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Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom

Steve Jagger, SJ Media/Dennis Andrews.

Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom

From the Foreword of ‘Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom’

‘The humanity which underpins the Bismarck story is brilliantly captured in this book, which serves as an oral history to the dramatic events as they unfolded in those final decisive hours. The quotes meticulously drawn from veterans and survivors on both sides enables us all to imagine being immersed in the action as the epic chase unfolds, whether it be on the bridge of the warships, in the cockpit of the Swordfish biplanes, or in the cold, damp claustrophobic messdecks where sailors anxiously awaited their next call to action.’ Rear Admiral Martin Connell, current Head of the Fleet Air Arm

The new expanded edition of ‘Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom’ – specially published to mark the 80th anniversary of the epic Bismarck Action – retains the original powerful testimony by those in the thick of the action and its dynamic ‘ticking clock’ cinematic structure. It also offers material that is fresh to this telling, which includes:

  • More on the demise of the British battlecruiser Hood.
  • How the three men who were the only survivors from Hood’s 1,418-strong crew were saved.
  • Attempts by German senior officers to use Bismarck as a lure for U-boats to ambush the British fleet.
  • The heroic exploits of a British and a Polish destroyer.
  • More on the Swordfish torpedo-bomber attacks against Bismarck.
  • Further German and British eye witness testimony, especially on the brutal final battle in which the pride of Hitler’s navy was destroyed. As with the first edition from 2016, at the heart of the story are unique accounts given to the author during his four-year project to film interviews with a select group of British veterans who tell us what really happened.
  • How U-boats tried to protect and save Bismarck.
  • Plus more details on the aftermath of the final clash of battleships, including the fate of those who survived the inferno of the sinking Bismarck.
  • Includes a look at the controversy on whether or not Bismarck was sunk by the British or scuttled by her crew.
  • Extra details on what happened to the ships that sank Bismarck and their veterans across the months and years of war that followed.

RRP £8.36 (paperback)
The paperback of the ‘Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom’ 80th anniversary special edition is officially published on 26 May 2021 and is available for pre-order from 

eBook pub day: May 9th, 2021 (£3.99)
PPB pub day: May 26th, 2021 (£8.99)

ISBN: 978-1-913099-93-0

‘By drawing on the first-hand experiences of veterans in the thick of the action, Iain Ballantyne has produced a deeply researched and unputdownable account of the hunt for the Bismarck that is at once authoritative, insightful and highly readable.’ Rowland White, author ‘Harrier 809’ and ‘Vulcan 607’

‘A powerful and moving cinematic study devoted to what has to be the most dramatic event of the Second World War at sea – the last twenty-four hours alive of the German battleship Bismarck. The use of the present tense to heighten immediacy is very effective and the tension carries through well; the first-hand accounts make you care about the men on both sides who found themselves trapped in such a ferocious holocaust.’ Julian Stockwin, author of the Thomas Kydd Series of naval adventures in the Age of Fighting Sail.

E-book 80th anniversary edition
published by Agora Books on 9/5/21
Paperback 80th anniversary edition published 26/5/21
Original paperback 102 pages
NEW edition 217 pages