In June 1941 the Ark Royal won one of Britain's most famous naval victories. The German destroyer, Bismarck, had been ravaging the British fleet in the Atlantic. Sailing through a ferocious storm the Ark Royal tracked the Bismarck. A dozen swordfish bombers took off from her deck and pounded shell after shell into the German battleship, sending her to the ocean floor. It was a signal victory that resonated around the world. Hitler, furious at the loss of the German fleet s flagship, demanded that the Ark Royal be destroyed at whatever cost. MS Ark Royal is one of the Royal Navy s most iconic ships. When she was launched in 1938 she was one of the most sophisticated weapons at the disposal of British military command. The aircraft carrier was the latest, and soon to be one of the most feared, developments in naval warfare. In her first two years of operation the Ark Royal survived countless attacks, and was considered one of the luckiest ships in the Navy. ut her air of invincibility was to prove wishful thinking. Within one month of sinking the Bismarck, the Ark Royal too was destroyed while sailing off the coast of Gibraltar. And there she has rested, one kilometre below the su
Mike Rossiter is an independent documentary film-maker, whose work has been nominated for BAFTA and EMMY awards. He won the Golden Fleece at the Dijon Film Festival for his documentary on the attempted recovery of a B29 bomber from northern Greenland. In 2001 he filmed the search and recovery of the body of Donald Campbell and his record-breaking jet boat, Bluebird, from Coniston Water. In 2004 he filmed the discovery of the wreck of the Ark Royal. He lives in North London.