BISMARCK MAY 27, 1941 830 HOURS
Just before Rechberg enters his station the alarm bells ring. He picks up the control phone.
(repeating the information to his crew)
“Two battleships port bow.”
Rechberg turns his director and see to large silhouettes.
(under his breath)
The executioners have arrived.
Schneider’s voice comes across the phone clearly and calmly.
(intercom to bridge)
Our target is the battleship nearest our port bow. Main batteries ready, request permission to fire when ready.
The British ships are coming in fast at the Bismarck.
ABOARD THE KING GEORGE V MAY 27,1941 847 HOURS
Tension builds as minutes pass. The British ships are converging on the Bismarck. The tension is broken when Rodney opens fire first, followed by the King George V. The Norfolk heads straight at the Bismarck. The British shells land in the water far from the Bismarck.
ABOARD THE NORFOLK MAY 27, 1941 848 HOURS
The Norfolk is closing on the Bismarck. On the Bridge of the Norfolk Admiral Wake-Walker and Captain Phillips begin their attack. Ryan is at his station in the range finder. He reports what he is witnessing over the intercom to the Bridge.
Our battleships have started to engage the Bismarck.
The Admiral and Captain listen on the Bridge.
Captain bring her up to speed and you can give the permission to fire when ready.
Our time has come.
(He grabs the phone)
Lt Commander Anderson you my fire when ready.
Ryan hears his orders and exclaims to his crew and officers.
Once more into the breech, gentlemen. “England expects that every man will do his duty”!
The Bismarck’s secondary is opening up.
Bring our guns to bear on 37 degrees at a range of 19,500 meters. Deflection of 10
This scene shows the Norfolk’s guns swinging into action. The ship’s Bow slices through the water. The music’s tempo picks up speed. The next shot is that of the Bismarck’s smaller guns coming to bear on the Norfolk and then firing on her.
Keep your guns pointed, the range will be dropping fast.
BISMARCK MAY 27, 1941 849 HOURS
The Bismarck’s main guns then reply. There is an exchange of shells through the air as the British close in on Bismarck. The Bismarck is quicker at finding her adversary’s range and her shells start to fall closer around the Rodney. The Bismarck is on her fifth salvo when the Rodney is straddled.
“short,straddling and over”
Both side’s continue to fire at one another.
KING GEORGE V MAY 27, 1941 858 HOURS
From the Bridge of the King George the captain and Admiral Tovey witness the Rodney straddled by Bismarck’s shells. These misses create huge water spouts around the ship. Water and shrapnel rain down on her decks. A sailor standing by them exclaims
(thinking of the Hood)
Oh no, not the Rodney, not this again...
NORFOLK MAY 27, 1941 858 HOURS
The Norfolk closes fast on the Bismarck’s starboard bow. Ryan is at his range finder lining up a shot on the Bismarck. He is doing his best to aim for Bismarck main range finder. He yells out the coordinates to his gunners.
Correction bearing 30 degrees at 14,240 meters. Prepare to shoot.
Hold.... hold..... Shoot!!!!!!
The Norfolk’s guns hurl shells toward the Bismarck’s main range finder.
BISMARCK MAY 27,1941 858 HOURS
In the main range finder Schneider is hurriedly plotting his next shot. The uncontrollable ship is making it hard to get aligned, but he has found the Rodney’s range and has her in his sights. He is about to fire a decisive hit.
(In a cool voice)
One more time.
(As he peers into the lens ready to shout the command to fire.)
Before he can finish his call to fire, Schneider’s station is hit by a shell from the Norfolk. The range finder is knocked off and falls into the sea. The station is ripped apart killing Schneider and it crew.
KING GEORGE V MAY 27, 1941 859 HOURS
The battleship Rodney has been saved from the Bismarck’s guns by Norfolk’s timely hit on the Bismarck gun director. The Rodney and King George V each let loose a huge salvo. One of Rodney’s shells hits the Bismarck between gun turrets Anton and Bruno, putting them both out of action.
