Surely, the raid of the German battleship Bismarck into the North Atlantic in May, 1941, and the Royal Navy's search for and destruction of the feared ship is one of the best-known incidents of World War II naval warfare, but perhaps never before has such a comprehensive, thoughtful analysis of the event been published as in Niklas Zetterling and Michael Tamelander's "Bismarck: The Final Days of Germany's Greatest Battleship", looking at what happened from both the German and British perspectives. The Bismarck's mission is carefully placed in the context of the German strategy of commerce raiding, with a comprehensive look at the strategic and tactical problems faced by the commanders of both sides, and possibly alternative actions at each stage are carefully explored. The text is well-illustrated with large-scale maps showing the changing positions of hunter and hunted, making clear the development of events. The narrative text is highly detailed
but does not, as books on naval history so often do, descend into a merely technical hardware descriptiion in which seemingly every bolt is counted and described. Instead, authors Zetterling and Tamelander concentrate upon the human element, always keeping in mind what each side knew and did not know at any given moment, with the result that a feeling of tense suspense builds, even though the reader already knows the Bismarck's fate. All in all, a gripping account.