/26 52º 40' N., 25º 45' W., course 113º, 20 knots.
|0515Z/26||From ?ICARUS to R.A.D. Home Fleet
Your 0310B/26. ECHO proceeded with ELECTRA. Am taking ANTELOPE with me.
|0553B/26||From Captain 3rd Destroyer Flotilla
My position, course and speed are at 0500B/26, 057º 51' N., 025º 23' W., 060º, 27 knots. SUFFOLK 0517B/26 Sailing SAGUENAY, ASSINIBOINE, ACTIVE from Hval Fiord to screen VICTORIOUS at 0830B/26.
|0927/26||From N.O.I.C. Iceland
Sailed MANCHESTER, BIRMINGHAM, ARETHUSA
|0940B/26||From C.S. 18
My position, course and speed are at 0900B/, 052º, 13' N., 020º 40' W., 087º, 21 knots altering to 120º at 1400B. If no contact by 2000B intend to proceed to Londonderry arriving with 13% fuel remaining.
Weather unsuitable for flying. Destroyers wait me at R/V 063º N., 028º W. till further signal. My position 0930B/26, 039º 05' N., 026º 05' W.
|1010B/26||From R.A.D. Home Fleet
D.3.S. 0553B/25. Screen has already proceeded to VICTORIOUS. SAGUANAY, ASSINIBOINE, ACTIVE proceed Londonderry with despatch and await further orders.
|1015B/26||From A.C.N.S. H. to SUFFOLK
Proceed to search area 58º N., to 57º N. between meridians of 50º W., and 44º W., for supply ships, subsequently fuelling Newfoundland on relief by REPULSE about 29/5.
|Admiralty 1015/26 has been repeated also to REPULSE. (War Registry)|
|1030/26||From A/C Duty Z
One battleship bearing 240º, distance 5 miles, position 49º 33' N., 21º 47' W.
|1035/26||From A/C Duty Z
My 1030. Enemy course and speed 150º, 20 knots, position 49º 28' N., 21º 50' W.
|1045B/26||From R.A.D. Home Fleet to Captain 3rd Destroyer Flotilla
My 1010B/26. Screen for VICTORIOUS and PRINCE OF WALES arranged and sailed. BEDOUIN, IMPULSIVE ordered to Reykjvik. Leave one more destroyer to complete screen for REPULSE if required. Proceed with remainder to Londonderry with despatch.
|1051/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Aircraft of 15 Group's 1030. Request check not RODNEY. My position 051º 37' N., 020º 42' W., closing ship reported at 26 knots.
|1052B/26||From 1st S.L. to F.O. Force H.
RENOWN is not to become engaged with BISMARCK unless BISMARCK is already heavily engaged by either KING GEORGE V or RODNEY.
|1059B/26||From F.O.S. to H.44
Cut corner and proceed via Wolf Rock and not Bishop Rock. Every minute saved is important. H.44 pass to P;C. 74.
|1100/26||From A/C Duty Z
My ? 1030. Have lost touch with enemy. Enemy's last observed position was 49º 22' N., 21º 44' W., at 1045.
|1101B/26||From F.O.S. to S/M's Area A
BISMARCK has received some damage and probable torpedo hit. She reduced speed progressively from 28 knots and when last seen at 0200B/25 in 056º 40' N., 036º 18' W., was doing 22 knots. This may not however be the maximum speed of which she is now capable.
|1114/26||From A/C from ARK ROYAL, S.O. Force H. to Whitehall W/T
1 Battleship bearing 150º, distance 8 miles, course 127º, position 292º 49º N., 19º W., 83 [miles] based on Admirals Reference position at 0700. Enemy speed 20 knots.
|1200/26||From A/C Duty M. to 15 (R) Group HQ
4 unknown vessels bearing 50º - distance 10 miles - course 140º - my position 49º 47' N., 21º 29' W.
|1210/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
ARK ROYAL aircraft report enemy battleship in 049º 32' N., 020º 55' W., at 1114B/26. Course 110º, 20 knots. Aircraft using 210 KC/S.
My position, course and speed are at 1100/26 051º 33' N., 020º 43' W., course 150º altering to 130º at 1155. 26 knots.
|1220B/26||From V.C.N.S. to SEVERN
Return to Gibraltar at maximum speed to establish offensive patrol in Straits of Gibraltar in case BISMARCK or PRINZ EUGEN endeavour to pass into Mediterranean and CAIRNDALE and CITY OF DIEPPE are to continue in accordance with previous orders.
|1225B/26||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 1051/26. Enemy ship reported by aircraft at 1030 is hostile.
Amty. 895A/28/3/41. Cruisers and above at sea on Home Stations are to be prepared to display following identification marks. Executive signal will follow.
|1228B/26||From V.C.N.S. to F.O.C.N.A.
BISMARCK reported by Catalina aircraft in 49º 33' N., 21º 47' W., course 150º, speed 20 knots. Establish air and submarine patrols to prevent possible passage into Mediterranean. Patrols are to take preference over convoy escort duties. Spanish territorial waters need not be respected for this operation.
