In the world's navies, the battleship is no more: aircraft have made such fighting ships, ""those strange, lovely, vast, mysterious creatures,"" obsolete. In May, 1941, the world's largest was Germany's Bismarck. When the Bismarck sank Britain's battle cruiser Hood, with almost total loss of life among the British crew, the profoundly depressed Royal Navy vowed revenge. For days Bismarck was chased by a British destroyer, battleship and aircraft carrier, the pursuers dogging her from Iceland, losing and finding her again and again. The damaged Bismarck fights back powerfully but the ship's death is certain, and the deaths of most of its 2000 crew members. In foul weather, the gradual evisceration of the Bismarck by British shells is a tremendous story, with blood and broken limbs and burning passageways everywhere -- and you are there. And you are in the water too after the ship goes down, with your limbs slowly freezing. A considerable success, this exciting, stinking-of-cordite account convinces you that the sinking of the Bismarck was one of the world's greatest sea battles. Clean, clear evocation.