Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Peer review/German battleship Bismarck

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German battleship Bismarck[edit]

This article is one of the most famous warships of World War II, and as such, should be at a much higher quality level than it currently is. I am requesting this peer review to bring in outside eyes to help those of us who have been working on the article, so that we can improve it and eventually reach FA. In many areas, lack of sourcing is a problem; I'm more concerned with the soundness of the prose, whether there are any POV issues (Bismarck has both fan and detractor crowds), etc. Thanks for all comments in advance. Parsecboy (talk) 16:23, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


Here are my comments:

  • The 'Background' section should probably include a brief summary of her design
  • The article doesn't cover the period between her commissioning and Operation Rheinübung - information on her trials, crewing, officers, training exercises, etc would be interesting
  • I think that the coverage of Operation Rheinübung is too detailed - this really belongs in the dedicated article
  • The photos are very well chosen, but could some photos of the ship on the sea bed also be included under a fair use claim?
  • Does there need to be a dedicated section to the ship's war diary?
  • I think that the 'References in the Wehrmachtbericht' section should be removed (and possibly moved to Wikisource?) as it doesn't add anything to the article which shouldn't already be in the prose.
  • Information about what happened to the crew who were rescued would be interesting. Nick-D (talk) 01:30, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with most of Nick's comments, especially about the one about the Wehrmachtbericht. But I will note that the discussion about the loss of the Hood needs to be cited. Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 03:04, 8 June 2009 (UTC)


Having reread the start of the article, I changed "Background" to "Building and commissioning" this made more sense in the context of a single ship than background. the section could use some attention:

  1. Plan Z and Bismarck's part in it is split across the two paragraphs - there's sort of a half repeat of information which could probably be phrased better.
  2. use as a commerce raider - it would be good to know when the decision was taken, but more so if functioning as a commerce raider she would be aided by other ships. The section states that she could tackle a battleship on convoy escort, but what of the remainder of a convoy's warships (eg cruisers and destroyers)- its left open as to whether Bismarck would be unable to tackle these as well or would be aided.

Her operational history

I personally would trim some of the detail, provided it remains in the relevant articles, so that her (brief) service is more readable. There are a number of digressions eg in on Norwegian agents. Some parts could be precised eg on the Bergen stop "Both German ships ..... British air surveillance." could be precised to

"It had been intended for both ships to refuel in Bergen. Prinz Eugen did so but Bismarck did not; their next refuelling would be from an oiler that was waiting in the Arctic at least one day's sailing away. Stopping in Bergen cost him a day and gave the British the opportunity to detect them."

This section could have a simple precis before launching into the various subsections.

the section adds the quotes but without any context as to what the Wehrmachtbericht was and to why these references were important, or what the reaction was to them. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:03, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Simon Harley[edit]

My knowledge of Bismarck is limited to Breyer, a D. K. Brown/Garzke/Dullin article on her rediscovery, Preston's The World's Worst Warships and the Mearns book on Hood and Bismarck, and kicking around somewhere I have Ballard's memoirs and the relevant chapter on Bismarck, so I won't comment on the technical aspects of the article.

  • The Rediscovery section confuses the hell out of me. The most obvious problem is "Ballard's third expedition" - when was his second? When was the third, since its date is not mentioned in the article proper? And how some of the sources, supposedly written in 1990, can have a bearing on this section is beyond me. Can someone with the knowledge sort this out? --Simon Harley (talk | library | book reviews) 10:05, 16 June 2009 (UTC)