Cancelled. See North Atlantic. 1721B/27.
|1240/26||From A/C Duty M. to 15 (R) Group HQ
My 1200. Vessels reported are not objective.
|1301B/26||From S.O. Force H
Estimated position, course and speed enemy Battleship at 1215B - 049º 10', 020º 10', 110º, 20 [knots]. ARK ROYAL aircraft in touch. My position, course and speed 1248B, 049º 30', 019º 10', 350º, 15 [knots]. Torpedo Bomber striking at about 1500.
|1328B/26||From 1st S.L. to VICTORIOUS
Proceed to Clyde to fuel. Instruct your screen to R/V as necessary.
|1345B/26||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to Admiralty
Provide evidence of independent witnesses now accumulated it seems fairly certain 3 ships were present when NORFOLK first made contact at 2031/23. Rear ship smaller and thought to be destroyer turned North East to NORFOLK. SUFFOLK may have confirmatory evidence from RD/F. Definitely only 2 ships present during action with 1st Cruiser Squadron.
|1345B/26||From S.O. Force H
My 1301. Estimated position, course and speed of enemy battleship at 1315B, 049º 10', 019º 45', 130º, 21 knots. My position, course and speed are at 1345B, 049º 40', 018º 53', 120º, 18 knots. SHEFFIELD detached to shadow.
|1405/26||From A/C Duty M. to 15 (R) Group H.Q.
Am carrying out observation duty shadowing Battleship.
|1520B/26||From S.O. Force H
My 1301. Estimated position, course and speed of enemy at 1500, 048º 24', 018º 46', 110º, 25 knots. My position, course and speed at 1515B, 049º 14', 018º 19', 110º, 26 knots. Striking force left 1500B.
|1525/26||From A/C Duty M
Have lost touch with enemy battleship, last observed position 47º 30' N., 19º W., 1500.
|1551/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Engaged one aircraft, my position, course and speed are 050º 18' N., 018º 45' W., 128º, 26 knots. RODNEY bears 100º, 11 miles from me.
|1600/26||From A/C Duty M
Have regained contact
|1605B/26||From S.O. Force H
My 1520B. Position based on fix at 1500.
|1605/26||From A/C Duty H
Enemy's course and speed 140º, 20 knots.
|1630/26||From A/C Duty M
Estimated position at 1610, 47º 28' N., 18º 57' W.U
|1632/26||From A/C Duty M
Am being attacked by type unknown.
|1655/26||From A/C Duty M
Enemy has altered course to 125º; approx.
|1700B/26||From S.O. Force H
My 1520B Estimated position, course and speed 1630B, 048º 12' N., 017º 34' W., 110º, 25 knots. My position, course and speed at 1700B, 049º 00', 017º 25', X.15, 140º, 26 knots. Striking force searching for enemy.
|1700/26||From A/C Duty M
My 1605. My 1655. Course was 140º true not 125º true.
|1702B/26||From D.S.D. to PRINCE OF WALES
Your 1545B/25. Asking for report on interference experienced.
|2256/26||From PRINCE OF WALES
Your 1702B/26. Detailed reply.
|1730/26||From Captain D.4.
Position, course and speed of 4th Destroyer Flotilla and NERISSA at 1730, 048º 43', 017º 47' based on fix 1515, 115º, 27 knots. SIKH reported periscope 5 miles back. No enemy in sight. Visibility 8 miles. Oil fuel remaining 4th Destroyer Flotilla 50%. NERISSA 42%.
My position, course and speed are at 1700B26, 059º 39' N., 026º 04' W., 345º, 13 knots passing through 063º N., 028º W. thence to Hval Fiord. KENYA in company.
|1740B/26||From S.O. Force H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Request you position, course and speed. Shall I leave carrier and join you. If no reply shall remain with carrier.
One large vessel (Battleship or battle cruiser) bearing 068º, [distance] 10 miles, [course] 120º, my position 156º [bearing] 49º N., 18º W. 39 [miles]. R.13
|1800B/26||From S.O. Force H.
My 1700B. Estimated position, course and speed enemy batlle fleet 1800B, 048º 06', 017º 02', 110º, 22 knots. My position, course and speed at 1800B, 048º 55', 017º 18', 140º, 29 knots. Striking force scored no hits and leaves again at 1830B. Above position based on fix at 1800B.
|1800/26||From A/C Duty M.
Have lost touch with enemy battle fleet. Enemy's last observed position was 47º 15' N., 18º 23' W. U.
|1821/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
KING GEORGE V had to reduce to 22 knots at 1705 to economize fuel. Position, course at 1800, 049º (?48') N., 017º 33' W., 110º. RODNEY bears 132º, 4 miles on same course, speed 22 knots.
Unless enemy speed is reduced intend KING GEORGE V return to refuel at 2400B/26. RODNEY can continue pursuit without destroyer escort. Recommend you remain with carrier.
|1824B/26||From F.O.S. to S/M's Area A
Approx. position, course and speed of BISMARCK at 1500/26 48º 26' N., 18º 46' W., 110º, 25 knots. It is not my intention to order submarine to alter their patrol position for the time being.
|1825B/26||From S.O. Force H
Reports by SHEFFIELD and ARK ROYAL's aircraft are based on reference position 20 miles north of position in my 1520B and 1700B and 1800B which are based on fix at 1500B
|1841B/26||From A.C.N.S. H.
Enemy my be able to interfere effectively with our R.D/F in an endeavour to escape when being shadowed.
|1856B/26||From Duty Met. Officer
Weather Forecast 1900Z/26 to 0711Z/27
|1858B/26||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. Portsmouth
WIVERN, VANSITTART and WILD SWAN are to proceed to Plymouth with all despatch.
My 1740B. One large vessel bearing 105º, 12 miles, course 110º, my position 179º [bearing] 49º N., 17º W., 39 [miles]. R.13.
|1930B/26||From F.O. Force H
My 1800B. Estimated position, course and speed of enemy at 1900B, 048º 00', 016º 28', 110º, 22 knots. My position, course and speed 048º 36', 016º 54', 110º, 29 knots. Striking force on their way. Above position based on fix at 1500B.
