- This ship's actual name may be Bismarck; see Notes below.
The Texas-class battleship SLS Bismark was a Star League Defense Force WarShip that survived the Amaris Civil War and joined General Aleksandr Kerensky on the Exodus during the waning years of the Star League. After the Pentagon Civil War and the rise of the Clans under the auspices of ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky the Bismark was one of many former Exodus vessels to be stored in one of ten boneyards distributed around the Clan Homeworlds. The Bismark ended up in the Norfolk Boneyard, moored with Exodus Fleet Station Five in the Strana Mechty system.
Following the beginnings of a campaign to isolate Clan Wolverine and rising animosity between the Wolverines and the other Clans, Wolverine Khan Sarah McEvedy had her saKhan Franklin Hallis begin to quietly restore a number of the stored Exodus vessels to full working order. This was the first stage of Operation Switchback. The ships of the Exodus fleet had been mothballed but maintained in good order, and on the 8th of October 2823 the Bismark was one of a number of ships being restored by Wolverine technical staff. The Bismark was one of five ships within the Norfolk cache being worked on at the time; the other ships included another battleship and three transports, one of which was the SLS Rawhide.
After agents of Clan Widowmaker stole a nuclear device from the Clan Wolverine stockpiles and detonated it in the middle of Great Hope, the largest Wolverine city on Circe, the Clan Snow Raven WarShip CSR Avalanche in orbit around Circe and over the city of Dehra Dun was ordered by Nicholas Kerensky to use nuclear weapons against the largest concentration of Wolverine forces on the planet on the 22nd of October 2823. As a pair of ships designated Angel One and Angel Two were launched from the Avalanche with an escorting aerospace fighter contingent the Bismark emerged from a nearby pirate jump point and moved to engage. While the Bismark did exchange fire with the Avalanche, the primary objectives of the Bismark were the destruction of Angels One and Two; the Bismark succeeded in destroying both ships, but not before one of the nuclear weapons was launched. The nuclear weapon detonated off-target, airbursting above the Snow Raven capital city of Dehra Dun. With the Avalanche taking increasing amounts of damage from the Bismark, the Snow Raven WarShip withdrew from combat.
As the bulk of the Wolverine survivors to escape the Clan Homeworlds after the declaration of a Trial of Annihilation against the Wolverines prepared to resupply on the Deep Periphery world known as Barbados in June 2824, Khan Franklin Hallis appointed Trish Ebon to the rank of saKhan and placed her in command of three small scout fleets intended to deploy ahead of the main Wolverine fleet and act as an early warning system against the arrival of Clan forces. Hallis had Ebon assume command of the Bismark as her flagship. Several days later the Bismark did detect Clan forces moving towards Barbados. Unfortunately, Ebon was under orders to leave no ships behind, and a jump drive failure on another ship in her flotilla (the Saratoga) left her unable to get warning to Barbados before the arrival of the majority of the Clan forces.
As a result, the Bismark was not present for the battle between ilKhan Kerensky's Grand Fleet and the bulk of the Clan Wolverine touman and thus survived the apparent destruction of the Wolverines. Ebon had the Bismark return to Barbados via a pirate point, having already located and joined her force with one of the other three screening task forces. The Bismark and several other WarShips from the mothballed Exodus fleet were able to muster two Clusters of ground forces by this point, and were full of Wolverine civilians in addition to the small number of survivors found at Barbados who had survived the various Clan hunting parties, including a number of people recovered from the shattered remains of the WarShip Rickenbacker.
The ultimate fate of the Bismark is unknown.
- The name of the Bismark is apparently a misspelling for Bismarck, suggesting the ship was named after a historical German dreadnought from World War II and/or the eponymous Otto von Bismarck; author Blaine Lee Pardoe explicitly confirmed this. (Q: "It is consistently spelled "Bismark", but is this perchance a misspelling of "Bismarck"?"; A: "Yes, with a caveat. Over time language changes, so does spellings. Now and then I slide things in where there are subtle changes that would have occurred over the centuries.")
- In 2708, a WarShip of unspecified class named the SLS Bismarck was the winner of the Best WarShip category of the 2708 Martial Olympiad. When asked whether this was the same Texas-class battleship, author Blaine Lee Pardoe answered "Hmm. Could be."
- Betrayal of Ideals, part 3, p. 8
- Betrayal of Ideals, part 3, p. 9
- Betrayal of Ideals, part 3, p. 56-61
- Betrayal of Ideals, part 4, p. 28
- Betrayal of Ideals, part 4, p. 33
- Betrayal of Ideals, part 4, p. 67
- In this thread on the BattleCorps forum.
- The Star League, p. 135, "Martial Olympiad Champions 2640-2736"