- Jan 2015
- Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Even if they had wanted to, the Bismarck's crew could not have launched her aircraft, the catapult had been damaged at the Battle of the Denmark Strait.
As for Fulmars, the Swordfish attackers from HMS Victorious did have an escort of 6 Fulmars when they attacked, but for the Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal there was no escort, possibly due to the extreme weather conditions on launching.
In addition to dealing with the gale force winds AND the 6 escorting Fulmars, the luckless returning Arado would have to land and recover at night in heavy seas, as Victorious's attack was launched at 10PM at night.It's also worth remembering that there was quite literally a gale (wind strength 7 - 9) blowing from the north west. The Swordfish struggled to get airborne in the face of strong winds, which would have made a catapult launch extremely hazardous.