After the Bismarck sank the pride of the Royal Navy, the
HMS Hood, Sir Winston Churchill left no doubt as to what
would be the Navy’s next most crucial challenge.
“Your mission is to sink the Bismarck,” he ordered. “Nothing
is more important at this moment. I command you to take all steps to
ensure, that this task is accomplished.”
The goal was achieved on May 26 and 27, off the coast of Brest,
France, one of several major flashpoints of 1941.
Connect with Coin World:
The Czech Mint marks those wartime moments with a series of 2016
noncirculating legal tender coins, starting with a coin featuring the Bismarck.
Background of the Bismarck
Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the Bismarck and
fellow ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by
Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power.
At the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Bismarck engaged and
destroyed the battlecruiser Hood, and forced the battleship HMS
Prince of Wales to retreat. However, Britain’s Navy fought back,
and Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier
HMS Ark Royal came after the Bismarck, with one plane
scoring a hit that rendered the battleship’s steering gear inoperable.
The following morning, Bismarck, neutralized by a sustained
bombardment from a British fleet, was scuttled by the ship’s crew and
sank with heavy loss of life (of more than 2,000 German sailors, only
Digging into the design
Medalist Asamat Baltaev designed all four coins in the War Year 1941
series from the Czech Mint and Niue.
The reverse of the Bismarck coin shows the warship’s final
moments, under fire of the British Navy and under relentless attacks
of the Royal Air Force. The inscription DER UNTERGANG DER BISMARCK
translates to “the destruction of the Bismarck.”
The obverse carries the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth
II, the face value, year date and issuer’s name.
The other coins in the series are scheduled to mark the Siege of
Leningrad, the Battle of Tobruk and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Proof .986 fine gold $5 coin weighs 3.49 grams, measures 20
millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limited to 200 pieces.
It retails outside of the Czech Republic for 5,216 Czeck korona
(about $213. U.S.)
To order the coin, visit the Czech Mint website.