BISMARCK MAY 27,1941 902 HOURS
On Bismarck’s open bridge Kaptain Lindemann and Admiral Lutjens stand at Bismarck’s controls. Those on the bridge have just witnessed the main gun director being hit.
I am ordering a switch to the aft control station.
Lindemann picks up the phone and finds that it is disabled. He leaves the bridge to go inside the command center. At that moment the open Bridge is destroyed. A shell had hit the turret in front of the bridge causing pieces of it to rip apart the exposed bridge killing all that were at their stations, including Lutjens. Lindemann is saved by having just left the open bridge however he was thrown to the ground by the blast.
NORFOLK MAY 27, 1941 906 HOURS
The Norfolk aims for the Bismarck’s secondary guns that are now endangering the Norfolk. Ryan trains the Norfolk’s guns on them.
(Talking to his gun crews over the intercom)
Keep them coming fast.
The Norfolk steams off Bismarck’s starboard bow, dueling with their adversary’s secondary guns. A shell from Norfolk strikes one of the secondary guns, disabling it.
BISMARCK MAY 27,1941 910 HOURS
Lindemann gets to his feet dazed and goes to the command center hatch only to be thrown back down again when the center is hit on the opposite side by a shell from a battleship. The center is destroyed and fires have broken out all around the forward super structure. Shells keep hitting the Bismarck with more frequency as the enemy ships close their range and the Bismarck can put up less of a fight.
BISMARCK MAY 27, 1941 910 HOURS
In the aft control station Rechberg receives the word over the phone that contact with the forward part of the ship has been lost. He has been ordered to take over fire control.
He swings the range finder looking for a target and sights the Norfolk. He passes up that target; he’s looking for one of the battleships.
“action circuit aft,”
(scanning for a target)
“Passing fight to port, target is battleship at 250 degree,”
The Bismarck’s aft turrets Cesar and Dora fire their guns.
“battleship bow left, one point off, enemy speed 20 knots”.
Rechberg watches the shells fall wide right of the King George V and orders a correction.
“ten more left , down four, a salvo.”
The German guns erupt. Rechberg watches the shell splashes and listens to the computer room. Then he announces
“Down four, a salvo”
After the guns fire and he watches the shells land. Then he corrects again.
“up two, good rapid!”
The shells are hurled toward the King George V.
KING GEORGE V MAY 27, 1941 912 HOURS
The battleship’s admiral, captain and crew watch as Rechberg’s fourth salvo whistles over head. The crew take cover expecting the next round to hit. The King George V loosens a salvo in reply.
BISMARCK MAY 27, 1941 913 HOURS
One of the King George shells hits the aft director station. Rechberg’s range finder is hit destroying the director, but just missing his compartment. He and the crew are thrown around. He regains his position but when viewing through his lens, all he finds is open sky because the director is missing.
Realizing that he can no longer direct the guns he calls the computer center.
Aft director out of action. Switch fire to local control.
Rechberg hangs up the phone and looks at his crew. The sounds of the enemy shells exploding all around the ship drown out all else. The crew look to be aware that the end is near.
SCENES OF THE BISMARCK AND BRITISH WARSHIPS 915-1000 HOURS
There should be several scenes were the British ships keep pounding on Bismarck. The scene needs to show destruction of the Bismarck and the killing of the crew throughout the ship as well as the destruction of the last two turrets Cesar and Dora. Fires are raging all over the ship. Show that the front super-structure is totally ablaze.
KING GEORGE V MAY 27, 1941 930 HOURS
On the Bridge of the King George the admiral tells the captain to get closer to the Bismarck.
“Get closer, get closer- I can’t see enough hits.”
The admiral raises his binoculars to his face.
NORFOLK MAY 27, 1941 935 HOURS
Ryan is watching the destruction of the Bismarck. At so close a range Ryan can clearly see the German sailors on the decks of the Bismarck and the horror of the carnage that they are receiving. Bodies are blown to pieces, blood covers the men and decks.
(pulling back from the lens of his range finder)
KING GEORGE V MAY 27, 1941 940 HOURS
Tovey is irritated by Bismarck’s refusal to Sink.
