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The German battleship Bismarck is one of the most famous warships of the Second World War. The lead ship of her class and named after the 19th century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Bismarck displaced more than 50,000 tons fully loaded and was the largest warship then commissioned. Her chief claim to fame came from the Battle of the Denmark Strait in May 1941 during which the battlecruiser HMS Hood, flagship of the Home Fleet and pride of the Royal Navy, was sunk within several minutes. In response, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the order to "Sink the Bismarck", spurring a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy.
Two days later, with Bismarck almost in reach of safer waters, Fleet Air Arm aircraft torpedoed the ship and jammed her rudder, allowing heavy British units to catch up with her. In the ensuing battle on the morning of 27 May 1941, Bismarck was heavily attacked for nearly three hours before sinking.