My 1740B. One Battleship bearing 115º, 9 miles, course 115º, my position 158º [bearing] 49º N. 17º W. 46 [miles]. D.M.
|2054B/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
Request aircraft may give Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla visual link with enemy.
|2056B/26||From 1st S.L. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Assume you are organising destroyer night attacks if this is possible. No answer required.
|2110B/26||From ICARUS to VICTORIOUS
Your 1730B/26. My position, course and speed are at 2100, 063º 45' N., 022º 58' W., 251º, 12 knots to make R/V 1100/27.
My 1740B. One battleship bearing 140º, distant 8 miles, course 340º. My position [bearing] 068º, 12 miles from 48º N. 16º W. based on the reference position of the Admiral at 1300.
My position, course and speed are at 2100B/26, 060º 00' N., 026º 32' W., 345º, 20 knots passing through R/V 063º N. 028º W. at 0500B/27. E.T.A. Hvalfiord 1330B/27.
|2140B/26||From S.O. Force H
Estimated position, course and speed of enemy were at 2130B, 047º 45', 015º 25', 330º, 22 knots. My position, course and speed 2100B, 048º 17', 015º 50', 020º, 20 knots.
My 1740B. One battleship bearing 130º, distance 9 miles, course 000º. My position [bearing] 038º, 12 miles from 48º N. 16º W. based on reference position of the Admiral at 1300.
|2205B/26||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
After one more small torpedo bomber attack tonight all torpedoes will be expended.
|2214/26||From S.O. Force H to SHEFFIELD
Report enemy's speed.
|2215/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet
My position, course and speed are 049º 10' N., 015º 29' W., 170º, 21 knots. RODNEY in company.
|2215B/26||From R.A.D. Home Fleet to N.O.I.C. Iceland
Request you will retain separate screen of three destroyers each for VICTORIOUS and PRINCE OF WALES and sail remaining destroyers working with Home Fleet for Londonderry with despatch as they become available.
|2218B/26||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Admtys. 2056B. Destroyers bore 212º, 10 miles at 1900B closing enemy.
My 1919B/25. SEALION patrol on line 260º from position 048º 20' N., 005º 15' W., keeping as close to this position as circumstances permit. Remaining submarines addressed move patrol position 30 miles 162º.
|2225B/26||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Torpedo Bomber (corrup group) scored one hit amidships
|2230B/26||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
My position, course and speed are (? 049º or 054º) 48' N., 016º 25' W., 130º, 30 knots. Fuel remaining 30%. Can operate (? with) RODNEY or Force H.
|2240B/26||From S.O. Force H
My 2225B. Possible second hit starboard quarter.
|2244/26||From N.O.I.C Iceland to R.A.D.
Your 0310B/26. WINDSOR sailed 1830. ANTELOPE ready to proceed. No other Home Fleet destroyers remain.
|2250B/26||From S.O. Force H
Lost touch at 2200B.
My 2240. 1 Battleship bearing 115º, 7 miles, course 060º, my position 242º [bearing] 48º N., 15º W., 19 [miles.]
|2310B/26||From S.O. Force H
My 2250B. ZULU and Capt. (D) 4 now in touch. Enemy's course 060º.
My 2300B. 1 Battleship bearing 070º, 7 miles, course 340º, my position 233º [bearing] 48º N., 15º W., 21 [miles].
WAR HINDOO is to stand by to proceed to sea at short notice. Oiling outfit is to be placed on board forthwith. C. in C. W.A. is requested to detail escort.
|2337/26||From C. in. C. Home Fleet to ZULU
Fire star shells.
|2344/26||From A/C Duty O
1 large vessel bearing 270º, 2 miles, course 110º. My position 47º 45' N., 14º 48' W.
|2345/26||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Cancel my 2205. Attack not possible tonight. Dawn attack tomorrow by 12 torpedo spotter reconnaissance aircraft. Am turning west for short distance to keep clear of you. My position is 048º 42' N., 015º 17' W., based on fix at 2000.
|2347/26||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
My position, course and speed 048º 46' N., 015º 20' W., 030º, 21 knots.
|2350B/26||From Rear Admiral 18th Cruiser Squadron
My 1656B/26. No fuel remaining for shadowing. My position, course and speed are 048º 30' N., 015º 22' W., 025º, 13 knots. Proceeding Londonderry.
My 2322B. 1 Battleship bearing 335º, 6 miles, course unknown, my position 215º [bearing] 48º N., 15º W., 18 [miles].
BISMARCK AND PRINZ EUGEN
4th Destroyer Flotilla attack.
ZULU, MAORI and COSSACK attacked BISMARCK with torpedoes about 0122 to 0146. MAORI and COSSACK each claimed a hit, though the senior surviving officer of the BISMARCK states that no torpedoes fired by destroyers hit the ship. Nevertheless, the BISMARCK made good 8 miles between 0240 and 0340 and at 0353B Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla reported that she was still capable of heavy and accurate fire. At 0604B MAORI reported her course and speed 160º 7 knots.
Situation at 0600.
The enemy was altering course widely, speed 7 knots. Destroyers shadowing.
RENOWN, ARK ROYAL about 30 miles to the southward.
C. in C. Home Fleet in KING GEORGE V with RODNEY working round to engage from the westward.
NORFOLK from N.W., DORSETSHIRE from S.E., and SHEFFIELD seeking to make contact and shadow.
S.O. Force H, intended to fly off a striking force to attack at 0716, but the attack was cancelled owing to the difficulty of identifying our own ships in low visibility.
