With Kaiser Wilhelm II attending, HAPAG’s Bismarck was launched on 20 June 1914 at the Blohm und Voss shipyard in Hamburg. With World War I on the horizon, the liner sat uncompleted for the next seven years.
The 56,551 GRT Bismarck was 956 feet long, 100 feet at beam and had a rated service speed of 23.5 knots.
In 1919, Bismarck was handed over to the British government in reparation for vessels lost during the war. In 1921, the ship was sold to White Star Line.
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