• Hunt the Bismarck

  • The Pursuit of Germany’s Most Famous Battleship
  • By: Angus Konstam
  • Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Hunt the Bismarck tells the story of Operation Rheinübung, the Atlantic sortie of the Nazi Germany's largest battleship in May 1941.  

Bismarck entered service in the summer of 1940. She was well-armed, with eight 15-inch guns as well as a powerful array of lighter weapons, while her armored protection earned her the reputation of being unsinkable. This claim was finally put to the test in May 1941, when she sortied into the Atlantic and fought the legendary battle of the Denmark Strait, destroying HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy. Bismarck was now loose in the North Atlantic. However, damage sustained in the battle limited her ability to roam at will, while the Royal Navy deployed the Home Fleet to revenge the Hood. The stage was set for the greatest chase story in the history of naval warfare.  

Drawing on a wealth of first-hand accounts, and intertwining extensive research into a fast-paced narrative, this is the most accurate account of Bismarck's epic voyage ever produced.

©2019 Angus Konstam (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Hunt the Bismarck

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A fresh look at a well known story!

The author is a great storyteller! The challenge with writing a historical book of this kind is that the story is well known. I have read at least two books on the subject, but I am one who is always fascinated by the details. When good authors tackle a well-known topic, they usually have a lot to add. I was hoping that this story would be told in a way that I would learn some more details I hadn’t known before. I wasn’t disappointed! I also appreciated the way he wrote the epilogue. It coincided nicely with a documentary involving the expeditions led by David L. Mearns.
I am a student of history, especially the era involving World War II. I feel Konstam brought a real freshness to this well told tale. I also like Nigel Patterson’s performance of the audio book. He did a great job as well.
I do not recall reading any books by Angus Konstam before. After looking him up on the Internet, I discovered that he has written many books. In my opinion, this book was a great introduction to the author. Next, I will have to read his book: Jutland 1916.

5 people found this helpful

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same old story, nothing new

The author does a fine job of describing life aboard Bismarck, right to the bitter end.

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Compelling and well researched

This is the third book I've read about the Bismarck and I think it is probably the best. It is very well researched and the author writes in a compelling style that retained my interest throughout even though I was quite aware of the events. The narrator does a very fine job and I think it adds quite a bit to the story that he is British.

The author includes many personal stories from people who were on or around the Bismarck, which gives a great sense of what life was like on capital ships and what sailors thought and felt.

Even if you have read other books about the Bismarck and even if you think you know the story well, I believe this book is a very worthwhile read. Personally, I am more interested in HMS Hood, and while I would always wish there would be more about that glorious ship, I feel the author did a good job giving reasonable detail about the Hood, while not allowing it to overshadow the most important ship when writing about the Bismarck.

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Great listen!

Well written and well read! The interesting side stories made me feel I was actually there.

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Great story if you love very precise details,

Sorry, but I'm not a fan of British narrators. They just don't have cleat distinct voices easily heard by this aging man. I had herd about the Bismarck since I was a young boy, but never knew how she succumbed to her end. Oh, I knew she had been hit by a torpedo or 'shell which jammed her rudder, leaving her helplessly floating and at the mercy of the British Navy, but this book tells about her precise end, down to the last minute. Of course the book begins with the Bismarck's attempt to break out into the north Atlantic ocean where she was confronted by two British battleships, the Hood and the Prince of Wales. This book is very precise, down to seconds it took for a fired shell to reach its target. The book would have been much shorter and enjoyable without all of the precise time and seconds of each ships movement. RIP to all sailors from both sides who perished during the short life of the worlds most dangerous battleship of the German navy.

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enjoyable

I liked the narrator and the book! Big fan of Bismarck!
I would like a pdf file with historic pictures.

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Very well done!

Great version of a classic story. Thought that I knew the story of the Bismarck until I listened to this book. Well told by the narrator and a very detailed review of the tactics and the personal stories. Not a time consuming book and well worth adding to your library.

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Very informative

I have read a lot of books regarding the Bismarck. This in my opinion is the best. Well worth the time and credit and is a must read/listen for anyone interested in World War II naval history.

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Thrilling and Fascinating

"Hunt the Bismarck" was exactly the book I was looking for. The short history of the ship's sea operations was supplemented with really intriguing information on the run-up to WWII, how Germany was able to build the massive battleship despite Treaty of Versailles restrictions, technical details on the ship itself and naval weaponry, the officers commanding the Bismarck, King George V, Hood, Prince of Wales, and others involved in the battles, and naval tactics. Despite the fact that I knew the general outlines of the story (and how it ended), I was nevertheless on the edge of my seat while listening to this book. Mr. Patterson's narration was superb. I highly recommend "Hunt the Bismarck," and I'm going to listen to other books by Mr. Konstam.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-15-20

Grand & Inspiring.

Extremely interesting and very well written by Angus Konstam. This book gives you a thrilling sense of actually being there, watching as the proudest and mightiest battleships of Britain and Germany's navies clashed in thunderous heavyweight battles across the Atlantic. Expertly narrated by Nigel Patterson it is a book I fully recommend to anyone interested in WW2.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Slowhand
  • 04-04-20

Well written, irritating narration

An excellent and well narrated book. However, the narrator's constant and inconsistent use of accents for every foreign proper noun or title is a major irritant. On occasion, it becomes ludicrous, e.g. German titles and French cities in a single sentence (while 'Paris' and other proper nouns are pronounced without any accent).

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-29-19

tremendous

definitive account of the Battle of the Denmark Strait and the whole. surrounding story of Britain's ageing fleet engagement with a modern adversary

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul P White
  • 04-29-21

Blow-by-blow account

This is slightly underwritten, as there is little in the way of character sketches of the main protagonists. Were the naval officers involved conformists or Mavericks, aggressive or defensive, etc.? As this story is a cat-and-mouse story, knowing more of people’s characters, which informed their decisions would have been helpful.
I’m docking one star for performance, because the narrator mispronounces the name of the Fairey Fulmar aircraft (named after the bird) about five times, preferring ‘Fulmer’, which is the name of a village in South Buckinghamshire!

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  • Jimbo
  • 01-20-21

Average, probably better as a lecture with slides

DRY & DETAILED? Put simply, too much pedantic and irrelevant detail. For example. No one needs to know distances in both yards and miles in the same sentence. One or the other would have been fine. Without a map for reference it makes it difficult to know what a change of 230 degrees is. Are we expected to draw our own? I listen while driving, it is not possible to keep the picture of where the main protagonists are in my mind while doing this. I had to look up the geography and found some good maps which helped a lot and there are some great ones to look at all plotted out with the courses of the main players. Which spoilt it a bit as it was clear who did what and when.
More importantly I felt it was an account lacking in both the drama and humanity of the tumultuous events it fails to effectively illustrate. I could have been listening to the shipping forecast the number of times I had to stop rewind and restart as my mind had wandered. This may be a generational difference. I am not be target audience, and it reminds me of a struggle though Beevors Stalingrad. I did like Stephen Ambrose and his work if that helps anyone. And Lieutenant Sharky Ward's account of sea harriers over the falklands. Both much more human and compelling.

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  • M
  • 04-11-20

History at it most interesting.

Very interesting and fills in background to the story. It explains how events are linked in the Battle of the Atlantic.

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  • Rosey earle
  • 01-30-21

naval history

absolutely fascinating. worth listening to more than once. very factual without being overly opinionated. brilliant

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  • Joseph Wharekawa
  • 11-25-20

Sink the Bismarck

Historically and forensically detailed. A well articulated audiobook covering material known to many naval historians.