German battleship Bismarck

AM1614

Scale 1:200
Length 50 inch (1270mm)
Height 11.5 inch (292mm)
Width 7.2 inch (182mm)

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$699.99

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The Model

Bismark is latest kit from Amati, just released for Summer '21. At 1:200 scale, this is a BIG model, over 4 feet long! The kit features a single-planked wooden hull of plank-on-bulkhead construction, with laser cut parts for the keel and bulkheads, as well as for the deck structures.

Being a wooden model kit, the deck is, of course, real wood, just like the real ship. This is a massive kit, not just in size, but in the quantity of materials. 16 laser-cut plywood sheets, plus more than 2200 photo-etched brass parts! This a kit that will test your skills. Complete this challenge, and you'll have one of the most amazing models on display anywhere.

Scale 1:200
Length 50 inch (1270mm)
Height 11.5 inch (292mm)
Width 7.2 inch (182mm)

Historical background

(From Wikipedia.org)
Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1936 and launched in February 1939. Work was completed in August 1940, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power.

Service history

Bismarck was ordered under the name Ersatz Hannover ("Hannover replacement"), a replacement for the old pre-dreadnought SMS Hannover, under contract "F". The contract was awarded to the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, where the keel was laid on 1 July 1936 at Helgen IX. The ship was launched on 14 February 1939 and during the elaborate ceremonies was christened by Dorothee von Löwenfeld, granddaughter of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the ship's namesake. Adolf Hitler made the christening speech.] Fitting-out work followed the launch, during which time the original straight stem was replaced with a raked "Atlantic bow" similar to those of the Scharnhorst-class battleships. Bismarck was commissioned into the fleet on 24 August 1940 for sea trials, which were conducted in the Baltic. Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann took command of the ship at the time of commissioning.

On 15 September 1940, three weeks after commissioning, Bismarck left Hamburg to begin sea trials in Kiel Bay. Sperrbrecher 13 escorted the ship to Arcona on 28 September, and then on to Gotenhafen for trials in the Gulf of Danzig. The ship's power-plant was given a thorough workout; Bismarck made measured-mile and high speed runs. As the ship's stability and manoeuvrability were being tested, a flaw in her design was discovered. When attempting to steer the ship solely through altering propeller revolutions, the crew learned that Bismarck could be kept on course only with great difficulty. Even with the outboard screws running at full power in opposite directions, they generated only a slight turning ability. Bismarck's main battery guns were first test-fired in late November. The tests proved she was a very stable gun platform. Trials lasted until December; Bismarck returned to Hamburg, arriving on 9 December, for minor alterations and the completion of the fitting-out process.

The ship was scheduled to return to Kiel on 24 January 1941, but a merchant vessel had been sunk in the Kiel Canal and prevented use of the waterway. Severe weather hampered efforts to remove the wreck, and Bismarck was not able to reach Kiel until March. The delay greatly frustrated Lindemann, who remarked that "[Bismarck] had been tied down at Hamburg for five weeks ... the precious time at sea lost as a result cannot be made up, and a significant delay in the final war deployment of the ship thus is unavoidable." While waiting to reach Kiel, Bismarck hosted Captain Anders Forshell, the Swedish naval attaché to Berlin. He returned to Sweden with a detailed description of the ship, which was subsequently leaked to Britain by pro-British elements in the Swedish Navy. The information provided the Royal Navy with its first full description of the vessel, although it lacked important facts, including top speed, radius of action, and displacement.

On 6 March, Bismarck received the order to steam to Kiel. On the way, the ship was escorted by several Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters and a pair of armed merchant vessels, along with an icebreaker. At 08:45 on 8 March, Bismarck briefly ran aground on the southern shore of the Kiel Canal; she was freed within an hour. The ship reached Kiel the following day, where her crew stocked ammunition, fuel, and other supplies and applied a coat of dazzle paint to camouflage her. British bombers attacked the harbour without success on 12 March. On 17 March, the old battleship Schlesien, now used as an icebreaker, escorted Bismarck through the ice to Gotenhafen, where the latter continued combat readiness training.

The Naval High Command (Oberkommando der Marine or OKM), commanded by Admiral Erich Raeder, intended to continue the practice of using heavy ships as surface raiders against Allied merchant traffic in the Atlantic Ocean. The two Scharnhorst-class battleships were based in Brest, France, at the time, having just completed Operation Berlin, a major raid into the Atlantic. Bismarck's sister ship Tirpitz rapidly approached completion. Bismarck and Tirpitz were to sortie from the Baltic and rendezvous with the two Scharnhorst-class ships in the Atlantic; the operation was initially scheduled for around 25 April 1941, when a new moon period would make conditions more favourable.

Work on Tirpitz was completed later than anticipated, and she was not commissioned until 25 February; the ship was not ready for combat until late in the year. To further complicate the situation, Gneisenau was torpedoed in Brest and damaged further by bombs when in drydock. Scharnhorst required a boiler overhaul following Operation Berlin; the workers discovered during the overhaul that the boilers were in worse condition than expected. She would also be unavailable for the planned sortie. Attacks by British bombers on supply depots in Kiel delayed repairs to the heavy cruisers Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper. The two ships would not be ready for action until July or August. Admiral Günther Lütjens, Flottenchef (Fleet Chief) of the Kriegsmarine, chosen to lead the operation, wished to delay the operation at least until either Scharnhorst or Tirpitz became available, but the OKM decided to proceed with the operation, codenamed Operation Rheinübung, with a force consisting of only Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. At a final meeting with Raeder in Paris on 26 April, Lütjens was encouraged by his commander-in-chief to proceed and he eventually decided that an operation should begin as soon as possible to prevent the enemy gaining any respite.

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