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Book Review
The Battleship Bismarck
The Battleship Bismarck Anatomy of The Ship 1
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Model Shipwrights

The Battleship Bismarck from Osprey Publishing LTD launches their new series Anatomy of The Ship. Authored by author, researcher and 3D modeler Stefan Draminski, this amazing hardcover book boasts 336 pages presenting 660 scale drawings and 400 color 3D views! Osprey catalogues this book as ANT 1 with ISBN 9781472828880. It is also available in eBook (PDF).

Osprey's description of this book is thus

    The Bismarck is perhaps the most famous - and notorious - warship ever built. Completed in 1941, the 45,000-ton German battleship sunk HMS Hood, the pride of the British Navy, during one of the most sensational encounters in naval history. Following the sinking, Bismarck was chased around the North Atlantic by many units of the Royal Navy. She was finally dispatched with gunfire and torpedoes on 27 May, less than five months after her completion. Her wreck still lies where she sank, 4,800m down and 960km off the west coast of France.

    Drawing on new research and technology, this edition is the most comprehensive examination of Bismarck ever published. It includes a complete set of detailed line drawings with fully descriptive keys and full-colour 3D artwork, supported by technical details, photographs and text on the building of the ship and a record of the ship's service history.

The Battleship Bismarck is one of over a dozen similar publications by Stefan Draminski. This 336-page book is presented through several chapters and subsections:
      The battleship Bismarck - Technical description
      History of the battleship Bismarck

      Primary Views

      The drawings
        A General arrangements
        B Hull structure
        C Superstructure
        D Rig
        E Armament
        F Fire Control
        G Fittings
        H Aircraft
        I Boats
        J Other ships involved in Operation Rheinübung

Author Draminski expresses a passion for the Bismarck and this book looks to be a labor of love. The text begins with 22 pages of detail and history. Described in detail are the main components of the ship:
    Hull structure
      Main artillery
      Secondary artillery
      Heavy anti-aircraft artillery
      Medium anti-aircraft artillery
      Light anti-aircraft artillery
      Depth charges
    Fire control
    Main and secondary artillery
    Anti-aircraft artillery
    Radar equipment
    Aircraft, catapults and cranes
    Boats (nine types)
    Other equipment (sonar, paravanes, magnetic protection, etc.)
    Camouflage (10 colors and how they were applied)
    Wreck of the Bismarck

Bismarck history is presented through narratives of significant days, from awarding the contract to build the ship on 16 November 1935, through the third McDowell expedition of May 2005.

The rest of the 300 pages are technical illustrations and 3D artwork. Now we will explore that aspect of the book.

Photographs, Artwork, Graphics
Photographic support for the text is limited. However, the photos provided are remarkable. Several show Bismarck in action at The Denmark Strait. Several document the ship under construction.


Principal characteristics of Bismarck, May 1941
: 20 technical characteristics with data

Boilers: described with 13 technical features

Turbines: described with 5 technical features

Liquids: 7 types and capacity

38cm SK C/34 guns: 25 characteristics with data

15cm SK C/28 guns: 24 characteristics with data

10.5cm SK C/33 and 10.5cm SK C/33 na guns: 24 characteristics with data

3.7cm C/30 guns: 20 characteristics with data

2cm C/30 and 2cm C/38 guns: 19 characteristics with data

Specifications of the Arado Ar-196 A two-seat floatplane<: 10 characteristics with data


Ship movements during Operation Rheinübung, 18 May - 1 June 1941
: color map with ship tracks, keyed to 11 events.


Artwork is the meat of this book - over 1,000 creations. The level of effort that went into creating this incredible gallery is extraordinary. The author relates that to illustrate the ship in such detail, that he created 40 million (40,000,000) individual polygons!

Those 40 million polygons first meld together to depict several two-page profiles of Bismarck:
    24 August 1940, Commissioning Day, Hamburg: a profile and a planform
    Early March 1941, Kiel: a profile and a planform, in the Baltic camouflage scheme
    Early March 1941, Kiel: the other side in profile, and a 3-quarter view
    5 May 1941, Day of Hitler's Visit to the Combat-Ready Battleship off GDynia: in profile and planform
    5 May 1941, Day of Hitler's Visit to the Combat-Ready Battleship off GDynia: left and right 3-quarter views
    24 May 1941, Battle of the Denmark Strait: profile and planform; 27 May 1941, Bismarck's Last Battle: bird's-eye view of the bow and stern
    Early March 1941, Kiel: close-up 3-quarter views of the fore and aft halves of the ship

Following those images are a series of engineering and technical drawings that show all manner of characteristics such as:
    Hull plates and curvature per bulkhead
    Anchor buoys
    Arado floatplane
    Auxiliary boats and launches and dinghies
    Boat booms
    Boat booms
    Deck plans with compartments (keyed with hundreds of components)
    Fire control posts
    Flak guns
    Floatplane stowage trolleys
    Guard rails
    Life rings
    Range finders
    Rope lockers
    Shipyard construction plate
    Spare gun barrel canisters
    Turrets and gun mounts

Remember, those are just a sample of over 1,000 3D color renderings and technical images.

Each image has captions and many are keyed with individual components. This is an incredible gallery of artwork.

The Battleship Bismarck from Osprey is an exceptional presentation of one of the iconic warships of the Twentieth Century. Bismarck led a short but legendary life and her physical attributes are exceptionally recreated with obvious passion by the author/artist. This book boats an incredible gallery of high quality artwork, over 1,000 amazing images!

I have nothing meaningful to criticize.

This book should be a valuable addition to the library of modelers of Bismarck, Kriegsmarine, battleships, and WWII naval actions. Highly recommended.

Please remember to mention to Osprey and retailers that you saw this book here - on Model Shipwrights.
Highs: An incredible gallery of high quality artwork. Over 1,000 amazing images.
Lows: De minimis.
Verdict: This book should be a valuable addition to the library of modelers of Bismarck, Kriegsmarine, battleships, and WWII naval actions.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ANT 1
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 31, 2018

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Wow, this looks great! I love the old British Conway Maritime (Naval Institute Press in the U.S.) 'Anatomy of the Ship' series books - is Osprey taking this over, or is this just a reuse of the name? The engineering and technical drawings in the new Bismarck book look to be the familiar AOTS style, but the addition of the 3D renderings adds a whole new dimension! Thanks for posting the review, Frederick.
NOV 01, 2018 - 02:44 AM
Picked a copy of this up at Scalemodel World. It combines the old style AOTS book with the information in the 3D and top drawings books. Some very nice photographs I have not seen before. Very good research tool all in one volume. Cheers Si
NOV 27, 2018 - 09:32 PM

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