Silent Hunter III Bismarck Scenario

Bismarck is the second of 10 single player scenarios available in the game. It takes place in May 1941 and involves the Home Fleets mission to destroy the German battleship during its sole offensive operation of the war, an effort to break into the Atlantic and conduct raids against Allied shipping from North America to Great Britain. The Bismarck was scuttled by the crew following incapacitating battle damage on May 27, 1941, causing significant loss of life.

The primary objective of the scenario is to intercept and sink any British capital ship. This proves to be too easy in that the player begins the mission less than 1,000 meters from several British battleships, so close that there is a mad scramble at the very beginning to configure the torpedoes and fire a shot before the lead vessel escapes an optimal firing solution.

The end result is a rapid fire mission that is over is less than four minutes. Personally I would have preferred that the scenario designer crafted this mission with the player as one of the U-Boats racing to join the fight. I went back and reloaded the scenario to determine if this was just a quirk of a random spawn but sadly it was not as I started the mission in the same location each time.

For this outing I am taking a 1941 VIIC U-Boat at 49% realism (the default normal setting is 29% realism: I disable a few more things to heighten the challenge).

I begin the scenario in grid BE-38 with British warships operating directly off my port side. The orange circle in the water indicates the orientation of my submerged vessel. I order a 40 degree turn to the port side in order to have some chance against these targets.

The Bismarck is off in the distance yet quite visual, and all warships are firing off multiple rounds at each other.

The mighty German warship is not going down without a fight and is landing several shells on the British fleet.

My first attempt to fire is on the lead ship, a Nelson class battleship which is less than 500 meters away. The torpedo was hastily configured at a 3 meter depth, but I most likely was in such a rush I didn’t check to see if it was at a magnetic or impact pistol.

The angle on bow was not drastic enough to cause the fish to glance off the side of the hull, however here it is falling to the depths most likely due to an improper pistol setting. The explosions on the starboard side of the British ship are more hits being landed by the Bismarck.

With a better approach angle on the second warship I take the time to properly configure the next torpedoes to a 3 meter depth and an impact pistol setting so that they detonate on impact with the hull.

With tubes two, three, and four setup for the short range engagement I begin firing sequences at different parts of the vessel in order to spread the damage the length of the keel.

At less than 600 meters I fire the last fish towards the bow of the battleship aiming directly between the two forward gun emplacements.

These result in catastrophic damage to the vessel, thus achieving the primary objective of the scenario.

Two scenarios in a row, two battleships sent below the surface.

There are a couple of mods out that enhance the data reporting aspect of the game (such as telling you the name of the actual vessel destroyed), however I am running Silent Hunter III stock with no mods at the moment so all I get credit for is a 35,900 ton “King George V Battleship”.

After-action Report

As mentioned in the first post of the series, the “U-Boat lost” message in the top left is a technical error as I successfully completed the mission, took no damage, and all crew ended the mission in good health.

Post Mortem

It is sad to see governments maintain laws that are effectively no longer relevant, such as those that are still enforced in Germany where the display of the equilateral cross symbol is illegal. This causes game developers who want to make a sale in those countries to suppress potentially offensive imagery from video games, such as the removal of the swastika from the decks of the Bismarck.

Can you imagine the poor sap that had to climb this mast to apply white-out to the flag?

Calm down is just a video game.

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