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Explorer finds Bismarck wreckage

WOODS HOLE, Mass. -- An explorer who found the luxury liner Titanic in 1985 has located the German World War II battleship Bismarck, which was sunk 47 years ago after a six-day chase in the North Atlantic, officials said Monday.

The Bismarck, sunk May 27, 1941, by Britain's Royal Navy, had a crew of about 2,200.

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Only 115 survived.

Dr. Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod said the Bismarck was located beneath 15,000 feet of water about 600 miles west of the Brittany coast city of Brest, France.

'It is sitting upright on the sea bed intact in an excellent state of preservation,' the institution said. 'There is no evidence of human remains. No objects were touched or recovered.'

The Bismarck, named after the legendary German chancellor Prince Otto von Bismarck, was sunk after a dramatic chase in which Britain's largest battleship, the H.M.S. Hood, was sunk.

The Bismarck was located and surveyed this past weekend by the ARGO, a research system that was also used in the 1985 finding of the Titanic, which sunk south of Newfoundland on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York, on April 14, 1912, killing about 1,500 of the 2,200 on board.

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Ballard and his team are en route to Southampton, and are expected to dock on Wednesday. He is to release details of the Bismarck expedition at a news conference in Washington June 22 at the National Geographic Society.

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