Sometimes you come across actually a quite common known fact to others that had totally passed you by, but when others kindly retell it to you, it just simply stops you dead in your tracks. I knew that after the destruction of HMS Hood her consort, HMS Prince of Wales, had been hit on its bridge by a German 15" shell during the engagement. The shell tore through the unarmoured bridge without exploding leaving behind it a trail of carnage. On the bridge at that time were Captain Leach of HMS Prince of Wales along with fifteen officers of his bridge crew. Of the sixteen, thirteen were killed outright and one left badly wounded and completely blind. Captain Leach was one of the two standing survivors and managed to con his battleship out of harms way under cover of a smokescreen. The blinded bridge gunnery officer eventually regained the sight in one eye but only after a whole year convalescing. During that time HMS Prince of Wales had sailed off to the Far East to fight the Japanese and had been lost along with HMS Repulse as part of Force Z, taking with it Captain Leach.
After the war, when it came to filming Sink The Bismarck, an ex-naval officer who had returned to his pre-war profession of acting was cast in the role of Captain Leach, as seen in the iconic still from the film (see below). That actor was a one Esmond Knight, who in fact was the former gunnery officer whom had been blinded on the bridge of HMS Prince of Wales. Knight had stood by Captain Leach during the whole engagement and only by being so severely wounded was given the perverse chance by fate to escape death in the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales. To me this is totally mind blowing. He is not acting but in a time machine back to that fateful day, his expression carrying across with it the horror and magnitude of event far, far better than any words could describe (see below).
You Tube video of KM Bismarck v HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales (3:24 into the video clip):
You Tube documentary link: