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Additional resources for Paris After the Liberation: 1944 - 1949
M. on May 26 the Ark Royal sent out her dawn patrol. The scouting planes were to look for the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau coming out of Brest and for any U -boats that might be near by. An hour and a half later ten Sword sh planes, minus their torpedoes, were brought up on the ight deck. At 8:35, after the carrier had turned into the wind, they began to take off in search of the Bismarck. The Ark Royal was still tossing in the rough seas. It was touch-and-go whether the pilots would be able to get their little biplanes o the deck without cracking up or plunging into the waves.
Wide World) A German crew member aboard the Prinz Eugen adjusts the (Wide World) ring angle of one of the forward 8-inch guns. Crew members aboard Admiral Tovey’s agship, King George V, prepare a towing cable during general drill. (British Information Service) An aerial view of the 35,000-ton King George V, a floating arsenal. (Wide World) Three British naval commanders who took part in the sinking of the Bismarck: left to right—Captain F. H. G. Dalrymple-Hamilton of the Rodney; Captain H. C. Bovell of the Victorious; Rear Admiral Wake-Walker of the Norfolk.
If the Bismarck veered southward toward the center of the Bay of Biscay, the lead was about 100 miles. Since the latter course was the one which would most quickly bring the German battleship within the cover of German shore-based bombers, she would very likely steer for it. The problem that the British commander in chief faced was how to get at the Bismarck with his heavy guns before dawn the next day. By that time she would reach air cover from German bombers based on the French coast. He would have to catch up with her before dark, or risk losing her again in the night.