The agony of it all.
BISMARCK MAY 27, 1941 950 HOURS
Rechberg franticly picks up the phone to get his orders but he is loosing communication with the rest of the ship.
(He mutters his thoughts out loud into the phone.)
Who has command of the ship? Are there new orders in effect?
The faint words of “we are going to scuttle” come across before the connection is totally lost. Rechberg tries works the phone again but he can not reconnect. Rechberg asks a seamen in his station to run to the damage control station.
Seamen run down and find the First Officer in the damage control station. Find out what are our new orders and come back quickly!
Rechberg opens up the hatch and the seaman runs out toward the search light platform . Just as Rechberg closes the hatch a huge explosion throws him down. He gets up and reopens the hatch. The search light platform and the sailor are gone. Rechberg decides that he will go himself to find the first officer. He turns to the petty officer and says.
If I don’t return in a few minutes take the men down to the deck and prepare to abandon ship.
Rechberg leaves the station and makes his way amid ship. On his way he stumbles over bodies and wreckage. He locates a hatch to the lower decks and proceeds down into the Bismarck. Holding a handkerchief over his mouth to protect himself from the dense smoke heads through the ship, hearing the sounds of a mass of men. Rechberg turns down a companionway and as he gets closer he hears the First Officer shouting at the men.
FIRST OFFICER OELS
“we have nine or ten minutes’
Rechberg comes to a bulkhead of the canteen. From slightly behind the bulkhead and the mass of men in front of him Rechberg sights the First officer shouting for the crew to get off the ship.
FIRST OFFICER OELS (CONT’D)
“Get out , get out, everyone off the ship. He’s being scuttled and you can’t get forward . Everything is burning forward.”
No sooner do these words leave the First Officer’s lips than a green flash and fire ball explodes in the area. Bodies and blood cover Rechberg. Almost all in front of him are killed instantly. Rechberg craws out from under the bodies, then looking around he finds a sailor still conscience and barely alive. He picks him up and carries him to the aid station in the aft of the ship. On his way he comes across tremendous death and destruction. Explosion are thundering inside the ship. Rechberg reaches the Aid station. The mass of wounded shocks Rechberg. The Medical officer sees him and looks at the sailor that he has carried.
Leave him here with these men, he’ll sleep better here.
(speaking into the medical officer ear)
Their going to scuttle the ship. We must get the men off. I’ll be back with help to carry the men out.
(speaking into Rechberg’s ear)
Ok, we’ll start evacuating those who can make it on their own.
Rechberg heads up the ladder to the hatch on deck. He gets to the deck takes two steps and is thrown up in the air by a large explosion. The first aid (mess) station receives a direct hit killing every one there. Blood and body parts fly out of the hatch opening. Rechberg is in vertigo and everything he sees appears to be in a haze. As he starts to recover, his petty officer runs to his side.
The men are assembled on deck in the shadow of turret Dora’s starboard side.
The still shocked Rechberg stares at the open hatch that is covered in blood. He then turns to his petty officer.
Their scuttling the ship. We need to get the men off.
KING GEORGE V MAY 27, 1941 10:15 HOURS
The British battleships are running low on fuel and have been unable to sink the Bismarck with their gun fire. The battleships are leaving the battle and heading back to port to refuel. The cruisers are beginning ordered to finish off the Bismarck with torpedoes.
Sir, our battleships are running low on fuel.
The deed is done.
Set a course for home.
(Speaking out to the signal officer)
Signal officer, pass the Order to our cruisers to close in and finish off the Bismarck with torpedoes.
The Battleships and their escorts leave the scene.
WHITEHALL WAR ROOM MORNING MAY 27,1941
Churchill is leaving the navy room for the House of Commons where he will update the progress of the war.
Our battleships are running low on fuel. Admiral Tovey must run to port.
Don’t stop, finish her off even if our ships need to be towed home.
Our ship are reporting that it is near impossible to sink her with gun fire.
Churchill starts to get his coat on and grabs his hat.