At 0701 BISMARCK opened fire on the 4th Destroyer Flotilla. SIKH reported her course at 0739 as 80º, at 0744 the enemy had altered course to 240º after which she made several alterations of course.
NORFOLK made contact at about 0630 and engaged at 0758 whilst shadowing. Force H made contact at 0830 and flew off a striking force at 0922.
Enemy Aircraft Attacks.
Enemy shore based aircraft attacked our ships from 1000 onwards. There were indications that more than one enemy S/M was in the neighbourhood.
Sinking of BISMARCK.
KING GEORGE V and RODNEY engaged BISMARCK from 0848 to 1020 at ranges down to 3300. (Ammunition requirements on return to base:- KING GEORGE V 336 rounds 14 inch, 724 5.25 inch.
RODNEY 380 rounds 16 inch, 716 - 6 inch, 12 torpedoes, NORFOLK full outfit of torpedoes.)
C. in C. Home Fleet had to discontinue action on account of fuel shortage at 1028B. At 1042 he informed F.O. Force H that he could not get BISMARCKI to sink by gunfire. Accordingly DORSETSHIRE torpedoes the immobilised BISMARCK on both sides and sank her at 1101B in 48º 9' N., 16º 7' W. BISMARCK had ceased firing, but her colours were still flying. Whilst rescuing survivors a suspicious object was sighted to leeward, which might have been a S/M. DORSETSHIRE therefore proceeded with MAORI to rejoin C. in C. Home Fleet, over 100 survivors were rescued by DORSETSHIRE and MAORI. Our forces proceeded under air attack to bases for fuel, ships in company with KING GEORGE V: RODNEY, DORSETSHIRE, COSSACK, ZULU, MAORI, SIKH, JUPITER, C.S.1 proceeded independently to Scapa.
There were no casualties or damage to the capital ships or cruisers. Slight damage and a few casualties in COSSACK and ZULU; one man lost overboard in SIKH.
Bomber Command sent a striking force to position 48º 8' N., 8º 11' W., by 1000, to meet the possibility of PRINZ EUGEN endeavouring to make the French Coast.
At 1820 an enemy cruiser probably PRINZ EUGEN was in 47º 0' N., 14º 30' W. Orders for intercepting were sent to SEALION, PANDORA, SEAWOLF, STURGEON, and TIGRIS.
PRINCE OF WALES.
PRINCE OF WALES arrived at Reykjavik at 0530 today with AURORA, GALATEA and 4 destroyers.
Search for BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN.
At 0300B/25. in 057º 43' N., 030º 40' W., and at 0345B/25 in 057º 26' N., 031º 00' W., during recent operation when in company C. in C. Home Fleet lights as from boats including pyrotechnic signals were sighted. Survivors believed to be in vicinity.
Admiralty's 1328B/26 and my 2130B/26. Intend to proceed Clyde with destroyer screen as soon as they join. KENYA to proceed Hval Fiord independently from R/V at 0500B/27 in 063º N., 028º W.
|0009/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
Enemy appears badly damaged. Intend engaging from westward at dawn.
|0022/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
Request you go not less than 20 miles to Southward of him at dawn.
|0037B/27||From D.D.I.C. [Deputy Director Intelligence Centre]
My 1824B/25. Admiralty appreciation is that BISMARCK intends to make for Brest.
|0045/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
Report estimated bearing and distance of enemy from you at 2345. Force H proceed Southwards of enemy.
|0046B/27||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
After being torpedoed German B/S BISMARCK class made two complete circles and speed reduced.
|0046/27||From C. in C. Plymouth
Arrived 0040 WIVERN, VANSITTART, WILD, SWAN.
|0050B/27||From 1st Sea Lord to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 2347/26 gave your course as 030º. Assume you are still chasing.
|0108/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
My position, course and speed at 0100B, 048º 54' N., 015º 19' W., 150º, 27 knots.
|0112B27||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 0045. 165º, 41 miles.
|0115/27||From Aldergrove to 15 Group
Still in touch position 47º 40' N., 13º 30' W.
Have delivered (?torpedo attack).
Have delivered attack. Enemy making smoke.
Estimate one hit.
One hit confirmed. Fire on forecastle.
|0146/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
COSSACK attack completed. Claimed one hit.
1 battleship bearing 235º, distance 3 miles, course 345º. My position 264º [bearing] 48º N., 15º W., 13 [miles].
|0210B/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 0009. Intend to keep to northward to flank mark for you. What frequency.
|0213B/27||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
|0234/27||From SIKH to Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
Enemy appears to be stopped.
|0235/27||From SIKH to Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
In touch by R D/F.
|0236/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
When all attacks are completed fire starshells every half an hour to indicate position and report by W/T fleet wave. My position, course and speed are 049º 09' N., 015º 21' W., 220º, 19 knots.
|0245/27||From SIKH to Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
Come in by R D/F.
|0253B/27||From F.O.S. My 2219B/26. Enemy battleship has been seriously damaged and was in about 47º 57' N., 15º 22' W., at 0146. SEALION proceed to vicinity of 48º 13' N., 6º 26' W., until further orders.
|0256/27||From C. in C. Plymouth
WIVERN WILD SWAN and VANSITTART have fuelled and are at one hours' notice.
|0300/27||From A/C Duty O to 15 R Group
Course and speed unobtainable. Position checked by gunfire.
My position, course and speed are at 0300B, 046º 05' N., 015º 58' W., 020º (?25
|0335B/27||From S.O. Force H.
My position 047º 48' N., 016º 29' W., starshell bearing 100º. Spotting aircraft for KING GEORGE V will take off at 0500.
|0340/27||From SIKH to Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
About to fire starshell. My position 047º 47' N., 015º 25' W., doubtful.
