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- Joined: 19 Aug 2009 23:53
"Mr. Statz and Lt. Cardinal were alone on the open bridge, although they did encounter a severely wounded officer with four stripes near the port bridge wing. When the British battleships began their final bombardment, the two men decided to move to the starboard bridge wing of the open bridge. There, they tried to find an alternate escape route. Mr. Statz could not see aft due to the heavy black smoke exiting from the base of the funnel. He noticed a large hole near the starboard antiaircraft directors, where all but one of the 105mm starboard gunnery crew escaped. Finding no route down, Statz and Cardinal headed back to the open bridge.
There Statz looked into the open starboard door of the conning tower and noticed five bodies of comrades from Damage Control Central who had escaped before him, one of these being LCdr. Emil Jahreis, his commanding officer and a close friend of the Baron. Lt. Cardinal restrained Mr. Statz from reentering the conning tower, but these two men were forced to take cover quickly as the British battleships and cruiser Dorsetshire began their final close-range passes up the sides of Bismarck. Taking cover behind the forward bulwark of the open bridge, Statz and his shipmate could follow the heavy shells on their trajectories to their impact points on the bridge and conning tower. The terrible noise of these projectiles forced Mr. Statz to stand up and scream in terror. Several shells punched holes in the 350mm armor. Two hit the port bridge wing and carried away the officer they had passed by before."