Adventures with Words: Sink the Bismarck! by CS Forester

Sink the Bismarck! by CS Forester

C.S. Forester is better known for his Horatio Hornblower novels but this World War II novella is well worth a read. Sticking to the events around the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck, Forester tells a gripping story, interpolating invented dialogue – we obviously have no record of what was actually said on the command deck of the Bismarck – with a masterful narrative account of the events.

The main flaw is one that Forester could not have remedied when writing the book: we now know that British intelligence had cracked the German Enigma code but when Forester wrote his book this was still top secret. I would like to read an account of the hunt for the Bismarck that includes this so we can learn how much difference this knowledge made.


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