Lead: In its 1941 raiding foray into the North Atlantic, the German battleship Bismarck represented both the strengths and weaknesses of naval surface conflict in World War II.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Sending Bismarck and Prinz Eugen on a raiding trip into the North Atlantic represented a grave risk for the German High Command. Yet, the same hubris that led Hitler to invade Russia that same month, aroused in him the temptation to use the pride of the German Navy in an exercise in power projection that was almost completely divorced from reality. While Bismarck unopposed could have wreaked havoc in the convoys slowing making their way across the Atlantic from Fortress America, the day of the surface raider unsupported by aircraft was over. The ship was a terrifying concentration of firepower made less vulnerable by its thick armor, but it would prove itself extraordinarily vulnerable to two developments of modern technology, the airplane and surface radar, even though both were in their embryonic stages of maturity.