Next to the Tirpitz the Bismarck, the flag-ship of the Germany Navy was the largest German warship with a displacement of 50,900 tons and a crew of 2092 men. Put into service on 24.08.1940, she left port on 18.05.1941 for operation "Rhine Exercise". Together with the Prinz Eugen she was discovered early by British reconnaissance planes. In the encounter with the Hood on 24.05.1941 the latter was sunk by the Bismarck. After a long chase the Bismarck was hit by an aircraftfired torpedo on 26.05.1941 and intercepted by the British battleships King George V and Rodney. On 27.05.1941 the Bismarck was sunk by her own crew 490 km off the french coast.