The Swordfish, a torpedo-carrying plane primarily carried on board British aircraft carriers, played a vital part in the destruction of the Bismarck in May 1941. The Swordfish was a bi-plane and by the standards of World War Two, the plane was slow and a veteran. However, when required to do so, the Swordfish carried quite a punch.
Swordfish on HMS Victorious
A torpedo attack by Swordfish against the Bismarck took out the battleship’s rudder and steering gear effectively slowing her to mere 8 knots – making it easy for the British battleships Rodney and King George V to home in on her. The Bismarck was also incapable of taking evasive action and it was only a matter of time before she was sunk. However, the important damage to the Bismarck had been done by the Swordfish that attacked her before the British battleships arrived.
|Crew||Usually 2 but could be 3|
|Normal Range||770 miles|
|Maximum speed||154 mph|
|Armaments||1 x 1,610 lb torpedo or
1 x 1,500 lb mine or
8 x 110 lb bombs or
6 x rocket projectiles
2 x .303 machine guns