Battleship Bismarck | The true face of a warship
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News

In 2001 we planned a homepage featuring the crew of the Bismarck. About the same time we started the portrait project, a platform to tell the stories of the Bismarck’s crew. In 2004 our website went online, and the project started to take shape with the first portraits. In the meantime we have over 400 stories of crewmembers, and the project has become a book. You can read more about our long road below.

27. May 2016

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Volume 1.1

Ship’s Command

Seamen (officers and non-commissioned officers)


Only available in German

>> Order

After long work finally our new book Battleship Bismarck – the true face of a warship Volume 1.1" (only available in German) is finished and can be ordered via our website on this historic day. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the battleship Bismarck.

The new 368 pages long book focus on the ship's command and the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Seamen. We tell the Stories of 68 crewmembers, like the Boatswain's Mate Josef Würzinger, who married a few weeks before sailing and died after just 45 days of marriage or the Boatswain's Mate Gerhard Oesper, who went to the navy to see the world and enjoyed his service time. Besides the exciting stories of the crewmembers we present present their workplace which espacially includes the ship's artillery, anti aircraft guns and fire directory in an large chapter. At the preview you can take a look on the book.

We hope you enjoy the book and look forward to your order.

February 2016

We are still working on Volume One of our trilogy which has now grown to 362 pages. The volume contains the general introduction to the theme of the project as well as the introduction to the workingarea of the seamen like the ship's artillery and the conclusion, the careers of the ship’s command as well as the officers and non-commissioned officers of the seaman section. This volume does not yet include stories of the lower listed ranks, so we have decided to divide Volume One into two books: Volumes 1.1 and 1.2.

Volume 1.1 deals with the ship’s command and the officers and non-commissioned officers of the seaman section. This volume is almost entirely finished, and it will appear on 27 May this year, 75 years after the ship went down.

To those of you who are waiting for Volume 1.2 - we are afraid we have to console you for a while longer and ask for your patience and understanding. (There is a lot of work involved and both authors unfortunately can only work part time on the project!)

March 2014

Schlachtschiff Tirpitz - the 'beast' is born Volume 1 To the 75th anniversary of Tirpitz launching on 1 April 2014 a new illustrated book will be published dealing with Germans largest battleship. We would like to present and recommend this book to you.

The first of several planned volumes (including one or more about the Bismarck) covers the first period in Tirpitz life, starting with her being built at the shipyard in 1936 and going on till May 1941. The book written by Robert Gehringer and Antonio Bonomi shows several unpublished pictures, cards and illustrations. It gives a detailed view on processes, ship movements, fitting-out stages and camouflage schemes and it compares pictures of the past with the present locations and dates back pictures with an accuracy that had not been there so far.

The book contains English translations and is available under:
www.Bismarck-Tirpitz.com

26 May 2013

Bestellen

Volume 2

Administrative and Medical Personnel

Gunnery Mechanics and Pyrotechnicians

Gunnery Mechanics and Pyrotechnicians


Only available in German

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After long work finally our new book "Battleship Bismarck – the true face of a warship Volume 2" (only available in German) is finished and can be ordered via our website.

On 340 pages we present the stories of 84 crewmembers from the specialist personnel. With many exciting stories, like the one of the ship's surgeon who worked as a doctor in an American mission in Africa before joining the navy, or Bruno Köhler who exchanged his command with a friend to get aboard the Bismarck. At the preview you can take a look on the book.

We hope you enjoy the book and look forward to your order.

March 2013

The German version of Volume # 2 of Battleship Bismarck, the True Face of a Warship is almost finished. All sections have been written and formatted. A bit more fine-tuning and into print it goes! To all those who have reserved Volume # 2 – we will let you know as soon as the book is available. For more details, check our website.

March 2012

With the medical sector the first part of our new book, "Battleship Bismarck – the true face of a warship Volume 2" is finished. It contains 38 pages and tells the stories of the doctors and corpsmen like Marinestabsarzt Dr. Hans-Joachim Krüger who had worked as an doctor in an american mission in Liberia, where he almost lost his life, before joining the Navy.

4 December 2011

The website is updated and given a new format to fit the image of the book.

October 2011

Bestellen

Volume 3

Engineering Personnel

Aviation and Civilian Personnel

Fleet Staff, Fleet Observer Group, Prize Crews and Combat Correspondents


Only available in German

>> Order

After final corrections Volume 3 finally goes to print. Work starts on Volume 2 which covers the following personnel: administrative, medical, pyrotechnical, navigational specialists as well as the intelligence section and the ship’s band.

27 May 2011

The 70th anniversary of the Bismarck’s final battle, and many guests attend the ceremonies in Hamburg and Friedrichsruh. Unfortunately only one Bismarck survivor was there – Berhard Heuer from Essen.

Although the first work copy of the book was already in print, it was not delivered before the ceremonies.

