The Bismarck attacked by Swordfish torpedo planes from aircraft carrier Ark Royal in the evening of 26 May 1941. Painting made by British marine artist Dennis Andrews.
The Swordfish striking force, under the command of Lieutenant-Commander T.P. Coode, began the attack at 2047 hours under heavy and accurate fire from Bismarck's anti-aircraft battery.
During the course of the following 20 minutes the German battleship was hit by at least two torpedoes.
One torpedo (or two) hit Bismarck on the port side amidships causing minor damage.
However, another torpedo fatally struck the stern on the starboard side jamming both rudders at 12º to port and disabling the ship's steering system.
None of the attacking Swordfish were shot down although some were hit several times.
Bismarck's situation became so hopeless that at 2140 hours, Admiral Lütjens radioed to Group West: "Ship unable to manoeuvre. We will fight to the last shell."
Prints of this painting are available here.