Why didn't Bismarck deploy the Arado 96?

May 2019
Northern and Western hemispheres
When the Kriegsmarine battleship Bismarck was being attacked by the Royal Navy's torpedo bombers it would have made sense for Bismarck to launch one of her Arado Ar 96s.
May 2019
Northern and Western hemispheres
They did not have any guns until the A2 series, designed for land based operations.
My thinking was that the ones that Bismarck carried might have been armed with some MGs. You have a better understanding of the different models of the AR 96 than I do.


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
Does anyone know how long it typically took to launch an Arado?
1. Alarm sounds, pilot starts running to the plane
2. Pilot arrives at plane (time varies depending on how far away pilot was)
3. Pilot begins pre-flight checklist
4. Pilot completes pre-flight checklist (I have no idea how long it took to run the checklist but I assume there was one)
5. Engine start
6. Engine warm-up complete
7. Catapult builds up steam pressure for launch (probably simultaneous with some of the previous steps)
8. Aircraft launched
9. Aircraft climbs to altitude and gains position on attacking torpedo planes who by now are probably withdrawing after completing their attack

Did the Bismarck have to turn to any particular angle to the wind to launch aircraft? This might not be possible while dodging torpedoes. I know Bismarck launched planes to port and starboard, not fore and aft so I'm just guessing about wind direction.