The British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.
On February 14, 1939, the 823-foot Bismarck was launched at Hamburg. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art battleship would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. After a May 24th battle with “almost the entire British Home Fleet”, the Bismarck was crippled and badly leaking fuel. It tried to return to occupied France but the British fleet tracked it down and finished it off.