Claim to fame: The target of the largest naval hunt in Royal Navy history.
Launched in 1939, the Bismarck and her sister ship, Tirpitz, were the largest German battleships ever built, and two of the largest ever built in all of Europe. While she only served Germany for eight months and one offensive operation, she managed to sink the pride of the Royal Navy, sparking a chase that lasted two days and involved dozens of British warships.
En route to German-occupied France, the Bismarck was attacked by biplane torpedo bombers and rendered unmaneuvrable before she could reach safety. The next morning, the Bismarck fought off British ships until all her weapon batteries were disabled. The order was then given to abandon ship, and scuttling charges were detonated to sink the damaged Bismarck and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
Image source: German Federal Archive