My 0146. One Battleship bearing 160º, distance 3 miles, course 320º. My position 284º [bearing] 48º N., 15º W., 24 [miles].
|0349B/27||From A.C.N.S. H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Reports from Catalina aircraft at 1523/26, 2344/26 and 0115/27 indicate possibility of two enemy ships being in battle area. If so estimated position, course and speed of second ship at 0115/27 is 47º 40' N., 13º 30' W., 100º, 30 knots.
|0353B/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla to C. in C. Home Fleet
Enemy made good 8 miles 310º between 0240 and 0340 and is still capable of heavy and accurate fire.
|0415B/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
Am going to fire a round of H.E. this time in the approximate position. The other G.M.E. is not good enough.
|0459B/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to 4th Destroyer Flotilla
Any destroyer in touch with enemy send call sign on fleet wave full power for HOMING.
|0502B/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
My position at 0500B, 048º 24' N., 015º 19' W., working circles.
|0512B/27||From A.C.N.S. H.
Message 0300/27 from Aircraft Duty O appears to cancel the indication suggested in Admiralty 0349B/27.
|0515B/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
R D/F detects possible (? submarine) in 048º 26' (?015 degrees) 18' at 0508B.
One enemy unknown bearing 350º, distance 5 miles, course unknown. My position 110º [bearing] 48º N., 16º W., 24 [miles].
My 0550B. Enemy course and speed, 160º 7 knots.
|0609B/27||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. W.A.
Request you will sail available destroyers from the Clyde and Londonderry for position 55º N., 15º W.
|0610/27||From S.O. Force H to SHEFFIELD
Report D/F bearing of H.M.S., MAORI.
My 0550B. Enemy has altered course to starboard.
|0620/27||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
E.T.A. of striking force 0715.
|0632B/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
At (? 0621) B. MAORI (2 corrupt groups) from me 187º. My position at that time was 048º 38' N., 015º 37' W., by observation.
|0633/27||From S.O. Force H
My 0620. Attack postponed low visibility.
|0655B/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
One enemy battleship bearing 002º, distance 8 miles, course 350º. My position 286º [bearing] 48º N., 15º W., 32 [miles].
|0700/27||From S.O. Force H
D/F bearing of MAORI at 0650 was 002º. First class. My position at that time, 047º 10' N., 015º 43' W.
|0701/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
Enemy has opened fire.
|0702/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla
Enemy altered course to 340º
|0707/27||From S.O. Force H
My 0633. Have cancelled attack owing to difficulty in identifying own ships in low visibility.
Enemy course and speed, 000º, 12 knots, my position 345º [bearing] 48º N., 16º W., 26 [miles].
One enemy battleship bearing 120º, 10 miles, course 340º, my position 48º 13' N., 16º 14' W.
|0717B/27||From Duty Met. Officer
Cruisers and above at sea on Home Station North of Lat. 43º N., and West of Long. 5º W., are to display identification marks indicated in Adty. 325 AZ/26, as from 0600 G.M.T/27.
Enemy course 080º.
Enemy is altering course to Port.
Enemy has altered course to 240º.
One Enemy, Type unknown, bearing 145º, distance 9 miles, course 320º. Position 48º 9' N., 16º W., based on fix at 0600.
(? Engaging) on Battleship.
|0825B/27||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Enemy's centre bears 353º, 17 miles distant, position 008º [bearing] 47º N., 16º W., 33 [miles], fix 1800.
|0830/27||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
Enemy's centre bears 345º, 18 NRWE 008 VCRC 32. Fix 18.
|0835B/27||From S.O. Force H
My 0825B. Bearing and distance are from RENOWN in V/S touch with MAORI.
|0843B/27||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla to NORFOLK
1 battleship bearing 266º, distance 10 miles, course 305º, position PHBB 36.
|0844B/27||From F.O.S to TIGRIS
Proceed with all despatch towards 48º 20' N., 15º 40' W.
Enemy's centre bears 155º, 13 miles from Nuts King.
Enemy's course 290º.
Enemy bears 037º from me.
|0855/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
Enemy's course 340º.
Enemy's course 240º.
Enemy is altering course to stardboard.
Enemy is altering course to port.
|0909B/27||From V.C.N.S. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Heavy German air attack is to be anticipated.
Enemy is altering course to starboard.
|0915B/27||From Capt. D. Londonderry 0915B/27 to VANQUISHER, SHERWOOD
cancel previous orders. Act in accordance with Adty. 0609B/27. Sail for 055º N., 15º W.
|0915B/27||From 1st S.L. to C. in C. Home Fleet
TIGRIS is now in 47º 15' N., 8º 00' W. Would you like her to close BISMARCK. If so it would be necessary for you to send surface ship to meet her and guide her to the scene of action.
|0919B/27||From C. in C. W.A. to N.O.I.C. Greenock
Sail COLUMBIA ST. CLAIR in company from Greenock when ready. SHERWOOD from Londenderry when ready. All to proceed to 55º N., 15º W.
|0922B/27||From S.O. Force H
Striking force leaving now.
|0929B/27||From D.D.I.C. [Deputy Director Intelligence Centre]
Roofs of BISMARCK's turrets and gunshield are painted bright yellow.
|0940B/27||From S.O. Force H
1 aircraft bearing 020º, distance 5 miles, course 013º. My position 47º N., 16º W., 21.