I have to leave for parliament and report on the conduct of the war. Send word when the Bismarck is sunk. I can’t go in front of the House of Commons without having this victory to report.
Our cruisers are mounting a torpedo attack to finish her off. I’ll send word when the job is finished.
Churchill puts on his hat and jacket and leaves the room.
ABORAD THE BISMARCK FOR THE LAST TIME 1020 HOURS
Rechberg is with the crew preparing to go over board. This scene should be filled with shots of other groups of men with their officers getting ready to go overboard. These scenes should include men missing feet, arms and other wounded preparing to abandon ship with the help of their comrades. The Bismarck is listing to port and its aft deck is awash. Groups of sailor give one last “Heil Hitler” and “Seig Heil”giving the Nazi salute before they jump into the cold Atlantic water. Rechberg tells his group.
It’s that time, inflate your life jackets, prepare to jump.
The crew ready themselves and the wounded to go over board.
A salute to our fallen comrades.
The crew snaps their hands to their caps and glances up at the Nazi flag.
(Giving the navy salute)
For the fatherland.
Then Rechberg jumps with his crew into the cold dark water.
ABOARD THE NORFOLK MAY 27, 1941 1025 HOURS
The British ships have stopped firing and are now preparing to sink the Bismarck with torpedoes. Over the intercom the Captain orders the torpedoes to be fired.
The Cruiser closes in and launches a spread of torpedoes. Ryan views the Bismarck’s desperate crew, he pulls back from his viewer with an empty star in his eyes as he reflects on the terrible scene.
BISMARCK MAY 27, 1941 10:40 HOURS
The Bismarck is sinking fast. Rechberg and the crew are floating in the water watching the Bismarck slip down under the water. The British torpedoes run under the floating on their way to the Bismarck. When they hit huge columns of water are thrown into the air. The drifting men are screaming and moaning then someone shouts ‘the Kaptain’. Rechberg looking back sees to his astonishment the kaptain still alive and climbing the bow as it points higher into the air. Standing at the bows tip Kaptain Lindemann gives one final salute as he and the ship sink beneath the waves. After witnessing this Rechberg and the sailors in the water begin to swim to the closest British ship to be rescued.
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
Churchill stands in front of the house of commons. He is speaking about the hunt for the Bismarck. General Ismay, Harriman, and Admiral pound are stand together in the back of the Room listening to Churchill.
This morning, shortly after daylight the Bismarck, virtually at a standstill, far from help, was attacked by the British pursuing battleships. I do not know what the results of this bombardment, but it appears , however that the Bismarck was not sunk by gunfire, and she will now be dispatched by torpedo. It is thought that this is now proceeding and it is thought that there cannot be any lengthy delay is disposing of this vessel. Great as is our loss in the Hood, the Bismarck must be regarded as the most powerful, as she is the newest, battleship in the world.
(Churchill sits down. Then a navy messenger runs through the room holding up a slip of paper. The messenger hands it to him the room falls into silence as Churchill stands to speak again)
“I have just received news that the Bismarck has sunk.”
The sound of great applause and jubilant cheers erupt. Harriman turns to the two officers and says.
You’ve convinced me, I will tell President Roosevelt that England is in for the long haul...
And in so doing, I’ve been instructed to discuss setting up a meeting between my President and your Prime Minister on the possibility of American aid.
Maybe we have just witnessed our deliverance. The tide may be turning.
ABOARD THE NORFOLK
With the Bismarck sunk Ryan intently watches as the German sailors that are floating in the water get closer to the Norfolk. The huge cruiser quietly slips though the water and starts to pick up the survivors. Ryan enters the bridge and listens to the Admiral and Captain discuss leaving the area.
There’s been a report of a periscope in the area. I won’t chance losing this ship for the sake of a few German sailors.... We need to get under way.
But sir there are still hundreds of sailors in the water.
Listen Captain, The German’s gave no quarter and they will receive no quarter! We’ve rescued enough for interrogation.
The captain turns to the helmsman. Then he glances at the shocked Ryan.
Helmsman, get under way, raise steam.
