Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom (80th Anniversary Edition)

Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom
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Iain Ballantyne
13 May 2021
Agora Books

Published with new material in time for the 80th Anniversary of the sinking of the Bismarck, Iain Ballantyne’s Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom is the harrowing account of the epic mission to destroy the flagship of Hitler’s navy.

‘No ship is invincible or so perfectly constructed it is invulnerable to sinking – not the Titanic, nor the Hood, and certainly not the Bismarck.’

May 1941: the world watches as the Royal Navy seeks retribution on the ship that sank the beloved HMS Hood. After a bloody chase lasting more than 1,700 miles, Britain’s Home Fleet is finally closing in on the world’s most powerful battleship. There will be a fight to the finish between more than 5,000 men of the Royal Navy and 2,600 servicemen of Hitler’s Kriegsmarine.

From tactical hits to shadowing ships, the mission to destroy the Bismarck was one of strategy and perseverance. In this tense and compelling narrative of the Action, we hear from the Royal Navy sailors who saw the combat up close.

The product of his interviews with surviving veterans, as well as transcripts, war diaries, and wireless signals, Ballantyne’s Bismarck places the reader into the nail-biting naval combat of one of the Second World War’s most dramatic events.

Eighty years on from that epic mission, the testimonies of the brave men who fought on both sides provide fresh and heartwrenching insight into the real cost of naval warfare.


‘A powerful and moving cinematic study devoted to what has to be the most dramatic event of the Second World War at sea – the last twenty-four hours alive of the German battleship Bismarck. The use of the present tense to heighten immediacy is very effective and the tension carries through well; the first-hand accounts make you care about the men on both sides who found themselves trapped in such a ferocious holocaust.’ Julian Stockwin, author of the Thomas Kydd Series of naval adventures in the Age of Fighting Sail

‘By drawing on the first-hand experiences of veterans in the thick of the action, Iain Ballantyne has produced a deeply researched and unputdownable account of the hunt for the Bismarck that is at once authoritative, insightful and highly readable.’ — Rowland White, author of Harrier 809 and Vulcan 607

‘Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom is a superb read, entertaining, informative and affecting . . . for a sense of what it was like to be there, this one is hard to beat.’ – Matthew Willis, author of The Fortress of Malta series

If you loved Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom by Iain Ballantyne, check out our Agora Addicts community and the Bismarck Battle website.

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