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Additional resources for Battleship Bismarck. A Survivor's Story
The delay in our departure, whose approximate date obviously could not be kept from the crew, is a bitter disappointment to everyone concerned. I will use the waiting time the same way as before, to acquire a still higher degree of training, but I will allow the crew more rest, and give more time to divisional exercises and the external conditioning of the ship, activities that have understandably had to be severely restricted in recent weeks. It was announced that the fleet staff would embark in the Bismarck on 12 May and conduct a practical test of its collaboration with the ship's command in a clear-for-action drill at sea the following day.
Nevertheless, we must strive for local and temporary command of the sea in this area and gradually, methodically, and systematically extend it. During the first battleship operation in the Atlantic the enemy was able always to deploy one battleship against our two on both of the main supply lines. However, it became clear that providing this defense of his convoys brought him to the limit of the possibilities open to him, and the only way he can significantly strengthen his escort forces is by weakening positions important to him (Mediterranean, home waters) or by reducing convoy traffic.
And the mere thought of that inspired a prickly anxiety over what being in these narrow waters, the outposts of British sea power, under those conditions might entail. On the other hand, it was not long since the intercepted British radio order had gone out, so the probability of our being rediscovered soon was slight. At 0930 or so, Lütjens was informed by Group North that, according to B-Dienst, neither the sailing of his task force nor the British orders to search for "the battleships" had produced any perceptible consequence, other than intensified British aerial reconnaissance in the northeastern sector.