Ryan steps out onto the open bridge and looks out into the sea. He surveys the sea filled with the Bismarck’s crew floating in the water. An officer that was helping in the rescue reports to the bridge and grabs hold of Ryan.
We only pulled a few on board. There are still men hanging to ropes.
Ryan and the officer run down to the deck where crewmen are pulling the Germans from the water.
Rechberg is struggling to pull himself up on a rope. Men are falling into the water. Shouts and groans of the men still in the sea. A few German sailors are still being pulled on board. Rechberg slips a little as the ship starts to pull away from the rest of the German sailors in the water. Rechberg looks around and back down at his men in the water. Rechberg thinks of giving up and letting go to join them for a certain death. Just as he gives up Ryan reaches and grasps for Rechberg arm and pulls him up with great difficulty. Rechberg is laying on the deck where he looks up at Ryan
Then he collapses on the deck. Ryan stands speechless before Rechberg. The moment is broken by the announcement from the bridge that the crew must prepare the ship to get under way. The Norfolk engines roar as the ship picks up speed. The ship glides past the mass of sailors left in the water. The screams and groans come from the men who are being left to die in the cold North Atlantic. The screams and shouts quickly fade as the ship disappears from the scene.
A SHOT OF THE SAILORS BEING SWEPT ASIDE IN THE WATER BY THE WAKE OF THE NORFOLK.
BERLIN HITLER’S OFFICE AFTERNOON MAY 27,1941
The tall doors open to Hitler office. A nervous officer enters the room.
The Bismarck has been sunk, my Fuhrer.
Hitler turns and looks away to a large globe that is near his desk. Hitler’s opens his hand to where is Britain is on the globe, then he draws back in a cliched fist. He shakes it in anger. He grinds his teeth.
THE CAMERA PULLS BACK OUT OF THE OFFICE, THROUGH THE DOORS AND DOWN THE HALL.
The doors to Hitler’s office closed with a thunderous clap by two SS sentries.
ABOARD THE NORFOLK MAY 27, 1941 11:20 HOURS
The next shot of the German sailors lined up along the super structure. The men wrapped in blankets that the British have given them. The British are handing out tea to them. Most of them look dejected and are in shock. Their faces are pale, their hair wet, they stare out to sea. They understand that they are the lucky ones and that death will come to those left in the cold water Atlantic water. Those left behind, one by one will succumb to the ice cold water and sink to the ocean depths. Ryan walks along the deck looking at the survivors faces. He sees Jacks face over laid on one sailor that is covered in a blanket. Rechberg is seated next to him staring out in shock. Ryan walks by and turns to look out at the sea as tears roll down his cheeks. He hides his emotions from every one.
JOYCE AT HOME JUNE 1, 1941
Joyce and her mother leave the house. They are going shopping. They exit the house with the baby in the carriage. They walk down the sidewalk and are bout to turn the corner when Joyce remembers that she forgot about her purse.
Mother could you mind the baby, please. I forgot my head and left my purse in the kitchen. I’ll be right back.
She makes her way back down to her house. She goes into the house and looks for purse. She comes back out and sees her mother in the distance holding the baby and talking to some one, but her view is partially blocked by the corner of a building. A fear strikes her ( is it bad news about Ryan ???) She walks toward them, picking up her pace. She now is almost running down the block when she turns the corner and sees Ryan giving the baby a kiss. Quickly he hands the baby to the grandmother. Joyce uncontrollably leaps into Ryan’s arms and embraces him. She gives Ryan a big kiss. He holds her tight.
FADE TO BLACK.
A short paragraph detailing the out come of the war.
England would hold out. In August of that summer Prime Minister Churchill met with President Roosevelt about American aid to his beleaguered country. Churchill would get his aid. Great Britain would not carry on the fight against the Nazis alone for long. Frustrated, Hitler would attack Russia in June. There fore opening a second front. Thus expanded the war beyond German’s capabilities to win. By the end of the year America would be brought into the war with Germany. This ultimately would lead to the demise of the Nazi war machine and the destruction of Adolph Hitler.
FADE TO BLACK.