December 2010

The ever-increasing portrait project is almost finished. Over 95 % of our portrait texts are complete. Unfortunately, this is not the case with our introductory and background texts for the different divisions. Only those covering the engineering section are finished. Therefore, we decide to publish this section first, and Malte starts the layout and formatting work.

November 2009

The German TV station ZDF broadcasts a documentary in its History Series about the battleship Bismarck. They show several pictures of crew members which we provide.

20 January 2008

We now have 313 Portraits of crew members of the Bismarck. 3/4 of the portrait texts are complete.

11 July 2007

The German TV station N24 airs the German-language version of History Channel’s “The Hunt for the Bismarck” entitled "Das letzte Gefecht der Bismarck". N24 continues to broadcast the episode numerous times for over a year.

Herbert Ludwig - Mein wunderbares Leben10 Juni 2007

The book "Mein wunderbares Leben - Ein Zeitzeuge berichtet" by Herbert Ludwig goes on sale. Ludwig recounts his experiences in the RAD in Poland in 1939, his time as a Tirpitz (“Tony Paula”) plank owner, his capture and POW time in South France and his hair-raising escape from East Germany on New Year’s Eve 1956. Ward interviewed Herbert; and Malte did the second-echelon editing and layout work for this exciting book which contains many interesting anecdotes about the Kriegsmarine. The book contains several photos and sketches not published before. The English-language version is in progress. For more information, click here >> continue

To order the book, click here:

>> order

24 April 2007

Cooperation with the Interpress Verlag in publishing portraits in the issues about the Bismarck model. More information at www.die-bismarck-bauen.de.

12 November 2006

New examples from the book on our website.

13 August 2006

Ward‘s interview with Bismarck survivor Machinist’s Mate Heinrich Kuhnt is published in the August issue of the US Naval Institute Magazine. Advance copies are delivered in July to the Digital Ranch filming in London and are distributed to the team and the veterans.

Juli 2006

We now have over 260 portraits of the Bismarck crew.

Interview in London The beginning of July, Heinrich Kuhnt (Machinist’s Mate Bismarck), Otto Schlenzka (Lieutenant Prinz Eugen), Dieter Heitmann (Secretary Bismarck Association), Malte and Ward fly to London for a filming session with Digital Ranch Productions for the History Channel series “Dogfights.”

The "Dogfights" series features an episode called about the “The Hunt for the Bismarck.” It features the Battle of Denmark Straits in which the Bismarck, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, sank the battle cruiser HMS Hood and damaged the battleship HMS Prince of Wales. During the engagement Heinrich Kuhnt was at battle stations in Bismarck’s portside turbine room. At the same time Otto Schlenzka was commanding the portside 105 mm heavy flak and had an unobstructed view of the engagement and the tragic sinking of the HMS Hood.

At the hotel, we met Cynthia Harrison and Brooks Wachtel, the producer and author of the episode. At dinner, we met the Royal Navy veterans Ted Briggs, the last living survivor of the HMS Hood and the HMS King George V crewman Doug Turtle who served in the gunnery command post during the Bismarck’s final battle. Doug promised to come to the next Bismarck ceremony, health permitting. We hope for the best.

Ward brought several bottles of original Prinz Eugen wine. Otto, as Prinz Eugen representative, presented a bottle each to Ted, Doug, Cynthia and Brooks. Two bottles were reserved for the two Royal Navy Aviation participants who unfortunately were not able to come until after we had left. One of them was Swordfish veteran John “Jock” Moffat who appeared in the film.

All in all we had an exciting time in London.

Picture Gallery – Interview in London

Click on image to enlarge.

16 June 2005

The homepage translation into English is finished.

22 June 2004

1st Homepage The homepage - "Battleship Bismarck: The True Face of a Warship“ – goes online. It provides an initial insight into the project and its book format. ( Originally the project was planned as a homepage only.)

January 2002

Malte and Ward meet in Hamburg and decide to start and publish our portrait project to tell the stories of the all of the Bismarck crew possible. Prior to our meeting we had already communicated by email and found we had the same interest in the crew of the ship.

27 May 2001

Malte visits the ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bismarck’s last battle and establishes contact with many of the veterans. It is the beginning of the project. Later that year Ward visits Malte in Hamburg and they brainstorm about the project.


 
Order Prebook Order Order

Volume 1.1

Ship’s Command

Seamen (officers and non-commissioned officers)

Only available in German

order

Volume 1.2

Seaman (men)

Only available in German

prebook

Volume 2

Administrative and Medical Personnel

Gunnery Mechanics and Pyrotechnicians

Navigation, Intelligence Personnel, Ship’s Band

Only available in German

order

Volume 3

Engineering Personnel

Aviation and Civilian Personnel

Fleet Staff, Fleet Observer Group, Prize Crews and Combat Correspondents
 

Only available in German

order