Some Thoughts on What Sank the Bismarck
Dave Brown - WACMM Director and Pastor-at-Large
At the outbreak of World War II, the Germans believed they had the greatest military weapon ever conceived – the battleship Bismarck. It weighed 52,600 tons with eighteen-inch armor plating, eight 15-inch guns that could hurl a shell the size of a Volkswagen twenty miles. And it could outrun every other ship on the water. The Germans were convinced that it would destroy the British Navy and bring about a quick victory. On May 24, 1941 a British reconnaissance plane spotted the Bismarck and the fleet was sent to intercept it. Almost immediately the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood, one of the most feared British battleships. Only three of the Hood's two thousand crewmembers survived. The Bismarck seemed impenetrable and unstoppable. Two days later the rest of the British fleet caught up with the Bismarck. As the Bismarck began pulling away, it suddenly began to zigzag, did a big U-turn, and headed straight toward the fleet. For over two hours the fleet attacked with shells and torpedoes and the mighty Bismarck went down.
What sunk the Bismarck? Well, after the Bismarck destroyed the Hood, a British biplane tracked it down and launched a single torpedo that bounced off the ship’s tail and exploded doing no visible damage. Below the waterline, however, the torpedo knocked the Bismarck’s rudder off its hinges. And without a rudder the great Bismarck couldn’t be steered and began floating directly into the middle of the British fleet. It goes to show that you can have all the speed, firepower, and engineering known to man, but if you can't navigate, you're in big trouble. That's
exactly what happens when we don't know the Bible. Henry Ward Beecher once wrote, “The Bible is God's chart to steer by, to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks.” We may have great talents and vast resources, but unless God’s word is our rudder in life we’ll simply wander aimlessly and be at the mercy of the enemy. How well is your "rudder" connected to "the Bridge”?