Vessels suspicious markings approaching from the Southward.
|0945/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to 4th Destroyer Flotilla
|0947/27||From S.O. Force H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Have detached (? ARK ROYAL) and (? SHEFFIELD). Am closing towards enemy units. Request your position, course and speed. My position, course and speed are 047º 20' N., 015º 53' W., 350º, 17 knots.
|From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet, 1st Cruiser Squadron.
Your 2317B/25. Burnt camouflage account has been compiled from preliminary examinations record. Further scrutiny? may disclose some minor inaccuracies.
At 0535/24 HOOD and PRINCE OF WALES in close order course 240º 28 knots sighted enemy hulls down on similar courses bearing 335º, BISMARCK astern lighter? ship. Within gun range turns brought the enemy (?) 30º.
HOOD ordered G(?) I C just before opening fire at 0553. Range approximately 25,000 yards.
|From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet, 1st Cruiser Squadron.
PRINCE OF WALES opened fire at 0553 ½. BISMARCK replied with extreme accuracy on HOOD, second or third salvo straddled and fire broke out in HOOD in vicinity port? after 4 inch gun mounting. Lighter ship engaged by PRINCE OF WALES. PRINCE OF WALES's opening salvo at BISMARCK observed over, sixth seen to straddle. At this time PRINCE OF WALES had 3 14inch guns in action. Y turret would not? bear.
|From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet, 1st Cruiser Squadron.
Fire in HOOD spreading rapidly to main mast. A turn for 2 blue [20º to port] opened a valve? at PRINCE OF WALES 9th salvo and HOOD has a further 2 blue flying when she was straddled again and at 0600 a huge explosion occurred between after funnel and main mast. She sank in 3 to 4 minutes. C.O. PRINCE OF WALES saw whole incident. HOOD had fired 5 or 6 salvos but falling shot was not seen possibly because this coincided with the firing of PRINCE OF WALES's guns.
Enemy are bombing in position 205º. PHBB 51.
|1004/27||From NORFOLK to COSSACK
Enemy are bombing in position 305º. PHBB 51.
|From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet, 1st Cruiser Squadron.
PRINCE OF WALES's starboard 5.25 inch battery was now in action. Course had to be altered to avoid remains of HOOD; meanwhile BISMARCK shifted main and secondary fire quickly and accurately to PRINCE OF WALES. A heavy hit was felt almost immediately and at 0602 compass platform was hit, and majority personnel killed. Navigating Officer was wounded; Commanding Officer unhurt.
|1011/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to RODNEY
Course 027º, 19 knots.
|1022B/27||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to DORSETSHIRE
Torpedo BISMARCK close range.
|1022/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to DORSETSHIRE
Torpedo German Battleship Bismarck class at close range.
|1024B/27||From F.O.S. to S/M/s Area A
PRINZ EUGEN was last seen in company with BISMARCK at 0200B/25 and may now possibly be making for Biscay Port.
|1025/27||From S.O. Force H to C. in C. Home Fleet
My 0922B. Have you disposed of enemy.
|1025/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
My 0922B. Have you disposed of enemy?.
|1028B/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to F.O. Force H
Have had to discontinue action for fuel.
Part 5 final.
|From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet, 1st Cruiser Squadron.
Same salvoes put both forward 5.25 directors out of action. Considered expedient break off action and consolidate position and ship, after being manoeuvered round remains of HMS HOOD, turned away behind spelt smoke screen. Y turrets fired in local during turn as smoke disagreed with after director. Enemy followed but turned away after a rocket salvo. HMS PRINCE OF WALES fired 18 main armament salvoes and 3 from secondary armament. Target was crossed and re-crossed and 3 straddles observed. No hits seen.
|1029/27||From PRINCE OF WALES to Admiralty
Your 2317B/25. Following is a brief account of action.
See Lion Copy.
|1039/27||From DORSETSHIRE to C. in C. Home Fleet.
Enemy is sunk.
|1040B/27||From C. in C. W.A. [Western Approaches] to F.O.I.C. [Flag Officer in Charge] Liverpool
Sail RIPLEY with despatch to Moville to fuel thence to 55º N., 15º W.
|1042/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to S.O. Force H
Your 1025. She still (? extreme range).
|1045/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to F.O. Force H
My 1042. Cannot get her to sink with guns.
|1053/27||From S.O. Force H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Admiralty's 0909B. Have rejoined ARK ROYAL.
|1101B/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty and S.O. Force H
BISMARCK sunk in 048º 09' N., 016º 07' W. My position, course and speed, 048º 23' N., 015º 58' W., 027º, 17 knots. No destroyers in company.
|1102B/27||From JUPITER to C. in C. Home Fleet
My position, course and speed are 051º 17' N., 013º 22' W., 215º, 25 knots.
|1107/27||From DORSETSHIRE to C. in C. Home Fleet
I torpedoed BISMARCK both sides before she sank. She had ceased firing but her colours were still flying.
|1137B/27||From 1st S.L. to C. in C. Home Fleet
We cannot visualise situation from your signals. BISMARCK must be sunk at all costs, and if to do this it is necessary for KING GEORGE V to remain on the scene then she must do so even if it subsequently means towing KING GEORGE V.
|1146/27||From DORSETSHIRE to C. in C. Home Fleet
My 1107. While rescuing survivors suspicious object sighted to leeward which might have been submarine. I therefore proceeded with MAORI to rejoin you.
|1151B/27||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
VANQUISHER, SHERWOOD, ST. CLAIR, RIPLEY AND COLUMBIA have been ordered to be at your disposal and are proceeding to 55º N., 15º W.
