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Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Humanitarian Law Applicable to
Armed Conflict at Sea

A reaction to German ZDF broadcast

Sinking of the Bismarck

In the context of the television series "The Century War" about the last voyage of the Bismarck broadcast 8.1.2002 on German Channel 2 about the spring 1941. Of particular interest was the last scenes, in which was showed, how a British cruiser accepted about 120 sailor survivors of the German battleship. Still hundreds more sailors swam in direct proximity of the cruiser, when the rescue action was broken off, allegedly "because of a U-boat alarm". These 100-200 German sailors were left to their fate to drown in the North Atlantic in the face of a possible rescue.
This last picture of that TV serial was clear.

Consider the following:

a. No submarine was in the proximity of the last Atlantic battle of the Bismarck according to documents of the German Naval Warfare line.

b. If a German submarine had been there, then it would have tried to intervene, in the fights before the sinking of the Bismarck by an attacking the English capital ships.

c. THE SINKING OF THE BISMARCK would not have escaped a submarine due to large submarine noise - even if it had not received the artillery duel and radio traffic during the hunt for Bismarck.

d. No German submarine commander would have fired torpedo on an English cruiser while taking on board Bismarck survivors.

e. And further: Even if a German submarine had been in the proximity, then it would have tried nevertheless naturally after running off the English cruiser to accept still as many comrades as possible from the sea. In addition, of it nothing is well-known.

f. Also because of the alleged submarine danger which caused the turning off of the cruisers, rescue rafts or lifeboats could have been thrown to the survivors. German submarine crews did this frequently for survivors of torpedoed merchant vessels. This did not happen.

Conclusion: It follows that someone in the English Admiralty or or someone on board the cruiser did not want further survivors of the Bismarck to be rescued.

The fact that the rescue of hundreds more of survivors was broken off because of a "U-boat alarm" is nothing but a coverup and further propaganda.

The controversy remains on the British abandonment of German seamen, left to their fate in defiance of International Law, the Law of the High Seas, and common humanity.