12/07/01 - Day 11
A service of remembrance
Rob White reports
Just after 9.30 yesterday morning, we were gliding along the great trench cut in the sea
bed as 'Bismarck' smashed into the ocean floor - and slid down the slope of the undersea
volcano to where she now lies.
Suddenly, out of the blue haze, appeared a great square shape - at a slight angle to us,
looming up like a huge monument from the sea bed. It was the 'Bismarck'- her aircraft
recognition swastika clearly visible as we rose over her stern.
The great trench in the sea bed
Then followed a full day of filming. With Gary directing the ROV's moves, we systematically filmed the ship from end to end, combining three key requirements: televisual, historical and scientific.
Of particular interest to our two expert observers is the shell damage caused to the ship - like the hole blown in the thick steel seating of turret 'Dora'. (The German Navy called its 4 main gun turrets Anton, Bruno, Caesar and Dora, going from bow to stern.)
Though the huge main turrets tore out of her as she turned over when she sank, many of
'Bismarck's guns are still in place - along with some of her directors. But
everywhere there are signs of the terrible destruction suffered on board as the Royal
Navy peppered her with shells.
The service of remembrance
At the end of the day, we conducted a short and simple service in remembrance of those
who died here. Dr Eric Grove read a lesson and a specially written prayer in German,
which I repeated in English. Then Search Director David Mearns placed a wreath on the
waters above 'Bismarck's last resting place.
More picture of the Bismarck are available in the gallery section.
Real video footage of the ship is available in the video clips section.