2. By proceeding at 20 knots ships can arrive in that position as follows:-
VANQUISHER and SHERWOOD 2130/27
ST. CLAIR 0700/28
COLUMBIA and RIPLEY 1100/28
|From 1st S.L. to Naval Mission, Washington
Account of Events.
See Lion Copy.
|1258B/27||From D.O.D. H. to JUPITER
Join C. in C. Home Fleet whose position, course and speed were 48º 23' N., 15º 58' W., 027º, 17 knots at 1101B/26
|1257B/27||From D.O.D. H. to 1st Cruiser Squadron
Subject to other orders from C. in C. proceed to Clyde.
|1259B/27||From V.C.N.S. to Force H
Proceed to Gibraltar. F.O.C.N.A. is requested to sail A/S escort keeping S.O. Force H informed.
|1301B/27||From D.O.D.H. to DORSETSHIRE
Subject to orders from C. in C. proceed to Scapa and thence in accordance with A.M. 1831/14.
Cancel message AZ 326 time of origin 0722B/27
|1307B/27||From D.O.D.H to VANQUISHER, SHERWOOD, ST. CLAIR, COLUMBIA, RIPLEY
A.M. 1151/27. Subject to other orders from C. in C. Home Fleet proceed with all despatch to join K.G.V. who left 48º 23' N., 15º 58' W., course 027º, speed 17 knots at 1101B/27.
|1316B/27||From 1st Sea Lord
BISMARCK sunk 1101B/27.
|1322B/27||From V.C.N.S. to SEVERN
Cancel A.T. 1220/26. Rejoin CAIRNDALE.
|1436B/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet
My 1101B/27. My position, course and speed at 1400B, 048º 48' N., 015º 22' W., 040º, 17 knots, passing through 051º 30' 011º 45', 054º 10' 010º 50' thence to Scapa via Minches if fuel permits.
(II) RODNEY, DORSETSHIRE, COSSACK, ZULU, MAORI, SIKH, and JUPITER in company.
(III) Intend to detach RODNEY to Clyde and DORSETSHIRE in accordance with A.M. 1831B/14 May.
(IV) 1st Cruiser Squadron is proceeding independently to Scapa.
|1524B/27||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Ammunition for K.G.V. is being made available at the Clyde.
|1536/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet
My 1436B/27. Delete JUPITER. Admiralty pass my 1436B/27 to JUPITER.
MINERVE and P.31 are to be withdrawn from patrol.
|1723Z/27||From REPULSE to Admiralty
C. in C. Home Fleet requests frequency used by aircraft referred to in A.M. 2012/24, 0225/25, 0422/25 may be promulgated. Admiralty please pass to C. in C. Home Fleet on arrival to harbour.
|1735B/27||From D.S.O. to C. in C. Home Fleet
My 1307B. Your 1436B has been passed to VANQUISHER, RIPLEY, ST. CLAIR, COLUMBIA, SHERWOOD.
|1835B/27||From D.O.D. H. to C. in C. W.A.
Cancel my 2325B/26 (re WAR HINDOO, oiler)
PRINCE OF WALES is to be sailed as soon as possible for Rosyth for repairs.
2. Destroyer escort should remain in company.
|1946/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Ammunition requirements at Scapa for KING GEORGE V, 14 inch 336 rounds, 5.25 inch 660 S.A.P. 64 H.E. At Greenock for RODNEY 16 inch 380, 6 inch 716, torpedoes 12 if embarking gantry is repaired. At Scapa for NORFOLK torpedoes full outfit ammunition unknown.
My 1536B. JUPITER now in company.
|1957/27||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
Concluding stage of BISMARCK action. Description.
See Lion Copy
|2139/27||From C. in C. Home fleet
Reported by aircraft at 2015B. My position, course and speed at 2100B, 050º 25' N., 013º 22' W., 039º, 18 knots altering course to 011º at 0200B.
|2210B/27||From D.D.I.C. [Deputy Director Intelligence Centre] to C. in C. Home Fleet
You are reported by enemy aircraft at 2040B.
(a) Cancel my 1216B/27 to TIGRIS and Para. B. and C. of my 1303B/27.
(b) Enemy cruiser probably PRINZ EUGEN in 047º N., 014º 30' W., at 1820 today.
(c) SEALION to patrol on line 260º from 048º 20' N., 005º 15' W., keeping as near latter position as circumstances permit. PANDORA to 047º 55' N., 006º 18' W., SEAWOLF 046º 55' N., 005º 48' W., STURGEON 046º 40' N., 005º 23' W., TIGRIS 046º 25' N., 005º 48' W.
(d) Submarine H.44 proceed as in my 1303B/27.
My 1624B/27. Cancel paras. A. B. C. D. and E. Add STURGEON, SEALION, TIGRIS, SEAWOLF and PANDORA in Bay of Biscay between 46º N., and 48º 40' N., and east of 07º W.
|1631/27||From N.A. Madrid to Admty.
Spanish Minister of Marine states Germans informed them BISMARCK sunk 48º N., 15º W., 400 miles from Ferrol. In view of possibility saving survivors, cruiser CANARIAS and two destroyers left Ferrol 1400.
|1941/27||From N.A. Madrid to D.N.I.
My 1631/27. Minister of Marine states destroyers returning to harbour on account of weather. CANARIAS proceeding reduced speed.
Enemy Air Operations.
KING GEORGE V and ships in company were shadowed from 0750 today.
At 0913B C. in. C. Home Fleet asked for fighter escort and reported that the oil fuel situation was serious.
His position then was 53º 30' N., 11º 40' W., speed 19 knots.
NORFOLK was shadowed from 0853B and at 0915B she reported being bombed in approx. 53º 45' N., 13º W., but was not hit. RIPLEY reported being bombed at 1410 off Tory Island. TARTAR and MASHONA were bombed by F.W. [Focke Wulf] aircraft at intervals from 0839B in 52º 52' N., 11º 46' W. MASHONA was hit at 0924 and had to be abandoned. She sank at 1200. At 1715B TARTAR reported that she was still being bombed and no fighters were present, though C. in C. W.A. reports that one of the aircraft escorting her brought down an enemy aircraft near her at 1630B. TARTAR shot down one enemy aircraft at 1025.
America and West Indies.
The Admiralty consider that PRINZ EUGEN will operate on the normal H.X. convoy route in the near future. REPULSE is escorting H.X. 129. SUFFOLK is to operate on the H.X. convoy route. The U.S.A. and Canada have been asked to provide air and surface R/C in this area.
Search for BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN.
|0201Z/28||From PRINCE OF WALES
Further to my 1029/27. Further account of action.
See Lion Copy.
|0234B/28||From 1st S.L. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 1957/27. A. Did BISMARCK reply to your fire and if not why not?
B. Were any survivors from BISMARCK picked up and, if so, how many?
C. Reply when W/T silence is not necessary.
|0957B/28||From R.A.D. to ANTHONY
If not in company with PRINCE OF WALES return to Scapa.
|1004/28||From R.A.D. to D.3
Join C. in C. Home Fleet with all available destroyers with despatch. P.C.S. at 0913B/28 (as C. in C. Home Fleet 0913B/28).
|1121/28||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Intend KING GEORGE V and 3 destroyers to fuel at Loch Ewe arriving 0600B tomorrow.
|1304B/28||From C. in C. Home Fleet
My position, course and speed at 1300B are 054º 34' N., 010º 18' W., 053º, 17.5 knots. X.12
|1414/28||From C. in C. Home Fleet
Propose detach TARTAR proceed with all despatch into nearest Irish Port to obtain fuel for full speed.
|1434B/28||From V.C.N.S. to R.A.3 B.S.
Has it been practicable to take any action on REPULSE's 0005Z/27.
|1457B/28||From D.O.D.H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Your 1414/28. Approved if unable to reach British Port at a satisfactory speed.
|1532/28||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
Are you taking any action on my 1414.
|1558B/28||From C. in C. W.A. to Admiralty
Your 1438B/28. Regret it was not possible to take any action as there were no ships within practicable range of this position.
|1614B/28||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
Re. B.B.C. Broadcast. SIKH should have been included in description of night destroyer attack on BISMARCK.
|1623/28||From S.O. Force H
Report on the operation.
See Lion Copy.
|1628/28||From C. in C. Home Fleet to Admiralty
Your 0234B/28. (a) Yes in order RODNEY at about 24000 yards BISMARCK and KING GEORGE V.
(b) DORSETSHIRE has four officers including gunnery officer and 75 ratings. MAORI has 24 ratings.
|1701B/28||From A.C.N.S.F. to MALVERNIAN
Move patrol to area X.1. forthwith.
|1718B/28||From A.C.N.S. H. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Boom defences at Aultbea are not yet complete. A double line of loop mines is in operation.
|1746B/28||From A.C.N.S. H. to TARTAR
A.M. 1457/28. Indicate your intentions.
|1810B/28||From C. in C. W.A. to WILD SWAN, VANSITTART, WIVERN
Proceed with despatch. Report E.T.A. Fuel immediately on arrival.
|1921B/28||From 1st Cruiser Squadron
Report on the operation.
See Lion Copy.
|1950B/28||From R.A.D. Home Fleet to ACTIVE
Your 1743B/27. If not met by dark proceed to Scapa.
|2005B/28||From F.O. 18th C.S. to C. in C. Home Fleet
Am taking sufficient fuel to reach Scapa. Intend proceeding there at 20 knots via Minches. E.T.A. 1400B/29.
|2005B/28||From RODNEY to F.O.I.C. [Flag Officer in Charge] Greenock
Expect to arrive 0115B tomorrow VANQUISHER. SIKH, MAORI, LEBION, and COLUMBIA in company.
|2006/28||From Captain 4th Destroyer Flotilla to C. in C. Plymouth
I urgently request 4th Destroyer Flotilla, now dispersing to various Northern port to oil, may be concentrated at Scapa for a brief period, before proceeding Southwards or elsewhere. Reasons.
|2121B/28||From DORSETSHIRE to N.O.I.C. Tyne
DORSETSHIRE with 4 Officers and 75 ratings ex BISMARCK. E.T.A. 1500B/29.
|2124B/28||From DORSETSHIRE to Admiralty
Your 1510B/27. BISMARCK's Senior survivor Lieut. Commander Baron Burkard Von Mullenheim states attack delivered by torpedo bombers at approx. 2100B/26 secured a hit on starboard quarter which jammed BISMARCK's rudders putting her out of control and thus reducing her speed of advance and so ensuring her subsequent destruction. Further emphatically he stated that only torpedoes which struck were from aircraft, three in number, and destroyers torpedoes did not hit.
|2153B/28||From 1st Cruiser Squadron to F.O.I.C. Greenock
|2248Z/28||From 2nd Cruiser Squadron to ARETHUSA
While on patrol do not get westward of longitude 022º 20' W.
Normal submarine patrols have been resumed in Bay of Biscay.
|2315B/28||From A.C.N.S. H.
Ships to patrol in the Denmark Straits are to keep to the Eastward of a line 360º from North Cape.
2. These instructions are to remain in force until other orders have been given.
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