Like many of the posts it seems here my fascination with KMS Bismark started from childhood.
I was first introduced to this ship at a naval war memorial in Germany, i cant remember the name of it but there was a U-boat purchased on concrete stands, next to which was a tower, in front of that was 'what seemed to me at the time an enormous' screw propeller. i believe it came from Bismark or was a replica i don't know... i remember thinking whatever that was attached to must have been huge.
Inside the tower was a large model of Bismark, it was pretty obvious from all the guns, and the complex mass of other things this ship was bristling with- that to provoke it would be a bad idea and have deadly consequences.
As a small boy i'm naturaly going to be impressed by such things, but there was more to it then simple boyhood fascinations with size and power. it was also about shape and form.
Bismark has a fairly distinct form, there is something about her slightly peeled up bow and stern, and the very complex looking superstructure perched perfectly on top of its elegantly formed hull, rising high up and back down from some angles and appearing as a triangular shaped mountains mass from other angles. there seems to be so much going on that its not possible to analyse it all at once, you have to take the ship one aspect at a time. it gives an impression that its to grand just to grant it a passing look.
you add that beauty and elegance to the enormous feeling of power the ship had about it, and while Bismark was not the biggest ship she was pretty bloody big, and that obvious weight sits like a house in a swimming pool, it all rounds up to something that can be likened to a very big piece of art, Bismark is perhaps even slightly romantic in that sense.
that's what for me makes Bismark stand out from all the others, as it did when i was a small boy.