A Naval Poem from WW2


War Hero
This poem was published in the Birmingham Evening Mail during the war, the day after the German Battleship Bismark was sunk by units of the Royal Navy. The poet was simply known as "Bee"

In Norway's fretted coast today the ships of Hitler lie,
From cloud to cloud, the message ran,the watching eagle soared,
"The Bismark" and "Prince Eugen", have sailed from Bergen Fjord.
From cloud to cloud the answer flashed, now war is on the sea,
With find the foe and sink the foe,wherever they may be.
The dogs of war were off the leash, in snow and mist and gale,
And "Norfolk" found and "Suffolk" found....and finding held the trail.

The mist came down upon the sea, and day withdrew her light,
The quarry blessed the cloak of dark,the hunter cursed the night.
But when the red and level sun, the sky began to burn,
The Norfolk and the Suffolk, were like shadows on his stern.
The night rolled back across the sea,and to the west there stood,
Twice twenty thousand tons of steel, the colossus of the "Hood".
And by her side the "Prince of Wales".The hounds they then gave "Tongue",
Their voice across the waves, the old one and the young.
Through thirteen miles of quaking air the shell's screamed on their track,
The Bismark showed a blazing wound, then flung her fury back.
She hurled her fury at the Hood and split her to the keel,
And thirteen hundred men went down, within their tomb of steel.

Then like a cur that snaps and runs, the Bismark turned her tail,
But Norfolk clung and Suffolk clung relentless to her trail.
But watching eagles saw her slow,though her safety was at stake,
And Oil the life-blood of a ship,was spilling in her wake.
They ran the quarry through the day till evening dulled the sky,
And the guns upon the Prince of Wales drew once a brief reply.
As from the north, the west , the south,new hunters joined the chase,
A vow was now within their hearts,....to sink or take disgrace,
Victorious put her hawks aloft,to fight him in the dark,
And one torpedo, deadly true,smashed home upon its mark.
But mist came down upon the sea to aid the deep dark night,
So Norfolk tracked and Suffolk tracked their quarry out of sight.

King George the fifth, the Home fleet brought from north in hot-foot haste,
Renown and all her escorts from south were not outpaced.
The call was running through the air, before the dawn was grey,
And Rodney and the Ramillies, from convoy's turned away.
The south and westwards ran the chase, all day and all the night,
Across the seas and from the skies, the watchers strained their sight.
Day came.....they tracked her...lost her,...but their reward was won,
The Bismark swinging east alone,...alone and on the run.
The Sheffield set upon her heels,Ark Royals planes put out,
This the ship the "Hun" so often sank, put Gobbels word in doubt.
For this ship their lies so often sank...exacted now the price,
and twice torpedoed Bismark slowed,and reeled and circled twice.

She limped away,the night came down, but Sheffield kept in sight,
And Zulu, Maori, Cossack, came up eager for a fight.
And twice the long torpedo shots, hit foe that tried to flee,
And soon the mighty Bismark lay a beacon on the sea,

She stopped, ..then struggled on an hour,and when the daylight came,
The fleet closed in to make the kill, but Bismark still spat flame,
So Norfolk and the rest replied for "Hood" and "Jervis Bay",
Close on two thousand miles we came,to bring this "Bill" to pay.
But the end was near, the end was sure, and then came swift and soon,
The Dorset shire,avenged our dead,an hour before the noon.

Within a span of seven days, from find, to chase, to kill,
The pride of Hitlers navy,.. learned the strength of Britain's will,
Our guard is on the trackless wastes, that run from west to east,
Our watch is on the ships that bear the tools to beat the beast,
Our faith is in the men who make our trust an easy care,
Proclaim the need, the answer comes...............
Our Navy will be there.

Enjoy :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Thank you so much, Rum Rat. I have been searching for this very excellent poem for ages and never found it until now, because I think there is a first line that is missing here:

The winged eyes of the Navy watched, the news came from the sky

Today I tried what I thought was the second line,

In Norway's fretted coast today.....

and there was your post, with all the rest! My mother cut it out of the national newspaper, The Daily Mail, and some years later, as a teenager, I found it and tried to learn it, but only partly succeeded. It is magnificent. Thank you so much!

I think that first line is right, because it's meaning and rhyming word fit.
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